Take a look at the updated Equinox's exterior and you're pretty much going to see all that's new for 2016. Sure, the Chevy still boasts a handsome, inoffensive design, and it's now upgraded with things like LED running lamps on top-level trims, as well as new 17- and 18-inch wheel designs, projector beam headlamps, and revised taillamp styling. Moving inside, Chevy has added a standard seven-inch color touchscreen to all models, which includes a backup camera. New-to-Equinox safety features like side cross traffic alert and side blind zone alert are also available for 2016. And really, that's about it.
Powertrain options carry over from last year. On the base end, there's a 2.4-liter inline-four that's good for up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway (with front-wheel drive). Buyers can also opt for a 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 that allows the Equinox to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Will this be enough to keep the Equinox fresh in its highly competitive class? In 2014, the Equinox did outsell lower-volume competitors like the Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester, but was bested by fresher offerings like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4.
Have a look at all there is to know about the 2016 Equinox in the press blast below. We'll have live images and more impressions direct from the Chicago show floor, soon.
Premium cues, new safety features enhance Chevy's record-selling compact SUV
CHICAGO – Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Equinox – a contemporized version of the popular compact SUV. Updates include new styling with premium accents, new wheel designs and new available safety features, as well as a larger color touchscreen radio and a standard rear-vision camera for entry-level models.
The enhanced Equinox goes on sale this fall, building on five years of record sales in the highly competitive compact SUV segment and strengthening Chevrolet's broad sport utility lineup, which includes the Traverse, the all-new Trax small SUV and the redesigned 2015 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs.
"Chevrolet Equinox is a pillar of the compact SUV segment, thanks to a value rooted in great style, efficiency, safety and connectivity," said Alan Batey, president, GM North America. "The enhancements to the 2016 Equinox make a versatile vehicle an even better choice, and demonstrate Chevrolet's commitment to delivering the broadest lineup of SUVs in the industry."
Equinox sales in the U.S. increased to 242,242 in 2014 – the fifth consecutive year of record sales since the second-generation launched as a 2010 model.
It also held more than 9 percent of the compact SUV market, which surged 17.4 percent in 2014 and accounted for 15.5 percent of the total vehicle market – eclipsing midsize cars for the first time to become the auto industry's largest segment.
The roster of new and updated features available on the 2016 Equinox includes:
- New trim lineup: L, LS, LT and LTZ, a streamlining of the model lineup that eliminates the 1LT and 2LT trims.
- New front fascia and chrome-accented dual-port grille design – including specific chrome trim on LT and LTZ grilles
- New, premium projector-beam headlamps on all models helps make the Equinox more visible at night
- New daytime running lamps on LT and LTZ, with reflector-style lamps on L and LS, and light-emitting diode, (LED) lamps on LT and LTZ that create a distinctive, upscale lighting signature
- New fog lamps on LTZ
- New, Chevy-signature dual-element taillamps, revised license plate applique and revised lower rear fascia on all models, with chrome trim on LTZ lower fascia
- New 17-inch aluminum wheels on LT and new 18-inch aluminum wheels on LTZ
- New available 17-inch wheel optional on LS model
- New chrome exhaust outlets on V-6 models
- Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on LT and LTZ
- Standard seven-inch-diagonal Color Touch radio (including Bluetooth phone connectivity) and rear-vision camera on L and LS models
- Revised instrument panel "center stack" with new storage shelf and updated control graphics
- New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter with Electronic Range Selector mode buttons relocated to the top of the shifter handle
- Enhanced interior fabrics in L and LS designed for a premium look and feel
- New Saddle Up interior color
- New universal tablet holders available through dealers from Chevrolet Accessories. They mount on the rear of the front seats to provide convenient access for rear-seat passengers.
"The new face of the Equinox is highlighted by a more expressive execution of chrome accents and premium lighting," said John Cafaro, executive director of design, global Chevrolet cars. "The result is a modern exterior that's matched inside with premium features on all trim levels, complementing the Equinox's enhanced technology and functionality."
A compact SUV with big features
The 2016 Equinox seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on LS, LT and LTZ models. Its roomy interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.7 cubic feet (1,803 liters) with the rear seat folded.
The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available with LT and LTZ models and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg) – capability unmatched by four-cylinder-only competitors.
Chevrolet MyLink is standard on LT and LTZ models, while OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotpot is offered on all trim levels. Equinox was the first in the segment to offer 4G LTE and it provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first).
In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Equinox also offers Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages.
Equinox fast facts
- Chevrolet's second-best selling vehicle in North America, after Silverado
- Equinox claimed 9.3 percent of the U.S. compact SUV market in 2014
- First generation debuted as a 2005 model
- Second generation introduced as a 2010 model
- Second generation sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled more than 1 million through the end of 2014
- More than 1.4 million Equinox vehicles of both generations are on the road.