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2018 Chevrolet Equinox first drive: Good now, could be great soon

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The roomy Equinox SUV has always been a solid seller for Chevrolet, but it’s not a benchmark for either sales or execution. Last year, in the heart of a tremendous bull market for compact crossovers, the model took a 12.8 percent hit. Still, Chevy found garages for 242,195 of them. That’s a strong number, but it’s far off the number of Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue utes that moved off lots. Part of the reason?

The Equinox is old. Even ancient, at least in automotive years. The Equinox has been riding on the same GM “Theta” platform since 2005. Way back then, the architecture underpinned the dearly departed Saturn Vue and Pontiac Torrent. Remember them? Today, only GMC’s Terrain shares mechanicals. An all-new model was long overdue.

“It’s a fierce market, there’s no question. We spent a great deal of time benchmarking the competition,” says vehicle chief engineer Mark Cieslak. “It (the old model) was not relevant in terms of size. We had to re-proportion and right-size the vehicle.”

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