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At new-vehicle launches it’s always a bit suspicious when an automaker spends more time hyping the drive route or how scenic the lunch stop is than they do about the product they’re introducing. Are they trying to draw attention away from a substandard product?

Indeed, Chevrolet seemed proud of both the area roads and local cuisine we would experience in the Carolinas (yes, both of ‘em) when they invited AutoGuide.com down to Dixie for a taste of their completely overhauled 2018 Equinox.

Strangely, there was no technical lecture or in-depth walkaround of this new compact crossover; the only formal presentation we got was a marketing spiel that was relegated to the second day. Initially it seemed like Chevy was being a bit evasive about their latest crossover model.

But intended or not, this apparent caginess was completely unnecessary. The new Equinox is a solid product and something they have every right to be proud of.
Read more about the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Review at AutoGuide.com.
 

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I really dislike the wheels. It looks like a Pontiac Aztek with less plastic in my eyes.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Pontiac aztek Crossover suv
 

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Too bad this didn't come out earlier - my sister was just in the market for a crossover, but I could in no way have recommended the outgoing Equinox.

This looks very competitive with the likes of the CR-V, Escape, and CX-5. I don't know why people actually spend money on RAV4s; the one I had as a rental was just terrible.
 

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Too bad this didn't come out earlier - my sister was just in the market for a crossover, but I could in no way have recommended the outgoing Equinox.

This looks very competitive with the likes of the CR-V, Escape, and CX-5. I don't know why people actually spend money on RAV4s; the one I had as a rental was just terrible.
The new Equinox is just as big a jump from the outgoing as the second gen to the first gen Cruze.
 

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Too bad this didn't come out earlier - my sister was just in the market for a crossover, but I could in no way have recommended the outgoing Equinox.

This looks very competitive with the likes of the CR-V, Escape, and CX-5. I don't know why people actually spend money on RAV4s; the one I had as a rental was just terrible.
I am glad we bought our 2015 RAV4 xle and I would buy another one in a heartbeat (wife's car). It doesn't ride like a car but we had it two years now and had zero recalls and zero issues with it and that is the main reason we bought ours. I didn't expect it to ride like a car since it is an suv. The motor is a tank on the thing and it will probably be in our family for a long time and will probably get handed to our daughter in time. We were going to hand my cruze to our daughter but since I am on our fourth water pump in 55,000 miles and I want to sleep at night I will probably just keep the cruze for my go to work car and my wife will get the next new car again. Shoot if our 2007 mazda 3s touring keeps trucking along without any problems I may reclaim that from our daughter who drives it now and trade our cruze in since we would get more for it since it is newer and I would use the mazda 3s for my go to work car. zoom-zoom

With that said I think in normal mode the transmission shifts terrible on the RAV4. When I drive it I always put it in sport mode and it rides like it is meant to ride IMO. The transmission also has an eco mode but we never use it and I am guessing it would be worse than normal mode. Cruise control also leaves something to be desired on the RAV4 but that may be that I just haven't used it enough since I don't drive it daily.
 

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The new Equinox is just as big a jump from the outgoing as the second gen to the first gen Cruze.
Power train maybe, but design heck nope. Don't get me wrong, the new Cruze looks good, but it went from an "aggressive and pissed off" look to a "hey look mom I got a Civic!"
 

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I am glad we bought our 2015 RAV4 xle and I would buy another one in a heartbeat (wife's car). It doesn't ride like a car but we had it two years now and had zero recalls and zero issues with it and that is the main reason we bought ours. I didn't expect it to ride like a car since it is an suv. The motor is a tank on the thing and it will probably be in our family for a long time and will probably get handed to our daughter in time. We were going to hand my cruze to our daughter but since I am on our fourth water pump in 55,000 miles and I want to sleep at night I will probably just keep the cruze for my go to work car and my wife will get the next new car again. Shoot if our 2007 mazda 3s touring keeps trucking along without any problems I may reclaim that from our daughter who drives it now and trade our cruze in since we would get more for it since it is newer and I would use the mazda 3s for my go to work car. zoom-zoom

With that said I think in normal mode the transmission shifts terrible on the RAV4. When I drive it I always put it in sport mode and it rides like it is meant to ride IMO. The transmission also has an eco mode but we never use it and I am guessing it would be worse than normal mode. Cruise control also leaves something to be desired on the RAV4 but that may be that I just haven't used it enough since I don't drive it daily.
We've got a Camry with the 2.5. The powertrain is barely suited to carting that car and a load of people around. The cruise control being terrible is a normal Toyota thing - every single one I've driven was stupid about hills, often slamming on the gas for even a 1 MPH loss in speed, then overshooting the set speed. Road noise and ride quality is bad in the Camry (SE) too. Transmission shifting improved after the 3rd or 4th transmission update, and I think 's about to take out a torque converter shortly.

