Earlier last week on the autumnal equinox Chevrolet unveiled its all-new 2018 Equinox in the US, the first step in the General’s new focus on growing its crossover/SUV business. Yes, because what we really need is more crossovers, people.
Chevrolet has done its homework. “Today’s compact SUV customers want a vehicle that meets all of their needs,” the company says. Crossovers, of course, attempt to do this by being every car in one and more commonly than not failing at the job due to their very nature of compromise.
The Americans claim the new Chevrolet Equinox will deliver on all fronts, with its wind tunnel dictated shape, optional LEDs, new horizontal taillamp design and, wait for it, chrome trim on all models. What is this, 1996?
“Customers who previewed the vehicle early on had a strong emotional response to the sleek and sophisticated exterior design,” said John Cafaro, boss at GM Design. Well, boredom is an emotion. So let’s be fair, the Equinox looks like a crossover…
Inside, it’s GM’s familiar dual-cowl cockpit with a twist — customers can spec denim seats, which is cool. Or at least denim ‘style’ fabric… The rear seats fold flat for a useable cargo area and the 2018 Equinox also throws in all the kit you’d expect, such as an 8.0in screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
New safety equipment includes a Safety Alert Seat, Surround Vision, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and more.
The engine range comprises three turbocharged units and one of them is a diesel (Chevrolet’s offering the option for the first time in America). The petrol choices are a 1.5-litre and a 2.0-litre mated to GM’s nine-speed automatic transmission. That’s a big downsizing as the current GCC-spec Captiva model offers a 169bhp 2.4-litre or 264bhp V6.
But it should get on fine because engineers saved about 180kg compared to the current model. Chevrolet’s newest crossover will first go on sale in its home market early next year before reaching Middle Eastern showrooms later in 2017.