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2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel Gets 32 MPG

— Chevrolet today announced that a diesel-powered version of the redesigned 2018 Equinox will get an EPA-certified 32 mpg combined — the same figure as the highway mileage on the SUV's most efficient gasoline version. The combined number applies to both front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the diesel Equinox, spokeswoman Michelle Malcho told .

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By comparison, EPA combined mileage figures for the Equinox's turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline Used Engine range from 24 mpg to 28 mpg — figures the diesel version beats by some 14 to 33 percent, depending what you compare. The diesel four-cylinder gets an EPA-certified 28 mpg city with either driveline, Malcho said, while highway mileage is 39 mpg with front-wheel drive and 38 mpg with all-wheel drive. Chevrolet touts a 577-mile cruising range with front-wheel drive on a single tank.

Here's how those numbers (mpg city/highway/combined) compare:

  • Turbo-diesel 1.6-liter four-cylinder: 28/39/32 (FWD); 28/38/32 (AWD)
  • Turbo 1.5-liter four-cylinder: 26/32/28 (FWD); 24/30/26 (AWD)
  • Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder: 22/29/25 (FWD); 22/28/24 (AWD)

Typical of a diesel, the Equinox's four-cylinder makes modest horsepower (137) but lots of torque (240 pounds-feet). By comparison, the 1.5-liter four-cylinder makes 170 hp and 203 pounds-feet of torque; the 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 252 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque.

Both gasoline variants are on sale now, while the diesel hits dealers in the fall for $31,435, including a destination charge. That's a significant hike versus the gasoline model's base price ($24,525 with destination), but the diesel Equinox skips the two lowest trim levels (L and LS) and starts at a 1LT. It also gets the 1LT's optional Confidence & Convenience Package as standard, Malcho said. That package ($1,945 on a gasoline 1LT) adds safety and convenience features like remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, blind spot warning and a power liftgate. As equipped, a gasoline 1.5-liter Equinox with front-wheel drive would cost $29,640 with destination.

Thus, the diesel Equinox costs around $1,800 more than a similarly equipped gasoline model if you compare starting prices. (Malcho confirmed that Chevrolet will offer the diesel through the Equinox's top trim level, Premier.) The fuel savings would offer a straightforward avenue to recoup that difference but for one wrinkle: the higher price of diesel fuel. As of today, AAA reports a gallon of diesel is $2.53, which is 18 cents (7.7 percent) pricier than a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. It's been that way for some time, but diesel drivers have a silver lining: Diesel fuel tends to experience fewer price swings than regular gas.

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