Chevrolet is all set to unveil the new MY2010 Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next month. According to Ed Peper, GM North America vice president for Chevrolet, the new Equinox’s exterior design is inspired by the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover – boasting of attention to detail and unexpected features. The Equinox’s design bears Chevrolet's signature global face -- the two-tier grille and prominent gold Bowtie insignia.
Peper said that defining the Equinox as a true Chevrolet are elements like strong fender shapes, a unique premium roofline, wraparound headlamps and dual round tail lamps. The compact crossover also features a multi-dimensional hood and wraparound rear side glass as well as a wheels-at-the-corners stance. Engineers were able to achieve better aerodynamic performance thanks to carefully designed exterior features like the base of the windshield being moved forward by around three inches (75 mm).
Also, the Equinox's rocker panels are integrated into the doors for easier ingress and egress. These narrow the area over which an occupant must step, thereby protecting pant legs from brushing against dirty rockers. Likewise, the vehicle’s chrome trim, flush-fitting "exposed-edge" windshield and rear glass reduce wind noise while boosting its build quality. The Chevrolet Equinox retains its wheelbase length at 112.5 inches (2,857 mm), but is around one inch (25 mm) shorter and an inch wider.
The Equinox now has a wider front track for improved ride and handling. Moving inside, the attention to detail is very much visible through a number of bins – an oversized glove box; a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack; and closed storage under the center armrest. The Equinox features a "floating" center stack that contains a number of controls for ergonomic comfort and convenience controls.
The interior is accentuated by ice-blue ambient lighting -- within and surrounding the center stack and encircling the center-console cupholders as well as within the door pull cups. The Equinox’s front and rear seats feature both cloth and perforated leather-trimmed offerings. The 2010 Equinox still feature MultiFlex rear seat capability, allowing occupants to move seats forward or backward by nearly eight inches (203 mm) to ensure more than enough legroom. Since the 60/40-split-back rear seat is moved forward, the Equinox boasts of a cargo area that could store 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters).
Aside from these details, occupants could barely hear noise inside the cabin, thanks to noise-absorbing elements built into the chassis, engine compartment and interior. Two engines are available for the new Equinox: 1) a new 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine that pours out an estimated 182 hp (135 kW) of output and returns an estimated 30 mpg highway, 21 mpg city; and (2) a new 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine that develops around 255 hp (190 kW) of output and delivers an estimated 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city.
With the new 2.4L direct injection engine, the Chevrolet Equinox offers expected best-in-segment estimated highway fuel economy of 30 mpg, which represents a 25-percent upgrade over the previous model. Chevrolet expects two of three Equinox customers to avail of 2.4L engine. Both engines boast of fuel-saving direct injection and variable valve timing technology. Both engines also allow driving range of over 500 miles (800 km).
According to Peper, the Equinox delivers just when customers are more concerned about the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. He remarked that the Equinox offers the roominess and capability of a crossover with great fuel economy.
The MY2010 Chevrolet Equinox will be sold starting mid-2009 and can be availed in LS, LT and LTZ trim, with available all-wheel-drive. Coming as standard for the 2010 Chevy Equinox are six air bags (dual frontal air bags; head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags); four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control; OnStar and XM Satellite Radio; and "Smart" remote starting system that could activate the HVAC system and optional heated seats. Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, remarked that the new Chevrolet Equinox merges function and style into a “very sporty, yet upscale” compact crossover.