By on March 16, 2012

Even though GMC made a fuss over their Terrain Denali, with its new 3.6L V6, this past week, the hot ticket seems to be the 4-cylinder Terrain, along with its Chevrolet stablemate, the Chevrolet Equinox.

GM confirmed that they have placed “temporary order limits” on the 2.4L 4-cylinder models. Supplies have been low, and while they typically account for most of the crossover model’s sales, higher gas prices have only increased demand for them. In 2011, the 4-cylinder models made up 87 percent of sales. That number has fallen to 79 percent last month.

A rebate of $1,000 on V6 models is being offered, but one dealer told Automotive News that he was required to take three V6 models on his last Equinox allocations. GM said that the 4-cylinder supply is affected by a supplier issue that does not affect the engine itself. The 2.4L Ecotec engine makes 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque while returning 32 mpg on the highway.

 

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44 Comments on “Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain Crossovers Are A Hot Item – But Only In 4-Cylinder Trim...”


  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Is the 2013 Equinox slated for the same new 2.5 liter Ecotec that will be in the 2013 Malibu?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      My understanding is the transition to the 2.5 will be swift, and not a slow slog like the replacement of the 3.8 with the 3.5/3.6/3.9 depending on application and model.

      I don’t know about 2013 but IIRC by 2014 the 2.4L ECOTEC is gone in North America. The new mill produces 198 HP, and you have to figure the year after will get tweaks to go over 200 HP.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Sort of sounds like the four cylinder manual saturn vue that I had. I loved that car when it wasn’t broken. Unfortunately it was broken often and finally expired with no warning when the timing chain went with under 200k.

    Oh well. Guess they have a lot of time to improve the design since 2002.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      “Oh well. Guess they have a lot of time to improve the design since 2002.”

      Not quite right, mate…..

      “Oh, well, I guess the GM bean-counters have had a lot of time to force cost reductions which will decrease reliability, since 2002.”

      There. That’s better.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      Yeah.. they fixed the timing chain issue in 2003. Much better parts now with a much better oiler and tensioner.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    A friend’s girlfriend bought one of these recently. Loaded V6 AWD version. Stickered at close to 35 grand.

    I don’t get it either. Seems like a lot of money for a minivan with hinged doors, especially one made by GM.

    • 0 avatar
      MBsam

      Oh really IS it a minivan or are you just completely uninformed? It’s a lot of car for your money. You can option many cars up way beyond what most people would pay for them if you go crazy with the options. Those models are not where the value is for ANY manufacturer.

      • 0 avatar
        vtecJustKickedInYo

        But 35 grand can buy you a much nicer car or crossover. And if you buy used, 35 grand can get you a hell ova nice car.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        VTEC gets it

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        So a Toyota Sienna, an actual minivan, tops out just shy of 50k. Welcome to the world where new cars cost a lot of money and used cars don’t. What’s your point?

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The value is almost always going to tilt towards used in the used vs new argument (unless it’s super late model low miles – sometimes you can actually get the new one for less with the right special financing offers or rebates).

        When it comes to loaded vs base though, going the class up for the same money doesn’t necessarily mean better value. I’d rather have a smaller car with navigation, the good stereo, leather, and all of the electronic gadgets than go one step up and have to settle for midrange trim. Yes, the lower trim vehicle the class up will probably have better resale, but no car is an investment. It’s about driving what makes you happy, and for many people having all of the toys makes them happy.

        $35K will buy you a lot of vehicles. As far as crossovers go it will about get you a base Audi Q5, Caddy SRX, or Mercedes GLK, but none of them will have nearly as much stuff as the loaded Equinox will for the same money.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Buddy of mine’s wife just bought a new Cadillac SRX Luxury AWD for 33,7xx OTD. It’s their first NEW vehicle that they’ve purchased in over 7 years. Her old car had well over 100,000 miles on it.

        I would never even pay that for it, but the window sticker said 42k-something.

        Either I and my family and our friends are really savvy shoppers when it comes to vehicles, or we’re not and there a lot of really, really idiotic people buying vehicles.

        As a complete side note, given a rigged economy with rigged numbers and a near-Matrix like scenario playing out, we and many of our friends are intentionally spending far less, saving far more, and enjoying life as we downsize, get rid of clutter and get back to what’s important.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    GM, shocked by its recent successes, seeks comfort in their familiar habits of bumbling and incompetence.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The 3.0L in the Thetas has got to be the worst engine upgrade in all of the automotive world.

    It doesn’t make any power or torque below 4500rpm, is considerably slower than the old 3.6L Thetas, and gets the same 17/24 or 16/23 EPA economy ratings as the 3.6L 3-row Lambdas.

    GM really should just go I4 only on these.

  • avatar
    damikco

    Oh the trolls are out in force.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I think that we have turned the corner when it comes to people looking for better mpg’s in their new purchases, we have all come to the realization that gas will never go down to the levels we ca feel good about, V6 instead of V8′s 4 cyl instead of 6.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    It shouldn’t be surprising. The 3.0 liter V6 isn’t exactly a great engine. My wife has the 4 banger Equinox and it is very acceptable. It won’t win any races but it gets the job done.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    From my understanding, GM is killing the 3.0L engine, except for some turbo models that may run with it later.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    So then I guess GM made the right choice in offering ONLY 4cyl power for the soon to be released mildly refreshed Malibu?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Probably.

      Honestly, modern fours make up the bulk of sales and are more than adequate for what people need, so why not save the manufacturing, inventory and design costs?

      The new Malibu, if it has a problem, is that it’s even more cramped than the current one. This car is supposed to do battle with the Camry and Accord, and GM is downsizing it to (artificially) make room for the Impala…which is supposed to compete with the Azera, Avalon and Taurus, which sell kind of poorly, to put it mildly.

      The Impala or the Malibu should have gone away. The small-midsizer has a long, storied history of sales failure in North America.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        GM needs to go back and study the space utilization of the A-body cars of the 80s. They may have not been compeditive by the end of their lives but even though the spec sheet shows a 98 cubic foot interior their back seats were some of the most pleasant of the era. Seat cusions high enough with enough leg room to be comfortable (the biggest knock against the W-bodys is the rear cushion on the floor) while maintaing good head room. Oh and though the trunk was 15 cubic feet the nice big trunk lid made it very usable.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Actually, the new Malibu is supposed to be a lot roomier than the old one. It does have almost 3 inches more width, though the rear leg room and wheelbase are a bit shorter.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        I applaud GM for trying to hold the line on making every new replacement bigger, heavier and thirstier than the one before, maybe now Honda will bring to the US market a European sized Accord and concentrate instead on making the cars better, not bigger or heavier that the one the replace.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @Volt230- As a matter of fact, 2013 Malibu gets much better mileage, 2 MPG better city and combined mileage and 3 MPG better highway mileage than either the Accord manual or automatic 4 cylinders in 2012. There is no 2013 Honda data at “fueleconomy.gov” yet.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        @doctor olds: Needing a complex, expensive mild hybrid system to squeak out three more MPG than a four year old car with an outdated 5-speed transmission is not something to be proud of.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @FromaBuick6-
        I was responding to the false claim that Malibu getting larger means it has poor fuel economy compared to Accord.

        Malibu does not just squeak ahead. It is much better.

        Honda is likely to fall further behind. They can’t even match 4WD V8 Avalanche fuel economy with their V6 Ridgeline.

        Honda’s leadership in fuel economy is history.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    I test drove 4 of these things here in Canada last year V6, 4-banger, AWD and FWD. If your license plate does not read Masta Kink or something like that the 4 banger even with AWD (it’s more composed) is a perfectly reasonable CUV for the price. Much better NVH control than the CRV I test drove side-by-side.

  • avatar
    TW4

    My sister has an AWD four-banger Equinox. It’s a pretty good car, and the engine has more than enough power for urban and suburban activities. A little bit weak at high altitude (above 8,000ft), but pretty stout everywhere else. I don’t understand the CUV craze, but I’m not surprised the four-cylinder models are doing the business. The V6s, which are surely neutered with bad gearing, are doomed to sit on the lots.

