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-§egmènt EPA highway fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon when equipped wîth the standard Ecotec 2.4L direct injected engine.
Equinox enters the 2011 model year in very high demand, wîth vehicles purchased by customers almost immediately after they reach dealers. More than half of Equinox buyers have switched from non-GM brands. And to keep up wîth demand, GM is retooling part of the plant to further increase production capacity.
Available in LS, LT and LTZ trim, wîth available all-wheel drive, the Equinox complements its styling and fuel efficiency wîth 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 §egmènt-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) wîth the Ecotec 2.4L engine and more than 500 miles wîth 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 wîth StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control
• Standard OnStar wîth Directions and Connections service and XM Satellite Radio, wîth 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 designThe 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-lòòking 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 wîth the tilt/telescoping §teering 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
• ÚSB audio connectivity for personal music devices
• DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system wîth 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, wîth display in the rearview mirror or in the navigation screen
• Range of premium-feature audio systems wîth up to eight speakers and 250 watts of output.
Electric power §teering saves fuel, too
Equinox is built on a body-integral structure wîth 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 §teering system.
The rack-mounted electric power §teering 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 §teering system saves the equivalent of approximately one tank of gas each year.
Source - Chevrolet
Chevrolet Equinox Posts Its Best Sales Month as Increased Production Arrives at U.S. Dealers
The fuel-efficient Chevrolet Equinox sales jumped 79 percent in December, to 22,764 total sales – the best month on record for the compact crossover. Total Equinox sales have climbed by more than 60 percent for three consecutive months, as increased production from Oshawa Assembly began arriving at Ú.S. dealers.
Chevrolet has increased Equinox production three times since 2009 to meet sustained customer demand. With the CAMI facility in Ingersoll, Ontario, running at full capacity, Equinox regular production began at the Oshawa Assembly Plant in late September 2010.
The unique approach utilizes excess capacity from the new CAMI body shop to build additional Equinox bodies, which are transported from Ingersoll to Oshawa for paint and final assembly. This adds capacity to build 60,000 to 80,000 more Equinox and GMC Terrain (also built at CAMI) for the Canadian and Ú.S. markets.
The increased production resulted in significant gains in Ú.S. sales for the last quarter of 2010, outpacing growth in the compact-crossover §egmènt:
Even wîth the increased supply, Equinox remains one of the fastest-selling compact crossovers, based on days spent on dealer lots. In December, Equinox averaged just 17 days to turn, nearly half of the average for the compact-crossover §egmènt.
'We don't expect sales to slow any time soon,' said Kerry Whelan, owner and president of Buff Whelan Chevrolet in Sterling Heights, Mich. 'Almost everyone who test drives an Equinox leaves wîth an Equinox because of how well it drives, its interior design, and its fuel economy.'
Equipped wîth the standard 2.4L Ecotec engine and six-speed automatic, the front-wheel-drive Equinox delivers a §egmènt-best 32 mpg highway, according to EPA estimates – better than even the Ford Escape Hybrid. The Equinox also offers the most rear legroom in its class, thanks to the MultiFlex rear seat that slides fore or aft nearly eight inches (203 mm). 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.
Equinox also features an array of standard safety equipment, including six air bags and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. Innovative features available on the Equinox include active noise cancellation technology for increased interior refinement, a power programmable rear liftgate, and a rear-view backup camera wîth the screen integrated into the center rearview mirror.
These features helped earn the Equinox a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, Consumer's Digest named the Equinox a 2010 Best Buy, and Auto Pacific named the Equinox the Best in Class in its 2010 Ideal Vehicle Awards.
'The Chevrolet Equinox continues to be one of the fastest-selling vehicles in one of the fastest-growing vehicle §egmènts,' said Alan Batey vice president, Chevrolet Sales and Service. 'The added Equinox production has proved to be a creative way to quickly meet customer demand, and is clearly helping Chevrolet attract sales we might not have otherwise.'Source - Chevrolet
A mid-size crossover SUV, the Equinox was produced by Chevrolet and based on GM's Theta unibody platform. Well known for its exceptional ride quality, safe and secure handling, the Equinox features a remarkably roomy second-row seat that slides on a track to increase passenger foot room or improves cargo space in the back. Introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year, the SUV was manufactured at CAMI Automotive plant in Intersoll, Ontario, Canada. Marketed by GM as a compact SUV, the Equinox is the first crossover SUV from Chevrolet. Mechanically, the Equinox is similar to the Saturn Vue, Pontiac Torrent, the GMC Terrain and the 2007 Suzuki XL7. The Torrent and the Equinox though are bigger than the Vue and rode on a 112.5-inch wheelbase, 5.9 inch longer than the Saturn. One of the four then-new crossover vehicles with the same underpinnings, only the Equinox survives. The 2005 Equinox was considered just the right size, a bit larger than compact crossovers like the Escape, yet smaller than three-row mid-size models like the Highlander. The Equinox replaced the Chevy Tracker and became the ideal bridge between full-size SUV and passenger sedan.
With all-wheel drive optional, front wheel drive on the Equinox was standard. Unlike truck-based Chevy Tahoe and Trailblazer, the Equinox wasn't built for serious off-roading. The Equinox was updated for the first time in 2006 as GM added badges to the front doors. With a broad array of standard comfort and convenience features, the Equinox is considered a bargain with its modest price tag and luxury features.
Shanghai GM produced the 3.4 L LNJ V6 engine, while Japan made the Aisin AF33 automatic transmission. During 2009 the Equinox wasn't sold in Mexico. Late in November of 2009 though the marketing of the Chevy Equinox resumed for the 2010 model year. Once again during the 2011 model year the Equinox was no longer sold in Mexico.
