- Three new exterior colors: Silver Ice Metallic, Gold Mist Metallic and Cyber Gray Metallic
- Available Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calls
- Standard head curtain side-impact air bags with rollover protection sensors
Chevrolet Equinox’s combination of sleek styling, confident performance, a spacious interior and good efficiency continue to make a popular choice with compact SUV crossover customers. Models equipped with the standard 3.5L V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission are EPA-rated at 24 mpg on the highway – as is the Equinox Sport, with its more powerful, 3.6L V-6 with variable valve timing and six-speed automatic transmission.
Indeed, in a market with plenty of new competitors, the Equinox not only continues to hold its place, it is increasing sales – more than 8,600 were sold in February 2008. That represented an 8-percent retail sales increase over February 2007, with overall sales up 28 percent.
“The Equinox offers everything customers are seeking today in a compact SUV – style, performance, space, safety and efficiency,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “From the high-value LS to the high-performance Sport, the Equinox’s broad range of models and features is unmatched in the segment.”
After a year of significant changes, including the addition of the high-performance Sport and luxury-appointed LTZ models, the Equinox arrives in the 2009 model year with enhancements to its winning formula. Head curtain side-impact air bags with rollover protection sensors are standard on all models, as is XM Satellite radio. Previously these features were optional on some models.
An all-new feature for the Equinox is Bluetooth connectivity available with the OnStar system. It enables hands-free phone calling in connection with the vehicle audio system.
There are also three new exterior colors: Silver Ice Metallic, Gold Mist Metallic and Cyber Gray Metallic. They replace Sandstone Metallic, Granite Gray Metallic and Silverstone Metallic.
The Equinox is available in LS, LT, LTZ and Sport models, each available with all-wheel drive. Standard comfort, convenience and safety features on all models include five-passenger seating; head curtain side-impact air bags; power door locks with remote keyless entry; power windows; air conditioning; tilt steering; rear liftgate with defogger and washer/wiper; fold-down front passenger seat for longer cargo items; sliding rear seat with a 60/40-split seatback and two-position recline; four-wheel disc brakes with ABS; StabiliTrak electronic stability control system; traction control and OnStar.
LT models add body-color details such as the door handles, outside mirrors and roof rail side bars, as well a great list of available features, including a remote vehicle starting system and a Pioneer premium seven-speaker sound system. The LTZ is differentiated from other Equinox models by 17-inch bright chrome-clad aluminum wheels, bright chrome door handles and bright chrome luggage rack side rail inserts. Standard interior features include heated front seats, leather seating inserts, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer and MP3 CD playback capability and a Pioneer premium seven-speaker audio system.
The performance-oriented Equinox Sport packs a unique 3.6L V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, as well as specific exterior and interior details. See the “Equinox Sport details” section below for more information.
The five-passenger Equinox is one of the few compact SUVs equipped with a standard V-6 engine. It is powered by GM’s 3.4L V-6, rated at 185 horsepower (138 kW) and 210 lb.-ft. (285 Nm) of torque. This durable overhead valve engine is coupled to an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission. It’s a powertrain combination that delivers smooth, strong acceleration along with reduced highway cruising engine speeds for excellent fuel economy – up to 24 mpg in EPA-rated highway mileage.
Equinox Sport is powered by a high-feature 3.6L V-6. It is a DOHC engine with variable valve timing that delivers 264 horsepower (197 kW)* and 250 lb.-ft of torque (339 Nm)* – a 42-percent power increase over the Equinox LT. The 3.6L engine is paired with a Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic that provides an excellent balance between performance and fuel economy. This powertrain combination helps deliver an estimated 0-60 mph time of less than seven seconds and 24 mpg in highway fuel economy.
Customers can also opt for an on-demand all-wheel-drive system, which delivers power to the front wheels during normal driving conditions but seamlessly transfers a portion of the power to the rear wheels if front wheel slippage is detected. While primarily intended for on-road use, this AWD system also provides excellent traction and mobility for off-road use.
Interior space, comfort and convenience
Equinox’s standard Multiflex sliding rear seat can be moved nearly eight inches (203 mm) fore or aft, as well as reclined. In the aft position, this seat provides generous legroom for three full-size adults and a split seatback with two recline positions. With the seat all the way forward, Equinox offers 67.1 cubic feet (1,900 L) of cargo space. Because the rear seatback has a 60/40 split, Equinox can transport up to two rear passengers along with long cargo items. The front passenger seat folds flat, further extending cargo room length. When folded, the hard front seatback can be used as a table or desktop.
A Driver Information Center (DIC) is standard. Located in the instrument panel cluster, the DIC includes more than 20 personalization and vehicle information features, such as tire pressure, trip odometer, fuel range, outside temperature display and door locking/unlocking features (on uplevel models) – all standard.
Customers also have a choice of improved audio systems, all with standard XM Satellite Radio, a six-speaker system and an auxiliary input jack for MP3/iPod playback. The choices include:
Chassis and suspension
Equinox has one of the longest wheelbases in its class and is built on an optimized body architecture that helps provide a confident driving experience. The structure is complemented by an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and a four-link coil spring layout in the rear, for a smooth, comfortable ride typically associated with larger SUVs. The rear suspension has a trailing arm as well as three additional locating links to facilitate a low, wide load floor and to maximize rear passenger space.
