Here’s a statistic that until now had escaped our attention: The Equinox is the second-bestselling Chevrolet in the North American lineup behind only the nearly ubiquitous Silverado pickup. (In the U.S., the Cruze also outsells the Equinox.) We shouldn’t be too surprised; after all, the compact-crossover segment is one of the hottest going. But while the Silverado gets all the headlines, the Equinox has perfected the art of slipping under the radar and into Americans’ driveways to the tune of 242,242 units in 2014 alone. To keep the steady stream of compact-crossover sales flowing, Chevrolet has brought the Equinox in for a nip and tuck for the 2016 model year.
Although the 2016 revisions are largely focused on cosmetics and tech features, Chevrolet also made the wise decision to eliminate the somewhat confusing 1LT and 2LT sub-trim levels, while rearranging the hierarchy into the more easily digested L, LS, LT, and LTZ for less head-scratching at order time.
First impressions are important, and the Equinox makeover leads with new front fascia. The headlamps have been squared off a bit giving them a chunkier look, the grille gets a bolder mesh pattern, and the horizontal bar that splits the grille has lost its subtle kink, now running straight across. The chrome grille surrounds have been punched up, with the LT and LTZ getting their own unique treatments. Projector-beam headlamps are standard across the board; the LT and LTZ get new daytime running lamps and LED accents, and the top-tier LTZ gets new fog lamps.
The lighting revisions continue out back, with new taillamps and a revised lower rear fascia that adds unique chrome trim accents on LTZs. New rolling stock also appears for 2016.
Engine choices for the 2016 Equinox are unchanged: The Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder remains, as does the optional 301-hp 3.6-liter V-6 in the LT and LTZ. With the latter engine, the Equinox gets some snazzy chrome exhaust tips and is rated to tow up to 3500 pounds. Four-wheel drive is optional on all but the lowly L, which makes do with front-wheel drive.
The mild-update theme continues inside, with a new shifter, a revised center stack, and the option of a new “Saddle Up” interior color scheme. To keep the kids happy on long journeys, universal tablet holders that mount to the front seatbacks will be available as an accessory. To make the most of those tablet holders, OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi is offered across the board. Chevrolet is quick to point out that the Equinox was the first in the segment to offer 4G LTE connectivity; a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial lets buyers try it out. Chevrolet MyLink is standard on the LT and LTZ versions, which also offer blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alerts. But the L and LS haven’t been totally ignored, getting a backup camera, new interior fabrics, and a standard seven-inch touch screen with Bluetooth phone connectivity.
Chevrolet tells us the 2016 Equinox is set to go on sale in the fall of this year but hasn’t released the slightest hint of pricing info. But judging by the sales success of the current Equinox, it’s a good bet prices won’t creep too far from where they currently stand. When you have a car that basically sells itself, you don’t mess much with the formula.[“source-caranddriver”]