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2010 Chevrolet Equinox Preview

2010 Chevrolet Equinox Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009

Critical Knowledge:
  • All-new compact crossover available in LS, LT and LTZ trim
  • Standard front-wheel drive (FWD) with optional all-wheel-drive (AWD)
  • Two all-new engines: 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder and 3.0-liter V-6
  • Exterior design inspired by Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover
  • Standard ABS, traction, and stability control
  • Six standard air bags
  • Standard "Smart" remote engine starting activates heating/air conditioning and heated seats
  • Choice between 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels
  • On sale in mid-2009 as 2010 model
Introduction
First introduced as a 2005 model, and updated slightly for 2007, the Chevrolet Equinox gets a complete redesign for 2010. With exterior design inspired by the Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover, the new 2010 Chevrolet Equinox crossover utility vehicle (CUV) has the same 112.5-inch wheelbase as the previous version, but is an inch wider and about one inch shorter. The front track is also wider to improve ride and handling, according to Chevrolet. When the 2010 Equinox goes on sale in mid-2009, it will be available in LS, LT and LTZ trims, each with available all-wheel drive (AWD). Two all-new engines will be offered, a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder delivering an estimated 30 mpg highway and a 3.0-liter V-6 expected to achieve 25 mpg highway.

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Design
The Chevy heritage is obvious in the design of the 2010 Equinox, which features the two-tier grille and gold "Bowtie" insignia common across the Chevrolet lineup. Chevy says the all-new Equinox has a distinctive premium roofline, strong fender shapes and wraparound headlamps and dual round taillamps-all of which help define it as a Chevrolet. The intent, Chevy says, is to blend style and function in a compact crossover that is both upscale and sporty. Further design elements include a wide "wheels-at-the-corner" stance, wraparound rear side glass and a multi-dimensional hood. Chevy designers also improved the CUV's aerodynamic performance with a sleeker profile that's the result of moving the base of the windshield forward about 3 inches. Integrated-into-door rocker panels make entry and exit easier, Chevy says, while chrome trim and the flush-fitting "exposed-edge" windshield and rear glass help reduce wind noise.

On the inside, the all-new Equinox features a "floating" center stack that houses ergonomically-designed comfort and convenience controls. The contemporary look continues with ice-blue ambient cabin lighting in and around the center stack, around the cupholders in the center console, and in the door pull caps. Numerous storage bins include an oversize glove box, closed storage under the center armrest (big enough for a laptop), and a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack. Chevy says the 2010 Equinox keeps its MultiFlex rear-seat capability, a feature permitting the seat to be moved nearly 8 inches fore or aft, offering the best rear legroom in its class. When positioned all the way forward, the cargo area provides 31.4 cubic feet of storage.


Model Lineup
Chevy says the 2010 Equinox will be available in three trims: LS, LT and LTZ, with front-wheel drive (FWD) standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) available. Cloth or perforated leather-trimmed seats will be offered, depending on trim, along with a choice of 17-, 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels. Other standard or optional features include a rear-vision camera system; power rear liftgate; USB audio connectivity; Bluetooth wireless for hands-free calling; DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system; and a 7-inch touch-screen navigation system. A complete list of standard and optional equipment will be available closer to the on-sale date.

Hardware
Two all-new engines power the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, both boasting fuel-saving direct fuel injection and variable valve timing (VVT) technology. Chevrolet says it expects that most of the new Equinox's customers will choose the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 182 hp at 6700 rpm and 174 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. With final EPA certification pending at the time this was published, Chevy says the engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, is expected to deliver 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway in FWD configuration, and 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway with AWD. The second available engine is a 3.0-liter dual-overhead cam (DOHC) V-6, generating an estimated 255 hp at 6500 rpm and 214 lb.-ft. of torque at 5600 rpm. The V-6 is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. EPA estimated mileage (again, pending final certification) for this engine is 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway (FWD), and 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway (AWD). Both engines provide a driving range exceeding 500 miles between fill-ups, Chevy says.

The 2010 Equinox also features a 4-wheel independent suspension: strut-type in front, with a 4-link rear setup. Chevy says the Equinox has a fuel-saving electric power steering system standard with the 2.4-liter engine while the V-6 version is equipped with a traditional hydraulic power rack-and-pinion arrangement.


Safety
The 2010 Chevy Equinox comes equipped with six standard air bags: dual frontal, side curtains, and seat-mounted side-impact air bags. Four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control are also standard. OnStar, with built-in vehicle sensors which automatically alert OnStar in the event of a crash and available turn-by-turn directions, is standard with one free year of basic services.

Technology
The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox comes with numerous technologies as standard or optional. In addition to increasingly common features like USB-audio connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity; DVD rear-seat entertainment system (featuring two independent screens allowing DVD viewing and gaming at the same time), navigation system, and a rear-vision camera system, the Equinox has a few uncommon features. For instance, up-level audio systems feature an internal memory hard drive for storing music. Another feature is the "Smart" remote engine starting system that also activates the heating and air conditioning system as well as the optional heated seats-depending on outside weather temperature.

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