Chevrolet, Buick to receive a small crossover based on GM’s new subcompact platform

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 20, 2011

The Chevrolet Equinox and the GMC Terrain are quite successful and GM appears to be satisfied with the sales of its SUVs but a new plan is on General Motors’ desk. Apparently, GM is considering a small crossover based on its new subcompact platform. This entry-level crossover is currently under debate and if approved, it will be positioned below the Equinox, which sells for $23,450.

Does Chevrolet need another model? General Motors also offers the Captiva crossover, which is currently built in Mexico, but this model is sold only to fleets and you won’t find one in showrooms. The first GM model to use the new subcompact platform is the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, priced from $14,495.

What is more interesting is that Buick will also receive a small crossover using the same platform, but this model will be offered sometime next year. Regarding the Chevrolet crossover, the time frame is unclear. Buick is expected to boost its sales with the upcoming crossover as it needs a model that will appeal to a a wider range of buyers, and the crossover fits in perfectly.

Chevrolet has redesigned its dedicated compact SUV for 2011 by: (1) modernising its body shell for a more sportive and assertive look; (2) powering it with new and more efficient engine options; (3) upgrading the chassis to enhance the ride and improve handling; and (4) renovating its interior.

When they introduced the legendary Suburban in the 1930s, Chevrolet became a pioneer for sports utility vehicles. Seven decades hence, that nameplate remains a force in the modern US automotive market.

Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe, states that the Chevrolet Captiva has always satisfied buyers because of its range of options, like whether to have five or seven seats, or be an all-wheel or front-wheel drive vehicle. Similarly, the 2011 Captiva features four new engine versions: 2.4-litre petrol, 3.0-litre 258bhp V6 and two versions of the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel. Each version is connected to a new six-speed transmission system.

While many enhancements have been implemented, the new Captiva still features the practical and flexible three-row theatre-style seating where a maximum of seven passengers can ride comfortably. Also, the automatic all-wheel drive configuration optimises power usage.

Brannon recalls that towards the end of 2006, when the original Captiva became available, it became a significant mark in the company’s history as it indicated Chevrolet’s ambition to acquire a major presence in Europe’s ultra-competitive market. After four years, the Captiva has truly captivated many, converting them to new Chevrolet customers, thanks to the design, quality and practicality they perceived in the vehicle.

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