As drivers fill their garages with crossover SUVs instead of sedans, the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox stands out for its unusually broad lineup. With the 2019 Equinox, Chevrolet offers shoppers a choice between two gas engines, a high-mpg turbodiesel engine, front- or all-wheel drive, and four trim levels.
That depth and breadth isn’t the only thing we like about the Equinox, though. This crossover SUV scores 5.5 out of 10 points on our scale for its good looks and refined demeanor. Its interior could be classier, though, and we fault Chevy for not making advanced safety gear more widely available.
After a redesign last year, the 2019 Equinox gains updated infotainment software for its 7.0- and 8.0-inch touchscreens and an available HD rearview camera.
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The Equinox is available in L, LS, LT and Premier trim levels, with many option packages and engine choices. The Equinox is closely related to the GMC Terrain, but it has its own styling and most models have a different automatic transmission.
Underhood, a 170-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbo-4 is standard. It’s paired to a 6-speed automatic (the Terrain uses a 9-speed automatic with that engine). Optional on LT and Premier trims are two upgrade engines: a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 252 hp hooked up to a 9-speed automatic, and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder/6-speed automatic combination with just 137 hp that’s good for up to 39 mpg on the highway according to the EPA. Most trims are available with either front- or all-wheel drive.
The Equinox drives well, with good isolation from the road and a comfortable ride, but even the 252-hp engine is light on thrills. A sporty crossover akin to the Ford Escape and Subaru Forester XT, the Equinox is not. For most buyers, that’s probably just fine.
Inside, the Equinox provides good room for four passengers and their cargo and serviceable if not luxurious appointments. Outward vision isn’t a strong suit given its beefy roof pillars, but this year’s new HD rearview camera may help rectify that. On the tech front, the Equinox scores high for its standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Unfortunately, Chevy restricts automatic emergency braking—which now can detected and brake for errant pedestrians—to only the highest trim levels. Many rivals make that gear standard or at least far more affordable.
Even if collision-avoidance tech is restricted to costly Equinox crossovers, all have performed well in both federal and independent crash tests.