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Chevrolet rolls out 2018 Equinox SUV
Compact SUV gets downsized four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and become a global model to rival the likes of the Honda CR-V.
That’s quite a good-looking SUV…
This is the all-new Equinox SUV from Chevrolet which was recently unveiled in the US in third-generation form to take on compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail.
By employing design cues already found in current models like the Cruze, the Equinox feels more car-like than ever in appearance. The use of horizontal tail lamps gives the Equinox a wide stance for a crossover feel, as well.
With a 4,652mm length and 2,725mm wheelbase, the Equinox is claimed to have competitive levels of cabin space. Enhancing versatility are seats that can fold down flat for outright cargo utility.
Chevrolet says it has tried to place the dash – looking similar to that of the Cruze – as low as possible so that the driver gets a commanding view up front. Features include the latest in infotainment and an array of driver-assist tech customers can now expect to see in a modern SUV.
What are the technical highlights?
The Equinox sits on the latest iteration of the so-called Theta platform and uses more lightweight materials to help bring down the weight by around 180kg.
There are three four-cylinder turbocharged engines available in the Equinox. They include 170hp/275Nm 1.5-litre petrol and 136hp/320Nm 1.6-litre diesel, both mated to six-speed automatic.
On top of the range is 252hp/353Nm 2.0-litre petrol paired with nine-speed automatic. It has been developed to replace the 3.6-litre V6 which has now been discontinued.
Although most buyers will stick to the sealed tarmac, Chevrolet has given the Equinox some off-road capability. The drive system can be switched from front-wheel-drive to all-wheel-drive via a switch when the driver needs make traction in the mud.
Is it a global model?
While the previous generations were mostly restricted to the North American market, Chevrolet says the latest Equinox is a global model. Sales start in the US in the first quarter of 2017 before reaching out to 115 markets around the world.
The Equinox marks some consolidation in Chevrolet’s model lineup as the American brand wants its pickups, SUVs and cars to attract a global audience rather than just a specific region.
Will it supersede the Captiva?
That is something Chevrolet hasn’t mentioned. However, it would make great sense to have the Equinox superseding the decade-old Captiva. Although the Captiva also employs the Theta matrix, it has been developed by GM Korea in South Korea.
But even if the Equinox does replace the Captiva, it’s still not clear whether Chevrolet will assemble it at its Thai facility in Rayong where the pickup-based Trailblazer SUV is currently made.
A high-ranking executive of GM told the Bangkok Post that Chevrolet is finding the business case for making car-based SUVs in Thailand a little difficult.
The Thai Chevrolet office once pondered assembly of the Trax, a sub-compact/B-segment SUV rivaling the Ford Ecosport, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke. However, the numbers didn’t add up.
And given that the Equinox would naturally sell in smaller numbers – and overlap the Trailblazer in price like how today’s Captiva is doing – chances of it going on sale in Thailand are quite slim.
We would certainly like to be proven wrong, if Chevrolet has some cards up its sleeve. After all, Chevrolet has clearly announced that it would be focusing just on pickups and SUVs in Thailand.
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