Sorry Australia, now you're just as boring as the rest of us.
Just last month, Holden built its final production car at its assembly plant in Australia. The last car to be produced was a 2017 Commodore SSV Redline, which is a badass RWD sedan with a 455 hp V8 engine. Holden was known for making awesome, RWD cars with big V8 power and there was even a rumor that Holden planned to build a global SUV from its RWD Zeta platform. Unfortunately, Holden production is over and the company will now move towards building boring rebadged versions of GM models. In fact, one such model was just revealed.
GM will start by selling a rebadged car from the most popular segment in the automotive industry, SUVs. Holden will receive a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Equinox starting next month. The Equinox doesn't look like it has received any visual changes, other than replacing the Chevy bowtie with the Holden lion. Pricing will start at $27,990, and go all the way up to $46,290. This is measured in Australian dollars, which is why the Holden version seems more expensive than its Chevy twin. The Holden Equinox will be available with a range of gasoline and diesel engines. The base 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
The larger 2.0-liter unit will be exclusively paired to a nine-speed automatic. There will also be a 1.6-liter diesel engine that won't be available until next year. The Equinox will have FWD as standard, with AWD available on LTZ trim and standard on the LTZ-V trim. Color options for the Equinox include Summit White, Glory Red, Blue Steel, Son of a Gun Grey, Nitrate Silver, Pepperdust and Tuxedo Black. Other than a few interesting color names, this Equinox is extremely uninspired from a company that once brought such lunacy to the automotive industry. It is sad to think that we can no longer look forward to the latest mad idea from Holden that makes us yearn to live in Australia.
In a statement, Holden's Executive Director of Sales, Michael Filazzola, said "Equinox is a game-changer for Holden and will undoubtedly battle it out at the top of the mid-size SUV segment. Our customers are demanding more technology and more performance without sacrificing any practicality or value, and with Equinox, Holden is delivering once again. We've got premium features like a dual-panel panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel and safety alert drivers seat that gives a small vibration to warn drivers of potential hazards. Not to mention Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a rear-view camera as standard across the range." This is certainly a game-changer, but is it actually a good one?
It seems a bit strange to hear Holden talk about practical items like driver assist technology and Apple CarPlay, when it used to be concerned with adding more power with bigger superchargers. We guess that Australians will eventually have to trade in their awesome utes and become boring, just like the rest of us. Well, some of us.