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: Fomoconews goes for a drive in the 2010 chevy equinox



Gmfan1111
02-13-2010, 07:11 PM
Fomoconews.com goes for a drive in the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox


Has GM finally designed the right CUV for today’s market? That very same question was asked by consumers and critics alike back when the first generation Equinox was introduced for the 2005 model year. With standard V6 power bold styling and its mix of unique features the Equinox was destined to be a winner, at least according to theory. On paper though, not so much. The engine was underpowered (that was later rectified in the still not that great Sport model), the interior was a design mess and the quality was still not a GM strong suit back then. As a result the first generation Equinox slotted itself as a mediocre entry among a sea of other ho hum entries in the early days of a rather bland and boring CUV market. With the brand new 2010 Chevrolet Equinox however, the faults of the 1st Gen model have largely been eradicated and the Equinox along with its Lego block inspired cousin the GMC Terrain and the sleek Cadillac SRX represent a trio of CUV’s that should give the competition a rude wake up call and help improve the Generals sales at the same time. I hope you all enjoy reading this special review of the Chevy Equinox (which was done at the request of the admins) and be sure to stay tuned to Fomoconews.com because in two weeks I will be revealing the winning suggestion for my posters choice review where I will be driving one car as suggested by you the posters, until then enjoy






Exterior

The first thing that General Motors did when redesigning the brand new Equinox was completely rework the exterior styling, removing the gaudy clear taillights and completely reworking the grille and front fascia. In their place is a more refined flowing look. The front end is now more in line with the new Chevy design theme which is also featured on the Malibu, Traverse, and the soon to be released Chevy Cruze while the back gains a crisper look with no nonsense tail lamps and reworked rear glass. My 2LT 4 cylinder tester looked sharp in its metallic grey paint and it garnered its fair share of glances from passers by. My tester did not have the optional Power operated rear lift gate but opening it required little effort and there was plenty of storage space available










Interior

Another strength of the new Equinox is its tastefully redone Interior. Gone are the cheap shoddy plastics and funky button lay out of the Equinox of old. In its place is a cockpit that would make most imports jealous. The buttons on the floating center stack are simple and easy to operate though a long reach is required to use some of the radios controls. Thankfully this is remedied with the steering wheel mounted radio controls that are easy to use. Speaking of the radio, my tester came with the optional Pioneer 8 speaker sound system. Sound quality is very good and was consistent whether it was playing music or the local AM news stations my folks listen to. Another unique feature of the audio system is that it works hand in hand with the triple layered glass and other sound deadening materials by using a set of two built in microphones that counteract cabin noise through the vehicles speakers and help keep the equinox’s cabin nice and quiet. The gauge cluster is simple and easy to read but some gauges especially the speedometer can be obscured by the steering wheel but a digital unit located in the driver information center makes up for this glaring fault. Interior materials were consistent and looked and felt like premium grade materials, in essence it was hard where it should be and soft where it had to be. The cloth seats despite looking rather silly with their two tone mesh covering were very comfortable and very supportive with plenty of back support. Finding a good driving position was a simple endeavor and there was plenty of leg room up front and likewise with the second row passenger seats. Visibility through the windshield and mirrors was very good. Rearward visibility was a little restricted but it’s about average for most crossovers in its class.


Performance

For a four cylinder hauling around 3770 lbs of Equinox the 2.4 liter Ecotec direct injected 4 cylinder proved to be a very spirited powerplant making 182 horsepower and 172 ft lbs of torque. There is some typical four cylinder buzz under hard throttle and the car does feel a bit strained during acceleration but overall the car got up to highway speeds in a quick amount of time and freeway lane changes were done with ease. City driving was also done with equal amounts of ease. Steering response though lacking feel is solid and accurate and the 4 wheel disc brakes mounted on 17 inch low rolling resistance tires provided excellent response and feedback. Parking the Equinox is easy to do as well though backing the Equinox in can be challenging due to the restricted view of the rear glass. For future Equinox buyers out there the optional back up camera is a MUST have option and provides excellent rearward vision which makes the task of backing the nox into a parking space much easier. Both the four cylinder and the V6 are bolted up to a six speed automatic transmission with a manual mode that provided smooth and consistent shifts. However before the more spirited drivers out there get any ideas about using the manual mode to squeeze some more performance out of either engine they should know that the manual shift mode is designed to be used in a towing situation only. In fact here’s the disclaimer in the official Getting to Know Your Equinox Handbook Page 14 paragraph two regarding the functions of the automatic transmission.

