Where Are The Rugged Chevy Activ Crossovers? Opinion11
Chevrolet is currently lacking significantly in the department of rugged, active lifestyle utility vehicles. Although it does offer such a crossover in its Trailblazer Activ, where are the other Chevy Activ models, namely the Equinox, Blazer, and Traverse? We’re here to address exactly that in today’s GM Authority Opinion Desk.
The focus on active outdoor lifestyle vehicles is echoed in the latest automotive commercials, showing a clear push toward ever more capable crossovers for off-roading, overlanding, or just looking the part. Across the board, it seems like every automaker is trying to one-up competitors with a more capable off-road version of each crossover and SUV in its lineup.
For instance, Ford recently announced the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline as an off-road capable variant of its storied full-size crossover, giving a master class on how to turn a regular utility into a capable trail rig.
Activ models done the right way would mean, among other things, slightly higher ground clearance, unique high-clearance front and rear fascias, plus grippier tires.
The outdoor-focused Trailblazer Activ trim also features a two-tone roof, unique front and rear fascias with a unique dual exhaust treatment, and, Chevy notes, “sport terrain tires, a suspension tuned for off-road capability, and a functional front skid plate.”
Even GM’s GMC brand is giving some lessons to its corporate cousin Chevrolet, as the former now offers a full line of AT4 versions of all its models, including the Terrain AT4 and Acadia AT4 crossovers.
While not exactly at the level of the Explorer Timberline, at least it’s a start, and a formula that works. Over half of AT4 buyers are new to GMC, highlighting the importance of the AT4 sub-brand. That success mirrors what other automakers are seeing with the growing focus on off-road models.
Mazda confirmed exactly that with the recent unveiling of the all-new 2023 Mazda CX-50 as a rugged off-road-flavored compact crossover to rival the GMC Terrain AT4.
It’s time for Chevy to follow suit and expand its Activ sub-brand, especially since the Bow Tie brand has also seen success with its off-road-focused small crossover. Within a year of introducing the Trailblazer Activ model, 10 percent of buyers chose it, and that figure was limited by supply. In other words, more customers would have likely chosen the Activ trim had Chevy built more Trailblazers with it.
At this point, we believe that a Blazer Activ model will likely arrive for its mid-cycle enhancement. But potential Equinox Activ and Traverse Activ models will likely only appear once they’re overhauled around 2024. That would make them quite late to the party.
And on the more capable off-road front, GM lacks not only an answer to Ford’s Explorer Timberline, but also a true, rugged crossover rival to The Blue Oval’s relatively new and successful Bronco Sport. It seems that The General has grossly miscalculated the demand for these kinds of vehicles, and has not planned for them, in spite of initial efforts with GMC’s AT4 line.
Meanwhile, competitors are empowering customers to head off the beaten trail while laughing all the way to the bank.
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This is a great CUV platform but not an off road platform. These are really just large fwd cars that are tall wagons.
My Acadia is a good vehicle and work on road like a sport sedan with the electronics suspension. But with that said I would not want to go off road unless they totally reworked the underside and suspension.
The rear five link is not suited for off road and large changes in articulation. The fuel tank is very exposed. The front suspension also needs reworked.
Best to do a a new vehicle to challenge the Bronco on a short ZR platform.
You can put bigger tires on and AT4 emblems but an Acadia, Terrain, Nox or Blazer are not going to be Moab rated.
There’re gone, Mary invested money in crappy Lectrics.
This has driven me nuts for a while. I get that not every vehicle that’s shaped like an SUV is a Wrangler or a Range Rover, but there should be quantifiable off-road models available for each of the Chevy models, minimum. It’s their mainstream brand. Increased ground clearance, standard all-wheel-drive with viable dual-clutch-driven rear wheels, usable drive modes for sand and mud, suspension reinforcement, and real skid plates for the critical underbody elements… How hard would that be? It isn’t even as much as a Z71, let alone a ZR2. Why can’t they just do that?
Au contraire, I think separation between the two brands is important to be made. GMC traditionally has been seen as a higher level brand than Chevrolet although for many years since around the latter part of the 1960’s the two brands have been essentially clones of each other. However in recent years it appears that gm has been bringing more separation between the two most visibly in their exterior styling.
What seems to be happening now is that GMCs are emphasizing a backcountry image headlined by the Hummer EV. The utility vehicle market is very broad – let Chevrolet focus and be innovative in other areas such as Ford has done with their new compact Maverick which is bound to bring in buyers who are not typical truck buyers. And in commercial trade oriented vehicles – it’s waaay past time for Chevrolet to respond to the Ford Transit van. Inexcusable.
They get watered down to not much better than a beefy looking mall crawler by the time the show vehicle finally hits the streets, Typical hyped up BS.
The Activ branding feels a bit weak. Sort of like Activia, a yogurt promoted by Jamie Lee Curtis. So does the Activ designation imply you need more probiotics?
So you’re telling me that, when thinking of Activ, the first thing that comes to mind is some yogurt, and not the actual word “active”, which the Activ brand actually sounds like and is one letter away from being spelled identically? Your argument seems paper thin.
To be fail the water down mall crawlers are the majority of the market.
We have a SUV for the room not the off road ability.
It would be nice if GM just had one real option at Chevy or GMC.
GM has the worst product planners in the automotive industry. They are rarely first to market anything innovative or unique and then completely ignore emerging market trends. In the shrinking areas they do compete, the products are mid-pack with dated or uninspiring designs. Instead of competing in certain segments with better products, they just abandon them. It gets so frustrating. This company needs to get competitive again in the USA market and pay it at least half the attention it pays the Chinese market. And what they do have that is good, they don’t market properly.
Not needed. MOVE ON
Chevy needs to step it up and at least make a vehicle to compete with the Bronco for God sakes!! Turn the Blazer into the off-roader and leave the other SUV’s the way they are. Chevy doesn’t need all these different models only as SUV’s. The Blazer was always the off-road version period!