Chevrolet's updates to the 2021 Equinox appear to have leaked on Twitter Tuesday thanks to an outlet in China, giving us our first real look at what, until now, we've only seen on heavily camouflaged test vehicles.
The superficial changes to the Equinox are fairly minor. The grille surround is cut somewhat differently, making it appear to integrate seamlessly with the Equinox's headlights. The lights themselves also received revisions, and we expect the U.S. market Equinox will get new lighting hardware and calibration to better tackle the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's tests, which will prove a higher barrier to entry for new models sold in 2020 and beyond.
2021 Chevrolet Equinox spied completely undisguised in China ahead of its unveiling in the coming weeks. The crossover borrows many of its styling cues from the Blazer and it will obtain the company’s new nine-speed automatic transmission. #Chevrolet #Equinox #GM pic.twitter.com/uRENoPJwwz— Cole Marzen (@cole_marzen) January 15, 2020
Spy shots of the updated Equinox led us to believe that the design updates were inspired by the Blazer. We suppose an argument can be made that they were, but we're not convinced that it's for the better. That grille and headlight treatment simply don't work on the smaller Equinox.
The rest of the tweet is a bit of a head-scratcher, we'll admit, as Chevrolet already bundles the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with the nine-speed automatic here in the States, so this could mean nothing for the U.S. market. Alternatively, it could mean that the entry-level, 1.5-liter turbo will lose its aging six-speed auto in favor of GM's newer unit.
Beyond that, we have little reason to expect any significant hardware changes for the new Equinox. The diesel engine, which was a late-availability option after the new model's debut in 2018, has already been unceremoniously discontinued for 2020.