Chevy adds RS trim to freshened 2021 Equinox lineup

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Chevrolet will launch a freshened 2021 Equinox — with an RS trim option, restyled grille and redesigned front and rear fascias — this year.

Chevy gave reporters a preview of the updates at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday. It will hit showrooms in the fall.

The latest changes are “really about the front and rear fascia upgrades, new headlamps, new taillamps, three new grille designs and new wheels, which we think really freshen it up and gives it that updated look that I think consumers are craving,” said Brad Franz, Chevrolet’s senior marketing manager for small to midsize utility vehicles.

Chevy sold 346,048 Equinox crossovers in the U.S. last year, up 4 per cent from 2018, according to the Automobile News | tomobile.org Data Center.

In Canada, the Equinox, assembled at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont., is the car maker’s best-selling vehicle that isn’t a pickup. Last year, sales fell 16.7 per cent to 17,846 units down from 21,432 in 2018, according to the Automobile News | tomobile.org Data Center in Detroit.

The Equinox makes up nearly a third of GM’s small to midsize crossover and SUV sales, and it’s GM’s second-bestselling vehicle overall, behind the Chevy Silverado pickup.

It was one of the top-selling compact crossovers industrywide in 2019, with 6.1 per cent of the compact-crossover segment. It fell behind the Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 in 2019, according to the Automobile News | tomobile.org Data Center.

“It is really an important vehicle, not only for Chevrolet but for GM as well. And it really needs to be, next to the Silverado, our volume vehicle,” said Franz. “It needs to be a vehicle platform that speaks to many, many different consumers. And I think we have an execution that does that.”

The compact crossover will be equipped with a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbo engine and a six- or nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s also available in all-wheel drive.

The all-new Equinox RS comes with a gloss-black grille, 19-inch dark android wheels, black badging, black side rails, an RS shift knob, black interior upholstery and red stitching.

The Equinox also comes in the L, LS, LT and Premier trims. The Equinox Premier has a gloss-black grille with chrome inserts, LED headlamps and taillamps, a new 19-inch machine-faced wheel, logo-projection liftgate, French stitching and a high-gloss black finish on the console.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on all trim levels, so drivers’ won’t need a USB cord to connect, said Franz.

All trim levels have standard safety features, such as lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, a rear vision camera, a following distance monitor, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking and more.

Automatic front and rear park assist, camera-based adaptive cruise control, lane change with side blind-zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and HD surround vision are also available.

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