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2015 Chevrolet Equinox Overview
Rumors are swirling regarding the downsizing of Chevrolet’s once-jumbo-size Equinox crossover for 2015. This 5-passenger almost-ute thereby joins the already crowded ranks of the compact crossover segment with, it is expected, corresponding upgrades to profile, cabin and features lists. In its present version, the Equinox lineup rides on GM’s Theta platform, but according to a number of reviews, 2015 variants are slated to be mounted on the new D2XX underpinnings, as will their GMC Terrain cousins. Said downsizing is supposedly an effort toward unifying the Equinox and the Terrain with their foreign-designated Captiva siblings.
Presently and for the foreseeable future, the Equinox is available in four trims, the base LS, the up-featured LT1, the almost-posh LT2 and the top-shelf LTZ. Whispered upgrades to this midsize conveyance, meantime, include a further choice of exterior colors, added chrome touches to the exterior of the higher trims, enhanced cabin fabrics and accent materials, upsized alloy wheels and, perhaps most important, an expected lower gross vehicle weight for some improved mileage numbers. Of course this scaled-down version of the Equinox should remain offered in either the standard front-wheel-drive configuration (FWD) or with available snow-busting all-wheel drive (AWD).
As it stands now, this family-oriented crossover ute boasts a somewhat paltry 63.7 cubic feet of cargo area with the rear seats folded. The anticipated downsizing for 2015 editions, alas, threatens to cut this less-than-capacious capacity even more, while what was once better-than-average rear-seat passenger room might also be at risk.
Anyhow, standard features in the present Equinox lineup include, depending on trim selection, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, heated power-adjustable mirrors and a power liftgate outside, while cloth, premium cloth or leather upholstery, full power accessories, sliding and reclining second-row seats and Bluetooth-interfaced OnStar Directions and Connections technology are all standard inside. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering are also standard lineup-wide, while higher trims additionally tote rear parking sensors and memory for driver's memory settings. Manual air conditioning in lower trims is upgraded to dual-zone auto climate control in the LT2 and the LTZ, while the LT1 and higher trims also offer an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a rear-view camera and genuine leather cabin accents.
Entertainment in the 2015 Equinox LS and LT1 should remain an 80-watt system that boasts a single-CD player, 6 speakers, satellite radio and iPod interface. The LT1 and up complements this with a 7-inch touchscreen and smartphone integration, while the LT2 and the flagship LTZ add 8 Pioneer speakers. There's been no official word yet on any upcoming updates.
Options eligibility for the 2015 Equinox is once again expected to depend on the trim selected. It's anticipated that much of the standard equipment in higher trims will remain available to lower trims as available options, while all versions have the distinction of offering an available power sunroof. Further, the LT2 and LTZ can be delivered with hard-drive-based navigation, while the LTZ is expected to return with an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Power-wise, again details are sketchy for the less sizable 2015 Equinox, but look for the standard 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant to make a return engagement. Managed by the traditional 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this less-than-impressive 4-banger should again put out 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, but the anticipated weight loss should mean at least marginally better mileage than the current 22 mpg city/32 highway (FWD) and 20/29 (AWD). Towing with the base I4, by the way, is limited to 1,500 pounds with the optional trailer hitch and wiring installed.
Need more go-power? Look for the LT and LTZ trims to again remain eligible to pack a 3.6-liter V6 engine that'll return under the auspices of the 6-speed shiftable automatic to pound down 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque. Again the rumored lighter weight should mean better mileage numbers than the estimated 17/24 in FWD versions and 16/23 in AWD variants that presently prevail. Towing, meantime, is bumped to 3,500 pounds with the available trailer towing package.
There have also been some tantalizing hints that the 2015 Equinox lineup will offer a 2.5-liter I4 and a turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant, but again, nothing’s confirmed yet. Additionally, talk of a hybrid-powered Equinox has it possibly making its debut in either 2015 or 2016. Stay tuned.
Finally, expect the 2015 Equinox, even in downsized form, to flaunt the usual mandated safety equipment like 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Look for the OnStar emergency communications system and stolen vehicle tracking to return as well, along with daytime running lights, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. The LT2 and LTZ, finally, should each return bearing standard front fog/driving lights, while the LTZ is expected to remain toting standard lane-departure warnings.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.