By on May 24, 2018

The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal,” which is news to me, since I most definitely am not equal to Fernando Alonso in terms of driving skill, for example, although I am pretty adept at lounging in a camping chair.

One item that is most definitely not created equal is the Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain twins. A running change being implemented on the production lines means some of the GM trucklets are safer than others.

Sleuths over at The Car Connection say The General added more foam blocks and extra welds to the rear side doors of the two crossovers in a bid to boost its performance in a side impact. Initial tests by government crash test dummies found the Equinox/Terrain to be lacking, scoring only three stars for rear passenger crash safety. After a retest requested by GM, the same cars scored five stars.

Right now, the only way to know if a particular Terrain or Equinox includes the extra safety material is to discover when it was built. GMCs assembled after November 27th, 2017 have the new parts, as do Equinox models constructed after February 19th, March 5th, or March 12th. Why so many dates for the ‘nox? It’s all down to the plant at which the machine was manufactured.

Changing up structural components is not exactly like playing Jenga or with Lego blocks, so the Equinox/Terrain team must have been handed an edict from the highest of offices instructing them to add material that would result in a better crash test score. In such a fierce segment, the last remark a new compact crossover wants to have levelled at it is that it scored lower in a crash test than its competitors.

The recently refurbished GMC Terrain sold 85,441 copies in 2017, about equal to the year prior. That’s down from a peak of 112,030 units in 2015. The Equinox, meanwhile, just had its best year ever, with 290,458 leaving dealer showrooms. It hasn’t dropped below 200k units since 2012. Both the Terrain and Equinox enjoyed record years in Canada in 2017.

Both the Terrain and Equinox have a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel on their options list, with that 137 hp/240 lb-ft motor being available in both front- and all-wheel drive. It’s offered on top-spec Chevys but not on high-zoot GMCs. There, it only marches up the trim ladder to next-to-best SLT. A 1.5-liter turbo making 170 hp is the base engine. A 2.0-liter, 252 hp turbocharged inline-four is also on offer and is the one you should get, in case anyone is asking.

[Image: General Motors]

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