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Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox
Manufacturer Chevrolet (General Motors)
Production 2004–present
Model years 2005–present
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size crossover SUV
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Platform GM Theta platform
Predecessor Chevrolet Tracker
Chevrolet Blazer

The Chevrolet Equinox is a mid-size crossover SUV from Chevrolet based on General Motors's Theta unibody platform, manufactured at CAMI Automotive (formerly a GM/Suzuki joint venture, now wholly owned by GM) plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, and introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year.


  • First generation (2005–2009) 1
    • Torrent 1.1
    • Engines 1.2
    • Sportier Trims 1.3
    • Equinox LTZ 1.4
    • 2008 model features 1.5
    • Olympic-themed Special Editions 1.6
  • Second generation (2010–2015) 2
    • Model year changes 2.1
      • 2013 2.1.1
      • 2014 2.1.2
      • 2015 2.1.3
      • 2016 2.1.4
    • Engines 2.2
    • Debate about EPA fuel economy ratings 2.3
  • Future 3
  • Sales 4
  • Fuel Cell 5
    • Safety occupants, pedestrians 5.1
    • Performance 5.2
  • Natural Gas Version 6
    • Available CNG Configurations 6.1
    • Emissions and Performance 6.2
  • Electric vehicle 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

First generation (2005–2009)

First generation
Production 2004–2009
Assembly Canada: Ingersoll, Ontario (CAMI)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-Door Crossover
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Platform GM Theta platform/GMT191
Wheelbase 112.5 in (2,857 mm)
Length 188.8 in (4,796 mm)
Width 71.4 in (1,814 mm)
Height 68.3–69.3 in (1,735–1,760 mm)
Predecessor Pontiac Aztek (Torrent)
Successor GMC Terrain (Torrent)

The Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent are mid-size crossovers that were introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year (Equinox) and 2005 for the 2006 model year (Torrent), respectively. Riding on the GM Theta platform, the unibody is mechanically similar to the Saturn Vue and the Suzuki XL7. However, the Equinox and the Torrent are larger than the Vue, riding on a 112.5 in (2,858 mm) wheelbase, 5.9 in (150 mm) longer than the Vue. Front-wheel drive is standard, with optional all-wheel drive. They are not designed for serious off-roading like the truck-based Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

For the 2006 model year, GM updated the Equinox for the first time, as GM badges were added on the front doors.

The Equinox is the first crossover SUV from Chevrolet. The Torrent was introduced at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show and went on sale in late summer 2005. The Torrent was the successor to the discontinued Pontiac Aztek.

The Equinox and Torrent were produced at the CAMI Automotive GM/Suzuki joint venture plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. The 3.4 L LNJ V6 engine is made in China (by Shanghai GM), while the Aisin AF33 transmission is made in Japan. Starting with the 2008 model year, the Equinox Sport and Pontiac GXP were available with a 3.6 L V6 engine that was made in the United States.

The Chevrolet Equinox was not sold in Mexico during the 2009 model year.


Pontiac Torrent

While the Torrent shares its basic body structure and mechanicals with the Equinox, it does have a different front and rear styling. The suspension (FE2) and electronic power steering were both modified to feel firmer and sportier.

The Torrent was discontinued after the 2009 model year as part of the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand, with the last one rolling off the assembly line on September 2, 2009. A Buick Theta crossover SUV was to be made, effectively taking place of the Pontiac Torrent.[2] Instead, GM replaced the Torrent with the GMC Terrain, which shares the Theta platform with the second generation Equinox.


Years Engine Power Torque
2005–2009 3.4 L LNJ V6 185 hp (138 kW) 210 lb·ft (280 N·m)
2008–2009 3.6 L LY7 V6 264 hp (197 kW) 250 lb·ft (340 N·m)

Sportier Trims

2008 Pontiac Torrent GXP

For the 2008 and 2009 model years, GM offered sportier versions of the Equinox and Torrent; called Sport and GXP, respectively. Featuring the new 3.6 LY7 DOHC V6 engine paired with a new 6-speed automatic transmission (with Manual Tap Up/Down shifting capability). This larger and more powerful (264 hp (197 kW) or 40% increase) engine allowed acceleration from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under seven seconds.

These models also received a 1 in (25 mm) lowered ride height with a performance-tuned suspension and unique front and rear body kits. The lower stance is accented by the 18 inch 5-spoke chrome wheels and the absence of the roof rack, giving them a smoother design flow compared to the standard models. The GXP had twin hood scoops, hydraulic power-assisted steering (as opposed to the electric power-assisted standard Torrent), improved interior trim with unique gauges, and a dual chrome-tipped exhaust.

Optional features included navigation, heated sport leather seats, DVD entertainment system, a sunroof and all-wheel drive.[3] GM stated the Equinox Sport was the first vehicle to reflect its more cautious naming standards. Instead of using the Super Sport badge as it had in the past on higher performance vehicles (such as this one), GM opted to reserve the SS nomenclature for special models worthy of its namesake.[4] GM also prominently promoted the GXP in television advertisements by touting its horsepower advantage over the BMW X3, in an effort to brand Pontiac more as a direct, low-cost rival to BMW.

Equinox LTZ

Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

An Equinox LTZ model was added. It is differentiated by its 17-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, bright chrome door handles and bright chrome luggage rack side rail inserts. Standard interior features include heated front seats, leather seating inserts, head curtain side impact air bags, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer and MP3 CD playback capability, and a Pioneer premium seven-speaker audio system. Equinox LTZ came with the same ride and handling package as LS and LT models.

2008 model features

Changes to 2008 Equinox and Torrent models included the relocation of the compass readout from the inside rearview mirror to the driver information center (on models so-equipped), and three new exterior colors: Navy Blue Metallic, Black Granite Metallic, and Golden Teal Metallic.

OnStar was standard on the 2008 Equinox and Torrent. This system included for Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. The 2008 models included an enhanced ride and handling package with stiffer shocks, bushings, and tuned spring rates. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and tire pressure monitoring system was standard.

An Electronic Trailer Sway Control was introduced that integrated into the standard StabiliTrak system. This can detect the occurrence of trailer sway that may be caused by improper trailer weight balance or excessive vehicle speed. If the trailer begins to sway, StabiliTrak will apply brakes individually, independent of the driver controlling the brake pedal, to assist stabilizing the vehicle. Under these conditions a light will flash to signal the driver to reduce vehicle speed. If trailer sway continues, the system will reduce engine torque to reduce the speed of the vehicle.

Head curtain side air bags were optional.

Olympic-themed Special Editions

2008 Pontiac Torrent Podium Edition at the Montreal Auto Show

For the 2008 model year, in tribute to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the Equinox and Torrent each received a special edition; the Team Canada Edition and the Podium Edition, respectively. This package added chrome-clad wheels, sunroof, premium sound system, and special badging.[5] These trims were sold only in Canada.

Second generation (2010–2015)

Second generation
Production 2009–2015

Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada (CAMI)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (GM Canada)

Spring Hill, Tennessee, U.S.A[6]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-Door Crossover
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform GM Theta platform/GMT192
Related GMC Terrain
Cadillac SRX
Saab 9-4X
Engine 2.4 L LAF I4
2.4 L LEA I4
3.0 L LF1 or LFW V6
3.6 L LFX V6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 112.5 in (2,857 mm)
Length 187.8 in (4,770 mm)
Width 72.5 in (1,842 mm)
Height 66.3 in (1,684 mm)

The second generation Equinox was announced by GM on December 21, 2008, and debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.[7] [8] The 2010 Equinox went on sale in June 2009. It is built on a stiffened version of the same "Theta" platform used in the previous model. The second generation Equinox was built with a pair of upgraded gasoline direct injection engines, with better fuel economy claimed by GM. Earlier 2010 models had the GM badges, but were later deleted.[9] Marketing of Chevrolet Equinox resumed in Mexico during late November 2009, for the 2010 model year after a year of absence. Sales of the Chevrolet Equinox to Mexico were stopped after the 2011 model year.

