The Chevrolet Equinox is a hugely important product for the bow tie brand. It outsells every other offering in the lineup except the Sierra 1500 pickup truck. Chevy sells more Equinox vehicles than Buick sells vehicles, so changing things up for the popular SUV is fraught with danger. No company likes to mess with success, but sales of the current generation Equinox — first introduced in 2010 — are down almost 15% this year.
Last week, Chevrolet took the wraps off the new 2018 Equinox to reveal a much revised vehicle that leverages the power of 4. It is 4 inches shorter, 400 pounds lighter, and comes only with turbocharged 4 cylinder engines — 1.5 liter and 2.0 liter gas engine and a 1.6 liter diesel. This will make the 4th vehicle GM offers with a turbo-diesel engine in the US market. It already makes a diesel available to buyers of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-sized pickup trucks and will bring a diesel powered Chevy Cruze to market shortly.
EPA ratings for the three engine choices are not yet available, but Chevrolet estimates highway nunbers for the 1.5 liter gas engine at 31 mpg, the 2.0 liter gas engine at 28 mpg, and the 1.6 liter diesel at 40 mpg. A 6 speed automatic transmission is standard except for the 2.0 liter engine. It will be mated to a 9 speed automatic. Front wheel drive is standard. All wheel drive is an option. The system will disconnect the drive to the rear wheels under certain circumstances to boost fuel economy.
In addition to the expected array of sound systems and touch screens — Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available — the new Equinox features fold flat rear seats, giving owners the ability to slide large objects into the rear cargo space without having to lift them up and over obstructions. A flat cargo floor is deemed essential by today’s SUV buyers.
The all new Equinox will be available with safety features such as low speed automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-traffic alert. It should be noted that Toyota has made all those features standard across its entire lineup starting with its 2017 models. GM would do well to follow suit.
The General has its eye on markets other than North America for is lighter, trimmer, more agile Equinox. It sells vehicles in 115 markets around the world and crossover/SUV type vehicles are in great demand in all of them. While the diesel engine may not be a strong seller in America, it could expand the appeal of the Equinox for foreign buyers.
Final pricing and specifications for the new Equinox will be revealed closer to its on-sale date in February.
Source: Green Car Reports