The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox may have looked quite different from the vehicle you see today. Automotive News reports the original design slated for production scored so poorly with consumer focus groups, it led Chevrolet back to the drawing board. And that’s a big deal for General Motors.
“Back in the day, we would have probably just kept going,” said Mark Cieslak, chief engineer for the Equinox. “What we had on paper we felt was not going to win.”
Negative phrases such as “too bulky”, “odd styling” and “not compelling enough” stung the brand, which was already deep into the design and engineering of the 2018 Equinox. But, instead of chugging along, the design was vetoed and the Equinox team started again. And they did it without falling behind schedule.
We likely won’t ever know what GM and Chevrolet were initially planning with the third-generation Equinox, but the vehicle certainly has come out poised for success. The team shrunk the crossover to become a compact CUV, ditching the old Equinox’s in-betweener nature, all while sacrificing just three-tenths of an inch of legroom and actually increasing passenger volume 3.5 cubic feet.
“That brought it into the heart of the segment,” Cieslak said.
In the process, the 2018 Equinox became leaner, too, shedding 400 pounds over the outgoing Equinox.
“We had engineers lined up down the hall every Friday to show how they could take a gram out of their part until we pulled out 400 pounds,” Cieslak said.
The stakes are high with the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox. As the crossover segment continues to grow and eat into passenger car sales, consumers are turning to vehicles like the Equinox as their daily drivers. From our initial time with the new Equinox, it looks like Chevrolet may have a winner on its hands.