The second generation Equinox is available standard with a 2.4-liter straight-4 engine produced in Tonawanda, New York and Spring Hill, Tennessee, with a 3.0-liter V6 engine is available as an option.[10] Both powertrains contain six-speed automatics and optional all-wheel-drive systems, with front-wheel-drive being standard.[11]

The second generation Equinox is Chevrolet's third best-selling vehicle in North America, after the Silverado and Cruze, respectively.[12]

Model year changes


For the 2013 model year, a new direct-injected 3.6L V-6 became available on LT and LTZ models, providing 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb.-ft. of torque (369 Nm). This engine offered 14 percent more horsepower and 22 percent more torque than the previous 3.0L V-6, with the same EPA-estimated fuel economy. A new FE2 suspension package was offered, matched with the 3.6L V-6 and packaged with 18-inch or 19-inch chrome-clad wheels on LTZ models. The 2013 model year introduced Chevrolet MyLink telematics system to the Equinox.

Additional new features for 2013 models included a dual-player DVD entertainment system, a Power convenience package, a safety package with lane departure warning system, forward collision warning and rear park assist, as well as three new exterior colors; Champagne Silver Metallic, Atlantis Metallic and Tungsten Metallic.[13]


For the 2014 model year, chrome-clad wheels became standard on LTZ models, and two new exterior colors, Red Rock Metallic and Silver Topaz Metallic became available.


The 2015 model year saw the addition of OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, which included a 3GB/three-month data trial, standard on LT and LTZ models, with navigation available on LTZ and 2LT. Blue Velvet Metallic and Sea Grass Metallic were added as the list of available exterior colors.


A refreshed 2016 Chevy Equinox For 2016, the Chevrolet Equinox received its first mid-cycle refresh along with its cousin the GMC Terrain, which was unveiled at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show on February 12, 2015. The refreshed Equinox received a new grille, headlights and front fascia as well as reworked tail lights. In the interior, the Equinox gained a new gear selector, an second storage shelf underneath the dashboard, as well as deletion of the door lock buttons from the dashboard. A new level trim, L, was introduced as the base level, as LS was bumped up the second level, followed by LT and LTZ. Both LT1 and LT2 level trims were discontinued.

More features are in LTZ and LS trims, while LT is unchanged from 2015. However, the OnStar delete feature was removed along with the discontinuation of five color palates, the CD/AM/FM/MP3/WMA Playback audio system, the rear seat entertainment system and one set of 19-inch chrome wheels. In its place are the Chevrolet MyLink system that became standard on all trims, four new color palates, and new 17- and 18-inch wheel trims.[14]


Years Engine Power Torque
2010–2011 2.4 L Ecotec LAF I4 182 hp (136 kW) 172 lb·ft (233 N·m)
2012–2015 2.4 L Ecotec LEA I4 182 hp (136 kW 172 lb·ft (233 N·m)
2010–2012 3.0 L High Feature LF1 or LFW V6 264 hp (197 kW) 222 lb·ft (301 N·m)
2013–2015 3.6 L High Feature LFX V6 301 hp (224 kW) 272 lb·ft (369 N·m)

Debate about EPA fuel economy ratings

Skepticism about the Equinox's EPA fuel economy ratings has been raised after a number of road tests at the model's launch achieved 20 to 30% lower fuel economy than the official EPA ratings. After achieving 18.8 mpg-US (12.5 L/100 km; 22.6 mpg-imp) in a road test, Edmunds InsideLine stated, "...our testing didn't come close to achieving [the EPA's numbers], even though we're usually within 1 mpg of the EPA combined number. "[15] Car and Driver recorded another 18 mpg-US (13 L/100 km; 22 mpg-imp) figure and noted its "...fuel economy that won’t live up to the 22 mpg-US (11 L/100 km; 26 mpg-imp)/32 mpg-US (7.4 L/100 km; 38 mpg-imp) EPA ratings in real-world use...".[16] Green Car Reports recorded as much as 25.8 mpg-US (9.1 L/100 km; 31.0 mpg-imp) on a road trip, driving almost exclusively highway miles in "Eco" mode;[17] this is about 20% below the published highway EPA rating. AutoWeek only averaged 23 mpg-US (10 L/100 km; 28 mpg-imp).[18] The Truth About Cars published an editorial suggesting that GM "inflated" the Equinox's fuel economy ratings for public relations purposes and that the trip computer inaccurately reports fuel economy reported to the driver.[19]

