By on April 27, 2017

[Image: GM]

General Motors will happily let you configure a newly downsized 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, but moving up a step in power means cooling your heels for a few more months.

The third-generation crossover bowed this spring with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder as its base powerplant, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel-drive traction. While that mill generates 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque, more power is on the way.

Chevrolet plans to offer two engine upgrades for the slimmed-down Equinox — a turbocharged 2.0-liter four and a 1.6-liter diesel. The first of those two engines gained its emissions certification from the California Air Resources Board last week.

[Image: GM]

While not yet available on GM’s online Build & Price tool, a spokesperson for the automaker tells us the engine should appear on the configurator about the same time the uplevel Equinox hits dealer lots. When asked when that would be, Chevrolet assistant communications manager Tara Kuhnen could only say in the “summer timeframe.”

Moving up to the 2.0-liter brings 252 hp and 260 lb-ft to the table, as well as a nine-speed automatic. The automaker estimates a 29 mile-per-gallon highway fuel economy rating — 3 mpg less than the base front-drive 1.5-liter model.

Diesel models stand to see 137 hp and 240 lb-ft, plus a significant fuel economy boost. Though the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to bestow a fuel economy rating on the 1.6-liter Equinox, or the 2.0-liter for that matter, the same oil-burner allows GM to advertise a 52 mpg highway rating for its diesel Cruze. However, that model only reaches the sky-high rating via a six-speed manual transmission. When equipped with a nine-speed automatic, the highway figure lowers to 47 mpg, though the 37 mpg combined rating remains the same.

[Image: General Motors]

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22 Comments on “Finding More Power for Your Chevrolet Equinox Means Waiting a Little Longer...”

  • avatar

    The problem with modern automatic transmissions is that all they want to do is upshift, because that’s how the automakers game the EPA mileage test. In real life, they upshift before the turbo has a chance to do its work. You have to really put your foot in it to get decent acceleration.
    I’ll take a manual transmission any day, and leave the autoboxes for the rental fleets and the lazy.

  • avatar

    Intriguing oil burner aside, in my mind this is just going to sell more trucks.

    • 0 avatar

      According to CARB, the Equinox is a truck.

      • 0 avatar

        I wonder if CARB will use that designation – and the threat of changing it – as a hammer to force GM to keep squeezing smaller engines into rather heavy vehicles? Would a government regulatory agency even think of doing that?

        Slimming down the Equinox puts it in the Escape weight class, but there must be people buying them not only for the low price/financing, but because they think it’s a more substantial “truck”. What happens when it LOOKS slimmed down?

        • 0 avatar

          No ones going to confuse it with a truck, no more than buyers of the terrain. Neither has any truck like characters. If anything it will sell better because they’re more car-like than ever.

          • 0 avatar

            Hilariously the PT Cruiser was classified as a TRUCK for CAFE purposes.

          • 0 avatar

            We will see but i have serious doubts about increased sales short of an increase of zirp level financing to FICO 600s.

            The current model ran the LAF Ecotec I4 good for 182hp, sizing down the powerplant and model while adding turboz I don’t think is going to bode well for the current ownership (read ownership and not leasee).

      • 0 avatar

        Yet it is not. So much automotive confusion these days.

  • avatar

    That orange really works well on a lot of Chevy models.

  • avatar

    This newest version just took last place in a rear view comparison of small SUV s, a test I wish more reviewers would bother with.

    And those ranked higher still had rear safety belt coming from roof and stealing more view

    Last place.

  • avatar

    The base engine needs about 10 -15 more horses and make the 9 speed an option for maximum mileage potential for the gas mills.

  • avatar

    What is the cost basis rationale of offering both a 1.5 turbo four AND a 2.0 turbo four? The raw material costs between the two have to cost virtually the same to build. Both have turbo, four coilpacks, four pistons, etc. By having two drivetrains, the engineering and calibration and certification costs are absurdly higher.

    Does the 1.5 exist solely for EPA manipulation? Because it can’t be more profitable than just equipping all of them with 2.0T’s, especially considering the elimination of options. It further seems redundant when they’re offering the mileage juggernaut option in the form of the 1.6 diesel as well.

    • 0 avatar

      Just curious, but why would a turbo diesel have coil packs? Glow plugs that look like coil packs maybe?

      And as far as to why GM offers three engines, marketing! Since GM is a global company, they have multiple regions with differing tax and regulatory situations. They are able to offer different motors to help meet those differences.

    • 0 avatar

      The two new turbos merely replace the old pair of 2.4 I4 and 3.0 V6. Even with the 400 lb weight reduction, the 1.5T will be a little weak unless the driver gets on the turbo a lot = lower mpg. The performance of the 2.0T + 9 speed box should nicely replace the old V6. Is the rumor that that mill requires premium gas true? Deal breaker for me. The diesel will be for those who care about its debatable virtues; i.e. will the possible fuel savings pay for the extra $3K price? Doubtful.

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