    They should ditch the six for a 2.0L Ecotec turbo. Just make sure it’s reliable.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Our neighbor across the street bought one last year. He’s on some GM plan – not sure which one, but he could only get $500 off of the price. He still loves it, though. My next door neighbor recently bought a GMC Terrain. I like those better – they look like a stylish brick, which somehow works for me.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Zackman: I’m with you on the styling of the Terrain. We had one as an overnight rental when we were having some service work done on mmy wife’s car last year. When I found out it was a 4 cylinder I thought, this thing will be a dog… Much to my surprise, it wasn’t slow. It’s no rocket ship, but no problems in average traffic. I really liked the rest of the car, too. It was one of the cheaper trim levels, but the way cars are equipped today, who needs the higher trim levels?

      My wife has been hinting that she wants a SUV next time around. If I can swing it, I think I’d go for a Terrain. If she pays for it, she can get whatever she wants… :)

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The cute-ute market has always been hot since Toyota introduced the ground-breaking Corolla-based RAV4 to the US market over a decade and half ago. To that end, GM has offered their typical slow-selling, half-assed products in the segment (the spartan Suzuki Sidekick based Geo Tracker comes to mind).

    That is, until they came up with the latest version of the Equinox. While still not a class-leader, GM actually put some effort into it (obviously following Toyota and Honda’s lead in focusing on four cylinder motivation), and it shows, as the Equinox is nowhere near the bottom as was typical of GM products in the past. If you can stay out of the options list, a base, 2.4L Equinox isn’t a bad ride. But as someone else mentioned, start loading up with the usual GM wildly overpriced packaged options, and other cute-utes quickly become better choices.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Agreed, but as stated above a Sienna can cost $50K if you “start loading up with the usual Toyota wildly overpriced packaged options”. To paraphrase VTEC “But 50 grand can buy you a much nicer car or crossover. And if you buy used, 50 grand can get you a hell ova nice car.”

      So the sound advice is to lightly option pretty much any vehicle because they can all be optioned to a cost well above the class they reside in, irrespective of manufacturer.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      A $26k AWD 4 cylinder Equinox is a decent deal, except for that price, I’d rather get a Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4 for long term peace of mind.

      A loaded V6 version competes against far better crossovers like the Honda Pilot EX 4wd ($32.9k MSRP).

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        But that EX doesn’t have as much stuff as the Equinox @ 35K. Compare a similarly equipped Pilot 4wd Touring and the price is closer to $41K.

        I haven’t had a chance to drive the new CR-V yet, but the older one never impressed me. They show up fairly frequently as trades, and while there is nothing wrong with them, they don’t seem to have much of any soul or character. For someone looking for an appliance vehicle I suppose I could see the appeal.

  • avatar
    carbiz

    Haters gonna hate. Armchair critics of the self-appointed expert kind are going to expound upon the one recall or the one GM they bought 20 years ago, or the one neighbor who had a craptastic Cavalier. Whatever.
    GM just needs to keep on keeping on and the Terrain/Equinox twins are a great example of what it can do when the bean counters take the back seat.

    • 0 avatar
      star_gazer

      @carbiz:

      My expertise is not self-appointed, it was imposed by GM. When two of my GM vehicles need intake manifold gaskets at $1000 a pop, plus a third vehicle with a head gasket problem, you betcha I’ll take notice.

      I do agree with you; GM needs to stay on track with what they are doing.

  • avatar
    obbop

    “Chevrolet Equinox”

    I really should be in GMC’s marketing department.

    I would have used the name ‘Axial Tilt.”

    So much niftier than the lame “Equinox” name.

    Sounds like somebody excited about Christmas getting closer.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    If it weren’t for long-haul commuting, a 4-cylinder Equinox would be very high on my list of what car to buy.

  • avatar
    damikco

    Just test drove one yesterday, awesome vehicle, I probably will purchase one because im positive it will last as long as as the last Chevy a bought 214k miles.


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