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Car Review: 2005 Chevrolet Equinox

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By Autoline Detroit

SEE ALSO: New Car Buyer's Guide for Chevrolet

Chevroletís latest advertising tag line is ďAn American Revolution.Ē But in the case of the new Chevy Equinox, itís more like an American/Japanese/Canadian/Chinese revolution. Thatís because the Equinox features American design, built in conjunction with Suzuki in an assembly plant in Canada, powered by an engine made in China. Talk about globalization!

But Chevy has high hopes for the good-looking Equinox because it replaces the Tracker, which didnít exactly set the world on fire.

With a wheelbase of 112 inches Chevy claims the Equinox is the largest in compact SUV. It goes up against a host of competitors that are starting to crowd this segment.

The Equinox is powered by a 3.4 liter V-6 engine that puts out 185 horsepower and 210 foot pounds of torque. Not what youíd consider a stump puller, but competitive for this class. It comes in front wheel drive form, with all wheel drive optional. The only available transmission is a 5-speed automatic. Itís rated at 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway for front-wheel drive and one mile per gallon less with all-wheel drive.

Inside, it offers great versatility and utility. The instrument panel and controls look purposeful and modern, the back seat slides back and forth nearly 8 inches, and the package shelf in the rear offers multiple settings.

The Equinox comes in two models. The base LS starts at $21,560 including destination charges, while the LT starts at $23,275 which adds cruise control, tinted glass, fog lamps, 16-inch cast aluminum wheels and a monochromatic exterior. The all-wheel-drive option adds about $2,000.

Put it all together and Chevrolet has a compact utility that is far more competitive than what it offered before.