Bang & Blame: GM Making Running Safety Updates to Terrain, Equinox

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • ClutchCarGo ClutchCarGo on May 24, 2018

    How long until the class action suit representing early Equinox/Terrain buyers?

  • Road_pizza Road_pizza on May 25, 2018

    Am I the only person in America that DOESN'T drive around scared sh*tless that I'll die in a crash???

  • Varezhka And why exactly was it that Tesla decided not to coat their stainless steel bodies, again? My old steel capped Volant skis still looks clean without a rust in sight thanks to that metal vapor coating. It's not exactly a new technology.
  • GIJOOOE “Sounds” about as exciting as driving a golf cart, fake gear shifts or not. I truly hope that Dodge and the other big American car makers pull their heads out of the electric clouds and continue to offer performance cars with big horsepower internal combustion engines that require some form of multi gear transmissions and high octane fuel, even if they have to make them in relatively small quantities and market them specifically to gearheads like me. I will resist the ev future for as long as I have breath in my lungs and an excellent credit score/big bank account. People like me, who have loved fast cars for as long as I can remember, need a car that has an engine that sounds properly pissed off when I hit the gas pedal and accelerate through the gears.
  • Kcflyer libs have been subsidizing college for decades. The predictable result is soaring cost of college and dramatic increases in useless degrees. Their solution? More subsidies of course. EV policy will follow the same failed logic. Because it's not like it's their money. Not saying the republicans are any better, they talk a good game but spend like drunken sailors to buy votes just like the libs. The sole function of the U.S. government is to take money from people who earn it and give it away to people who didn't.
  • CecilSaxon Sounds about as smart as VW's "SoundAktor"
  • Inside Looking Out Does Cybeertruck use the same stainless steel as Starship?