Refreshed 2021 Chevy Equinox gets expanded tech, new RS trim

Byron Hurd



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Chevrolet's compact Equinox crossover is getting the old nip-and-tuck for 2021, and it'll benefit from more access to safety tech and a brand-new RS trim to boot. 

The Equinox has been a bit of a roller coaster for Chevy content-wise, with significant changes happening at somewhat unusual times in its lifecycle. After the current model was introduced, a diesel engine was offered as a late-availability option; that powertrain has since been discontinued already, taking one major configuration option off the table well in advance of its mid-cycle update.

Fundamentally, nothing is really changing for the 2021 model year. The Equinox will still be offered with a choice of 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged engines, the former exclusively with a six-speed auto and the latter with GM's newer nine-speed. All trims can be had in front- or all-wheel drive configurations. 

The big news for this update is the introduction of a new RS trim, which doubles as an appearance package and popular equipment bundle. It will include a gloss black grille, "Dark Android" 19-inch wheels, black interior and exterior badges and side rails, an "RS" stylized shift knob and black interior upholstery with red contrast stitching. 



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Based on GM's other product offerings, we expect the RS will slot in between the existing LT and range-topping Premier models in the Equinox pricing hierarchy. 

GM says the 2021 Equinox will provide easier access to safety tech (meaning less of it will be firewalled behind the more-expensive trims) and a more efficient overall package, but didn't offer us any specifics regarding content availability or real-world fuel economy improvements; for those, we'll have to wait until after its formal unveiling in Chicago. '

We first saw the updated Equinox back in January when images of the new crossover were leaked by a Chinese publication and ended up on Twitter. We now see that these photos were the real thing. Apart from some trim-specific elements (wheels, etc.), the car depicted in them is virtually identical to what we see in Chevy's official images. 

This is an important one for Chevy, as the Equinox is not only the best-selling SUV for the company's core brand, it's the second-best selling vehicle in the entire GM portfolio, period. Of the more than 1 million crossovers the company sold in the U.S. in 2019, nearly 350,000 of them were Equinoxes. 

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