Sunday, February 1, 2009

2010 Chevrolet Equinox


The Chevy Equinox was first launched for 2005 as a low-priced compact five-passenger crossover SUV, with a useful MultiFlex rear seat that slides forward and back to optimize passenger space or cargo room. Clumsy road manners and some cut-rate interior materials prevented it from being a hit.

Chevrolet is redesigning the Equinox for 2010. The new model has an interior inspired by the successful Chevrolet Malibu. It shares its architecture, or basic structure, with the Saturn Vue, itself based on GM's German Opel Antara.

The 2010 Equinox has revised styling and two new powertrains, also. The new Equinox is about the same size as the outgoing model, but it has a more angular look and a sleeker profile. Moving the base of the windshield forward three inches makes it more sharply sloped, yielding a sportier look. Wheel sizes will include 17s, 18s, and 19s.

To address the interior, Chevrolet adds a dual-cockpit interior design inspired by the Chevrolet Malibu. However, where the Malibu uses many higher-quality soft-touch materials, the Vue will continue with many hard plastics. More standard and optional features will be available, though. OnStar assistance, XM satellite radio and blue-hued ambient lighting will be standard. Options will include Bluetooth connectivity, USB audio input jack, hard-drive radio, rear-seat DVD entertainment with two headrest-mounted screens. Chevrolet will also offer a class-exclusive power rear liftgate, a rearview camera that displays in the available navigation screen or rearview mirror, and a Smart remote starting system that will also activate the climate system and the optional heated seats depending on the outside temperature.

The MultiFlex rear seat will return. With eight inches of travel, the seat can be set all the way back to make rear passengers more comfortable, or fully forward for 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats. The 2010 Equinox's seats will also recline and fold down to open up 63.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

The 2010 Equinox will replace the previous model's 185-horsepower V6 with a revised version of GM's Ecotec four-cylinder as its base engine. The current Ecotec makes 164 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque in the 2009 Vue, but in the 2010 Equinox it will add direct injection technology, boosting horsepower to 182 and torque to 174 pound-feet. GM estimates fuel economy numbers of 21/30 mpg (city/hwy) with front-wheel drive and 20/27 with all-wheel drive, a 25-percent highway improvement over the outgoing 3.4-liter V6. GM expects two-thirds of customers to choose this engine, and it will be offered with any trim level.

Also available will be a new engine to the GM stable, a 3.0-liter, direct-injected V6. The new engine is a derivative of the 3.6-liter V6 that it replaces in the Equinox lineup. This engine will produce 255 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque, while delivering 18/25 mpg with front-wheel drive and 17/24 mpg with all-wheel drive. Both engines will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the 3.0-liter V6 will also come with a manual shiftgate. There is no word yet if the Equinox will be offered with either of the Vue's two hybrid powertrains.

Chevrolet has announced that LS, LT and LTZ models will return, but has yet to reveal pricing. We expect the starting price to stay in line with the current model, which starts at about $24,000, but fully equipped models may range higher, possibly up to $37,000, due to the new options.


No comments: