More and more crossovers are making their way to the Philippines from China. From the sleek Geely Coolray and Azkarra, the affordable MG ZS, the stylish GAC GS3, and even Chery's lineup of Tiggo crossovers, the market is spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing an affordable yet feature-packed crossover.
Chevrolet used to have a compact crossover of their own in the Philippines with the Captiva. But when the company quietly discontinued it in the market, the bow-tie brand was left without a replacement. Toss in the fact that General Motors sold their factory in Thailand that makes the Trailblazer (and Colorado), and the prospects are starting to look strangely slim.
Maybe what they need is the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox which was recently launched in China.
Formerly a midsize crossover, Chevrolet downsized it to a compact crossover and now sports a new look for 2021 over in China. Featuring the brand's latest design philosophy, the Equinox borrows some of its looks from the all-new Trailblazer sold in the People's Republic. It gets a prominent dual-port front grille, aggressively-styled headlights and taillights, and stylish alloy wheels.
Opt for the RS package, and the Equinox dons a more sinister appearance than consist of a blacked-out front grille, RS-exclusive red logo, black RS Equinox nameplates, and 19-inch black ten-spoke alloy wheels.
Inside, the Equinox gets an updated MyLink+ infotainment system. It comes with a wide array of features and amenities like online navigation, real-time weather and traffic updates, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and even over-the-air updates. Other key features available on the 2021 Equinox include dual-zone automatic climate control, front-seat ventilation and heating, PM2.5 air filtration, USB charging ports for the front and rear, and a Bose sound system.
Under the hood, the Equinox is available with a 1.5-liter, direct-injection turbocharged inline-four. It makes 170 PS along with 275 Nm of torque and is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. With this powertrain, Chevy claims the Equinox can have an average fuel consumption of 14.5 km/l.
Serving as the most powerful engine option is the 2.0-liter EcoTec turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It makes 236 PS and a healthy 350 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, allowing the crossover to go from 0 – 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. Despite being bigger than the 1.5 turbo engine, Chevy claims the 2.0-liter can also average around 14.5 km/l.
A plethora of intelligent safety systems further gives the Equinox a technological edge over its competitors. These include adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, lane keep assist, lane change alert, lane departure warning, auto high beam assist, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, and automatic emergency braking.
The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is set to make its official debut at this year's Beijing Motor Show (aka Auto China). If ever Chevrolet Philippines decides to bring a compact crossover, the Equinox should be on their shortlist of models to bring. And with the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area advantage, we won't be surprised if they decide to equip it with the smaller 1.5-liter turbo.