Equinox ar­rives in coun­try

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - MO­TOR­ING

Spot­ted out­side Holden New Zealand’s HQ: the next SUV the brand will be launch­ing in this coun­try.

It’s the Equinox, which is sched­uled to en­ter the cru­cial medium-sized SUV mar­ket dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of this year, re­plac­ing the Cap­tiva.

One of the Mex­i­can-built Equinox has been im­ported for tech­ni­cal re­view by Holden NZ staff. We were al­lowed to grab some pho­tographs of the ve­hi­cle as it sat out­side in the Holden carpark - but only of the ex­te­rior; no pic­tures of the in­te­rior were al­lowed.

Few de­tails of the Equinox were forth­com­ing. Holden NZ spokesman Ed Finn said it was far too early to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on pow­er­trains and lev­els of spec­i­fi­ca­tion - all that will be made avail­able closer to launch date.

Finn did con­firm though that the ve­hi­cle will be a five-seater, leav­ing it up to the cur­rent Trail­blazer and an­other Holden SUV due to ar­rive next year, the Aca­dia, to meet cus­tomer needs for seven seats.

While the Equinox will be a new Holden name­plate in New Zealand, it has been a mid-sized SUV in North Amer­ica for the past 13 years. The ve­hi­cle parked at HNZ was a third-generation model re­leased by Gen­eral Mo­tors ear­lier this year, and the plan is for it to be a ‘‘global’’ ve­hi­cle that will go on sale in at least 115 mar­kets.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion from over­seas, the Equinox is be­ing built with a choice of 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre tur­bocharged petrol en­gines, and with a 1.6-litre tur­bocharged diesel.

All three en­gines are mated to a nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The ve­hi­cle is slightly larger than the cur­rent Cap­tiva, and with a longer wheel­base. But it is around 180kg lighter than the Equinox it re­places, with a kerb weight of around 1500kg.

With all five seats in use the rear load space is a very im­pres­sive 846 litres, grow­ing to 1798 litres when the back seats are folded down.

When Equinox is launched in New Zealand, it will con­tinue a big SUV year for Holden. Late last year the brand in­tro­duced the Trail­blazer which re­placed the Colorado7.

-Rob Maet­zig

ROB MAET­ZIG

In other mar­kets the Equinox is sold as a Chevro­let - but what logo is un­der that taped-over badge?

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