Chevrolet launched an all-new Equinox compact SUV late September, with an optional diesel engine and a lightweight design for improved efficiency.

The 2018 Equinox will weigh 180 kilograms (400 lbs) less than its predecessor thanks to the use of lightweight materials; this weight loss will enhance handling, acceleration, and braking performance, in addition to fuel economy.

Unlike the recently launched 2018 Jeep Compass, the Equinox is not off-road capable, though it does come equipped with a part-time AWD system that sends power exclusively to the front wheels unless extra traction is required.

In a first for Chevrolet, the 2018 Equinox will feature an all-turbocharged engine lineup consisting of a 1.5-litre turbo, a 2.0-litre turbo, and a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel; all engines will be matched with GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission.

While the new Equinox is classified as a ‘compact SUV,’ it’s not compact in terms of its cargo capacity, which is rated at 1,798 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

All 2018 Equinoxes for sale in Canada will come with heated seats and a remote starter as standard equipment—both welcome features on cold winter mornings.

New drivers and worried parents will value the vehicle’s suite of safety technologies which includes a safety alert seat; surround vision video display; forward collision alert with following distance indicator; low-speed forward automatic braking; lane keep assist with lane departure warning; rear seat occupancy reminder; lane change alert with side blind zone alert; and rear cross traffic alert.

Chevrolet has sold more than 2 million Equinoxes since its launch, thereby earning the model a runner-up step beside the brand’s best-selling vehicle, the Silverado pickup truck.

“It is an all-new SUV from the ground up and one that takes on the industry’s biggest competitors with a stronger architecture, greater efficiency and more technology,” said Rick Spina, executive chief engineer. “And it looks great doing it.”

The 2018 Equinox goes on sale in Canadian dealerships in the first quarter of 2017.

(General Motors)