Chevrolets 2018 Equinox will offer a first-in-class turbodiesel, a 1.6 sourced from Opel

Chevrolet's 2018 Equinox will offer a first-in-class turbodiesel, a 1.6 sourced from Opel

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General Motors is widening its range of diesel-powered light vehicles in the US with news that the redesigned Chevrolet 2018 Equinox compact SUV will have a 1.6-litre Opel turbodiesel option as well as 1.5- and two-litre petrol motors. The company also offers diesels in its Cruze compact car and Colorado small truck lines.

Industry observers have suggested the company will use the new diesel version to take some market share from Volkswagen in the wake of the 'clean diesel' emissions-cheat scandal which has hit the company's sales there and caused some models to be withdrawn from sale.

The redesigned Equinox adopts styling touches already seen in the Volt, Malibu and Cruze. Projector-beam headlamps are standard, along with LED daytime running lamps. At the rear, up-level models also have LED taillamps. 

Interior design with 'down-and-away instrument panel', reflects recent Chevrolet and Opel design and a new 'kneeling' rear seat enhances functionality. With it, the bottom cushions tilt forward when the split-folding seatbacks are lowered, allowing a flat floor for easier loading.

Connectivity technologies include seven- and eight-inch-diagonal MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an optional OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Various active safety technologies and adaptive crash-avoidance features will be standard or optional.

Teen Driver is also offered, allowing parents to set controls and review an in-vehicle report card in order to encourage safer driving habits, even when they are not in the vehicle.  

Standard or optional advanced active safety features include: New Safety Alert Seat; New Surround Vision; New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator; New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking; New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning; New Rear Seat Reminder; Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The range of three all-turbocharged engines - including the US compact SUV segment's first turbodiesel - are 1.5litre and two-litre turbo petrol and the Opel 1.6-litre diesel. The two-litre can be ordered with a new nine-speed automatic transmission; the others carry over a six-speed unit.

"The advantage for each is the power of a larger engine and the efficiency of a smaller engine," GM said in a statement

The Equinox is the first Chevrolet model in North America to use an all-turbocharged, multi-engine powertrain lineup.

The model is approximately 400 pounds (180kg) lighter than the current model — a 10% weight reduction. A switchable AWD system enhances efficiency by disconnecting from the rear axle when not needed.

Equinox sales have reached more than 2m since its launch and it is Chevrolet's second-best retail selling vehicle, after the Silverado truck.

The 2018 model goes on sale with 1.5-litre engine in the first quarter of 2017 in North America and will head to 115 additional global markets later in the year. The two-litre and 1.6 diesel follow in the summer.

Build is again at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

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