Yesterday, The Drive had the pleasure of going to Teaneck, New Jersey. Here, we drove the 2018 Chevy Equinox with the all-new 1.6-liter turbo diesel. When it was released in Europe last year as an Opel, it was coined the “whisper diesel” in Europe because of impressively quiet idle and acceleration sound. With that in mind, we were excited to see what all the fuss was about.
After speaking with GM engineers, one thing became clear, GM isn’t just into diesel technology at the moment, but it plans to add to its already robust diesel lineup. As GM’s diesel portfolio continues to grow, the refinement of diesel engine noise and performance has made serious progress.
The EcoTec 1.6-liter turbo diesel in the current Chevy Cruze will now find a home in the 2018 Chevy Equinox. The 137-horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque engine provides plenty of power at all ranges for the compact SUV. Thanks to a variable geometry turbocharger, the EcoTec engine provides a peak torque of 240 lb-ft, but an impressive 214 lb-ft of torque at just 1,500 rpm. This allows for minimal to no turbo lag during operation. Although the current diesel Cruze is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, Chevy found a 6-speed to be equally efficient. With normal driving habits, Chevy is claiming the all-wheel-drive diesel Equinox will achieve 38 mpg on the highway, making it the segment leader.
Unfortunately, the gearing and engine configuration doesn’t lead to the towing capability you’d expect from a diesel. In fact, Chevy’s 1.5-liter gas engine allows the Equinox to tow more than the current rating of 1,500 pounds. However, most owners will be focusing on speed and efficiency rather than towing capability.
Perhaps the most notable trait of the all-new 2018 Chevy Equinox diesel is how quiet it is. Standing outside the car, you can’t really tell the compact SUV is a diesel. The vehicle is quiet and void of the combution rattle we have grown accustom to hearing on a diesel vehicle. According to GM,…