Motorweek, however, managed to achieve 29.3 mpg-US (8.0 L/100 km; 35.2 mpg-imp) with their test car during mixed driving.[20] was also able to average 28 mpg-US (8.4 L/100 km; 34 mpg-imp) average in mixed city and highway driving.[21]


On July 20, 2015, Chevrolet confirmed plans to expand its SUV lineup, which would see the Equinox downgrade to small-size Crossover SUV status for the 2017 model year, as Chevrolet prepares to introduce a new mid-size entry in 2016. With this move, the future Equinox will be able to compete with the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Cherokee and Hyundai Tucson.[22] On October 5, 2015, a spy shot was spotted in Colorado, confirming the next generation Equinox's new design.[23]


Calendar Year Equinox Sales (U.S.) Torrent Sales (U.S.)
2004 84,024
2005[24] 130,542 10,303[25]
2006 113,888 43,174[26]
2007[27] 89,552 32,644[26]
2008 67,447 20,625[28]
2009[29] 86,148 9,638
2010[30] 149,979 68
2011[31] 193,274
2012 218,621
2013[32] 238,192
2014[33] 242,242

Fuel Cell

Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell with its first generation.

The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel cell vehicle uses hydrogen for fuel with water as its only exhaust. The Equinox Fuel Cell uses the fourth-generation hydrogen technology found in the Chevrolet Sequel concept, which was unveiled in September 2009. The fuel cell is designed for only 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of driving, but is engineered to be operable in subfreezing temperatures throughout its life. GM states that the Equinox Fuel Cell is about 500 pounds (230 kg) heavier than the original Equinox and has one inch less ground clearance. To reduce weight, it has aluminum doors and a carbon fiber hood. It uses headlights from the Pontiac Torrent.

A dashboard mounted screen calculates the fuel savings to that of a gasoline-powered Equinox. It also includes a kilowatt meter and a fuel cell energy display. The fuel cell has four vapor outlets that replace the exhaust pipe. Three carbon-fiber fuel tanks store up to a maximum of 9.25 pounds (4.2 kg) of gaseous hydrogen at 10,000 psi (70 MPa), and give the Equinox a range of 200 miles (320 km). The Equinox Fuel Cell is certified by the EPA as a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). GM built 115 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles and deployed them in 2007–2008 in several target areas including New York and California as part of a comprehensive plan dubbed "Project Driveway".[34]

Safety occupants, pedestrians

The Equinox Fuel Cell includes safety features such as ABS, traction control system, and GM's OnStar telematics service, which offers drivers advice on operating the cars as well as information on nearby hydrogen filling stations. The car meets all 2007 federal safety standards.


Motor Trend assessed the vehicle's performance as nearly the same as the 3.6 litre gasoline powered equivalent, while bemoaning the dearth of high pressure hydrogen filling stations near Riverside, California in 2008.[35]

Natural Gas Version

In 2013, Nat G CNG Solutions in Houston, TX and AGA Systems in Salt Lake City, UT announced that they had begun offering a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) version of the Chevy Equinox and the GMC Terrain using the 2.4L Direct Injection engine. The natural gas version is a "bi-fuel" CNG vehicle, meaning it runs on either gasoline or natural gas, giving it extended range. The Terrain/Equinox were the first direct injection natural gas vehicles ever approved by the US EPA.[36]

Natural Gas GMC Terrain at the NGVA Show in Atlanta November, 2013

Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products,[37] was the launch customer for the natural gas version with an initial order of up to 100 of the natural gas GMC Terrains. Centerpoint Energy was an early customer of the natural gas Chevy Equinox.[38]

Available CNG Configurations

The CNG version was available for newly purchased Equinox through select dealers or as a retrofit on 2013 and 2014 models. Nat G CNG Solutions® offered the vehicle in two options: a two-seater "cargo version" and a five-seat "passenger version." The cargo version has an 837-mile combined gasoline / natural gas (9.2 gge of CNG) while the passenger version has a 775-mile combined highway range (6.8 gge of CNG).

