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Chevrolet Equinox

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Comments

  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    You can't just make the Equinox RWD, it's on a FWD/FWD-biased unibody architecture (Theta). Making it RWD would necessitate the development of a brand new platform.

    If you want the I5 in an SUV, wait for the H3. Word is, it will have a turbocharged I5 with ~300 HP.
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    OK. I went to the dealer today and inspected and test drove an AWD LT with 17" wheels. I am replacing an Envoy so that is my base for comparison.
    Sitting in the drivers seat, I felt that the seat was amply comfortable for my 5' 11" frame. Decent lumbar. Headroom was quite sufficient. The dash materials are marginal. The center console is fairly cheap painted plastic but it looks OK. Controls had a good feel. Window controls are on the center console. In between the seats there is a well with cupholder and plenty of room for storage. There is a dual cupholder in what looks like the center ashtray. The center armrest lifts up to reveal a CD rack. It has a small storage compartment.
    The steering wheel adjusts upward but only enough to barely make it acceptable to me. It should really go an inch higher. Guages are fine.
    Cloth is unusual. It's a flat cotton with a faint texture, unlike the velour-like fabric in my Envoy. It felt fine though.
    Rear seat was very comfortable and when my wife drove with the seat pretty far up, I could stretch my legs fully but the backs of the front seat rails were exposed to about 3 inches because she sits so far up. Sliding rear seat is a great feature. Rear view is impaired somewhat by the headrests but they are removeable I was told.
    Rear hatch has no separate moving glass piece but that doesn't bother me.
    Rear cargo is as expected. (See above discussions)
    Exterior is very stylish. It looks great in Black and Red, especially. Seam on side of hood doesn't look bad at all. There is a fairly big well for the wipers that looks a little wierd. You could almost put luggage in it.
    Fog lights incorporate nice looking lenses.
    Driving was a pleasure. Acceleration off the line is very strong but it really excels in mid-range torque. Very quick acceleration from 30-50 etc. and probably higher. Suspension is tight and it handled bumps very well. No bottoming. Engine is quiet but has a nice whine to it.
    It cornered with very little body roll and the steering has a strong on-center feel. Road feel comes through the wheel at just the right level. It is not rangy or vague compared to my Envoy. Brakes worked very well.
    The base radio has quite good sound. Very adequate unless you're an audiophile. Strong bass.
    It definitely doesn't have the interior quality of say the Highlander or other more expensive comparable vehicles and it's probably a little cheaper in feel inside than say an Escape or Tribute.
    Overall, my wife and I were quite impressed.
    We are waiting to see one with leather before making a decision.
    Any questions?
  • larryt22larryt22 Posts: 125
    Zeen - just a word of warning. You should try to remove the rear headrests. I don't think they come off. The dealer and I both tried but could not get them off. They were definitely in the view of my wife and she would not buy if they would not come off. Too bad they don't borrow the Highlander design that lets the rear headrests collapse into the seat. We ended up with a Highlander because of the headrests, rear seat that did not fold flat and the unknown with a first year model. Even so, I was quite impressed with the Equinox.
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    Thanks Larry. I will check that out.
    I didn't try to fold down the back seats. If they don't fold flat, how do they fold?
    As for first year models, I agree with you but I have always been a sucker. I must say, as time goes on and quality improves, it's been less of an issue. My Envoy was a first year model and it was trouble free. There were 2 recalls but you see that with many vehicles old and new.
    I did try to convince my wife to consider the Highlander, but she doesn't like the shape of the vehicle. Too station wagon/van looking for her. Its interior quality is definitely superior to the Nox and I suspect the mechanicals are too. I'm still annoyed by GM's decision to use drum brakes in the rear. You can see them plainly through the alloy wheels and it's not an impressive sight.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Who's kidding who.. there are no cars in the world that are all made in one country. Whether a Chevy has a radio made in China or an engine made in China really makes little difference. It's one part of a car. While I am all for buying domestic brands I am well aware that all cars / trucks have parts from all over the world.
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    Dan
    Some US cars are even made in Canada. Should we boycott them? ;)
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Posts: 464
    The Nox is probably considered foreign since the engine/drivetrain make up over 50% of the parts content. We lost our electronic component manufacturing years ago, so the radio's a lost cause. Sad when a old tech cast iron OHV engine that's made by GM no more then 100 miles away in Tonawanda, NY can't be used. Sure it's all about money, but I don't see any big saving in these MSRP's.

