“2019 Chevrolet Equinox LT 2.0T AWD”
Adventure Ready Compact SUV
The Equinox is Chevoret’s second best selling vehicle following Chevy’s Silverado truck lineup, with nearly 2 million sold to date. The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox steps up to the plate ready to shine with appealing styling cues, sleek aerodynamic features that enhance the lineup’s appearance in addition to operational efficiency.
The two-row, five-passenger 2019 Equinox continues as a compact crossover from Chevrolet that is suitable for all weather conditions and seasons, serving a variety of lifestyle levels. It would not be out of line to think of the Equinox as a smaller sibling of the Chevy Traverse.
The Equinox used to come with a choice of two engines: a 2.4-liter Direct fuel Injected inline four-cylinder that produced 182 horsepower and 172 pound feet of torque; or a 3.6-liter, 301 horsepower Direct Injection V6. Both engines were mated to a specific 6-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission. There was an auto start/stop feature, but unfortunately there was no way to override it. On the plus side it was relatively non-intrusive.
REVISED POWER OPTIONS
Power is now generated by one of three front, transversely mounted, turbocharged engines. The standard engine is a 5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with VVT and Direct Injection that produces 170 horsepower along with 203 pound feet of torque. Energy reaches the driving wheels via a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission. There’s an optional 252 horsepower 2.0-liter Turbocharged engine with VVTi and direct injection that generates 260 lb.-ft with VVTi and direct injection that is paired with a nine speed automatic transmission. And if it’s greater erfficiency that you’re looking for, there’s an available 1.6-liter turbo diesel available that delivers an estimated 39-mpg on the highway.
A VARIETY OF TRIMS AND DRIVE CONFIGURATIONS
This latest iteration Chevrolet Equinox is available in four trim levels: L, LS, LT and Premier, all in either FWD or AWD configurations.
The goal of the Equinox development team was to create an all-new compact SUV that represented an ideal balance of style, function and efficiency. Jeff Perkins, Equinox design manager points out that “Working closely with the aerodynamics team, we were able to craft a final design that is the ultimate win-win scenario, and together we reached the aerodynamic goals intended to give the new Equinox an efficiency-enhancing edge on the highway with the sculpted look and cargo space we set out to achieve.”
CONTEMPORARY, EFFICIENT DESIGN
The engineering and design teams focused on developing a refined new vehicle shape that maintained the key proportions of a small crossover/SUV, in addition to delivering the utility and functionality that customers in the segment look for. The Equinox’s exterior expresses a lean, sculpted form sporting Chevrolet’s signature styling cues. The Equinox’s expressive exterior displays a lean, muscular skin reflecting global Chevrolet design cues and sculpted shapes evident in the Volt, Malibu and Cruze. It is a richer, more detailed design featuring chrome trim on all models and Malibu-inspired styling. Projector-beam headlamps are standard, along with LED daytime running lamps. At the rear, horizontal taillamps emphasize the Equinox’s wide stance, while uplevel models feature LED taillamps.
The Equinox’s overall length delivers the right-size vehicle, making it easier to park and maneuver. Despite its smaller exterior dimensions, interior volume is roomier. GM’s full-scale wind tunnel produced an exterior that not only maintains the essence of the intended design, but reduced wind resistance by 10 percent over the previous model.
Electronically controlled upper and lower grille shutters contribute to greater aero performance, closing in conditions on the highway, when engine-cooling needs are reduced, pushing more air around the vehicle reducing drag. Other “aero” factors include: the large rear spoiler, designed to help reduce turbulence at the rear of the vehicle for less wind resistance; at the rear corner a series of “air trips,” are incorporated for optimal air separation at the edges of the taillamps and corners at the D-pillars; tire deflectors aid in achieving the same aerodynamic advantage as a traditional air dam without compromising the Equinox’s sculpted design form; and underbody panels on FWD models improve airflow beneath the vehicle.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The 2019 Equinox is a fresh, modern compact SUV, featuring an expressive design, increased cargo space, the latest connectivity, and expanded roster of available safety features. The increased cargo area comes with ample storage features such as a large, hidden underfloor storage space and a flat cargo floor that makes loading and unloading easier. Purposeful technologies are included to increase passenger’s safety and to enhance comfort and connectivity. Teen Driver is also offered, along with new safety features such as Rear Seat Safety Alert, Surround Vision, Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator and more.
The Equinox’s architecture allows the interior to take advantage of the additional space and to offer a down-and-away instrument panel, while the low windshield base provides a commanding outward view. New elements such as available denim-style seat fabric blend style with high-durability, while a new “kneeling” rear seat enhances functionality. With it, the bottom cushions tilt forward when the split-folding seatbacks are lowered, yielding a flat floor for easier loading.
My test 2019 Chevrolet Equinox was in LT trim and was powered by the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger, mated ot the 9-speed automatic transmission. It sported a Storm Blue Metallic Tintcoat exterior and came with a Jet Black and Gray patterned cloth interior with contrasting stitching. The base sticker read at $31,400., while optional fare, along with the destination charge bumped the final tally to $36,580.
This latest iteration Equinox, performed admirably on all counts, covering virtually all driving scenarios from scenic, twisting country back roads to high speed freeways, with congested urban traffic thrown in for good measure. The weather menu was varied as well.
Heated and ventilated front seats, fold flat rear seats, surround vision, 4G LTE WI-FI and user interface intuitive added to the convenience and practicality of the pleasantly intuitive Interior controls and switchgear. Connectivity included the MyLink infotainment system designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
GM’s Teen Driver program is available, allowing parents to set controls through the use of multiple specific keys. The system automatically activates certain safety features and allows the setting of some specific features while limiting the use of others and reviews via a Report Card feature that records vehicle data regarding driving behavior, in order to encourage better driving habits, even when parents are not in the vehicle. Probably not a bad idea for some parents as well.
THE FINAL TAKE
The new Equinox is stable, handles with agility and a positive steering feel and rides smoothly. The plus/minus toggle switch on the gear selector works well and without hesitation. The ride quality is firm but smooth and acceleration is brisk with no noticeable turbo lag.
The 2019 Chevy Equinox in LT trim with the 2.0T four-cylinder engine is an ideally sized compact SUV and it is reasonably efficient. Don’t forget to check out the 1.6-liter diesel option when shopping for greater fuel economy.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Chevrolet Equinox LT 2.0T AWD
Base Price: $31,400.
Price as Tested: $36,580.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged inline four-cylinder with VVT and Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 252 @ rpm not listed
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 260 @ rpm not listed
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / AWD
Suspension: Front – Independent MacPherson struts with side- loaded modules, coil springs and direct acting stabilizer bar.
Rear – Independent four-link with coil springs and trailing arm and stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with Duralife rotors and low drag calipers, ABS, ESC, and Stabilitrak with Traction Control.
Tires: Michelin Premiere LTX 25/60 R18 mounted on 5-“Y”-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 107.3 inches
Length Overall: 183.10 inches
Width: 72.60 inches – without mirrors.
Height: 65.40 inches
Curb Weight: 3,274 lbs.
Turning Circle: 20.0 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 15.6 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city / 28-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.