Chevrolet redesigns Equinox SUV – USA TODAY
CHICAGO — Chevrolet has unveiled a redesigned 2018 Equinox crossover utility vehicle, the third generation of Chevy’s second-best selling model after the Silverado pickup.
“We’ve got the strongest truck business in the industry and we’ve reinvigorated our car lineup with Volt, Cruze and Malibu,” said Alan Batey, president of Global Chevrolet and GM’s North American operations, in introducing it last week. “We’re applying the same customer focus to grow our crossover/SUV business — starting with the Chevrolet Equinox.”
Equinox’s current design has been around since 2010 with incremental modifications. Its sales, while strong in a fast-growing segment, have fallen 17.7% this year to 158,475 through August, partly because competitors have introduced fresher updates in the last two years.
Yet it still outsells Chevrolet’s Malibu and Cruze.
The new Equinox will be 400 pounds lighter than the model it replaces, and will incorporate some design cues from those passenger car models, both of which launched in the last year. For example, there are projector-beam headlamps, rear horizontal tail lamps and chrome accents on all trim levels.
The new Equinox will go on sale by the end of March 2017 and it will be manufactured at General Motors’ CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.
For the interior there are such new features as optional denim-style seat fabric, new kneeling rear seats that enable the bottom cushions to tilt forward when the split-folding seat backs are lowered. That provides a flat floor for easier loading of cargo.
“Customers who previewed the vehicle early on had a strong emotional response to the sleek and sophisticated exterior design,” said John Cafaro, executive director of GM Design. “Those same themes are carried through to the interior, making the space beautifully intuitive.”
There are three turbocharged engines from which to choose — a 1.5-liter turbo, a 2.0-liter turbo, mated with a new 9-speed automatic transmission — and a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel.
Safety features include Teen Driver, an option that enables parents to set controls and review an in-vehicle report card to encourage safer driving habits. There is also surround vision, forward collision alert and new low-speed forward automatic emergency braking.
Other safety enhancers are lane keep assist, rear-seat child reminder, side blind zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert.
To maintain connectivity the new Equinox will have a choice, based on option packages, between a 7 or 8-inch diagonal MyLink touch screen, 4G LTE Wi-Fi access and compatibility with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.