Luck is not always needed in the compact crossover segment – the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V are eternal popular models thanks to some of their competencies and reliability. However, automakers are trying to make their small SUV unique. The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox stands out among its rivals by offering high-end luxury features and distinctive engines option to this price-conscious class.
Redesigned last year, the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox is one of the newest models in this segment. This means, all the latest safety features are available, from a surround-view parking camera to forward collision warning system that can identify pedestrians. Unlike some competitors, most of these features can only be owned at the top trim level, but at least you can get them. There is also a panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats, which is a rare option in this class.
What makes the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox separate from the crowd is the alternative powertrains. If you’re not satisfied with the base turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, a fuel-efficient diesel that achieves 32 mpg combined driving is a tempting choice. On the other hand, a turbocharged 2.0-liter offers more power. Be careful: once you start checking the option box, the 2019 Equinox can be far more expensive than rivals. Disappointing interior materials quality and an engine stop-start system that cannot be disabled can be a deal-breaker.
For 2019, the Chevrolet Equinox receives a new Infotainment 3 touchscreen interface. Adaptive cruise is now available. New Lights and Brights package for LT models.
Trim levels and features
The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV that available in four trims levels: L, LS, LT and Premier.
The base L is well-equipped and seems like a great deal until you realize that it’s a custom-order model and you’ll have to wait for it to be built. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, keyless entry and ignition, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, a driver information display, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, OnStar with a Wi-Fi hotspot and 4G LTE connectivity, Bluetooth, Chevrolet’s Teen Driver watchdog modes, and a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports up front and two charge-only USB ports in the rear.
The Equinox LS is pricier and doesn’t add much except for a tire jack, spare tire and rear floor mats. But this is the starting point for various exterior colors and availability of all-wheel drive, so it’s worth considering if you want the least expensive AWD model. The LS optional Convenience package adds rear privacy glass and a power driver’s seat.
The Equinox LT include the LS Convenience package contents plus xenon headlights, an upgraded information display, satellite radio and auxiliary rear-seat release levers. Select one of the optional engines and you’ll also get roof rails and sunroof, while the 2.0-liter exclusively adds 18-inch wheels.
There are several notable packages for the LT trim. The Lights and Brights package adds chrome exterior trim, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights. The Infotainment package adds a navigation, an 8-inch touchscreen, 120-volt household-style power outlet, and two USB ports in the armrest bin. The Sun and Navigation package includes the Infotainment package items plus a sunroof.
For safety, the Confidence and Convenience package adds a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, remote engine start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and heated front seats.
The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox Premier includes the above packages (minus panoramic sunroof and navigation system) plus chrome exterior trim, 18-inch wheels, foglights, LED headlights and taillights, roof rails, auto-dimming mirrors, a hands-free liftgate, ambient interior lighting, perforated leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings and wireless device charging. 19-inch wheels are added with the 2.0-liter engine.
The Premier Confidence and Convenience II package adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, a 360-degree parking camera system, automatic high-beam control, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a power passenger seat, and heated rear outboard seats. The Sun, Sound and Navigation package builds on this package with a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, navigation, and a seven-speaker Bose audio system with HD radio.
You have a choice of three engines in the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox. The standard engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder good for 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough power for most tasks and can tow up to 1,500 pounds. It matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimated for fuel economy at 28 mpg combined (26 city/32 highway) for the FWD model and 27 mpg combined (25/30) for the AWD.
Optional is a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which makes the Equinox feel quite a bit faster. It comes standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission and rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Also optional is a fuel-efficient turbocharged diesel 1.6-liter that generates 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. It also mated to a six-speed automatic.
EPA gives the 2.0-liter engine an estimated fuel economy of 25 mpg combined (22 city/29 highway) for FWD variant and 24 mpg combined (22 city/28 highway) with AWD. The diesel returns remarkable fuel-economy rating of 32 mpg combined (28 city/39 highway) with FWD and (32/28/38) for AWD models.
The L is front-wheel drive only, with all-wheel drive is optional for the rest of trim. Every 2019 Chevrolet Equinox have an engine stop-start system that cuts power at idle, such as at stoplights. Unlike any other automakers, the system can’t be deactivated.
The upgrade from the base 1.5-liter engine to the 2.0-liter is worth considering the amount of power and efficiency it delivers. This engine is one of the best in the class. In addition, the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox has impressive handling on a winding road. Acceleration is smooth and very manageable in daily driving, but the FWD model can generate torque steer when you floor it.
In performance testing, the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0T AWD reach 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, quicker than rivals. The diesel took a lazier 9.8 seconds.
As a compact crossover, the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox offers cabin with wide head and foot space around it, even if you add an optional panoramic sunroof. The rear window does not wrap it as seen from the outside, but the small window in three-fourth view helps to reduce blind spots.
The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox overall ride comfort is very good, regardless you choose 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels. The touchscreen is awkwardly angled, making it prone to catch glare and blur the display. Furthermore, the control layout is logical, and operating many systems is easy. The front seats are supportive and comfortable even on long distance trips. The Premier trim offers a lot of heating and ventilation features further adding comfort while driving.
For the cargo area, the Equinox provides 29.9 cubic feet behind the second row seat, which is smaller than most in this segment. It increased to 63.5 cubes with the rear seats folded. It’s better, though still lost to some of its rivals.
Release Date and Price
The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting from $24,795 for the base L model. The LS or LT model start at $26,795 and $28,095, respectively. The LT diesel begins at $30,495, while the range-topping Premium models start just under $32,000. All-wheel drive is an extra $1,700.