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Detroit show: Chev Equinox goes on a diet

More efficient: Chev chases fuel-conscious SUV buyers with new four-cylinder Equinox.

Chevrolet's new SUV promises better fuel economy

12 Jan 2009

THE updated Chevrolet Equinox medium-sized SUV, a vehicle that could hold the key to General Motors’ turnaround plan, was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week.

Chevrolet is determined the heavily revised vehicle will put SUVs back on the shopping lists of US customers with a new engine line-up that promise fuel savings of up to 25 per cent.

Due to go on sale halfway through this year in the US, the new Equinox will feature a 135kW 2.4-litre direct-injection four-cylinder, an efficient engine that made its debut in the Pontiac Solstice. Chevrolet predicts two thirds of Equinox customers will opt for the miserly four-cylinder engine.

Customers also have a six-cylinder option: a new 3.0-litre direct-injection V6 offering 190kW of power. Both engines are claimed to offer a driving range of more than 800km.

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“At a time when customers are so concerned about the fuel efficiency of their vehicle, the Equinox delivers,” said GM North America vice president Ed Peper.

“It offers the roominess and capability of a crossover with great fuel economy. Equinox will provide customers a vehicle filled with refinement, comfort and great value.” Chevrolet has upgraded the safety levels of the Equinox with a revised electronic stability control system and six airbags. The Equinox also features a bold new look with a split grille dominating the front end, which Chevrolet says draws inspiration from the Malibu sedan, a model that has been a rare success for the troubled car-maker.

The Equinox measures 4771mm from nose to tail, which is 25mm shorter than the outgoing model. While the shell might look very different, the Equinox rides on the same Theta monocoque platform as the current iteration.

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