What Are They?
Chevrolet has brought two new models to this year’s LA Auto Show: a fully redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Equinox crossover and an off-roader version of its midsize Colorado pickup truck, dubbed the Colorado ZR2.
Chevrolet’s most important debut in LA is the 2018 Equinox crossover. Officially revealed in September, the Equniox is making its auto show debut with a completely new design compared to the outgoing model — both inside and out. Exterior changes are immediately obvious and include more modern lines, while interior updates feature higher-quality materials and a more stylish look.
Under the hood, the Equinox will offer three engine options: a 170-horsepower 4-cylinder, a 252-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder, and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder with 136 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The diesel is a first among compact crossovers like the Equinox — and it could result in an impressive 40 miles per gallon. Of course, the latest Equinox will also offer a lot of high-tech features, like lane-keep assist, forward-collision alert with low-speed braking, and a 360-degree surround-view camera.
Although the Equinox will likely be a big seller, Chevrolet’s more exciting debut in LA was the 2017 Colorado ZR2 pickup — an off-road-ready version of the brand’s new Colorado midsize truck. Featuring complicated off-road suspension and a host of other upgrades — like an off-roading front bumper designed to give maximum ground clearance, a front skid plate, 31-inch off-road tires and a suspension lift. Drivers interested in the Colorado ZR2 can choose between a 308-hp 3.6-liter gas-powered V6 and the truck’s optional 2.8-liter turbodiesel V6, with 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Chevrolet has not announced pricing for the 2018 Equinox or the 2017 Colorado ZR2. While we suspect the Equinox will only carry a slightly more expensive base price tag than its current starting MSRP of around $24,000, the Colorado ZR2 will likely start at well over $30,000 with shipping — and maybe around $40,000.
When Can You Get Them?
Both the Colorado ZR2 and Equinox go on sale early next year — though the Equinox should arrive a little sooner, likely in the first few months of 2017, while the Colorado ZR2 will reach dealers in the spring.
Add Them to Your Shopping List Because…
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox deserves a spot on your shopping list for the same reason all recent Chevrolet models deserve your consideration — because recent redesigns have made them closely competitive with many top rivals. While we haven’t spent any time in the new Equinox, the crossover will likely impress us if it follows the same path as other recent Chevy models, like the latest Malibu sedan and Tahoe SUV.
As for the Colorado ZR2, consider this a dream truck if you’re an off-roader. Poised to directly take on off-roader versions of the Toyota Tacoma, the Colorado ZR2 seems to take things a little further than Toyota’s pickup — good news for pickup owners who like to spend their weekends exploring local trails or getting off the beaten path.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Ford Edge — The Equinox has always straddled the border between a compact SUV and a midsize model — the same territory where you’ll find the Ford Edge. One major difference: The Edge won’t offer a high-mpg diesel model like the Equinox does.
2017 Nissan Murano — The Murano touts a bolder design than the Equinox, along with more standard power and luxury equipment. But it’s more expensive without being considerably larger — and its design is aging.
2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X — The aging Nissan Frontier hardly stands up to the Colorado in terms of modern design features or off-road capabilities. But it does offer legendary reliability and affordable pricing.
2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro — The Toyota Tacoma enjoys an impressive reputation for durability — and TRD Pro models are naturals off-road. Pricing is high, though, with a starting MSRP of more than $40,000.