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The Winds Of Change: 2013 Chevrolet Equinox

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On: Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 12:04PM | By: Teddy Field

The Winds Of Change: 2013 Chevrolet Equinox

Not too long ago, Chevrolet wasn’t known for making anything that could be considered refined or competitive on a global scale. Their vehicles were reliable and they were certainly capable of doing what was said on the label, but the overall package left a lot to be desired.

Today, however, things are much different at General Motors. The Soviet-era construction methods have gone the way of Stalin’s statue. In their place are actual quality standards with materials that didn’t originate in a recycling center. The Obama administration likes to take credit for saving General Motors, which they did in a financial sense, but the real reason that GM is still in business has to do with their products. Long before the bankruptcy team arrived, GM had begun modernizing their lineup. And since that’s quite a long process, many of those new cars didn’t hit the market until after the bailout.

A good example of this “Product Perestroika” is the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, which was actually designed during the “old GM” regime. Under the watchful eye of product-wizard Bob Lutz, the Equinox became a tightly constructed family runabout with all of the features expected in a modern crossover. There’s lane departure warning, a big touchscreen with infotainment and a backup camera, a fancy interior made with decent materials and blue ambient lighting, a power tailgate with programmable opening heights, front-or-all wheel drive, and the top-spec 2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ even gets an active suspension (the ride & handling on this one is surprisingly good).

The outside isn’t really show-stopping. The front end carries the current corporate face, with a split bar grille, and a huge Chevy bowtie in the middle. But the rest of this trucklet seems to be a ‘Best of’ compilation, with styling cues from the last-gen Mercedes ML, Kia Sorento, and Suzuki SX4. It’s not an ugly truck by any means, but it’s certainly not unique. And that sharp looking wraparound rear glass does create a massive blind spot in the rear, making the backup camera a necessity.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 182-hp direct injected 2.4L, which is capable of 32 mpg on the highway (FWD). If you want more power, the General’s direct injected 3.6L V6 was just added to the options list for 2013. In the Equinox, it makes a healthy 301-hp, and is far smoother than the 3.0L V6 that it replaces.

While the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox is far from perfect, it’s still good enough to claim 3rd place in the small crossover segment. The 2013 Ford Escape and 2013 Honda CR-V still outsell the Chevy but not by much - proving that GM can still make relevant vehicles as long as they keep the accountants out of the design studio.

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