New Chevrolet Equinox Diesel Gets 39 MPG Highway
Chevy’s compact crossover achieves best-in-class highway fuel economy and best-in-class highway range of 577 miles.
Thirty-nine miles per gallon on the highway … in a crossover. It’s an achievement when a compact sedan is that efficient. Chevrolet has done it with the Equinox; a high-riding family hauler. How did Chevy achieve that? Diesel.
It may be a dirty word in an era when the Volkswagen diesel-cheating scandal is fresh in everyone’s minds, but when diesel is done right, it’s a great, lower-cost, energy-efficient alternative to hybrids.
Why has Chevrolet decided to introduce a diesel-powered crossover? With few exceptions, consumers want more choices, and Chevy is rising to the occasion.
Also, Chevy did it for the bragging rights of having best-in-class fuel economy. Did you forget the figure used to begin this article? The Equinox diesel gets 39 mpg on the highway! It also achieves 28 mpg in the city, and 32 mpg combined. Those figures are for front-wheel-drive Equinoxes. All-wheel-drive versions are down only one mpg on the highway cycle. Even when focusing on the AWD mpg figures of 28 city/38 highway/32 combined, the Equinox puts up a good fight with the AWD hybrid competition.
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD comes in at 34 city/30 highway/32 combined, and the Nissan Rogue Hybrid AWD sips at the rate of 31 city/34 highway/33 combined. With the way the Equinox trounces the competition in highway fuel economy, it’s clear Chevrolet’s compact diesel crossover is meant for people who put lots of highway miles on their vehicles. That’s where the big-money savings will occur.
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So let’s jump right into the economics because the reason people are going to be buying the Equinox Diesel is for long-term savings. A diesel-powered Equinox LT, which starts at $31,435 is $2,195 dearer than a gasoline-powered Equinox LT.
According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), people who buy diesels can expect to save up to $7,000 in the total cost of ownership over five years. Even on the lower end of the UMTRI study, consumers were saving as little as $2,000 in as short as three years. That two grand gets intimately close to the cost of entry into the Equinox diesel club, so even under the most conservative calculations, keeping in mind that, yes, diesel fuel prices cycle at different rates compared with gasoline, there’s low risk of losing money if you invest in diesel.
What’s the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel like to drive? We’ve driven the gas-powered Equinox at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and in addition to being quiet and comfortable, we know it’s a lot of fun to toss through the cones of an autocross circuit. In a few weeks we’ll get a chance to test how the diesel compares when Chevy gives us the opportunity to drive one. In the meantime, let’s give you some torque and horsepower figures.
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With turbocharger boost pressure reaching as high as 42 psi, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox’s LH7 1.6-liter diesel has a maximum output of 240 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, and 137 horsepower at 3,750 rpm. That calculates to a torque-per-liter figure of 150, which is staggering considering Volkswagen had to scandalize its way to only 236 lb-ft with 2.0 liters, or a torque-per-liter figure of 118. Womp-womp.
Thanks to GM’s variable-geometry turbocharging, the 1.6L diesel is on boil with at least 219 lb-ft of torque between 1,500 and 3,250 rpm. For 35 percent of this new Chevy diesel’s rev range, the specific torque output never falls below 137 lb-ft per liter. The numbers don’t lie. This is a powerful mill.
‘More than 1,000 people contributed to its design, engineering and validation.’
It’s also refined: Chevy’s 1.6L turbodiesel is up to 65 percent quieter than the 2.0L turbodiesel in the Jaguar F Pace. The LH7 is so quiet, in fact, that when the German media tested it, they referred to it as the “Flüsterdiesel”, which translates to “whisper diesel”. Chevrolet attributes this low NVH to the 29,000 psi common rail fuel system’s ability to pulse the injectors up to 10 times per combustion cycle. Not only is this engine quick, but it’s lightweight, too. It tips the scales at a featherweight 336 pounds thanks to its aluminum block and bedplate.
“More than 1,000 people contributed to its design, engineering and validation,” said Mike Siegrist, regional chief engineer for the new 1.6-liter diesel in the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox. Siegrist also said this engine is the result of four years and 3 to 5 million worldwide test miles logged by General Motors engineering teams in the United States, Germany and Italy. With development like that, it’s no wonder the new turbodiesel Equinox is putting out class-leading specifications.
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel is on sale now. For more details and to geek out on diesel tech, check out our Facebook live interview with Mike Siegrist as well as Audley Brown, GM’s director of North American diesel calibration.
Part two of our interview with Mike Siegrist, Regional Chief Engineer for GM North American Passenger Diesels.
Posted by ChevroletForum on Wednesday, August 9, 2017