2011 CHEVROLET EQUINOX: INDUSTRY’S MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT COMPACT CROSSOVER IS A MAJOR HIT
Ever since the new-for-2010 Chevrolet Equinox rolled into dealer showrooms last year, consumers have responded enthusiastically to this just-the-right-size crossover. It delivers distinctive styling and best-in-segment EPA highway fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon when equipped with the standard Ecotec 2.4L direct injected engine.
Available in LS, LT and LTZ trim, with available all-wheel drive, the Equinox complements its styling and fuel efficiency with attention to detail and unexpected features.
More miles, less fuel
Both the standard Ecotec 2.4L engine and available 3.0 L V-6 in the Chevrolet Equinox feature fuel-saving direct injection and variable valve timing technology.
The standard 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine is rated at 182 horsepower (136 kW), which delivers segment-best EPA-estimated fuel economy of 32 mpg highway, 22 mpg city and AWD models rated at 20 city/29 highway.
The 3.0L V-6 is rated at 264 horsepower (197 kW), which delivers an EPA-estimated 25 mpg highway, 17 mpg city. For 2011, it also offers FlexFuel capability that allows the Equinox to operate on gasoline, E85 bioethanol or a combination of both. E85 comprises 85 percent bioethanol, a domestically produced, renewable fuel that produces fewer greenhouse gases in the combustion process, and 15 percent gasoline. Chevrolet produces more FlexFuel models than any other automotive brand.
Other Equinox features include:
- Six-speed automatic transmission and an “eco” mode on the 2.4L-equipped model that alters shift points to improve fuel economy
- Highway-only driving range of up to 600 miles (800 km) with the Ecotec 2.4L engine and more than 500 miles with the 3.0L engine mean less-frequent fill-ups
- Safety-enhancing features such as six standard air bags that include dual frontal air bags, head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags
- Standard four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control
- Standard OnStar with Directions and Connections service and XM Satellite Radio, with complimentary service intervals
- “Smart” remote starting system that also activates the HVAC system and optional heated seats depending on the outside temperature.
- Segment-exclusive programmable power liftgate and dual-screen rear entertainment system.
Distinctive Chevy design
The Equinox features Chevy’s signature global face – a two-tier grille and prominent gold bowtie insignia. Strong fender shapes, a distinctive premium roofline, wraparound headlamps and dual round taillamps are additional elements that define Equinox as a true Chevrolet.
Two new colors join the Equinox palette for 2011: Twilight Blue and a new shade of Summit White.
Additional design features include:
- A multi-dimensional hood and wraparound rear side glass and a wheels-at-the-corners stance
- Improved aerodynamic performance through a number of carefully designed exterior features, including moving the base of the windshield forward approximately three inches (75 mm) for a sleeker profile.
Equinox’s rocker panels are integrated into the doors to make it easier to get in and out of the vehicle. They narrow the area over which a passenger must step, offering protection for pant legs that could brush against dirty rockers. Also, chrome trim and flush-fitting ”exposed-edge” windshield and rear glass reinforce Equinox’s build quality and reduce bothersome wind noise.
The details make the difference
The Equinox interior features thoughtful attention to detail that makes it an ideal family vehicle – including a number of storage bins, an oversized glove box; a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack; and closed storage under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer.
A “floating” center stack houses many ergonomic comfort and convenience controls. Contemporary, ice-blue ambient lighting – featured within and surrounding the center stack, encircling the center-console cupholders and within the door pull cups – accentuates the cabin and provides an upscale-looking environment. The front and rear seats, which include cloth and uplevel, perforated leather-trimmed offerings, are designed for best-in-class comfort. For 2011, the 2LT model includes standard heated cloth seats and a compass is added to the LS model.
Front-seat fore-aft travel of 10 inches (25 mm), combined with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel and standard power-adjustable seat height, offer exceptional driver comfort. The Equinox’s MultiFlex rear seat capability allows the seat to be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches (203 mm), for the best rear legroom in its class. With the 60/40-split-back rear seat moved all the way forward, the cargo area offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of storage.
Noise-absorbing elements are built into the chassis, engine compartment and interior, making the Equinox cabin noticeably quiet. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology on 2.4L-equipped models uses microphones to detect booming sounds inside the vehicle and sends counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers, providing a quiet driving experience at almost all vehicle speeds.
Convenience, infotainment and connectivity
A variety of technologies are integrated in the Equinox, such as an available seven-inch touch-screen navigation system. Additional features also include:
- Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity
- USB audio connectivity for personal music devices
- DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system with two independent screens to enable DVD viewing on one and gaming on the other
- Internal memory/hard drive on uplevel radios for storing audio selections
- Programmable power-operated rear liftgate
- Rear-vision camera system, with display in the rearview mirror or in the navigation screen
- Range of premium-feature audio systems with up to eight speakers and 250 watts of output.
Electric power steering saves fuel, too
Equinox is built on a body-integral structure with single-piece body side stampings and targeted applications of high-strength steel. Those elements form the foundation of a solid, quiet driving experience. The strong structure enabled engineers to tune the four-wheel-independent suspension system for greater control and driver feedback.
Standard and available features include:
- Available all-wheel drive
- Family of 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels
- Fuel-saving electric power steering system.
The rack-mounted electric power steering system provides greater fuel efficiency on 2.4L-equipped models, saving nearly 11 miles per tank of gas, or about 572 miles per year (assuming one fill-up per week). With the Equinox’s estimated 32 mpg on the highway, the electric power steering system saves the equivalent of approximately one tank of gas each year.