Chevrolet’s first-generation Equinox was and remains infinitely more likeable than the old Geo/Chevy Tracker. On the other hand, the Equinox never stood up to the Honda CR-V/Subaru Forester/Toyota Highlander crowd. Starting out with one of those old-style overhead valve engines probably didn’t impress import-loving customers. For a while, Saturn ran with a Honda V6 in the Vue. Over at Chevrolet, good engines didn’t appear until the impressive 3.6L jumped under the hood in the recent past.
Plus, the Equinox had van proportions. Some angles, good. Some angles, not so much. The new 2010 model pictured below looks to be Lambda-lite, and that’s a good thing. The option of a four-cylinder makes the Equinox more suited for the times. Its 2.4L will produce 182 horsepower and travel 30 highway miles on a gallon. The direct-injection 3.0L also introduced in the next Buick LaCrosse makes 255 horsepower. That bigger-engined Equinox is significantly thirstier, though. 25 mpg is likely tops on the highway.
Long wheelbases, when mixed with short overall lengths and wide tracks, are generally a good starting point for positive vehicle dynamics. The new Equinox keeps the long 112.5″ wheelbase but is cut lengthwise and stretched widthwise. Good news. Don’t be too put off by the electric power steering. For one thing, everybody’s doin’ it. For another, it doesn’t always have to feel like an ’03 Saturn Vue.