A Sport model of the Equinox was added to the lineup in 2008. It featured the new 3.6 DOHC V6 engine and had a lowered ride height. With 40% increase in the engine, it allowed acceleration from 0-60mph in just less than 7 seconds. The outside of the Sport model was modified slightly from the regular model. It received a six-speed automatic transmission and had 18-inch wheels. The Sport was available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. GM chose to reserve the SS nomenclature for models more worthy of the title rather than it had in the past using the Super Sport badge on higher performance vehicles. So the Sport was the first vehicle to reflect GM's new more cautious naming standards.
The LTZ model was added to the lineup and was differentiated by its 17-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, bright chrome luggage rack side rail inserts and bright chrome door handles. On the inside, standard featured included leather seating inserts, heated front seats, head curtain side impact air back, MP3 CD playback capability, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer, and a Pioneer premium seven-speaker audio system. The LTZ model featured an identical ride and handling package as LS and LT models.
2008 Equinox models received three new exterior colors: Black Granit Metallic, Golden Teal Metallic and Navy Blue Metallic. The compass readout was moved from the inside rearview mirror the driver information center for this year. The 2008 Equinox received OnStar as a standard feature. This system was the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar and included Turn-by-Turn Navigation. Standard this year were four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and tire pressure monitoring system. New this year was an improved ride and handling package with stiffer shocks, tuned spring rates and bushings. Optional to the Equinox were head curtain side air bags.
Integrated into the standard StabiliTrak system was an Electronic Trailer Sway Control. This function could sense the occurrence of trailer sway that could be caused by improper trailer weight balance or excessive motor speed. If the trailer starts to sway, StabiliTrack will apply the brakes individually, to help stabilize the vehicle, independent of the driver controlling the brake pedal. A light will flash to tell the driver to reduce vehicle speed under these conditions. The system will reduce engine torque to reduce the speed of the car if the trailer continues to sway.
Sold exclusively for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, a Team Canada Edition trim 2009 Equinox was available. Similar to the Pontiac Torrent Podium Edition, this trim package added a sunroof, chrome-clad wheels, special badging and a premium sound system.
GM announced the Equinox's second generation on December 21, 2009. It continued to be assembled in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. It was introduced at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and was available for purchase in June of 2009. Constructed on a stiffened version of the same 'Theta' platform as the previous model, the new Equinox featured better fuel economy due to a pair of new gasoline direct injection engines. Though earlier '10 model featured the GM badges, they were eventually removed.
This generation featured a new 2.4-liter straight-4 engine produced in the US that produced 182 hp and 172 lb/ft of torque. It could achieve up to 22 mpg city, and 32 mpg highway. The 3.0-liter V6 engine was optional and could produce 264 hp and 214 lb/ft of torque with fuel economy at 17-mpg city and 25-mpg highway. Both powertrains featured six-speed automatics and all-wheel-drive systems that were optional with front-wheel-drive being standard.
For 2013 the Equinox underwent an update. The LS and LTZ models now feature fog lights resumed on LTZ and LT. The LT and LTZ trim levels now feature the High Feature LFX engine. The backup camera will now be updated to feature full-capacity directions for safety. These updates will only affect models that were branded beginning in the 2014 models, so these models will reach the market late in 2013.
GM sales for the Chevrolet Equinox in 2004 reached 84,024 units sold. For 2005 they soared to 130,542 before dipping to 130,542 in 2006. For 2007 they went down to 89,552, and 67,447 units sold in 2008. They rose in 2009 to 86, 148 and continued to rise in 2010 to 149,979 and up to 193,274 in 2011 and even higher at 218,621 in 2012.
Using hydrogen for fuel with water as its only exhaust, the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel cell utilizes the fourth-generation hydrogen technology found in the Chevy Sequel concept that was debuted in September of 2009. Designed for only 50,000 miles of driving, the fuel cell is engineered to be operable in subfreezing temperatures during its lifetime. The Equinox Fuel Cell makes the Equinox about 500 pounds heavier than the original model and takes away about one inch less of ground clearance. To help combat this loss the car features aluminum doors and a carbon fiber hood. It takes it headlights from the Pontiac Torrent.
Calculating the fuel savings in comparison to that of a gasoline-powered Equinox is a dashboard mounted screen. It also features a kilowatt meter and a fuel cell energy display. Replacing the exhaust pipe is four vapor outlets. Giving the Equinox a range of 200 miles, three carbon-fiber fuel tanks store up to a maximum of 9.25 pounds of gaseous hydrogen at 10,000 psi. The Equinox Fuel Cell is certified by the EPA as a ZEV, or zero-emission vehicle. A total of 115 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell cars were constructed by GM and used in numerous target areas in 2007 to 2008 as part of a comprehensive plan called 'Project Driveway'.
Meeting all of 2007 federal safety standard, the Equinox Fuel Cell includes safety features like traction control system and ABS. It also included GM's OnStar telematics service, which gave drivers advice on operating the car, along with information on nearby hydrogen filling stations.
An all-electric converted battery electric vehicle version of the Chevrolet Equinox was produced by Amp Electric Vehicles. Already they have sold their initial electric Equinox to Dayton Power & Light. They also have a five-year 1,000 SUV order from Northern Lights Energy in Iceland.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Equinox http://www.thecarconnection.com/cars/chevrolet_equinox#mainReview http://www.rogersautogroup.net/Chicago/Chevrolet/Dealer/Equinox.htm By Jessica Donaldson
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