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GM drops diesel engines for 2020 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers

It was a short life for the small diesels

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GM is officially discontinuing the diesel engine in the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain for the 2020 model year. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel was always an oddball of an engine in the compact crossover segment, and now the experiment has come to an end. The Car Connection initially reported the news, and a GMC spokesperson, Stuart Fowle, confirmed it to us this morning. 

“A huge majority of our Terrain customers have opted for one of our two gas engines," says Fowle.

We can’t say this eventuality comes as a massive surprise, as we saw news from couple of months ago that GM was dropping all-wheel drive from the diesel-powered cars for 2020. Low demand was cited as the reason for that cull, and it’s the same for the little GM crossovers this time around, too.

These vehicles were the only ones powered with a diesel engine in their class, but that’s going to be changing. Just as GM is going away from the diesel, Mazda is finally bringing its diesel to market in the CX-5. You’ll only be able to get that engine in the most expensive ($42,045) trim level, combined with all-wheel drive, though. The cheapest Equinox diesel starts at a comparably low $30,795. That’s a $2,400 upcharge over the base 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder, and the value is questionable. Mileage is better, but diesel fuel is more expensive. Towing capability didn’t increase over the base engine’s 1,500-pound capacity, but the extra torque around town was nice. As diesels go in the U.S., this one was rather rough and noisy, possibly contributing to some turning their noses up after a test drive. Perhaps another reason for its demise was that the much quicker 2.0-liter turbo Equinox was only $100 more than the diesel. This engine offered significantly better towing at 3,500 pounds, too.

You can read all about what we thought of the diesel in our first drive review here, but the 2019 model year is the last one if you had it on your shortlist.

This article has been updated to indicate the source.

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