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AutoGuide‘s compact crossover video comparison garnered plenty of attention this week, as we pitted eight of the market’s most popular crossovers against one another. Which one came out on top? Watch the video below, along with our other most popular videos of the week.
Price, content, fuel economy and style: which compact crossover has it all?
Facing a shortage in supply, GM has restricted dealer orders to better ration its bestsellers. Unfortunately, this has caused many dealers to fill their inventory with the 3.0-liter V6 models, which are less desirable to consumers in the face of rising costs at the pump. Currently, four-cylinder models account for 80 percent of Equinox and Terrain sales.
GM spokesman Jim Cain explained that “temporary order limits” had to be placed on the Equinox and Terrain. “It’s a function of a strong industry, a hot vehicle, and a very robust demand for the four-cylinder model.We’re working with our suppliers to increase deliveries of key components.”
According to GM, the supply constraints will only be temporary until the supplier adjustment has been resolved. From the dealer’s perspectives, it has been difficult to shift the V6 models as the national average has risen to $3.79/gallon of gas. For Herb Chambers Chevrolet-Cadillac of Danvers,MA, general sales manager Eduart Lela said, “I cringe when I have to order a six.”
In an effort to work with the dealers, GM offers a $1,000 discount for each V6 Equinox or Terrain moved in order to lift sales.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Equinox
[Source: GM Inside News]
General Motors is targeting a safety issue with new equipment that until now has been unaddressed.
They plan to release a front-seat center-airbag (pictured above) that deploys between the driver and passenger seats. The new feature is supposed to improve safety in the event of far-side impact crashes, which statistics show to be responsible for 11 percent of all crash-related deaths.
When such a crash occurs, the bag deploys in 26 milliseconds using a combination of pressurized argon and pyrotechnic gas. It forms a hard barrier between the passenger and driver sides of the vehicle, protecting against the possibility of two people damaging each other during a collision. The bag is also angled away from the passenger seat to keep the driver from smashing against the center console and is sturdy enough to help protect against a poll during such a crash.
GM developed the device in partnership with Takata, which stays rigidly inflated for several minutes after impact. Expect to see it in the 2013 Buick Enclave as standard equipment and as an option in the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse. According to MotorTrend, GM chose the crossovers because they are the most likely to carry extra passengers. Despite being an option, the new airbags should appear on about 90 percent of these models.
The safety blitz isn’t stopping there, though, GM is also offering a low-cost safety system that offers both front crash detection and lane departure warning systems for only $295. That’s a bargain compared to the thousands it costs for similar features on Mercedes or BMW cars.
The difference is that GM’s technology takes advantage of a high-definition camera capable of processing 14 images per second through the car’s computer. In doing so, it recognizes pedestrians, motorcycles, cars and trucks while calculating your risk of hitting them. That risk is determined by how quickly the object in question is moving. The camera is mounted on the passenger side of the rear-view mirror, behind the windshield.
The system can be toggled to chirp at near, medium or far settings and can even be shut off completely. It also remembers what distance you set it to last when restarted. The notification system combines a red warning light on the dashboard with a series of eight beeps through the front stereo speakers. The system activates if the driver fails to signal a lane change and lower warning tones come from on the speakers on the corresponding side.
There might be plans in the future for GM to employ more safety features like high beam assist and traffic signal recognition but those features are more expensive because they use radar instead of the camera.
Expect the camera-based features to appear first on the 2012 GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Equinox.
Chevrolet is updated their 2012 Equinox with new features and equipment including their MyLink in-vehicle wireless connectivity, customized infotainment options and new safety-enhancing features. The Equinox has become a hot ticket item for Chevrolet, with a 52-percent increase in its retail sales for the first 10 months of this year.
Chevrolet’s MyLink will be a great addition to the Equinox, seamlessly integrating online services such as Pandora internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio by using hands-free voice and touchscreen controls via Bluetooth-enabled phones. In addition, it’ll add audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones. This is all controlled through a 7-inch full-color touchscreen display.
The 2012 Equinox also features a GM-exclusive crash-avoidance system, using a single camera to help drivers avoid front-end collisions at an affordable price – only $295 on LTZ trim levels.
No pricing was announced for the 2012 Equinox.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, requires all tire pressure monitoring systems to illuminate a warning signal when the tires are below 25 percent of the vehicle’s recommended psi. However, the sensors fitted into the 2012 Equinox and Terrain may not illuminate until it is even lower than that.
Improperly inflated tires will result to various unsafe situations including an overloaded and overheating tire that may blowout at speed, increasing the possibilities of a crash. Inconveniences such as irregular and premature wear, poor handling, as well as poor fuel economy can be a result of underinflated tires as well.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain
GM’s MyLink, available starting with the 2012 Chevrolet Volt and Equinox, will offer smartphone charging, Pandora radio streaming, GraceNote music identification, Bluetooth, XM satellite radio, voice activation, OnStar, and USB inputs, in case listening to drive-time radio is too crushing for commuters.
The MyLink comes hot on the heels of Ford’s SYNC as an inevitable comparison. But unlike the SYNC, MyLink includes the full power of GM’s OnStar behind it, for starters. It will also come with Powermat charging for the smartphones that you won’t need to fiddle with once behind the wheel. And, uh, that’s about it. Functionality between the two infotainment systems is remarkably similar otherwise, which makes you wish that GM had introduced this earlier.
The MyLink includes a 7″ full-color touchscreen standard, which controls climate control and navigation operations. The first GM cars that will be equipped with it later this year will be the Chevrolet Volt and the Equinox, before the rest of the General Motors lineup.
Last year Cadillac took a leap into modern times by offering its new CTS model with Wi-Fi. Now, Chevy has announced that it will offer a dealer-installed Wi-Fi service for seven models including the: Equinox, Traverse, Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche and Express.
The on-board system will transform a vehicle (as well as the area within 150 feet) into a Wi-Fi hotspot, letting users surf the internet freely. Passengers can check Facebook or Twitter and even watch YouTube videos thanks to a 3G network connection of up to 1.5 mbps.
In addition the system can support several devices simultaneously and with additional docking stations, the router can be moved from vehicle to vehicle.
Until December 31st, Chevy is offering the Wi-Fi as an option for $199.
Official release after the jump:
Direct-injection versions of 2.4-liter Ecotec 4-cyl and 3.0-liter V6 deliver impressive fuel-economy
General motors has just released some new info on the upcoming 2010 Chevy Equinox, with the most surprising item being the price. The all-new model will come in at $1,800 less than the outgoing ’09 model, with a starting price of $23,185, including a $745 destination charge
The other important bit of info GM has released is the two engines that will be offered, both of which provide some impressive fuel-economy numbers – especially for a large crossover. The standard engine for the Equinox will be GM’s tried-and-true 2.4-liter Ecotec engine, which has been updated with direct-injection technology to improve output to 182hp. Direct-injection is also known for improving fuel-efficiency and GM estimates this engine fitted in the Equinox will result in a 30 mpg highway rating and a 21 mpg city rating.
The optional powerplant will be a 3.0-liter V6 engine, which also gets direct-injection, for a total output of 264hp. This, GM estimates, will achieve a rating of 18/25 mpg (city/highway).
Range for one tank of gas is expected to be 500 miles (800 km) with either engine.
“Offering the fuel economy of a sedan with the functionality of a crossover, the Equinox is a superior value for our customers,” said Ed Peper, VP of Chevrolet. “Getting best-in-class fuel economy and great storage for less than $24,000 is significant.”
GALLERY: 2010 Chevy Equinox
More on the 2010 Chevy Equinox after the jump: