Seems everyone loves a muscle-inspired SUV.
The Chevrolet Equinox is Chevy's best-selling SUV, making up 30% of all GM's small- to mid-size SUVs sold and falling second in overall sales volume to only the Silverado. There's a good reason for this: it's a great value-for-money compact SUV with high levels of specification, decent levels of space, and loads of standard safety on board. The fact that it looks pretty good doesn't hurt, but that doesn't mean Chevrolet couldn't make it even more striking. After seeing how well the Chevrolet Blazer has been received with its Camaro-inspired styling, the bowtie brand is handing the same treatment to the smaller Equinox. Unveiled at this year's 2020 Chicago Auto Show, meet the fresh-faced Equinox, now boasting a new design language, and a new RS trim that everyone's going to want.
As part of the facelift, the new design eschews the shield-style grille that adorned Chevrolet SUVs of old in favor of a bold new look that takes heavy influence from the Blazer and Camaro. It's accompanied by new front and rear fascias for the facelift, along with new split-level LED headlights with LED daytime running lights above an extension of the blade from the grille, and the main LED lighting cluster beneath. The new grille is featured in black with chrome inserts on higher-end Premier models, while on the new-for-2021 RS trim, it gets the same blacked-out treatment as we've seen on the Blazer, including black bowtie badging and black side rails. New 19-inch machine-faced wheels are found on the Premier, with Dark Android design wheels in the same size equipped to the RS.
The interior also receives a few trim-specific updates, with the Premier receiving French stitching on the upholstery and a new high-gloss black finish on the console. The Equinox RS takes it a step further with an RS-specific shift knob, black leather upholstery, and red contrast stitching on the seats, armrests, steering wheel, and shift lever boot.
But while the RS looks more aggressive, the same two engine options carry over to the updated Equinox range, with a 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder developing 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the available 2.0-liter turbo-four churns out 252 hp and 260 lb-ft and makes use of a nine-speed automatic to manage power delivery. The Equinox will also be available with the same choice of drivetrains, with buyers able to choose between front- and all-wheel-drive.
The facelift places a heavy focus on safety technology, with all Equinox trims featuring lane keep assist, lane departure warning, a rearview camera, following distance monitor, automatic emergency braking, automatic headlights, and forward collision alert. There's an abundance of available safety features too, with the option to equip a surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park sensors, and lane change alert - all features that helped the 2020 Equinox achieve a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick award.
The 2021 Equinox will be available in five trims: L, LS, LT, Premier, and the new RS, with pricing and full feature specification expected nearer the market launch this coming fall.