When we tested the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox last year with its base 1.5-liter gas turbo-four, we came away with mixed feelings. The engine was good, but the transmission frequently wanted to get to the highest gear, kicking you out of the turbo-four’s powerband. Now, we’ve got another 2018 Equinox, this one powered by a 1.6-liter turbodiesel I-4. We tested the new Equinox diesel to find out how much the extra torque really improves the driving experience.
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox diesel, which wears a TD badge on its liftgate, shares the same 1.6-liter turbodiesel I-4 with the Cruze TD and the GMC Terrain diesel, which means you have 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque on tap. Like the Terrain, the Equinox TD comes with a six-speed automatic transmission instead of the nine-speed in the Cruze TD.
At the track, the 2018 Equinox TD hit 60 mph in 9.0 seconds flat and completed the quarter mile in 16.9 seconds at 81 mph, which is on the slower side of the segment. Road test editor Chris Walton noted that with traction control disabled, it’s easy to spin the front tires. Putting the car in all-wheel-drive mode, however, slows it down. Walton liked that the transmission upshifts smoothly and that the start/stop system is surprisingly unobtrusive in this application.
You’d expect that the 2018 Equinox TD to have excellent fuel economy and you’d be right. The front-drive model is EPA-rated at 28/39 mpg city/highway and the all-wheel drive model checks in at 28/38 mpg.
At $33,385 as tested, our all-wheel-drive 2018 Chevrolet Equinox TD LT is expensive, a premium of $3,890 over a similar Equinox LT with the 1.5-liter turbo-four. That premium does get you better fuel economy at 28/38 mpg in all-wheel-drive models (28/39 mpg for front-drive models), which means you’ll travel farther before you’ll need to fill up. Is it worth it though? Unless you’re a diehard diesel enthusiast, it might not be.
In this class, until Mazda introduces a diesel-powered CX-5, the only options are the Equinox and GMC Terrain diesels. If you insist on a diesel crossover instead of a less efficient option such as the Honda CR-V, our 2018 SUV of the Year, or the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, you’ll get a torquey engine, great fuel economy, and a comfortable crossover. Make sure to get the Sun & Infotainment package because for a better infotainment system, additional USB ports, and an upgraded multi-information display to boot.