In the 2015-MY, the Equinox became Chevrolet’s second-best-selling vehicle after the Silverado pickup.
Due for a redesign after six model-years, the 2016 gets a “contemporizing” (in the OEM’s words) that brings new exterior and interior styling, streamlined trim levels and new standard and optional equipment designed to help it compete with the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Jeep Cherokee in the midsize crossover SUV market.
Fleet buyers will recognize the powerplants, which carry over from the prior generation. Base L and LS models will be equipped with the standard engine, a 2.4-liter four-banger that currently delivers 182 horsepower (hp), 172 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque and an exceptional combined fuel economy rating of 32 miles per gallon (mpg) — beating similar engines in the 2015 Escape (26), Cherokee (25) and CR-V (29).
The V-6 returns as an option on the LT and LTZ trims and will continue to deliver 301 hp and 272 lb.-ft. of torque and a combined grade of 29 mpg. All-wheel drive is available across the lineup, but it drops the combined mpg to 29 with the base engine and 23 with the V-6. Both engines will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new front fascia cements the Equinox’s membership in Chevy’s two-tier grille club and adds projector-beam headlights as well as conventional and LED running lights and fog lamps in the lower and higher trims, respectively. The LT and LTZ get new 17-inch and 18-inch aluminum wheels, and the V-6 brings dual chrome exhaust ports.
The cabin boasts a new console and center stack, a plethora of storage compartments and optional universal tablet holders that attach to the backs of the front seats. A rearview camera is now standard, as is an 80-watt, six-speaker stereo, a 7-inch touchscreen interface and Chevrolet’s MyLink multimedia system (on the LT and LTZ trims).
Additional standard equipment includes keyless entry, cruise control and emergency brake assist. An available safety package adds blind-spot monitors and lane-departure, as well as rear cross-traffic and forward-collision alerts. An available towing package helps the Equinox pull up to 3,500 pounds.
The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox will roll into showrooms this fall. MSRPs are expected to hew closely to the 2015 range, which started at $22,120 for the base L and topped out at $33,670 for an all-wheel drive LTZ.