What Changed for 2008:
- New Equinox Sport model
- New 3.6-liter V-6 engine with variable valve timing
- New 6-speed automatic transmission
- Sport-tuned suspension
- Unique exterior and interior appointments
- Equinox LTZ trim added
- OnStar standard
- Enhanced ride and handling for LS and LT
- New Electronic Trailer Sway control integrated into standard stability control system on all models
- Three new exterior colors
For 2008, Chevrolet adds the Equinox Sport and Equinox LTZ models to the compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment, standard OnStar, stability control, and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The 5-passenger front-wheel-drive Equinox is one of the few compact SUVs on the market with a standard V-6 engine and Chevy appears to be positioned to compete with Mazda CX-7 and Toyota RAV4 Sport V-6. All 2008 Equinox models are available in front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD).
The 2008 Chevrolet Equinox lineup includes four models: Equinox LS, LT, LTZ and Sport, in FWD or AWD. Standard equipment includes StabiliTrak stability control; remote keyless entry; Multiflex sliding rear seat that can be moved 8 inches fore and aft; OnStar (one year Safe and Sound plan); and XM satellite radio (three months free). New for 2008 is the Equinox Sport model, which includes a 3.6-liter V-6 engine; 6-speed automatic transmission; stiffer suspension; and forged 18-inch wheels. The new Equinox LTZ features 17-inch bright chrome-clad aluminum wheels; bright chrome door handles and luggage rack side rail inserts; heated front seats; leather seating inserts; head-curtain side-impact air bags; and the same enhanced ride and handling package as the LS and LT. Three new colors are available for 2008: Navy Blue Metallic, Black Granite Metallic and Golden Teal Metallic.
Standard engine in the 2008 Equinox LS, LT and LTZ is a 3.4-liter, 12-valve V-6 engine that delivers 185 hp at 5200 rpm and 210 lb.-ft. of torque at 3800 rpm. Power is transferred through a 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The Equinox Sport is powered by a new 3.6-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine that delivers 264 hp at 6500 rpm (a 42-percent power increase over the Equinox LT) and 250 lb.-ft. of torque at 3100 rpm, paired with a new 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode. EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway for the FWD 3.4-liter V-6 and 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the AWD 3.4-liter V-6. For the 3.6-liter V-6 FWD, the numbers are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway, while the AWD is 16 mpg city/26 mpg highway.
Safety features on the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox include dual-stage front air bags with passenger sensing system (head curtain side air bags are available as an option); front safety belt pre-tensioners; LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system; child-safe door locks; anti-lock vented front disc brakes with dual-piston calipers; rear disc brakes; traction control; tire-pressure-monitoring system; electronic trailer sway control integrated into the electronic stability control system; and a multi-function remote that operates anti-theft, door lock/unlock, panic alarm, illuminated entry and remote ignition functions. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2008 Equinox earned perfect 5-star ratings in driver and passenger front and front- and rear-seat side crash tests. In rollover testing, the 2008 Equinox received a 4-star rating for FWD and AWD models.
All Equinox sound systems for 2008 offer improved sound, a standard 6-speaker system, and an auxiliary input jack for MP3/iPod playback. These include stereo with CD player; stereo with CD/MP3 player and Radio Data System (RDS); stereo with in-dash 6-disc CD/MPS and RDS; stereo with CD/MP3 player with DVD playback capability and RDS; and stereo with CD/MP3 player with full feature navigation with touch-screen, voice control and RDS. The Multiflex sliding rear seat is a standard feature on all 2008 Equinox models and allows the seat to move nearly 8 inches fore and aft, as well as recline. The optional AWD system, although primarily intended for use on-road, also provides traction and mobility during off-road adventures. The electronic sway control that's integrated into the stability control system detects trailer sway that may be caused by improper weight distribution or excessive speed, and automatically applies the brakes independent of the driver, and, if the sway continues, the system reduces engine torque to lower vehicle speed.