The most popular Sport Utility Vehicle in the General Motors new vehicle portfolio, the Equinox, has been confirmed for launch in New Zealand on December 1 of this year.
Sold in more than 170 markets around the world including North America, Asia and the Middle East, the Holden Equinox will be the newest model as part of the brand’s ongoing rejuvenation which will see the launch of 24 new models between 2016-2020.
The new Equinox will initially debut with a range of petrol powered derivatives, followed by diesel variants in the first half of 2018.
The arrival of the impressive feature-rich model signals an opportunity for Holden to take a leadership position in the mid-size SUV segment.
“The medium SUV segment is the largest and fastest growing part of the new vehicle market, accounting for almost 17% of sales at the end of August year to date,” said Managing Director of Holden New Zealand, Kristian Aquilina.
“Holden is now in a position to debut an all-new nameplate into this important part of the market and will be taking the fight to established players with the launch of seven different specification levels of Equinox, including a variety of powertrains and transmission-speed options.”
Available engines include a 1.6-litre diesel and a 1.5-litre petrol, but the undoubted star of the show is a powerful and incredibly responsive 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine which generates 186kW of power and 350Nm of torque – more than 60kW more powerful than its nearest competitor.
The three entry models to the range feature two-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is standard on the two LTZ and the two higher specification LTZ-V models.
“We have been evaluating a petrol LT two-wheel drive here in New Zealand over recent months and it’s been incredibly well received by everyone who has driven it,” said Mr Aquilina.
“It’s powerful, it’s responsive, it has excellent all-round visibility and feedback from our staff is unanimous in their praise of the new model.”
As would be expected from a vehicle competing in this class, safety systems feature prominently across the entire range, as do creature comforts and leading edge technology.
Systems include a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, rear park assist and camera while higher specification models benefit from 19” alloys, LED headlamps and tail lamps, hands-free power tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, wireless phone charging, front and rear seat heating topped off with a Bose® premium audio system and a two-panel panoramic sunroof.
In addition to traditional parking sensors, a vibrating ‘haptic seat’ alerts the driver when coming into close proximity of hazards when reversing.
“While pricing won’t be released until closer to launch, I can assure Holden customers the new model will represent an extremely compelling value proposition as it offers impressive driving dynamics and features a rich array of technology which enhances the ownership experience,” said Mr Aquilina.
“And all new Equinox come with the very best of Holden Complete Care, which includes 3 years free certified servicing, 3 years roadside assistance and 3 years warranty, all of which combine to deliver unparalleled peace of mind motoring and is transferable from one owner to the next.”
The reveal of the new Holden Equinox was timed to coincide with the date of the Summer Equinox (Saturday September 23).
“This is a significant moment in time for Holden, as it marks the dawning of a new age for the brand and the opportunity for us to look at the GM portfolio with a fresh set of eyes,” said Mr Aquilina.
“The new Equinox is case in point, as is the new Acadia SUV which will launch next year – as well as some other surprises we have waiting in the wings.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of Holden and we hope to attract a legion of new fans to the brand, as well as re-energise loyal long-time supporters, thanks to a showroom full of world-class products and leadership in customer care.”
Equinox model line up
LS 1.5-litre petrol 2WD
LS+ 1.5-litre petrol 2WD
LT 2.0-litre petrol 2WD
LTZ 2.0-litre petrol AWD
LTZ 1.6-litre diesel AWD
LTZ-V 2.0-litre petrol AWD
LTZ-V 1.6-litre diesel AWD