The discussion started as casually as most do. A co-worker asks “Would you buy a GM vehicle right now?”
My answer? You bet. And one of the reasons is their new Chevy Equinox.
The platform actually began underpinning the newest Saturn Vue a couple of years back, but as with all good (and not so good) architecture used by the General, it would soon spread across other corporate lines.
Chevrolet chose it for the remake of the Equinox crossover utility, followed by Cadillac and now GMC. For the Chevy version, designers give the 2010 Equinox a healthy injection of new Bowtie DNA, meaning this new ride will have a host of familiarity to anyone who has been around the latest Malibu or Traverse – sporty, aero look to the front grin and stylish, comfortable and functional interiors.
• New, standard 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine rated at 182 horsepower, which delivers an EPA 32 mpg highway, 22 mpg city. AWD models are rated at 20 city/29 highway;
• New, available 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine rated at 264 horsepower, which delivers an EPA-estimated 25 mpg highway, 17 mpg city;
• All models have a six-speed automatic transmission; an “eco” mode on models with the 2.4L engine alters shift points to improve fuel economy;
• Highway driving range of up to 600 miles with the 2.4L engine and more than 500 miles with the 3.0L engine mean less-frequent fill-ups;
• Six standard air bags: dual frontal air bags, head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags;
• Standard four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control;
• Standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio, with complimentary service intervals;
• “Smart” remote starting system that also activates the HVAC system and optional heated seats depending on the outside temperature.
On-road we found the Equinox quiet and smooth – what a modern CUV should be – while offering plenty of comfort and convenience without giving up too much on the driver’s experience. Chevrolet continues to get things right with their newest vehicles.
A variety of technologies are integrated in the Equinox, such as an available seven-inch touch-screen navigation system. Additional features include:
• Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity;
• USB audio connectivity for personal music devices;
• DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system with two independent screens to enable DVD viewing on one and gaming on the other;
• Internal memory/hard drive on uplevel radios for storing audio selections;
• Programmable power-operated rear liftgate;
• Rear-vision camera system, with display in the rearview mirror or in the navigation screen;
• Range of premium-feature audio systems with up to eight speakers and 250 watts of output.
Our week behind the wheel of a mid-line model Equinox was very pleasurable. About the only thing we found to be discomforting was the plastichrome latch release for the storage compartment on the top center dash. This thing constantly reflected sunlight back into our eyes almost like laser beams. I found myself actually using black tape to cover it for the remainder of my week.
Pricing on the 1LT AWD 2010 Chevrolet Equinox we tested begins at $25,110 and finished at $26,670 with a couple of technology add-ons Chevy provided. As with all new General Motors products, the vehicle comes with the 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and right now GM is also offering a 60-day return policy for those suffering “buyer’s remorse.”