Source: media.chevrolet.com

Automotive Press Heaps Praise On Chevy Equinox EV

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The automotive press is saying nice things about the Chevy Equinox EV. In fact, virtually all the reviews so far are positive. Our own Paul Fosse got to attend the recent press event in Michigan and writes, “The entry level 1LT 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV sets a new standard for value with its performance, features, and fuel savings.” Here is a smattering of comments from Autoblog, Jalopnik, and Cars.com that all echo Paul’s sentiments.

Autoblog On Equinox EV: Finally, Chevy Gets Compact Right

Autoblog calls the Chevy Equinox EV an “impressive and fully competitive electric SUV” that is Chevy’s EV for everyone. The Equinox EV is aimed squarely at the compact SUV segment of the new car market, which happens to be just about the hottest sector of the market today. Not everyone wants or needs a three row vehicle that can haul an entire basketball team, It’s not as big as a Suburban or as small as a Trax. Call it a Goldilocks car, if you will.

At the press event, Brad Franz, Chevy marketing director for cars and crossovers, told Autoblog, “We really do believe that this is the one that’s going to crack the code. It’s not just about paying $100,000 to get the range that Equinox is going to provide.” Chevy vice president Scott Bell added, “We’d be foolish not to get after this business.” The Equinox EV comes either as a front-wheel drive, single motor model with 213 hp, 236 lb-ft of torque and 319 miles of range or an all-wheel drive dual motor variant with 288 hp, 333 lb-ft and a range of 285 miles.” That isn’t as much of a performance jump as you’ll find in other EVs, which speaks to the rear motor being a smaller induction motor that mostly responds to front wheel slippage as conventional all-wheel drive systems do. But that also means the price premium is a comparatively modest $3,300, Autoblog says.

Chevrolet says the Equinox EV can add 77 miles of range in 10 minutes on DC fast charging. It can accept a maximum of 150 kW of power, which is three times more than the Bolt but considerably less than many other EVs on the market today. The car can charge at 11.5 kW when plugged into a Level 2 home, which will add up to 36 miles of range per hour. Bi-directional charging is also available but requires the purchase of additional accessories.

The Equinox EV is the de facto replacement for the Bolt EV, at least until the second generation Bolt arrives, probably in 2025. Chevy says Bolt buyers were typically well educated and relatively affluent, so it hopes to tap into the demographic while appealing to a new group of owners as well. The Equinox EV is also for those who currently drive conventional cars, the company says, which means it is casting a wide net and knows the Equinox EV will have a lot of competition. It will be cross-shopped against the VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Nissan Ariya, Tesla Model Y, as well as the smaller and cheaper Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric. Some may even consider it instead of the entry level Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Jalopnik Likes The Equinox EV Too

Chevy Equinox EV
Source: media.chevrolet.com

The Jalopnik report focuses on the interior and ride quality, both of which it says are well above average. The cabin of the Equinox EV is a big step up from other offerings and feels more special than the price point suggests, it says. The air vent surrounds, door panels, passenger dashboard, and center console all are made from plastic with a painted finish that has either bright blue or red fading into black. It may not sound inviting when described in words, but Jalopnik says it looks trey chic, the blue especially, and some of the pieces are backlit with configurable ambient lighting.The two climate control knobs are rubberized and have nice action, and there’s a handful of other physical switches for frequently used controls. Chevrolet and many other manufacturers are steering clear of the “everything on the touchscreen” approach pioneered by Tesla. The feedback from customers is that they prefer a few knobs, stalks, and switches.

In both Normal and Sport modes, the steering is nicely weighted and direct, verging on being fun to whip around town or on a nice back road, and the front-wheel drive Equinox EV doesn’t struggle to find traction or understeer significantly with the exhilerator all the way to the floor in a corner. Chevy says the FWD Equinox EV weighs 4,895 pounds in 2RS trim while the AWD model is 5,050 pounds, but it doesn’t feel that hefty from behind the wheel. Ride quality in the 2LT is fantastic, better than some EVs costing five figures more. It’s so much nicer to drive than nearly all other internal combustion crossovers in its class, and even many other higher priced cars both convention and battery powered, Jalopnik says.

Baseball, Hot Dogs, & The Equinox EV

Cars.com was also at the press event last week and found the Equinox EV very much to its liking. It says the car is Chevrolet’s most mainstream electric vehicle yet. It’s a stylish, nicely equipped compact SUV that offers competitive range and charging speed at very competitive prices. The Equinox EV stacks up well against comparable trims of the competition. It is available with the GM Super Cruise hands-free highway driving system, which is highly regarded when used within the limits it is designed for.

In the mid-1970s, Chevrolet introduced one of its most memorable and successful advertising slogans — Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet — an ad campaign timed to coincide with the patriotism and nostalgia of America’s 1976 bicentennial celebrations. It was intended to position Chevrolet as a bedrock part of American culture. America is still in the tumultuous early stages of transitioning from internal combustion engines to electric powertrains, Cars.com says, but it is clear that Chevrolet intends the Equinox EV to be its “apple pie” EV — a value-focused compact SUV aimed right at the heart of the American market.

The Takeaway

The 2LT Equinox EV is available now at Chevrolet dealers in America. It lists for $43,395, which includes the destination charge. The least expensive version, the 1LT, will be available later in 2024. All models are eligible for the full $7500 federal tax rebate, which gives the 2LT an effective price of $35,895 while the 1LT, when available, will have an effective price of $27,495, including delivery.

We (and many others) have been highly critical of how General Motors in general and Chevrolet in particular have responded to the challenge of building and selling electric cars. It is possible that after much backing and filling, The General is now ready to do its part to make electric cars appealing to mainstream shoppers? It certainly seems that why, which is great news for GM, for the EV revolution, and the Earth.

We won’t know for a while whether cars like the Equinox EV can entice people to abandon their old gasmobiles and join the shift to electric cars, but the indications are that GM is indeed serious about offering compelling EVs. Perhaps things are not as dire as they seemed a short while ago.


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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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