Chevy’s experimenting with a diesel-powered compact crossover is coming to an end after two years. Chevrolet spokesman Kevin Kelly confirmed to Green Car Reports that the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox would not be available with a 1.6-liter turbodiesel. It’s time to say goodbye to the Chevy Diesel.
“We have discontinued the diesel engine option for the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox due to low demand,” GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly said. GM had attached the diesel powertrain to the Equinox as part of its redesign for the 2018 model year, as well as a diesel option to the corporate sibling, the GMC Terrain, that same year. A GMC spokesperson confirmed to caranddriver.com that the diesel Terrain is also getting cut.
“We will only offer our two turbocharged gas engines in the Terrain for 2020,” said spokesperson Stuart Fowle. “Diesel represented a very small percentage of sales. We believe in diesel in segments where customer interest is higher”.
The Canyon is still offering the diesel; while the Sierra will provide a refined 3.0-liter Duramax for 2020. The next-gen Sierra HD is shipping to dealers being the most capable Duramax available. Chevy indicated that it would scrap all-wheel-drive versions of the turbodiesel Equinox earlier in 2019. The engine option is now completely gone, although that left room for front-wheel-drive versions to continue. The GMC Terrain, which shares many pieces with the Equinox such as the powertrains, they may also face a similar destiny. A spokeswoman for GMC didn’t instantly comment on if the turbodiesel would return for the Terrain, according to greencarreports.com.
The engine went out of production for the U.S. market earlier this year which was also available in the Chevrolet Cruze. The reasoning behind the diesel engine being killed on the Equinox is unclear, as the Equinox was rated high having 28 mpg city, 39 highway, 32 combined according to the EPA. Costumers are still bitter about the sticker shock with the $2,400 upcharge for the diesel engine compared to the base models, which could be the reason for the diesel’s short life.
Relatively high diesel fuel prices compared to regular unleaded may have also hampered sales. On Thursday, July 11th, 2019, AAA reported the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $2.75 compared to $3.03 for diesel fuel. At that rate, drivers may face decades before recouping the upfront cost for the diesel engine.
We are in the middle of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and truck drivers will already see the increased diesel fuel prices due to rising fuel taxes. Automakers have wrestled with offering diesel-powered SUVs in the past few years. Hyundai ditched plans to offer a turbodiesel-powered version of its Santa Fe crossover last year, reportedly because of onerous regulatory approval for diesel, post-Dieselgate. This week, Ford announced it would shelve the diesel-powered Transit Connect van before it was offered in the States.
Jaguar Land Rover stopped offering Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar crossovers with a turbodiesel for 2020, too. The least expensive 2019 diesel Equinox was the LT trim, which started at $32,495 (plus destination fee). This was a $2400 premium over the same trim with a gas engine.
Going diesel was also raising the price to be a $3700 upcharge over the base model, which was only available in a gas engine. The 2019 Terrain, which is the cheapest diesel in the SLE trim, starts at $32,995 (plus destination fee). It also represented a $3,700 increase over the similar trim gas models as well.
General Motors has sold 332,618 Terrains and 332,618 Equinox CUVs in 2018. During the first six months of 2019, GM sold a total of 174,157 Equinox CUVs and 174,157 Terrains. The company did not comment to questions about how many of those were types of diesel vehicles. The Diesel Technology Forum states GM sold 3045 Terrain diesel in 2018, and it did not provide numbers for the Equinox diesel sales.
Mazda has committed to bringing a diesel-powered crossover to the U.S. At the 2019 New York International Auto Show, they announced it would finally sell a diesel-powered CX-5 crossover in the U.S. after years of delays. The diesel engine is available only on the CX-5 Signature crossovers and it will cost more than $42,000 (plus the destination fee), and the EPA rates the turbodiesel at a relatively unimpressive 28/31/29 mpg.
You can search the inventory of Chevy Equinox’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.
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