Electric power steering is standard on LS, LT and LTZ models; it helps provide precise steering control and performance, as well as enabling improved fuel economy because there is no engine-driven power steering pump. An electronic control unit, calibrated for a variety of desired performance characteristics, controls an electric motor mounted on the steering column to provide the precise amount of assist needed for any given driving situation. Its variable-ratio steering delivers a responsive feel during highway driving and low effort for easier parking.
All Equinox models also are equipped with vented front disc brakes with dual piston calipers and rear disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard.
Equinox Sport details
The Equinox Sport delivers a performance-inspired appearance, with specific body- color front and rear fascias and a body-color grille cross bar. The front and rear fascias have trapezoidal design cues; the front fascia uses silver-painted trapezoidal air inlets, while the rear fascia features dual chrome trapezoidal-shaped exhaust outlets. That performance-oriented look is enhanced by eliminating the roof rack, although it is offered as an option. Also, 18-inch flangeless, high-polished, forged aluminum five-spoke wheels, mounted on P235/50R18 tires, complement the aggressive stance.
Inside, the Equinox Sport has standard all-Ebony trim and appointments all its own. Heated seats with bolsters covered with Sport-specific unique cloth are standard, with perforated leather-covered versions available. It also has a leather-wrapped, four-spoke steering wheel and specific instruments, including a 140-mph speedometer. The shifter also is unique to the Equinox Sport, its J-gate design enables precise control of the six-speed transmission’s fully automatic or manual tap-up/tap-down features.
Equinox Sport is powered by a high-feature 3.6L V-6. It is a DOHC engine with variable valve timing that delivers 264 horsepower (197 kW)* and 250 lb.-ft of torque (339 Nm).* It is paired with the Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission. The performance is complemented with hydraulic power steering and a performance-tuned suspension. A long, 112.5-inch (2,857 mm) wheelbase and wide, 61.8-inch (1,569 mm) track give the Equinox a stable, confident road feel, while the Sport’s lowered ride height, specific shock tuning, control arms and larger, solid stabilizer bars add to its more responsive, sporting driving experience. The overall ride height is reduced by about 1 inch (25 mm).
The front suspension has a MacPherson strut design, with firm hydraulic bushings and springs. The front struts have internal rebound springs that improve roll stiffness and steering sensitivity, while maintaining ride comfort. The rear suspension features a four-link independent layout with stiffer bushings.
Standard dual-stage frontal air bags with GM’s passenger sensing system, head curtain side-impact air bags and safety belt pretensioners complement the strong safety cage construction of Equinox. Dual-stage frontal air bags are designed to help reduce the risk of air bag-induced injury. The passenger sensors, located in the seat cushion, adjust the air bag deployment speed based on the occupant’s weight.
The head curtain side-impact air bags act like a protective curtain when deployed, unfolding from the roof rail between the A-pillar and side window header to help provide protection for front- and rear-seat outboard passengers.
The pretensioners in the front safety belt system deploy at the same time as the frontal air bags to take up slack in the safety belt webbing. Pretensioners also help reduce the amount of occupant movement in the event of a crash to help reduce the risk of injury.
Equinox’s rear seats are equipped with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system anchors for child safety seats. This system provides two lower anchors and a top tether anchor in all three rear seat positions to be used to secure a child seat to the vehicle seat structure. These attachment points are designed to make it easier to properly install compatible child safety seats.
Equinox also has a standard tire pressure monitoring system. It alerts the driver when a significant reduction in pressure occurs in one or more of the vehicle’s tires by illuminating a warning light on the instrument panel. The low tire pressure warning remains on until the tire pressure is corrected.
Electronic Trailer Sway Control
Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with Electronic Trailer Sway Control helps drivers maintain control during sudden maneuvers or in low traction conditions by using a comprehensive series of sensors to measure acceleration, deceleration, steering angle and yaw rate. By monitoring these inputs, the system automatically controls the vehicle to help maintain the driver’s intended path when a measurable deviation from the intended course is detected. The system maintains control by regulating vehicle acceleration or applying the brakes at any wheel.
Electronic Trailer Sway Control is integrated into the StabiliTrak system and detects the occurrence of trailer sway that may be caused by improper trailer weight balance or excessive vehicle speed. Upon detection of trailer sway, StabiliTrak will begin to apply brakes individually and independent of the driver applying the brake pedal, to assist the driver in stabilizing the vehicle, and the StabiliTrak activation telltale will flash to signal the driver to reduce vehicle speed. If trailer sway continues, StabiliTrak will reduce engine torque to reduce the speed of the vehicle.
OnStar-equipped Equinox models are equipped for Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar (additional monthly fee required). Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers' vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle’s stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system’s GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. For more information about OnStar, see the OnStar Overview in the Product Information Guide corporate section.
*Pending SAE certification.