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#4637463 - 01/17/18 07:53 AM 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10019
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
So, my buddy sold his 2011 Equinox 2.4 LT 2WD and bought a '18 Equinox AWD listed in the title.

Here are some of my views of this new for '18 GM offering. I may make some references to the previous gen(2nd gen) Equinox but not really compare to it's competition as I haven't driven them in some time.

I'll start out by saying that this new 2018/3rd gen feels very much like the 2nd gen in a very good way. It feels solid and quiet with similar door slam and tight ride & handling which is very absorbent over broken pavement and one of the nicest in this segment.

Standard 4 cyl(1.5T) powertrain is still quiet(to my ears) and reasonable responsive while having less HP but, more TQ. Under normal acceleration, it's just fine and I don't really notice any turbo lag. I guess I might notice T-lag under hard(er) to WOT acceleration. But, it's fine for everydayness and smooth/responsive on the hiwy. I believe the automotive PRESS measures the 1.5T to be slower than the previous 2.4L but, you'd be hard pressed to know it.

What I have noticed with this 3rd gen Equinox across the board, on dealer lots as well as in some video reviews on Youtube is that the chrome exterior door trim is not lined up correctly especially on the passenger side. And I have seen this a lot with this 3rd gen. Not so much with the 2nd gen. ATMOF, the 2nd gen was very good, IMHO!

Interior room and comfort seems as though this vehicle, even though it's a complete redesign, feels more like a step sideways than a makeover...again, in a good way. I was hugely impressed with the 2nd gen Equinox/Terrain(SIL also owns a Terrain) for how good they were when new. I'm less impressed as they feel the same and more like a reskinned & redesigned interiored carryover. However, this is a good machine like the last generation.

Yes, there are interior function difference for example, the rear seat don't slide for/aft due to the fact that they fold further down into the floor to give the cargo are a flat floor...an improvement!

Some interior materials are still the hard plastics from the 2nd gen such as door panel plastic where you rest your arm(out the window). On the standard interior for example, the center console box cover is a hard rubber covering instead of the vinyl/stitched covering(nicer) from the 2nd gen, making it feel/look cheap(er). However, the center box is still HUGE as before.

In addition to the interior materials, I don't care for the seat fabric in any new vehicle today(including my own vehicle) and other than a leather option, there is NO other upgraded/optional cloth material and the Equinox is no different compared to its predecessor. A cost cutting measure that all MFG's are doing w/o hurting overall quality.

Cargo area seems similar between the two gen's however, the rear hatch area has convenient pull levers to lower the rear seatbacks. A nice touch that has been in some of the Equinox's competition for some time now.

Fuel economy is EPA'd better in this 1.5T compared to the 2.4L. AND this 3rd gen "AWD" is better than the 2nd gen "2WD" and my buddy is getting that better MPG as well. NICE! laugh

This is all I have for now as I have only driven the Equinox on several occasions.


Edited by Char Baby (01/17/18 07:55 AM)
_________________________
"Retired"
'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
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#4637485 - 01/17/18 08:27 AM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
bradepb Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 1218
Loc: Clinton Twp. MI
What did you think about the Start/Stop system on these. Shutting off at lights etc.
I just can't get on board with these complex systems and I believe they will not be trouble free. It will be harder and harder to avoid this system going forward in most vehicles and is one reason I am looking at 2017 or 2016 Equinox for myself.
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#4637501 - 01/17/18 08:44 AM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: bradepb]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2635
Loc: PV Az
Originally Posted By: bradepb
What did you think about the Start/Stop system on these. Shutting off at lights etc.
I just can't get on board with these complex systems and I believe they will not be trouble free.


You're right about more complex and not being trouble free but that has probably been said about every new tech that shows up. Best you can do is not be an early adopter/John Q. Public beta tester. Many people aren't concerned about stuff breaking in a 10 or even 5 year old car because they don't own them that long.
_________________________
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Why know when you can guess?!


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#4637544 - 01/17/18 09:41 AM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
c502cid Offline


Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1003
Loc: Elizabeth. Colorado
I'm renting one right now. 500 miles on it, pretty sure it's a FWD though. It's the 1.5L motor. Since I rent every week, I try to pick something different each week. Everything said in review above is true. I'm getting over 32 mpg in So Cal stop and go traffic. I'm a big fan of stop/start but this one seems a little laggy compared to others, you better let off the brake before you have to stomp on it to get out into traffic. Great riding little SUV!
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17 SuperDuty 6.2 4x4
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#4637557 - 01/17/18 10:02 AM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: bradepb]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41775
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: bradepb
What did you think about the Start/Stop system on these. Shutting off at lights etc.
I just can't get on board with these complex systems and I believe they will not be trouble free. It will be harder and harder to avoid this system going forward in most vehicles and is one reason I am looking at 2017 or 2016 Equinox for myself.


These systems are in use all over Europe long before coming here. In a way they make total sense, and in a way none (just make a hybrid then).

No biggie.

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#4637571 - 01/17/18 10:20 AM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10104
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
It's got the 1.5T!? puke

I just drove a rental 2018 Malibu 1.5T and it was ridiculously slow, had ok mid range power but when you needed it and put your foot down, it's like you're at 1/2 throttle. It was a family member's rental, we took off from a light, I was in my Sonata, it was neck and neck until 20 mph then my Sonata blew the doors off of it, and it's not even quick.
_________________________
2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 79k PU 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 228k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 146k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

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#4637604 - 01/17/18 10:59 AM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10019
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
I'm not crazy about the start/stop system. Especially during heavy traffic and getting on the hiwy ramp turning left to cross traffic. Should the driver misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic and having that delay in the engine restart, this could cause an accident. The driver "ALWAYS" needs to be on his/her A-Game!

Negatives:

*Start/stop
*Turbo lag
*Reluctant/sluggish tranny

Are all negatives when one misjudges the speed of oncoming traffic from a dead stop.


Edited by Char Baby (01/17/18 11:00 AM)
_________________________
"Retired"
'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

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#4637636 - 01/17/18 11:26 AM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
nickaluch Offline


Registered: 10/04/08
Posts: 376
Loc: Long Island,nassau county NY
I have the start stop in my 2018 traverse doesn't bother me one bit working as intended.
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#4637692 - 01/17/18 12:29 PM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2559
Loc: MN

The new Equinox has great steering & handling with the new chassis. With the 1.5T & 6-speed automatic like I've got in mine though, it is lacking in acceleration and smoothness.
Seats aren't very comfortable compared to Ford seats.
Car and Driver reviews show: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2018-chevrolet-equinox-20t-awd-test-review the 2.0T and more advanced 9-speed tranny is more fun. Having a 1.5T does mean you'll get better MPG if you don't feel you need the full 2.0T power.

Originally Posted By: c502cid
I'm renting one right now. 500 miles on it, pretty sure it's a FWD though. It's the 1.5L motor.
If it has an AWD button near the shifter, its AWD. With this AWD system, it keeps the driveshaft to the rear (and rear driveshafts to the hubs) perfectly still to conserve fuel when not needed. Very cool!

Originally Posted By: Char Baby
Standard 4 cyl(1.5T) powertrain is still quiet(to my ears) and reasonable responsive while having less HP but, more TQ. Under normal acceleration, it's just fine and I don't really notice any turbo lag. I guess I might notice T-lag under hard(er) to WOT acceleration. But, it's fine for everydayness and smooth/responsive on the hiwy. I believe the automotive PRESS measures the 1.5T to be slower than the previous 2.4L but, you'd be hard pressed to know it.

I'm used to all-electric and hybrid powertrains lately for comparison. I really feel the turbo-lag non-linear throttle response, and sluggish problems. It all depends on your benchmark standards. Electric motors in the powertrain will spoil you!

From https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4519647/1 :

Originally Posted By: oil_film_movies


This is the most popular type of vehicle in the U.S., crossovers of this size, and there are plenty of choices. GM rebates of $3k and an additional GM credit card rebate of $3k more meant I gave the Equinox a hard look, and I got a great lease deal on an LT model with a few options (AWD, heated seats, side collision alert, power liftgate, etc.). Leasing (39 months) means its under warranty and I can decide just to give it back at the conclusion. Pretty much just oil changes and tire rotations for the first 3 years.



The '18 Equinox shares a chassis with the Envision & Terrain (D2XX platform). Mine was made in MX, although most of the ones on the dealer lots were from Canada. They are also made in China alongside the Envision there. Yet the Envision is the most expensive one. Shipping costs must eat into the near-slave-labor rates in China. The Market is the market.

Car and Driver thrashed it around and found it had excellent handling. I think its due to it's Control Blade rear suspension and stiff chassis from the new Opel-engineered D2XX platform. It looks similar to the Control Blade setup on the Focus/Escape/CMax and some Mazdas. Big selling point for me was this new non-Theta platform it gets for 2018.

The 1.5L DI-Turbo Ecotec (from the Malibu) is a bit weak compared to modern standards, and the 6-speed automatic could use another cog. This anemic drivetrain is the main reason Car and Driver won't rank the 1.5L version higher. That said, the turbo torque of the 1.5L at low RPM is nice enough for most of us. ...Combine the great handling with a bigger engine, and you get: "The all-new Chevy Equinox—and we can’t even believe we’re saying this, considering where the old Equinox left off—feels more connected, nimble, and dialed-in than some far costlier German competition."--http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2018-chevrolet-equinox-20t-awd-test-review

What's odd is that the 1.5L DI/turbo engine has a larger sump for AWD vs. FWD. (5.3 qt vs. 4.2 qt) Never seen that before.
If anything you'd think the FWD version would have a bigger sump since it doesn't have to make room for the AWD transfer case, etc.
And it doesn't stop there: The AWD version has a larger gas tank too! AWD=15.6 gal, FWD=14.8 gal. No differential in the back on the FWD version should have given the FWD the larger gas tank, but its just the opposite.

