Jumat, 12 Maret 2010

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

2011 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox styling won’t change beyond some new exterior color choices and perhaps a fresh wheel style or two. It’ll continue as a four-door wagon with a one-piece rear liftgate. Styling highlights include a single-horizontal-bar grille that’s nice interpretation of Chevy’s strong family face. Bold wheel arches, a raked-forward stance, and the illusion of wrap-around tailgate glass complete a clean, confident look. Equinox’s exterior dimensions are smack dab in the middle of the midsize-SUV field. But its 112.5-inch wheelbase is the longest in its competitive set. Wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles and key to how much space a vehicle can devote to passenger room. The long wheelbase not only provides Equinox passengers with generous leg room, it plants the wheels close to the edges of the body. That benefits ride quality and promotes an athletic stance on the road. General Motors reskins the Equinox for sale as the GMC Terrain and also borrows some of this engineering for the slightly smaller but more upscale Cadillac SRX. All are crossovers, so-called because they combine SUV traits, such as elevated ride height, with car-type unibody construction. Unibody means body and frame are essentially one unit. Old-school SUV design employs truck-type construction in which the body attaches to a separate frame. Unibody design is lighter in weight to improve fuel economy and handling, although it’s less suited to heavy-duty towing or hauling. The 2011 Equinox should return in four trim levels, base LS, volume 1LT, slightly plusher and 2LT, and top-of-the-line LTZ.

The 2011 Chevrolet Equinox will again come with a laudable array of standard features -- even in base LS trim. An impressive selection of luxury amenities kicks in as you ascend the model line or peruse the options sheet. Every Equinox comes with head-protecting curtain side airbags that cover both seating rows and are designed to deploy in a side collision as well as when sensors detect an impending rollover. Also standard is GM’s OnStar assistance with complementary one-year service. It includes automatic crash response and enables OnStar personnel to unlock the vehicle remotely or even diminish the engine’s power if your car’s been stolen. Power windows, locks, and mirrors will again be included in the base price of every Equinox. So will air conditioning, keyless remote entry, and tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio controls. Bluetooth cell-phone connectivity will likely continue as standard on 2LT and LTZ models and optional on LS and 1LT. Two-tone leather upholstery, USB iPod interface, and an audio unit with hard-drive music storage are among available features. A navigation system, rearview camera, and dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment also are optional. The 2011 Equinox will again be among the few SUVs in this price range to offer a power liftgate as well as a remote engine-start system that also activates the climate-control and optional heated seats. Base wheels should again be 17-inch alloys with 18-inch alloys available at extra cost on the LT models and the LTZ. The 2011 LTZ will likely repeat as the only Equinox with body-color bumpers and chromed door handles and the only one available with optional chrome-clad 19-inch alloy wheels. 

The speedometer and tachometer are housed in side-by-side rectangular housings that look a little misshapen, as if their plastic was melting. It’s reminiscent of the sad-eyed binnacles in the Chevy Camaro. It looks no better here and, like in the Camaro, the gauge faces can be partially obscured by the steering wheel rim.We’ll quibble with distracting sun reflections off the chromed gear-shift collar, but Equinox’s control layout is otherwise hard to fault. 

A helpful screen between the instrument panel binnacles displays such useful data as instant and average fuel economy and distance-to-empty. The central stack of dashboard controls is attractive and neatly organized. Soft-blue ambient cabin lighting accentuates the center-console cupholders and door pulls, while most gauges and controls are crisply lit in complimentary colors.That lighting effect, thankfully, is tasteful, and the quality of Equinox’s cabin materials exceeds expectations, too. Even the 1LT model dresses up with a contrasted-color stitching effect on seats and door armrests. The fabric upholstery is a sturdy, modern tech-weave, and leather upholstery is available in a two-tone that’s sporty without being overdone. Padding on cabin panels is rationed, but few ring hollow and most surfaces have a nicely grained, matte finish.

Ford Edge: Due for a styling facelift and a revised engine lineup for model-year 2011, this five-seat Ford makes a selling point of its advanced infotainment gadgetry. The tech is marketed as the MyFord system and centers around a dashboard LCD touchscreen and software developed in conjunction with Microsoft. Ford also aims for suspension upgrades that would help the 2011 Edge handle with more agility than its overweight chassis has been known for.  Improvements to its subpar fuel-economy ratings of 15/22 (16/24 with AWD) also is a critical goal. Room and comfort should remain in the plus column. A base price range of $26,000-$34,000 is in the cards.

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