By on July 13, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Equinox red - Image: GMGeneral Motors’ diesel-powered 2018 Chevrolet Equinox arrives at dealers later this summer, but despite the third-generation Equinox’s anticipated popularity, diesel Equinoxes will remain rare.

According to Automobile, the overwhelming majority of Equinox buyers will not stray from the standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. With three-quarters of Equinox customers expected to stick with the 1.5T and 20 percent optioning up to the 252-horsepower 2.0T, GM clearly expects few buyers to line up for the diesel.

So why does GM bother? Two reasons. First, “ We believe that there are customers who would be interested in a diesel variant,” Chevrolet spokesperson Michelle Malcho told TTAC this morning.

Second, 5 percent of Equinox volume — not F-Pace or X5 or Range Rover, but 5 percent of Equinox volume — is quite a bit.

Earlier this year, Mazda discussed its expectations for the Equinox diesel’s main competitor, GMC Terrain aside. The CX-5, Mazda hopes, will earn 10 percent of its sales from the diesel model, or about 11,000-13,000 units.

If Automobile’s Chevrolet sources are correct — GM wouldn’t confirm its forecasts for TTAC today, only stating the company “will wait to see what the volume sorts out to be when it comes to market later this year,” — we know that 5 percent of last year’s U.S. Equinox output equals more than 12,000 sales. That’s roughly the number of sales existing diesel-powered utility vehicles, collectively, can generate in a 12-month period.

And last year was not a particularly good year for the Equinox. At the end of a lifecycle that lasted eight model years, Equinox sales fell 13 percent in a booming SUV/crossover market. As a result, Equinox sales tumbled to a three-year low.

Assuming improvements in 2017, as we’ve already seen Equinox sales jump 10 percent compared with last year, General Motors will be drawing on much more than last year’s 242,195-unit Equinox output for the model’s 5-percent diesel share.Chevrolet 1.6TD diesel - Image: GMAside from the CX-5 and Equinox, neither of which are yet on sale, diesel SUVs/crossovers are exceptionally rare beasts in the United States. 14 percent of the Jaguar F-Paces sold in the first-half of 2017, or 1,368 of 9,559, were diesel-powered. Land Rover has sold 1,738 Range Rover Sport diesels and 1,403 Range Rover diesels. According to, 5 percent of the BMW X5s sold, or 1,322 of 24,159, are diesels. That goes along with 725 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesels and a handful of other German luxury diesels.

This means diesels earn just 0.2 percent of America’s SUV/crossover market.

Chevrolet, with help from a CX-5 that Mazda hopes will be similarly popular, will change that number. But not by much.

[Images: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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20 Comments on “GM Forecasts Modest Sales For 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel...”

  • avatar

    ” First, “ We believe that there are customers who would be interested in a diesel variant,” Chevrolet spokesperson Michelle Malcho told TTAC this morning.”

    Translation: “Hey, all you VW TDI folks? Come see what we got, you might like it and we didn’t have to cheat!”

  • avatar

    There’s your turbo diesel AWD wagon right there.

    So what if it’s got a little extra ground clearance? You were never going to the Nurburgring anyway.

  • avatar

    I would love a diesel powered one but if they are asking 38,000 for one…no thanks.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The diesel king has died, and the diesel peasants are looking at one another, wondering how they should soldier on.

    The improvements in gas engines, plus the ascent of viable EVs, plus the ‘diesel premium’ and maintenance, plus the cloud of uncertainty over diesel compliance, has totally turned me off to small diesels.

    If you’re pulling a 5th wheel, a truck diesel is an obvious choice. But for smallish vehicles, the diesel era is nearly over.

    Resale within the niche diesel fan club remains strong, I suppose, but I’m not in that club.

    • 0 avatar

      gas engines still can’t touch diesels as far as fuel economy is concerned. the lack of a throttle means diesels waste far less energy on pumping losses so real-world economy tends to be quite good.

    • 0 avatar

      There is no EV Equinox, there is no hybrid Equinox.
      Diesel Equinox delivers more mpg and greater torque than any of the gasoline engine choices despite improvements in gas engines.
      Diesel maintenance premium is frequently a BS myth.
      And diesel premium, yep, there is a premium for diesel. There is also a premium for hybrid and a premium for EV. And the premium for EV eclipses the premium for diesel.
      Is the diesel era over? Maybe.

    • 0 avatar

      “plus the cloud of uncertainty over diesel compliance”

      Is that a stinky, black, particulate-laden cloud?

  • avatar

    A diesel Wrangler might put up projected diesel Equinox numbers… or more.

  • avatar

    Why buy a diesel in this class? To get better mileage.

    Will it cost extra? Yes.

    Why buy a hybrid? To get better mileage.

    Will it cost extra? Yes.

    W&d: “Diesels are better no matter what. You will never recoup the extra cost of the hybrid.” Ad nauseum.

    • 0 avatar

      I am still not sure how the base engine will move all this mass…
      The diesel will be the engine to have, of course not if only offered in some crazy 2LT 4×4 trim, $ 40,000 only.

    • 0 avatar

      Why buy a diesel in this class? To get better mileage with lots of torque, which can make it more fun to drive.

      Will it cost extra? Yes.

      Why buy a hybrid? To get better mileage, and to show everyone my desire to do my part to save the world.

      Will it cost extra? Yes, but the ice caps…

      • 0 avatar

        You do know that hybrids tap the electric system for more oomph when needed. Other than mostly the Prius, most hybrids are pretty difficult to pick out. So the snark is off base and, well, just snarky.

      • 0 avatar

        better mileage, yes. “lots of torque?” not really; GTDI engines have as much or more torque and way more horsepower. turbocharging gets you torque, not diesel.

  • avatar

    The diesel market, despite losing VW, seems to have good momentum. Mazda diesels? Chevrolet diesels? Jeep diesels? Range Rovers!

    Diesel is perking right along.

    Now if they could jest bring us the Europe only Audi diesel V8. Something like 500 lb/tf of torque.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t forget the upcoming F-150 TurboDiesel. I believe it very likely that the new Ranger and Bronco will offer it as well.

      Also, what appears to be a diesel-powered half-ton next-gen GM prototype truck has been spied.

    • 0 avatar

      “Now if they could jest bring us the Europe only Audi diesel V8. Something like 500 lb/tf of torque.”

      VW did offer the Touareg V-10 TDI with 310hp and 553 lb-ft torque, if you can find solid used examples.

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