2010 CHEVROLET EQUINOX

"The utility of a crossover with the economy of a sedan." That's Chevy's boast about its 2010 Equinox. GM's new direct-injected 2.4-liter I-4 makes 182 horses and achieves an impressive 30 mpg EPA highway mpg. You can also step up to a new DI 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 255 horses and 25 highway mpg. Front drive is standard, with AWD optional on the V-6. It's an inch shorter, 1.1 inches wider, and 0.7 inch lower overall, so the package size is much the same but the proportions shift a skosh.

A stiffer body structure, acoustic laminated glass, and triple door seals contribute, so claims GM, to a quieter machine. Interior design and materials are a big move forward over the previous gen Equinox, and the feature content is higher too.

BOTTOM LINE: Does it have the stuff to steal away Japanese/Korean brand and hybrid intenders?