Review: There are plenty of boring numbers you might want to know
about the new Chevy Equinox, 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space, 1,190
pounds of payload capacity, 40-foot turning radius, but only one number
really matters. It's 32.
That's the number of highway miles the Equinox can travel on a single
gallon of gas, which is absolutely astounding for a mid-size SUV. It's
the kind of number you'd expect on a little economy car, but never a
big, roomy, family-friendly sport utility vehicle.
The obvious next question then is, what kind of compromises Chevy had to
make to reach that impressive figure? Did they build it with Styrofoam
doors and a Swiss cheese chassis? Did they put a Weed Eater engine under
the hood? No, no and no.
Surprisingly, Chevy engineered this SUV to get great mileage without
making it feel obvious. You get the feeling in some efficient cars, like
the new Honda Insight, that they were designed for fuel economy at the
expense of everything else, but you don't get that sense in the Equinox.
It drives just as well as most of the recently designed crossover SUVs
it competes with, providing a quiet ride, solid feeling and spacious
you want to get really picky, there's one minor exception, the
transmission isn't as quick to downshift as some of its less efficient
rivals, but most drivers wouldn't even notice the difference unless they
were looking for it.
The great gas mileage starts with a great engine. Chevy's new 2.4-liter
four-cylinder engine has direct injection that helps it get better
mileage without sacrificing power. It makes 182 horsepower, which
provides decent acceleration in town. You can get better performance
from a 264-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6, but it only gets 17 mpg in town and
25 on the highway.
Chevy expects the vast majority of its new Equinox buyers to pick the
smaller engine, and that's a smart choice. It's a smooth powerplant,
delivering power evenly without much fuss, with the kind of grunt that
defies its small size.
Inside the Equinox has plenty of space in front and back, but it doesn't
quite match the level of GM's best work, the Chevy Malibu and new Buick
LaCrosse. Both those cars feel like Lexus-fighters inside, with the kind
of materials and construction that make you want to caress them. They're
designed with precision and perfection in mind. The cabin is still nice,
tough, especially at night when a soft blue glow surrounds the center
The new Equinox can be packaged like a luxury SUV, with features
including a navigation system, Bluetooth phone connection, DVD player,
hard drive for storing music, a power liftgate, and my personal
favorite, a rear-view camera that shows up on a display in the rear-view
mirror. It's some serious sci-fi tech.
What was tested?
The 2010 Chevy Equinox LTZ AWD with a base price of $29,795. Options on
the test vehicle: Vehicle Interface Package for $495, power rear
liftgate for $495 and a rearview camera for $320. The total MSRP price
as tested is $31,105.
Why avoid it?
The interior quality standards aren't quite up to GM's best work.
Why buy it?
It has the quiet ride
and roomy cabin of an SUV with the efficiency of a compact car, getting
32 miles per gallon on the highway.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The new Chevy
Equinox, which looks like a smaller version of the Traverse, gets 32
miles per gallon on the highway, an impressive figure for any SUV, and
has a nice, roomy interior. Pricing starts at $22,440 for a basic LS
model and reaches to just under $30,000 for the luxurious LTZ model with
all-wheel drive. The Equinox is a great compact SUV in a crowded field,
and it has some of the best MPG numbers to prove it.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit
Chevy Home Page
Column Name: New Chevy SUV has the efficiency of a compact car
Topic: The 2010 Chevy Equinox LTZ AWD
Word Count: 751
Photo Caption: The 2010 Chevy Equinox LTZ AWD
Photo Credits: Chevy Equinox Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 67
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2010 Chevy Equinox
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2010 Chevy Equinox