“The ERS Mode (Electronic Range Select Mode) is not designed to provide sportier performance nor is it to be used to shift gears similar to a manual transmission”

Which is too bad since the four banger is a punchy motor that would benefit from such a system. Regardless of the intent of the manual shift mode the little shift toggle button on the side of the shifter knob is awkward to use and unintentional up and downshifts can occur. A better button setup would have been appreciated. One thing that does not need any changes though is the four cylinder model exclusive eco mode setting which alters the shift points to focus more on economy than performance. Freeway acceleration is a bit more sluggish with eco mode active but it’s not a major issue and it’s still a joy to drive on the freeway and is virtually unnoticeable in city driving. GM claims that eco mode can help the driver save a few extra miles per gallon though that will depend on driving conditions. An optional 3.0 Liter Direct Injection V6 good for 264 horsepower and 217 ft lbs of torque is available for those that want to access the models full towing abilities (3500 lbs) or simply want more horsepower. However, unlike most optional motors this one really does not make that much of a difference dynamically and there is a noticeable penalty in fuel economy. The V6 in FWD configuration like my tester only manages 17 miles per gallon city 25 highway compared to the thrifty fours 22 miles per gallon city 32 miles per gallon highway according to the EPA’s fuel ratings

Final thoughts

Overall General Motors has built a very formidable contender in the small CUV market in the form of the Chevrolet Equinox. It’s stylish, frugal, and offers plenty of features one wouldn’t expect to find in its class. Also it appeals to a wide variety of consumers and is a legitimate contender in the CUV market and gives CUV standouts such as the Toyota RAV 4 and the Honda CR-V a run for their money. It’s not perfect but for what it has to offer it comes very close to it.

Gmfan1111
02-13-2010, 07:13 PM
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ausrutherford
02-13-2010, 09:19 PM
Great review, love the crossover!

My only one pet peve is the plastic backs of the seats, but thats just my taste.

2b2
02-13-2010, 10:41 PM
yeah THANKS for the review AND PIX, GMfan http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/images/icons/icon14.gif
&
don't think I mind the plastic seatbacks, ausrutherford,
considering I didn't even notice them when I sat in the 'Nox & Terrain a couple weeks ago - might even be a plus for families with little kids ...thinking they're easier to clean.

I know I said this to GMfan but I'm one of those who like-&-prefer the Terrain. Tho the Equinox is equally good, the Terrain's style In-&-Out just appeals to me more ...the kind of difference ideally-imho between Ford and Mercury - which is about the highest praise I can offer :)

ausrutherford
02-13-2010, 11:23 PM
Its just with me. Even Audis bother me because they use it.

Gmfan1111
02-14-2010, 10:14 AM
yeah THANKS for the review AND PIX, GMfan http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/images/icons/icon14.gif
&
don't think I mind the plastic seatbacks, ausrutherford,
considering I didn't even notice them when I sat in the 'Nox & Terrain a couple weeks ago - might even be a plus for families with little kids ...thinking they're easier to clean.

I know I said this to GMfan but I'm one of those who like-&-prefer the Terrain. Tho the Equinox is equally good, the Terrain's style In-&-Out just appeals to me more ...the kind of difference ideally-imho between Ford and Mercury - which is about the highest praise I can offer :)



your welcome 2b2 and ausrutherford and It depends on personal preference really when it comes to choosing between the terrain and the equinox. My brother doesn't like the Terrain at all and will spend all day flinging mud and criticizing it if he could. However there are folks out there like you 2b2 that like the terrains styling. Personally I'm not a fan of it myself but the look is starting to grow on me I must admit. I do like the Terrains interior though I like how GM retained the look of the noxes interior for the most part inside and did not change too much for the sake of differentiating it from it's chevy relative

2b2
02-14-2010, 01:03 PM
just tell your brother not to look at the top of the Terrain's grille, Gmfan1111 ;)
&
glad you mentioned the upholstery, forgot to ask,
that was kind of an odd thing imho - the light 'mesh' fabric over the dark solid(/real) fabric...
I *like* 2-tone interiors & thought the Look was fine but couldn't figure out why they did it that way - wonder if it will wear ok (1 year review update?)
if you ever talk to a GM guy above dealer-level, could you maybe ask them?

ndwariga
02-14-2010, 01:26 PM
The SRX is really not a twin to the Equinox. Its built on a completely different platform unique to it and the 9-4X

Gmfan1111
02-14-2010, 02:06 PM
The SRX is really not a twin to the Equinox. Its built on a completely different platform unique to it and the 9-4X

Not quite Ndwariga. While the Terrain and nox are definite siblings the SRX is built on a variant of the Theta platform. The platform that it shares with the stuck in Limbo 9-4x utilize many diffrent parts some of them off of the epislon 2 platform and others off the Nox/terrain platform along with a few bits and pieces of Lambda parts so you are right that it is not a direct cousin to both cars but one can can say it's kind of a distant relative to the two of them though it's certainly not a clear cut theta sibling


And 2b2 I think a 1 year update would be a great idea especially since I'm curious to see how the seat mesh will hold after one year of use