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Question on 2010 Chevrolet Equinox Hill Climbing Performance

mcpoteetmcpoteet Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
We are going to buy a new car this Fall. The vehicle will be used mostly as a trip car and mostly out West in Colorado/New Mexico/... .

I read the Consumer Reports first look at the 2010 Equinox today. It was mostly positive but for comments on the performance. One problem seems to lie in the shift schedule programming when ascending hills.

I would like to hear from anyone on this forum who is driving the 2010 Equinox out West at elevation. Any observations on the car's performance "in the hills" would be appreciated.


  • I've driven my 4 cyl AWD through some hills, but not at high elevation, and nothing real severe. I will say that the downshifts seem to come too early if your in "normal" mode, but are much better if your in "ECO" mode. In ECO mode, normal cruising at 70 mph is about 2200 rpm. A small hill causes downshift to 5th, and increase an to 3000 rpm. A moderate hill causes downshift to 4th, now your at 4500 rpm. The engine get pretty loud at that point, but its in its power band and seems to hold speed pretty well.

    On the downhill side, there is a hill descent control system that holds vehicle speed steady without downshifting (up to a certain limit of course). It works pretty nice on the small to moderate hills. And the transmission has a pushbutton manual mode that would work pretty well for mountain duty (but is too sluggish for "sporting" use).

    All that being said, I really question whether the 4 cyl AWD model would cut it in the "real" mountains. It works fine here in the midwest, but I have to believe it would run out of breath pretty quick going up a steep grade at high elevation. 6 cyl probably a better option there (but you probably already knew that).
  • runoxrunox Posts: 156
    Some E's come with a Manual Mode. It allows you to select the range of gear positions, kind of manual shifting when the tranny and engine are under stress. The manual says to use it going downhill grades or when towing, so I presume it will be useful controlling the gears manually going uphill. M Mode will prevent shifting to a lower a gear if the engine speed is too high. I haven't had the need to use it just it.
  • Thanks for the response, ragtop (and to runox too).

    Yes, we do plan on getting a 6 cyl and for the reasons you state. I was reading a review of the 2010 Outback 4 cyl and the reviewer noted that at 7000 feet the "4" was running OK but indicating that it would be a lot happier if it were a "6".

    In regards your hill climbing transmission response, in general, that sounds like what I would like: a relatively "graceful" downshift, one notch at a time with a bit of rpm boost to maintain speed. The Consumer Reports "first look" report stated that their test Equinox seemed reluctant to downshift under load and required a heavy foot to get things moving (not so good). I assume that the CR test car was a very early model, so, perhaps, Chevy is fairly quickly cleaning up their software as they get reports back from the field.
This discussion has been closed.