Chevrolet showed the 2021 Equinox at this year’s Chicago Auto Show with the intent to put the model on sale later this year. The coronavirus tripped up those plans, delaying the refreshed crossover and a group of other Chevy models like the full-sized SUVs. That means features like the Blazer-inspired front and rear fascias, more standard equipment and more safety tech, the French stitching in the Premier trim, and the brand new RS trim will wait until 2022. GM Authority reports changes coming for the carryover 2020 model, though, Chevy apparently dropping the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for the 2021 model year. At the moment, and as it has for three generations, the Equinox offers two engines — after Chevy also dropped the short-lived 1.6-liter diesel four-cylinder. The standard mill is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque, the optional engine on the LT and Premier trims being the 2.0-liter with 252 hp and 260 lb-ft that adds $2,500 to the MSRP.
Since 2008, when dealers moved 67,447 Equinoxes in the U.S., the compact crossover has been on a sales climb interrupted only once, in 2016. Last year, the Equinox was Chevy’s second-best seller after the Silverado, posting 346,048 sales. Despite that climb, buyers weren’t going for the more potent engine. GMA‘s sources told the outlet that 2.0-liter uptake was merely 7%, the kind of adoption you might expect if the 2.0-liter only came with a manual transmission. Losing the 2.0-liter means the Equinox also loses it’s 3,500-pound tow rating; Chevy rates the 1.5-liter Equinox at 1,500 pounds, but the market has decided that number will suffice. It’s possible Chevy could make a transmission change for the 1.5-liter next year, pairing it with the nine-speed automatic that came with the larger engine instead of the six-speed auto used now, but don’t expect it.
The 2021 Equinox interior will get more choice, GMA reporting the LT model gains the option for black leather seating. The $2,130 Midnight Edition Package that comes with Jet Black perforated leather-appointed seating will offer cloth seating for the fabric lovers.