’Nox Still Rocks 32 mpg Highway with Standard I4
The Chevrolet Equinox is off to a typically strong start in 2012, wrapping up the first half of the year with 110,890 sales that were worth a 15.7 percent increase over the same period last year. Even in June, when rivals like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape were achieving monthly sales records, the Equinox still managed a fairly robust 20,893 deliveries and 15.8 percent growth rate. But with the Honda redesigned for 2012 and the Ford all-new for the 2013 model year, you had to wonder what Chevy was going to do to keep up its pace. Well, wonder no more: The Bowtie brand has revealed a surprisingly wide range of upgrades for the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox—including a new V6 and Chevrolet’s MyLink Radio with Navigation—that should help one of the biggest of the small crossovers remain a strong alternative for the shoppers.
The small-crossover segments are in transition today, with a growing number of entries foregoing V6ngines to concentrate on more fuel-efficient four-cylinder alternatives—but not so much at Chevrolet. Thus, the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox will remain one of just two mainstream vehicles in its class to even offer a six-cylinder option—the other is the Toyota RAV4—and the Chevy offers by far the most power. Its new direct-injection V6 is capable of putting out 301 hp (+14 percent more than the 2012 V6) and 272 lb.-ft. of torque (+22 percent), while the Toyota makes do with 269 hp/246 lb.-ft. of torque; the Escape’s hi-po 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4 tops out at 240 hp/270 lb.-ft. of torque.
(Note: The Equinox’s corporate cousin, the GMC Terrain, also offers the same new V6.)
The flip side to all that power? Even though the 2013 Equinox V6 retains the same EPA ratings as the less athletic 2012 model, said ratings are the lowest in the class. Here is the way things shake out headed into the new model year, looking at the horsepower/torque grades and EPA marks of the most powerful mainstream players in the Equinox’s class:
hp/lb.-ft. of torque
On the other hand, you can’t forget that the Equinox will retain its current I4 as the standard engine choice, and that powerplant hosts 182 hp/172 lb.-ft. of twist along with an EPA line of 22/32/26—tied for the CR-V with the highest combined EPA ratings found in that quintet.
Also notable: The Equinox’s enhanced V6 comes hooked up with a new FE2 suspension specifically tuned for its extra power.
The Equinox will offer two new entertainment features, too, including the Chevrolet MyLink Radio with Navigation. This setup leverages the functionality of Bluetooth-enabled smartphones to provide owners with hands-free, voice-activated access to audio streaming and Internet music stations like Pandora and Stitcher, as well as navigation services, and also features a seven-inch color touchscreen for added versatility.
In addition, to match the CR-V’s newly available rear-seat DVD entertainment system, the Equinox will offer one of its own with dual screens and wireless headphones. And keep in mind that you can’t get a similar feature in the RAV4, Rogue or even the Escape.
Other changes to the Chevrolet Equinox for the 2013 model year:
The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox is slated to arrive in dealerships in August with a price that’s currently TBD.