    Canada also takes advantage of the US trade deficit but we all know the ratio with China is the worst and growing. Not to mention a country that has no unions, child labor laws, minimum standard of living, etc.

    Funny how the WTO and GWB wants free open markets with all our jobs getting out sourced, and allowing millions of Indians to freely come here and take our jobs, but most countries run surpluses not balanced trade with the US. Not to mention, most countries have stricter immigration laws then the US. Why are we asked to carry the world with nothing in return?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The in-line engines are truck engines and probably won't bolt up to the car/unibody mechanicals under the Equinox. I'm talking transmissions, AWD, etc.

    But they should boost production of the 3500, better yet have that replace the 3400 entirely.

    -juice
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    I got my first quote today from the dealer owned by a good friend (I think) and it looks like I may be getting another vehicle. On a 48 month lease on an LT AWD with the 1SE package with $1,000 down, the monthly payment is $425. I could get a lot better quality car for that money.
    On the 1SD package with 17" inch wheels and side airbag, the cost is $380/mo. These are premium prices for a non-premium car. I could get a Caddy SRX for around the same.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's what it'll cost to be the first on the block. Wait 6 months, I bet it's down to $350 or less.

    -juice
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Posts: 464
    I've been saying for months this is GM's problem. They try to sell a car way over it's value, no one buys, then they have to have cash backs, etc.
    It's a nice mini-SUV but it's no way better then a CRV. How can it be worth 3-5K more? Zeen's right. When they first anounced the Nox over a year ago it was mentioned that it would base under 20K at around 18K. Now it starts at over 21K! You'll reallysee some depreciation if you buy at current prices.
  • larryt22larryt22 Posts: 125
    Zeen - The seat bottom of the rear seat does not fold. You just fold down the back of the rear seat. Unfortunately, the back is 3-4" higher than the rear floor, so you can't slide anything straight in without raising the part that goes over the seat. If that weren't bad enough, the back of the seat is not flat when it is is folded. You could not really lay anything on it as it would roll off. I think it is a mighty poor design and a real shortcoming when compared to the competition. The back floor was already small in comparison to the competition because of the wide housings to hold the portable table/cargo cover. So between the rear headrests being obnoxiously tall and not removable causing blind spots and the the seat not folding flat, this completely turned my wife off of considering the vehicle. By the way, she loves her new Highlander even though they really aren't in the same class and would be several grand more expensive for the same equipment.
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    You're right Joey. I will say however that the Nox felt much heavier and more substantial than the CRV. I'm not saying that's necessarily better but it does seem that way. It feels very solid.

    Thanks for the rear seat info Larry. I think the design flaw you mention is a result of the sliding rear seat set up. One has to weigh the advantage of the great legroom against the disadvantage of not having a flat deck.
      
    I have some work to do to convince my wife to consider the Highlander, but I'm trying. It's just a style issue.
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Posts: 464
    Sourced from a plant in China. GM's suppose to have started using a new manifold gasket that will cure the problem, but this has been an on going issue for over 20 years with the 60 degree V6. You're luck if you can wait a year maybe a better engine choice may turn up by then. The 3.5L in the Malibu is the same block and will probably be prone to the same issues.

    Zeen: The Nox is alot bigger then the CRV, on the outside, with little to no extra space on the inside. The 4 cyl Highlander's are heavily discounted now. I saw a base 6 cyl (all 6's get the 3rd row seat) for only 26K advertised, so it was probably only FWD. But I'm sure as summer approaches, more deals will be out there. Gas prices should scare SUV sales to a halt and then watch for the discounts.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    GM should copy the strategy Honda used for the Element: reverse sticker shock.

