Many of my friends scoffed at me when I said General Motors is really making a come back. In fact most of my friends will not consider buying a American car due to the damage they have done to themselves over the last decade. This is all changing and the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is big step in that fight.
The previous generation Equinox was barely class competitive and was no where near best in class in any area. The fact remains that for a time most of this did not matter and vehicles sold. While the previous generation Equinox sold Chevrolet was no longer satisfied having just another entry into the compact SUV market. Enters the new 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. This completely redone Equinox is not only class competitive, its class leading! Coming to market the main talking point is this new Equinox has class leading gas mileage. The exterior has great styling with real flair. The front has jelly bean like headlights and a dual port grill like the new Malibu. The side of the vehicle has a side spear going from the front fender back to the rear tail lights.
The new Equinox is available with two engine options both feature direct injection and both are tied to a six speed automatic transmission. The 2.4 liter 4 cylinder pumping out 182 HP all while achieving 22/32 mpg in front wheel drive is the real banner story! Those mileage ratings on for the front wheel drive variant while I had the all wheel drive variant which is rated at 20/29 mpg. I averaged around 18.5 mpg with a mix of city and city/hwy driving. While the 4 cylinder is powerful enough for most daily tasks those wanting more power a V6 is available putting out 264 HP With V6 the mileage ratings drop to 18/25 in front wheel drive and 17/24 in all wheel drive. Both engines are capable of towing with a max of 1500 lbs for the 4 cylinder and 3500 lbs with the V6. The 4 cylinder has a eco button that when pressed will help achieve one mile per gallon better fuel economy. When in eco mode the torque converter locks up quicker and the shift points move. I really did not see a difference in fuel economy though I felt the transmission shifted smoother while in eco mode.
General Motors for the longest time has been no where near class competitive in the interior department. Most have been travesties. It is obvious to me that designers spent a lot of time on this vehicle. The interior is really as class leading as the engine choices. While most panels are hard to the touch they look great and in this class that is what counts. The competitors also have hard panels but everything you actually come in contact with in the Equinox is nice to the touch. The interior at night lights up like something from Tron. The vehicle I had was equipped with cloth seats and they are something of a airy mesh that is quite interesting. The seats are firm and comfortable. I liked the material used on the seats. The Equinox I had was a 1LT with the only option being a back up camera for $320. The screen for the review view camera was integrated into the rear view camera on the left hand side. When in reverse the left hand side of the review mirror becomes a screen.
In a class lead by Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4 the new Chevrolet Equinox should be putting those two competitors on notice. The Equinox both drives and looks like a breath of fresh air in the an all too boring segment. Chevrolet is pricing the new Equinox as aggressively as it is restyled, starting at $23,185 and topping out around $35,000. This vehicle is gone from barely class competitive to being segment leader in every category as far as I am concerned. With a class leading interior and very competitive pricing, the great fuel economy and high tech engines are icing on the delicious cake. I would recommend this vehicle over anything else in its class to anyone. The bottom line is this, if you are in the market for a small to midsize crossover SUV and you do not test drive the new Equinox you are doing yourself a big disservice.