2015 Chevrolet EquinoxHere's an example of an original idea: The Swiffer Wet Jet. It's an uber-expensive cleaning device that can supposedly clean the dirty from dirt. The catch is the disposable cleaning pads, and the attached cleaning solution dispenser removes 80% of the effort normally required to mop your floor.
An example of a copied idea is Store Brand Spaghetti-O's. They may have changed a few ingredients, but they're a blatant copy of Chef Boyardee. And that's basically what Chevy did, when they cooked up the current generation Chevy Equinox back in 2010.
The designers took the best bits from other crossovers, then filled it with the most popular features. Nothing unique or bespoke was included. There's Mercedes ML, Toyota Rav4, and Ford Explorer in the styling. And while the spec sheet is impressive, it doesn't contain anything that you can't get on any other compact CUV. Except maybe the height-adjustable power liftgate. Wow!
Now, the Chevrolet Equinox isn't a bad CUV mind you, just "uninspired". But that's okay. In the world of fleet sales, and bargain shoppers, Chevy's compact crossover is quite popular. They sold 193,000 of them in 2011 (a large chunk of those went to rental agencies and company fleets), making it the 15th best seller in 2011. Only the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V outsold it in the compact CUV class.
Innovation be damned, Chevy's recipe worked. And the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox received some significant upgrades, meant to keep it at the top of the class.
2015 Chevrolet Equinox - What's New?
The biggest change comes under the hood, where the wheeze-box 3.0 V6 has been supplanted by the (really good) GM 3.6 liter direct injected V6. In the 2015 Chevy Equinox, this corporate powerplant makes 301-hp, which is really impressive in this class. Power is up 14% (264-hp in the old clatterbox), but the gas mileage remains the same @ 16 city / 23 hwy / 19 comb with AWD, and 17/24/20. The 182-hp 2.4 liter 4-pot remains unchanged, with an EPA rating of 22/32/26 with FWD, and 20/29/23 with AWD. The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox FWD/4-cyl gets 1 highway mpg more than the 2015 Honda CR-V, and just 1 highway mpg less than the best selling 2015 Ford Escape EcoBoost.
Other changes include the addition of Chevy's new MyTouch infotainment system (hint: it has a touchscreen), a newly optional safety package adds lane departure warning, rear park assist, and frontal collision warning. But if you need a warning system to tell you that you're about to rear end that giant FedEx truck in front of you...perhaps you shouldn't be driving?
An eight-way power passenger seat has also been added to the options list. And the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ now comes with the FE2 suspension, which uses 2-mode dampers to instantly adjust from soft & absorbent, to almost-sporty.
After combing through the 2015 Chevy Equinox spec sheet, we actually managed to find two unique features on this copy-mobile. The first is an 'adaptive remote start system', which lets you start the car from the outside, and the system will automatically activate the heated seats, heated mirrors, and the front / rear defrosters if the temperature drops below 45 degrees. Pretty cool (or should I say 'hot'?).
The other uniquity is a pause button that allows you to actually pause the radio, then resume what you were listening to, after you're done yelling at the kids.
In a Nutshell
While the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox isn't a particularly exciting choice, it does offer a lot of bang for the buck (prices start at $23k). And most of this trucklet's target market will appreciate that a whole lot more than suave styling, or a bunch of whiz-bang novelties.