The spanking-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox created a reasonably sensible initial impression after we drove the one.5-liter powertrain that’s expected to account for three-quarters of sales of the favored midsize CUV. Praise was concentrated upon its imposingly lightened, taut, and responsive chassis; it’s sleek appearance within and out and spectacular feature content. Our biggest gripe throughout that drive was with the aging six-speed automatic and its robust contribution to what clad to be pretty middling performance a month later.

These issues, it seems, ar a snap to fix: merely tick the order box marked 2LT on either the center LT or top-drawer Premier trim level. Doing thus adds a half-liter of displacement to the turbocharged four-banger and 3 ratios to the transaxle. This harnesses an additional eighty two horses and fifty nine lb-ft of force and magnifies the transmission’s leverage significantly. molest quantifies the advance by estimating the juicier powertrain can drop 0–60 times by a pair of seconds from the nine.2 we have a tendency to measured on the one.5-liter six-speed (comparing front-drive models). And though of us buying midsize crossovers may not obsess over 0–60 or quarter-mile times, any relatives with a enclosure filled with weekend gear can appreciate the comparative simplicity with that the two.0-liter Equinox leaps around long semis on a multilane road. Even driving with solely 2 folks aboard, the 1.5-liter had Maine longing for super long openings and/or hoping for downhill opportunities with a wind.

Credit for this performance goes to the nine-speed automatic in roughly an equivalent share because the six-speed attained blame with one.5. Cruise on at fifty mph in ninth gear at one,200 rpm, and drop the hammer to pass. The trans orders up an immediate downshift to fourth, landing the engine at four,800 rpm. At that time some 225 horses begin pace once a fraction of a second of turbo spool-up. There’s still another 700 or so revs to go before reaching the peak of 252 hp, and a redline upshift happens at 68 mph. Repeating this procedure at 65 mph delivers the exact same results: 4,800 rpm in fifth with a redline shift at 87 mph if you keep your foot in it.

There are a few curious quirks to this transmission. One is the fact that the overall ratio in first gear is a significant 19 percent taller than in the six-speed—a likely hedge against torque steer. If that was the aim, it worked. In a front-drive model and in the AWD variant with AWD switched off, I was utterly unable to make the engine tug at the wheel during wide-open-throttle brake-torqued launches with full wheel lock, hard downshifts in tight corners, and similar hooning. The other is the crazy close spacing between second and third gears, which amounts to 5 mph on the speedometer. Those are either/or ratios—depending on your rate of acceleration, you’ll use one or the other but seldom both during any given acceleration run.


Ah, you might be asking, “but at what price does the 2.0-liter/nine-speed package solve the Equinox’s problems?” Short answer: $2,395. That’s the upcharge on a front-drive LT, and it includes a 3,500-pound trailering package (the 1.5 and the forthcoming 1.6-liter turbodiesel are rated at 1,500), 18-inch wheels, and dual exhaust. The upcharge is $4,340 on an LT with AWD, but only because it includes the $1,945 Driver Confidence and Convenience package (safety warning systems, ventilated eight-way seats, heated rear seats). the value premium is $400 higher on the Premier model to hide a collection of adorer machined 19-inch wheels. Trust me—if you’re consulting Motor Trend, you’re reaching to wish the two.0-liter/nine-speed. obtain it by talking yourself down from the Premier to the LT trim grade, and you’ll save enough to feature back a number of the toys as nonobligatory extras. This power team makes an honest crossover nice.