- The 2018 GMC Terrain SLT and 2018 Chevrolet (Chevy) Equinox LT (Credit: General Motors (GM)/Chevrolet/GMC).

GM Quietly Discontinues Diesel Engine for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain

9w ago


When General Motors (GM's) duo of compact SUV's, the Chevrolet (Chevy) Equinox and GMC Terrain, were redesigned for 2018, they had a trick up their sleeves: they were the only compact SUV's from American manufacturers on the market to offer a diesel engine option. Available on most trim levels of both SUV's (for the Equinox, the LT and Premier, and for the Terrain, the SLE and SLT), the 1.6L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) Diesel engine, first introduced for 2017 in the (Chevrolet) Cruze Sedan and Hatchback, produced only 137 horsepower, but an impressive 240 lb. ft. of torque, and delivered an impressive 39 highway MPG, as rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It came paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, with the buyer's choice of either Front Wheel Drive (FWD) or All Wheel Drive (AWD). If you wanted to tow with your diesel-equipped Equinox or Terrain, both vehicles could tow up to 1,500 lbs., which was impressive for a compact SUV.

For 2020, GM has quietly discontinued the diesel engine option for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. At first, it announced that, for 2020, you could no longer order the diesel engine with All Wheel Drive (AWD), and that the diesel engine option was strictly for Front Wheel Drive (FWD) Equinox and Terrain models. However, soon after, GM updated the order guides for the 2020 (Chevrolet) Equinox and (GMC) Terrain to reflect that the diesel engine option would be discontinued entirely for 2020. While GM didn't provide sales numbers for the diesel-equipped Equinox and Terrain, it could be guessed that the engine didn't sell as well as GM had hoped it would, and since the Chevrolet Cruze was discontinued after the 2019 model year, GM most likely didn't see fit to continue production of the diesel for just one vehicle. If you want a diesel-powered vehicle that isn't a truck, you'll have to go with a vehicle from a manufacturer such as Jaguar or Land Rover, which are some of the only remaining manufacturers to offer a diesel-powered car or SUV in North America.

For 2020, two engine options remain available for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain: a standard 1.5L EcoTec Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) engine producing 170 horsepower and 203 lb. ft. of torque, or an upgraded 2.0L EcoTec Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) mill producing 252 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque, both mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which is a traditional lever-controlled unit in the Equinox, and an electronically-controlled pushbutton unit in the Terrain. The 1.5L unit is equipped on all models except for the Terrain Denali, and the 2.0L unit comes as standard equipment on the Terrain Denali, and is optional on all Equinox and Terrain models except for the base Equinox L and LS and Terrain SL trims. The 2.0T unit can tow up to 3,500 lbs., which is impressive for a compact SUV, and the 1.5T unit can tow up to 1,500 lbs., which is the same as the old diesel mill. The 2.0T engine gets up to 28 highway MPG, and the 1.5T mill gets up to 30 highway MPG, both equipped with Front Wheel Drive (FWD).

Speaking of changes for the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, they include new exterior and interior color options, new alloy wheel designs, a Midnight Edition Package for the Equinox, and a Premium Package for the Terrain Denali. MSRP, without options, for GM's compact SUV's has not yet been announced, but is not expected to increase significantly.

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