Natural Gas GMC Terrain Interior of 5 Seat "Passenger Version" from Nat G CNG Solutions and AGA Systems
Natural Gas GMC Terrain Loaded Interior of "Cargo Version" from Nat G CNG Solutions and AGA Systems

Emissions and Performance

The companies claimed that the natural gas version had tested at the EPA lab at 31 mpg highway on natural gas and had achieved a Bin 3 emissions equivalent to the Toyota Prius.[36]

Electric vehicle

Chevrolet Equinox AMP converted battery electric vehicle

Amp Electric Vehicles sells an all-electric conversion of the Chevrolet Equinox. They have sold their first electric Equinox to Dayton Power & Light, and had a five-year, 1,000 SUV order from Northern Lights Energy in Iceland.


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  2. ^ Migliori, Craig (August 19, 2009). "General Motors cancels plans for Buick compact crossover". AutoWeek. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  3. ^ "2008 Chevrolet Equinox Sport". 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  4. ^ "GM: Overusing SS label a mistake". 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  5. ^ "2009 Chevrolet Equinox Overview Page". GM Canada. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  6. ^ "GM begins Chevy Equinox production in Oshawa". 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  7. ^ "2010 Chevy Equinox Unveiled". Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
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  11. ^ "2010 Chevy Equinox Review". 
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  14. ^ "2016 Chevy Equinox Gets New Colors, Equipment Changes, And More" for GM Authority (June 8, 2015)
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  18. ^ "The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox 2LT, an AutoWeek Drivers Log". 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  19. ^ "Why the Chevy Equinox EPA Mileage Numbers Don't Add Up". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  20. ^ "2010 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2011 Kia Sorento, Program #2939". Motorweek. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  21. ^ "Review: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox LT FWD". 
  22. ^ "Chevrolet Clears Space For A New Crossover" from Automotive News (July 20, 2015)
  23. ^ "2017 Chevrolet Equinox Spotted Roaming Colorado Roads" from GM Authority (October 5, 2015)
  24. ^ General Motors January 4, 2006 "GM Reports 392,041 Deliveries in December
  25. ^ "GM Reports 392,041 Deliveries in December" (Press release). GM. January 4, 2006. 
  26. ^ a b "GM Reports 323,453 December Deliveries; 3.87 Million Vehicles Sold in 2007" (Press release). GM. January 3, 2008. 
  27. ^ General Motors January 3, 2008 "GM Reports 323,453 December Deliveries; 3.87 Million Vehicles Sold in 2007"
  28. ^ "Deliveries December 09" (XLS). Retrieved 2010-04-02. 
  29. ^ "Deliveries 20 December 2009" (Press release). Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  30. ^ "December 2010 Sales: General Motors - Cheers & Gears Forums". Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  31. ^ "General Motors 2011 Calendar Year Sales". 
  32. ^ "GM U.S. Deliveries for December 2013" (PDF) (Press release). GM Sales Reporting and Data Management. December 2013. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  33. ^ "GM U.S. Deliveries for December 2014" (PDF) (Press release). GM Sales Reporting and Data Management. December 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  34. ^ "The Best Emissions Strategy Is A Zero-Emissions Strategy". Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  35. ^ Kim Reynolds (October 2008). "First Test: 2008 Chevrolet Equinox FCV - Waterworks: Fourteen Days In The Hydrogen Economy". Motor Trend Magazine. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  36. ^ a b Piellisch, Rich. "Nat G CNG for New GM Crossovers". Fleets and Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  37. ^ John L. Nau
  38. ^ Business Wire ( November 18, 2013 Retrieved November 19, 2013. 

External links

  • Chevrolet Official site
  • Chevrolet Official site (Canada)
  • Official American website
  • Official Canadian website
  • Torrent and other GM crossovers fan site
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