    Seriously, the 'nox came out priced higher than some forecasts. Buyers will just wait for the rebates, GM has not choice but to offer them.

    Look at the Element, sales were forecast at 40k/year. They sold something like 67k the first year and are on pace to double forecasts.

    Why? It's heavier and slower and smaller than the CR-V, and only seats 4, and you have to remove your seat belt to let someone sitting in the back seat out. Styling is unconventional. What's the secret for their success?

    PRICE.

    Element is significantly cheaper than the CR-V. Even with 16" rims standard.

    Honda has had to increase production twice, and it's selling at a brisk pace near double what they were prepared for.

    Honestly, do you think Equinox will sell at double the pace of sales forecasts before rebates arrive?

    Anyone want to take that bet? :o)

    -juice
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Posts: 464
    comes out and the Nox is rated only 3rd or 4th, the rebates will begin just like the Malibu. Juice is right. Look at the Kia Sorento. Most say the SUV is rough around the edges and also larger on the outside, but with an average interior and another underpowered V6. Kia priced it low and that brought in many sales. Not the greatest but a great value. We're still waiting for a great value from GM.
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    Juice and Joey, you're right. I firmly believed that these would sell very well. Perhaps for those buying rather than leasing they will, although the natural inclination is to look at the cost with options and see what else is out there in the same price range. Given the cheapie interior of the Nox, I'm not sure they will stick with the Chevy.

    For leases, people will see that a comparable Trailblazer is at least 10% less and other manufacturers like Ford, Chrysler and Mitsubishi are offering very attractive lease prices. One important variable on a lease is residual value. Using a low residual results in an expensive lease. GM did this with the Envoy/Trailblazer when they first came out and then, within about 3-4 months, raised the residuals and thus lowered the monthly payments. The big question is, as was asked above, will people pay a big premium to be the first on the block?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Juice - You'd think would have learned from the launch of the Pacifica.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Exactly. A $35k crossover now selling for $27k. Residuals on those first few will be horrific, either F&I will take a bath or the owner will.

    Subaru is doing a 7 seat SUV/crossover and price is a major point of debate. Some people want it all: HIDs, Nav, side curtain air bags, XM/Sirius, OnStar, etc., but at what price? Some have it in Acura MDX/Lexus RX price territory.

    I'd rather see something sized/priced like the Pilot but sportier.

    -juice
  • mr_botsmr_bots Posts: 229
    I still don't see where people are getting that the Equinox is underpowered. 3.4L is a large engine for this class, it does only have 185hp, but with 210lb-ft of torque this should be a very capable performer. It won't be any vette, but it'll probably out run everything except the V6 Vue, and turbo charged Forrester, of course we can't be positive until it is compared to the competition.
  • rhouser2rhouser2 Posts: 114
    are not impressed at all. The main disappointments we have are the following:
      1. The center console is not very functional. A good place to rest you arm but not much for useable enclosed storage space.
      2. The Nox is only available with disc/drum brakes. I believe in this day and age that 4 wheel discs should be a no brainer.
      3.The rear hatch doesn't have a separate flip up glass window.
      4. A very poor attempt at a tilt steering column. It may be adjustable, but not by much.
      5.The rear seat was not as comfortable as I would have hoped. They skimped on padding.
      6. The center rear seating position does not have a head rest. A small one that can be raised to a useable position is needed.
    The Nox is a great looking car from the outside, but that's only a small consideration when we look for a vehicle. We are not ready to buy anything yet but the Nox is off our list at this point. What's really irritating is we have a GM Mastercard and an Olds customer loyalty rebate. The two together are worth at least $2500. I feel that neither of these will be redeemed anytime soon. Right now the SanaFe,CRV and 2005 Escape/Tribute come the closest to having what we feel are important features for our next auto. It's really sad that these vehicles have been out for several years and Chevy ignored the leaders of the pack when they designed the Nox.
    A sad day in Mudville!
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Rhouser, most of your points against the Equinox are pretty minute details. I'm not sure you will fine many people who would notice those things let along not buy because of them.

