2016 Chevrolet Equinox Revealed for Chicago
Facelifted Compact SUV Gets Updated Styling and Equipment
After teasing it earlier this week, Chevrolet showed off the updated 2016 Equinox in advance of its public debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The company’s bestselling SUV was last redesigned in 2010, so a refresh is a good idea to keep sales rolling and interest high.
As with most midcycle updates, the new Equinox shares most of its sheetmetal with its pre-facelift predecessor. A new front fascia (including a reshaped dual-port grille, totally new headlights, and a new bumper cover) headlines the differences between the 2015 and the 2016 Equinox. The updated version uses similar design themes as the 2015 Cruze sedan and Spark subcompact (particularly in the hexagonal grille openings filled with a honeycomb-style pattern). We’re a bit disappointed the Equinox doesn’t have the look of its larger Traverse sibling, as we prefer that crossover’s single-opening grille and more aggressive headlights. However, the Equinox’s styling definitely helps it fall into line with the other Chevrolet compacts, including the new Trax crossover.
The rear of the Equinox features new dual-element taillights and an updated rear fascia with new sheetmetal for the tailgate. We appreciate that Chevrolet has limited the use of chrome on the rear, saving it for a thin strip above the license plate and the dual exhaust outlets on V-6 models.
The Equinox will also be available in a front-drive-only L trim level, which helps lower the price of entry into the SUV. In addition, LS, LT, and LTZ models are available. The LT and LTZ add some glitz to the Equinox, including a grille with horizontal chrome accents, LED daytime running lamps, and new aluminum wheel designs (17 inches on the LT, 18 on the LTZ). Those two higher trim levels can also be optioned with GM’s High-Feature 3.6L V-6 engine. Additionally, the LTZ gets new front fog lamps and adds chrome to the rear fascia.
Moving inside, all Equinox trim levels come standard with Bluetooth phone connectivity and a rear-view camera, courtesy of the 7-inch Color Touch radio screen on the L and LS and the Chevrolet MyLink screen on the LT and LTZ. OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity are offered on all models. Those electronics are presented with updated graphics, keeping the interior looking relatively fresh, while added storage cubbies add practicality to the Equinox.
Many of the Equinox’s potential customers are small families who value safety. For them, Chevrolet will offer the compact SUV with blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert when backing up, forward collision monitoring, and lane-departure warning systems. Families might also appreciate the crossover’s sliding rear seat, which lets owners prioritize either cargo space or lanky rear passengers’ knees as appropriate.
The second-generation Equinox has sold more than 1 million units in North America, and it’s Chevrolet’s second-bestselling model after the Silverado pickup. While a total redesign is likely a couple years away, this updated, still-inoffensive Equinox should help Chevrolet draw customers into its showrooms.