Maybe they've retuned it since 2013, but the RAV4 was constantly hunting gears, lugging, downshifting, shifting up too early, and overall just felt massively underpowered and too heavy for the 2.5. Every small molehill at highway speed elicted at least a 6-5 downshift, sometimes a massively jerky 6-4 downshift. At the same time, it feels chintzy, it's loud going down the road, the ride is Jeep-like bouncy, and it has nowhere near the level of interior quality as others in its class (with the exception of maybe the Rogue).

The powertrain and chassis refinement in the NX200 makes the RAV4 completely livable. It's a shame because the Highlander shows they can build a pretty competent SUV under the Toyota nameplate. The RAV4, IMO, never "grew up" like the rest of the class around it did from the cute ute days of the early 00's.
 

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Power train maybe, but design heck nope. Don't get me wrong, the new Cruze looks good, but it went from an "aggressive and pissed off" look to a "hey look mom I got a Civic!"
Hey, I like my Civic :p

Actually I didn't think the last gen was a half bad looking car. The 2016...noooooopeeee.
 

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Power train maybe, but design heck nope. Don't get me wrong, the new Cruze looks good, but it went from an "aggressive and pissed off" look to a "hey look mom I got a Civic!"
Not just powertrain, everything as a package. The design is a personal preference, because I would never have bought a first gen Cruze but think the second gen looks great. I actually looked at the Cruze when I bought my Sonic hatch back in 2011. I couldn't imagine why someone would buy a Cruze when they could get a Sonic with just the same powerplant, subjectively better looks and package, and more rear seat room. Maybe it's just because I'm a hatch guy. Honestly, if the hatch didn't come out in 2017, I wouldn't own a Cruze.
 

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I traded my 14 LT manual for a 16 LT auto. First of all, I didn't like the new look of the redesign. But, I test drove one at the dealer. It is so much better than my 14, I got it. I'm sure the Equinox is the same way
 

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Eric-

I just came from the Minneapolis auto show, and they had a pre-production unit on the GM turntable. I didn't realize these were in the market yet. Typically when GM representatives say they have a pre production unit at a show it's a good year before it's released to the local market.


Does this have the new 1.4L of the Cruze or 1.5L of the Malibu standard? Maybe this is on Chevy.com. Anyone have opinions of test drives for this? Is it underpowered, in terms of more weight vs. the Cruze with the same engine?

Anyone know the "main" forum for Equinox?
 

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Eric-

I just came from the Minneapolis auto show, and they had a pre-production unit on the GM turntable. I didn't realize these were in the market yet. Typically when GM representatives say they have a pre production unit at a show it's a good year before it's released to the local market.


Does this have the new 1.4L of the Cruze or 1.5L of the Malibu standard? Maybe this is on Chevy.com. Anyone have opinions of test drives for this? Is it underpowered, in terms of more weight vs. the Cruze with the same engine?

Anyone know the "main" forum for Equinox?
It doesn't use the 1.4 at all. It uses the 1.5T. It's not underpowered at all. I've driven the FWD variant and the AWD variant. With AWD you can definitely tell it's a smaller motor, but I never thought "boy, I wish I had 100 more hp." It cruises along just fine.
 

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Not just powertrain, everything as a package. The design is a personal preference, because I would never have bought a first gen Cruze but think the second gen looks great. I actually looked at the Cruze when I bought my Sonic hatch back in 2011. I couldn't imagine why someone would buy a Cruze when they could get a Sonic with just the same powerplant, subjectively better looks and package, and more rear seat room. Maybe it's just because I'm a hatch guy. Honestly, if the hatch didn't come out in 2017, I wouldn't own a Cruze.
See, I could never understand why anyone would own a Sonic when they could have bought a Cruze. It just did nothing for me :D

Different strokes for different folks. The Equinox has always been sort of a crossover vehicle that would work for any family that didn't really care much about driving. It looks like they've done mostly the same, but now it's actually wholly competent with the rest of the (very popular) segment with current powertrains, MPG, and an updated interior.

That old 2.4 was just terrible at moving those heavy things along without making some very unpleasant noise.
 

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I think most base engines are barely acceptable with most models because they don't offer any extra power. In fact I would believe they were mostly aimed at people not running them with full passengers and cargo. The V6 turbo's like in the F150 actually provide a decent return compared to the old standard V8. Unfortunately small 4 cylinder turbo are not replacing the V6's as well. It's why I bought a older Lexus ES350 with a V6 than a measly 2.5 Camry. The smoothness and grunt of the V6 far surpasses the 2.5 and frankly I get 25 mpg with the V6. Lucky to get 24 mpg with our Rav4. Maybe Toyota will eventually get some of the Lexus small turbo's de-tuned slightly and will perform better then the older 2.5 naturally aspirated.
 

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It doesn't use the 1.4 at all. It uses the 1.5T. It's not underpowered at all. I've driven the FWD variant and the AWD variant. With AWD you can definitely tell it's a smaller motor, but I never thought "boy, I wish I had 100 more hp." It cruises along just fine.
I'd argue with that. At ~8.9 seconds 0-60 and ~16.9 seconds through the 1/4 mile, that is getting pretty darn close to Prius levels of slowness. Hopefully the 2.0T corrects that while returning reasonable fuel economy.
 
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