    Ateixeira, Im not sure what the pricing is like down in the States, but up here it seems very competitive. Incentives are generally higher in the U.S. than here so maybe GM built in more room in the price down there?

    j30, The 3.4L is a decent mill. I know some people don't think it's good but over all it's pretty reliable and smoother than a 4 cyl. you will find in many of these little SUVs.
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    As you can see from my road test above, I felt that power was very adequate and torque in the mid range was quite impressive. I think power overall is quite good.

    As for the center console, I never really needed hidden storage so that's not a big deal for me. There are hidden CD slots and a deep well on the floor for junk. Most of the stuff in my present vehicles enclosed console is trash anyway.

    I agree that rear drums are inexcusable. They even look horrible through the nice alloy wheels.

    Tilt column doesn't adjust high enough. I have a separate glass on my hatch on my Envoy and I've used it about twice in 3 years. Not a big issue for me.

    Center rear seat headrest is not that important unless you drive 5 people around all the time. I found the rear seat fairly comfortable. As VW ads go, firmer seats are better for long trips.
     
    I would argue that the Nox is much more stylish than the Santa Fe or the CRV. I would not feel comfortable in either. Too feminine for me. The Sorrento may be the best looking of them all but Kia quality is way below anything American or Japanese.

    Escape/Tribute will be real competitors for the Nox and the 05 models have some upgrades that will attract buyers.

    Time will tell. It all boils down to pricing.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    4 Wheel discs would be nice on the LT at least. Base model drums are fine.

    The new Escape is nice, saw it at the auto show. I'm still a little weary of Ford from our old Explorer but I would buy again.

    I agree with you on Korean quality. It's just not there and the re-sale and gas mileage is also bottom of the barrel.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think it'll be underpowered, I'm just not a fan of the 3.4l after renting a couple of minivans with that engine.

    The Malibu's 3500 is night-and-day better. The Equinox get a 5 speed auto so perhaps that masks that a bit, I just think it deserves at least a better upgrade engine. At $28.5k (loaded) you expect better than 185hp.

    OTOH, base models are a much better value. $22k or so, right? If you buy based on size, especially wheelbase, it's an easier sell.

    -juice
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    I convinced my wife to look at the 05 Escape in addition to the Nox. She liked it a lot. It's a good $4,000 cheaper with comparable options. The new front and rear design is nice and the interior has been upgraded. While it's definitely more boxy than the Nox, it's decent looking and the interior uses better quality materials. If our shopping experience is any indication, Chevy better start offering deals on the Nox by late April when Ford dealers start pushing the '05 Escape. Right now, the '05's are hidden behind the showrooms while they unload the'04's.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    New Escape is nice. No real incentives on either the Equinox or the 05 Escape yet but I would not be surprised to see them soon given every other small SUV seems to have some degree of incentives. I checked a local Toronto dealer web page and Equinox has no cash back and 0/2.9/3.9% for 36/48/60 mo. That's it!
  • zeenzeen Posts: 391
    The 05 Escape drove as well as or better than the Nox. Very smooth, solid and nimble and more powerful with the 24V 200hp Duratec. Rear seat was more comfortable although legroom wasn't as good. Interior materials look better and the leather seems to be of a higher quality. Overall, Nox wins on looks though and that counts an awful lot. We're waiting until early May in hopes that incentives will kick in on both vehicles and then we'll decide.
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Posts: 464
    I think Ford can crank out more Escapes then Nox's which should allow for more selection and bigger discounts. With the Freestyle comming online in the fall there should be enough inventory to offer some great deals to move inventory.
  • bwolfebwolfe Posts: 4
    Just saw it today. You see a vehicle with a gray/silver sheet covering it. You hear someone announce the Chevrolet Equinox, then wind blows the sheet up and you get a quick look at a silver NOX!
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