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2010 Chevy Equinox

(Starting at $22,240) (24 city/32 highway) (3 year/ 36,000 mile warranty) (5 year/100,000 mile powertrain) Yes, you read that fuel economy rating correctly. It is true; this SUV gets the same highway rating as a Toyota Camry sedan with a four cylinder engine and beats the Ford Escape hybrid for highway mileage. (Finally a little action in the Ford vs. GM war! Although now it is over MPG supremacy and not who can cram the most cubic inches under the forty foot long hood of a land yacht.)

The direct-injected ECOTEC 4 cylinder is to thank for this great reading and has 182 horsepower and moves the Equinox with class competitive speed and smoothness. Surprisingly the interior of this Chevy is nice enough to put a number of more costly competitors to shame. Compared to the woeful interior of the Ford Escape the Equinox is truly a revelation. While it may lack the indestructible sheen of the Honda CR-V, it does outdo that model with more pizzazz and styling brio. Yes, I said styling brio and Chevy Equinox in the same sentence.

The center console is a gorgeous, flowing piece of faux-metal artwork and the top line leather is double stitched and with two contrasting yet supporting colors as is found in the occasional Audi. It may not work as well here as it does in the magic Audi’s but it is a step in the right direction for Government Motors. When some people heard the Government was buying GM they got really scared that we were all going to be forced to drive those dorky mail trucks. Thank Equinox for proving that this will never be necessary. GM apparently still has a bit of its design and engineering mojo, after all.

So if you don’t like or trust hybrid technology, want a stylish interior, vastly improved build quality with all the latest toys and features why not try your Chevy dealer instead of the standard Toyota or Honda? While the 2009 model was a frumpily underpowered engineering and build quality disaster Chevy has fixed all those gremlins in one generation. (That is really hard to do 4 much less fix 1). Looking stylish and confident, the 2010 Chevy Equinox deserves to succeed in the marketplace.

Also note: The Equinox is larger than both CR-V and Escape but is smaller than the Pilot or Edge. So for some people, this really could be a right sized SUV. And who would have ever thought the company that brought us Hummer would do that?