The different sump sizes (AWD vs. FWD) will create confusion at Quickie-Lubes and among DIYers, and possibly at dealerships as well, since they will see "2018 Equinox" and "1.5L engine" and read the wrong one by mistake. Look for under or overfills to be very common on this vehicle! I just did an oil change to get the factory-fill out (with metals), drained it for 10 minutes, and refilled with exactly 5.0 quarts (jug), with Fram Ultra oil filter, and it overfilled it. Strange, since it should have taken 5.3 qts per spec. (???)
I used the only dexos1 Gen2 I could find at Walmart in 0w20 flavor, and that was Valvoline SynPower, the only one with the specific Gen2 logo. Could be important since this 1.5L DI/turbo engine might suffer from LSPI, and the new chainwear test helps too, things addressed by Gen2.

The Equinox has no under-engine skid plate or shield (belly pan). Its all just exposed down there. I thought almost all new designs these days had underbody shields to help lower aero drag. The lower the Cd, the lower the drag number they enter into the MPG FTP test cycle, allowing higher EPA MPGs and real-world efficiency.

A great feature of the Equinox is that it can get FWD fuel efficiency when you don't activate AWD via a button. This is special since it keeps the hypoid gear's friction in the back from eating gas when you don't need AWD. Few vehicles do that from what I've seen. Its a GKN brand unit, similar to what the Ford Focus RS has. Look for this uncoupling feature to become more common, doing away with most of the MPG penalty from AWD vehicles in the future.
http://www.gkn.com/en/our-divisions/gkn-driveline/case-studies/2016/all-wheel-drive-and-effciency/
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/244191-buick-joins-torque-vectoring-goes-snow-wheel-drive-show

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#4637795 - 01/17/18 02:29 PM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
czbrian Offline


Registered: 04/10/15
Posts: 154
Loc: Houston, TX
My mom traded in her 2005 Tahoe for a 2018 Equinox 2wd a few months ago. She only has around 3500 miles on it so far but she loves it. I think it drives great and don't feel like there is a lack of power from the 1.5 liter engine. The start stop feature does feel a little laggy until you get used it and it does have some cheapy looking plastic in some places but other than that, I can't think of any other complaints.

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#4638082 - 01/17/18 07:00 PM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2559
Loc: MN
I just saw on TV where there is a $4,250 GM rebate on 2018 Equinox LT AWD models. They are really going after the market. The people choosing Ford Escapes, RAV4's, Foresters, and CRV's over the new Equinox.

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#4640200 - 01/19/18 04:30 PM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: czbrian]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6568
Loc: Hudson, NH
Originally Posted By: czbrian
My mom traded in her 2005 Tahoe for a 2018 Equinox 2wd a few months ago. She only has around 3500 miles on it so far but she loves it. I think it drives great and don't feel like there is a lack of power from the 1.5 liter engine. The start stop feature does feel a little laggy until you get used it and it does have some cheapy looking plastic in some places but other than that, I can't think of any other complaints.

There really is no comparison between the two. The Tahoe was a real SUV with a truck frame. The 2wd Equinox is unibody. Which makes it a crossover, or a car.
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06 Escalade 6.0L AWD 160k. M1 5w30 Fram TG
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#4641160 - 01/20/18 04:56 PM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
dareo Offline


Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 1448
Loc: utah
Seems like a big ask out of 1.5 liters.
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2016 Golf Wagon 5MT, 2014 Accord Sport 6MT, 2005 GMC 2500 SLT 6.0 2WD, T100 Sold

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#4641250 - 01/20/18 06:23 PM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: dareo]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2559
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: dareo
Seems like a big ask out of 1.5 liters.
Turbo makes it act like a 2.3 liter engine. Its 170 hp and flat torque curve make it acceptable. Not "enough" compared to many vehicles, depending on what you're used to. Besides, its only 3500 lbs in AWD 1.5T form, not really a big heavy SUV.

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#4641303 - 01/20/18 07:36 PM Re: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT 1.5T AWD Review [Re: Char Baby]
dareo Offline


Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 1448
Loc: utah
I understand how turbocharging creates more output from a the same size engine. My point was that its demanding a lot from that size engine. It will result in slowness and premature wear. AWD, a tall SUV body, SUV tires, its a big ask. Even if its relatively light. It will be under more stress than a larger mill with less boost.
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2016 Golf Wagon 5MT, 2014 Accord Sport 6MT, 2005 GMC 2500 SLT 6.0 2WD, T100 Sold

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