2010 Chevrolet Equinox

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Episode 2903 , Episode 2916
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

As the “new” GM gears up, it’s clear that certain vehicles will be key to its success. The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is the first such vehicle.  Now this 5-passenger compact crossover utility returns with a stem-to-stern overhaul and a focus on higher fuel economy, all to be a stronger competitor in a segment pioneered by the Toyota RAV-4 and Honda CR-V. So let’s see if Equinox can lead the General’s march back to success.

The second-generation 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is built on an updated Theta architecture, shared with the upcoming GMC Terrain. Shorter than last year, its very attractive styling draws heavily from the larger Traverse crossover. That includes a front fascia defined by a two-tier bowtie grille, wraparound headlamps, and available fog lights. The sleek profile is accentuated by a thick, forward-leaning C-pillar and the appearance of wrap-around glass.

But it’s powertrains with class leading economy that really makes the Equinox a standout. Standard is a 2.4-liter Ecotec I4 with advanced direct-fuel injection. Ratings are 182 horsepower, almost as much as last year’s standard V6, with 172 pound-feet of torque. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic, in front-wheel drive form, it boasts Government Fuel Economy ratings of 22 city/32 highway on regular gas.  The highway number beats all other compact crossovers including the RAV4, the CR-V, and even the Ford Escape Hybrid.  All-wheel drive drops the highway number to a still stellar 29. The transmission’s “eco” mode alters shift points for best fuel economy.  Interstate cruising range is a bladder-busting 600 miles.

Optional is a direct-injected 3.0-liter V6 with 264 horsepower and 222 pound-feet of torque. With a 6-speed and front-drive, fuel economy ratings are a more normal 18 City/25 Highway on Regular. We spent our first outings in the Equinox on the twisty roads west of Plymouth, Michigan.  The Equinox 2.4 did exhibit a moderate strain under hard acceleration, but it was no worse than other I4 compact crossovers. With a respectable zero to 60 time of 8.7 seconds, this big four is more than able to haul a full load. However, maximum trailer tow of 3,500 pounds requires the V 6.

A stiffer chassis with wider front track aids the all-independent suspended Equinox towards excellent road manners. Ride is well-controlled, easily conquering the broken and bumpy Michigan pavement. The cabin is unusually quiet too, thanks to a low drag coefficient and Active Noise Cancellation. Equinox comes with discs brakes with ABS and Brake Assist. Hill Start Assist, stability, and traction control further the active safety equation.

The interior of the Equinox is even more head-turning than the exterior. Not at all utilitarian, it follows the twin-cockpit theme of the Malibu and Camaro. The eye-catching instrument panel features blue lighting and a floating center stack for a truly unique appeal within the segment. Two-tone color schemes and excellent fit and finish provide an added dose of style.

Seats have a more upscale look and feel too, especially when dressed in perforated leather and red stitching. A tilt/telescoping steering wheel with cruise controls is standard. The nominal six-speaker CD stereo can be upgraded to an eight-speaker Pioneer system on up-level trims. There’s also a 40-gig hard drive and Bluetooth.

Available is a rear view camera displayed in the rear view mirror. It really helps overcome the otherwise restricted rear vision. The split-folding rear bench seat now reclines. It retains fore and aft adjustment, a full eight inches, so legroom is also class best. And to keep the kids occupied, there’s an available twin-screen rear DVD system. But with so much people space, something had to give. Its 31.4 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the back seat is less than CR-V and RAV-4.  With rear seats folded, that space expands to 63.7, but that’s still below average for its class. But this isn’t: the first programmable power liftgate available for a small crossover. Besides full open, it can be set for a lower opening to avoid contact with a garage ceiling.

With so much to offer, we were also surprised that Equinox has a lower price than last year, starting at $23,185 for the LS, $24,105 for the LT, and $28,790 for the up level LTZ. All-wheel drive adds $1750 more. With upscale styling and interior appointments, class leading fuel-efficiency, and a good overall value, the new 2010 Chevrolet Equinox gives RAV-4 and CRV something new to aim for. As for doing its part for a “new” GM?  Well, the Equinox has all the marks of a winner!

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4-Liter Ecotec I4
  • Horsepower: 182
  • Torque: 172 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 8.7 Seconds
  • EPA: 22 MPG City/ 32 MPG Highway
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 1

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Still A Miata, And That’s A Great Thing

Episode 4340
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the cool little Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived for 1990, it immediately triggered a host of imitators and sparked a genuine global roadster revival. While that fad has faded, America’s love affair with the MX-5 has stayed strong. And, we’re pretty sure we know why!

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably one of the most recognizable cars on the road, and it has a way of putting a smile on our face every time we see one, not to mention any time we get a chance to hop behind the wheel. The Miata concept really hasn’t changed drastically over the last three decades, proof that Mazda got the formula right from the beginning.

Rear-wheel drive, minimal weight, tight suspension, willing engine, superb manual shifter, simple folding top, and just enough creature comforts to make long drives as pleasant as carving up backroad twisties.
An overload of power has never been part of that equation, and many may still decry the lack of horsepower, but just a reminder, this car was meant to rekindle the spirit of British roadsters from the 1960s that were a pure joy to drive, and had engines half as powerful as what the Miata works with today, which is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail

A six-speed manual transmission remains the standard; you must upgrade to top Grand Touring trim to even get the available six-speed automatic. And it all works together to deliver a joyful driving experience that few other vehicles can match.

The exterior design has gotten more purposeful and less cartoonish over the years; new for this year is updated lighting which now incorporates the LED DRLs into the headlight assembly, as well as a more cohesive design for the full LED taillights, plus some fresh wheel choices.

Continual upgrades under the skin too, with a new asymmetric limited-slip differential for all manual-equipped Miatas. Its purpose is to minimize oversteer, and if you think that means it’s less fun, you’d be wrong.

The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears.

It was still a blast to dart through the handling course at our Mason Dixon test track and on the autocross circuit at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Minimal body roll and perfectly neutral handling had us scooting through the turns with ease. Kinematic Posture Control was added back in ’22, using selective braking to tighten up cornering. Adding to it for ’24 is a new steering rack and updated software for the Electric Power Assisted Steering that provides better on-center feel and more precise control.

7.0 seconds to 60 mph won’t exactly get your blood pumping, but it’s plenty adequate for the Miata’s mission and the engine sounds great for a four-cylinder. The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears. But keep those engine revs above 6,000 for the most power. We did and our best quarter-mile was 15.4 at 92 mph.

Our average braking distance of 118 feet from 60 mph may have been a little longer than we’re accustomed to from a performance car these days, but their predictable and fade-free nature will give you plenty of confidence at your next track day.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine

Things remain all business in the cockpit, with everything falling readily to hand, and comfortable seats locking you in place. The most notable change in here for ’24 is a bigger infotainment screen, growing from 7.0 to 8.8 inches.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the manual are 26 City, 34 Highway, and 29 Combined. That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score of 10.3 barrels of annual oil use, with 5.0 tons of CO2 emissions.
Starting price is only $30,170; top Grand Touring goes for $35,470.

It’s true that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has barely evolved over the years; but fortunately for all of us, virtually all of the ways that it has changed have been for the better, yet even in 2024, it remains incredibly affordable. It has been such a constant presence and passion for so many of our MotorWeek staffers over the years it seems like it has been around for a lot longer than just three decades, and thankfully, it looks like there’s no slowing the Miata down.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.0-liter I4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 181
  • Torque: 151 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.4 seconds at 92 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • EPA: 26 City | 34 Highway | 29 Combined