Connected car technology makes life easier and more fun.
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Premiere is a hub of connectivity, with built in Wifi, the MyChevrolet mobile app, Apple Carplay and Android Auto capabilities. Even though it’s built to keep you connected both to the outside world and to your own vehicle, it surprisingly does a pretty good job at bringing people together in real life as well.
For one whole week my family, which consists of an older child and a young tween, depended on the 2018 Equinox as our daily driver. We brought groceries home in it, we took it to events, and it was with us as we watched the fireworks on the 4th of July.
Integrating this vehicle and its connectivity into our lives was easier than I thought. While the connection aspect of this vehicle had the entire family charged up to start, it was the vehicle as a whole that truly won us all over in the end.
Who Is This Vehicle For
- Singles, couples, small/young families
- Buyers who want a crossover
- People who are looking for connectivity in their vehicles
- Those willing to take the time to learn about their vehicles
- People looking for usable/flexible space in their vehicle
- Those who may spend a lot of time in their cars
What It Costs
We drove the 2018 Equinox FWD Premier 1.5T, which is the highest trim level and has a starting price around $30,790. Our vehicle also came equipped with the Confidence & Convenience II package which added ventilated front seating, heated rear seating, heated steering wheel, plus a few added safety features and an extra $1,895 to the total.
The 2018 Equinox also comes in three other trim levels: the L, LS, and LT. The base model starts at around $24,525 and the mid-level is around $27,695. There are also various optional accessories and packages which may be added to the vehicle’s build.
3 Ways the Equinox Connected Us Easily to Our Technology
Not only does the 2018 Equinox offer several different ways to be connected but it also fixed the need to keep your devices charged with several front and rear located USB ports, as well as a wireless charging station. We also found an accessory power outlet in the second-row seating; these are great for the kids’ gaming devices that still use a household plug to charge. Now that the need to stay charged up has been addressed, let’s take a look at some of the ways we can use those juices!
1. 4G LTE Wifi Hotspot
The first thing that caught our eye in the 2018 Equinox was the Onstar provided 4G LTE WiFi Hotspot service. This pay to play service can easily be set up by locating the vehicle’s SSID, which displays momentarily in the Driver Information Center once the vehicle is started. After finding the matching SSID on your device, simply enter the password given to you from using the OnStar Voice Command Button. Up to seven devices can be connected at one time, making this a great feature for families on the go.
2. Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment System and Hands-free Controls
Another, even simpler way to use the connectivity in the 2018 Equinox is by utilizing the Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment System which can be paired with your phone for voice recognized calling, music selection, and radio control. While some of the natural voice recognition services can be used right away, tasks such as making hands-free phone calls can only be completed after pairing your Bluetooth-enabled phone to the system. A process which can be done relatively easily with just a little bit of touch screen knowledge.
The Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment System also allows you to connect your device through Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
3. MyChevrolet Mobile App
If you’re the type of person that likes to be connected to your vehicle even when you’re not driving it, the MyChevrolet Mobile App is for you. This app service allows the vehicle owner to access fuel information, roadside assistance and gives them the ability to send remote commands, like locking and unlocking the doors.
Just push the OnStar button and boom! You are connected to an operator for turn by turn navigation, emergency services and more. Here is our complete guide to OnStar including pricing information, though OnStar basic services are free for the first 5 years.
Enough Space to Come Together In Real Life
My family is in the stage of life where we need just enough space so the kids aren’t touching each other. We need room for luggage, sports gear, and groceries. (LOTS of groceries: Do you know how much growing kids eat?). We also want the space for the occasional 4th of July fireworks show or drive-in movie with the room to make a comfy outdoor couch in the back. At times for us, our vehicle becomes our home on the road. We need the right amount of space for everyone.
One thing I loved about the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox was the adaptable functionality of the rear seats. With the 3/4 fold option, we were able to take it from on the go seating to comfortable fireworks ready space in no time.
We also found an under the floor rear cargo storage spot that was perfect for keeping our snacks, drinks, and other 4th of July necessities safe and secure. It kept these items out of the way but still within easy access.
Giving Safety On The Road a Big Thumbs Up
In a world full of distractions, safe driving needs to be at the forefront of importance for both the driver and in vehicle design. While test driving the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, I found several key safety programs that I felt were not only helpful but also important.
- Rear Seat Reminder – This alert came across my Driver Information Center each time I switched the ignition off after a trip when the rear doors were opened. It was a simple reminder to check in the rear seat for passengers.
- Safety Alert Seat – This alert caused my seat to vibrate anytime my immediate attention was needed. I found it would activate as a lane departure warning or when there was rear crossing traffic.
- Teen Driver – This program is a newer concept for me and while I don’t need it yet, I love that it is being implemented into vehicles now. There will come a day when we will have a teen driver in our house, actually sooner than I’d like to admit. The Teen Driver program tracks the driving habits of a new driver and records them for viewing. This information is hopefully then used to teach, instruct, and encourage better driving habits in our kids.
- Rear Vision and Surrounding Vision Camera – I found it very helpful that this vehicle showed me not only the rear vision but also a bird’s eye view around the vehicle. When you frequent sports games, schools, and other places, children often dart between cars, this feature is a necessity.
Smiley Face For All the Extras ?
Even though I love looking for functionality in the vehicles I drive, it’s the little extras that make me swoon. On the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, these added extras were the vented seats, the 3/4 lift gate mode, and apps loaded into the Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment System.
Do you ever have a hard time reaching the top of the lift gate to close it after retrieving the groceries? With the 3/4 lift gate feature, the setting can be adjusted to either fully extend or only extend partially for easier reach to close. Setting the distance the gate extends is as easy as turning a dial next to the driver’s seat.
Have you ever tried getting into your vehicle on a hot summer day wearing shorts? Ouch! Let’s not even get started on the little pile of sweat that can build from bare skin on a leather seat, right? With the ventilated front seats in the Chevrolet Equinox, this wasn’t a problem. The cool air circulated out of the seats, keeping me free of embarrassment later.
When was the last time you headed out to the beach only to be met by rain? With the Weather app in the MyLink Infotainment System, I could keep a check on the weather. I loved this app and could easily see the possibilities while road tripping in this vehicle.
What We Loved
- Built in WiFi Hotspot
- Hands-free voice commands
- Heated/Vented front row seats – part of the Confidence & Convenience II package
- Infotainment system touch screen with apps
- Power lift gate control button – 3/4 open setting
- Teen driver option
- Safety alert seat
- Under floor rear cargo storage
- Rear split-folding seats
What You Need to Know
- 1.5L Turbo Engine with 6-speed automatic transmission
- Having connectivity takes some time and effort to set up
- WiFi is by OnStar, comes with limited data trial; data is available for purchase through OnStar
- Added phone accessories may be needed to utilize the wireless charging station
- Seating for up to 5
Disclosure: The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox was provided for my review. All opinions are my own.