2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZEnlarge Photo
It's a trend we might see a lot more of over the next several years, as automakers struggle to meet tougher upcoming fuel economy regulations. And in one of what we think will be many more cases, the next generation of the Equinox, due for around the 2016 model year, is due to be downsized.
The current 2011 Equinox is still based on GM's Theta platform, originally introduced with the 2002 Saturn Vue. It's nearly a mid-size vehicle, at about 188 inches long, and it's as heavy as a mid-size ute, at close to 4,000 pounds with all-wheel drive and about 4,200 pounds with the available V-6—that's hundreds of pounds more (and larger on the outside) than the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, or Hyundai Tucson. The Equinox, in fact, is more in line with the likes of the Toyota Highlander and Kia Sorento, while the Chevy Traverse is a half-step larger.
The next-gen Equinox will be built off a new version of the automaker's Global Delta platform, which will be several hundred pounds lighter than the current Delta platform. Currently, the Delta platform is used in the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2012 Buick Verano.
Also, according to GMI, the new Gamma platform, on which the automaker is building the upcoming 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, will also be the foundation for a smaller crossover.
What do you think: Are we at the cusp of another major downsizing trend? Will Americans be happy with a slightly smaller Equinox?