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2016 Chevrolet Equinox First Look

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/11/2015 Jason Udy
2016 Chevrolet Equinox© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Chevrolet Equinox

Sales of the Chevrolet Equinox have increased year over year for the past five years, and General Motors wants to continue that trend by updating its compact crossover for the 2016 model year. How important is the Equinox to Chevrolet? It's Chevrolet's second best-selling model behind the Silverado pickup. More than 1 million Equinox crossovers have been sold in the U.S. and Canada since the second-generation model arrived for the 2010 model year, with more than 1.4 million total sales since the original Equinox debuted for the 2004 model year. With 242,242 units sold in 2014, GM claims the Chevrolet Equinox accounted for 9.3 percent of total compact SUV sales in the U.S. last year. And now the refreshed 2016 Chevrolet Equinox will make its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show this week.

Chevrolet has simplified the trim levels, which now include L, LS, LT, and LTZ (dropping 1LT and 2LT). Exterior updates include a new front fascia with a chrome dual-port grille. LT and LTZ models feature unique chrome trim. All trim levels receive new projector-beam headlights. L and LS models feature reflector-style daytime running lights (DRL), and LT and LTZ models gain LED DRLs. LTZ models also feature new foglights.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Front Three Quarter 02© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Front Three Quarter 02 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Front Three Quarter 01© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Front Three Quarter 01 Around back, the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox gains new "Chevy-signature" dual-element taillights, a revised license plate surround, and a new lower fascia. LTZ models feature chrome trim on the lower fascia. Equinox models equipped with the available V-6 gain chrome exhaust tips. New wheel designs have been added, and the LS model is now available with optional 17-inch wheels. LT trims gain standard 17-inch alloy wheels, and LTZ models receive standard 18-inch alloy wheels.

The revised center stack gains a new storage shelf and new graphics for the buttons and switches. A new 7.0-inch color touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and rearview camera is standard on all models. The transmission shifter gains chrome trim with revised buttons for the Electronic Range Selector. L and LS models get higher-quality interior fabrics, and LT and LTZ models are available with Side Blind Zone Alert and rear cross-traffic alert. Saddle Up is a new interior color option. Finally, Chevrolet Accessories offers new universal tablet holders for the 2016 Equinox. The holders mount on the back of the front seats for use by rear-seat passengers.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity with a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot is available on all trim levels. LT and LTZ models come standard with Chevrolet MyLink, and forward collision alert and lane-departure warning are available.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ 2016 Chevrolet Equinox First Look

Powertrains carry over with the base 182-hp, 172 lb-ft of torque, 2.4-liter four-cylinder standard and the 301-hp, 272 lb-ft, 3.6-liter V-6 available on LT and LTZ models. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-drive is standard with all-wheel drive available on LS, LT, and LTS trims. A front-drive Equinox with the 2.4-liter engine is EPA-rated 22/32 mpg city/highway and 20/29 mpg with all-wheel drive. Fuel economy with the 3.6-liter is rated 17/24 for front-drive models and 16/23 for all-wheel-drive versions. Max towing capacity for the four-cylinder is 1,500 pounds, and the V-6 is rated at 3,500 pounds — more than any four-cylinder competitor, according to Chevrolet.

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