Did you know Chevrolet offered a diesel engine option for its Equinox crossover? For LT and Premier models, Equinox buyers can select the 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel, but apparently not enough people knew about it or were interested enough to check the option box. It now appears the diesel will disappear.
According to The Car Connection, slow sales for the Equinox diesel led to Chevrolet dropping the diesel option completely. Slow sales are the reported reason, and there is evidence to support that statement. For starters, the engine commanded a modest premium over comparable gasoline-powered models. Per Chevrolet’s website, a base Equinox L with a 1.5-liter turbocharged gas engine starts at $24,995. The LT model – the lowest trim where the diesel is offered – starts at $28,395 with the gas engine, but jumps to $30,795 with the diesel.
As for performance, GM’s small diesel produces just 137 horsepower compared to the 170 hp in the 1.5-liter turbo. The oil-burner has a comfortable advantage with torque, however, at 240 pound-feet (325 Newton-meters) compared to 203 lb-ft (275 Nm) for the gas engine. As for efficiency, FuelEconomy.gov rates the 2019 Equinox diesel at 32 combined MPG, which is only marginally better than the 28 combined MPG for the 1.5-liter gas engine.
Gallery: 2018 Chevy Equinox Diesel: Review
There’s also the ever-present shadow of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate that still hangs in the air, figuratively and literally. Outside of full-size pickup trucks, diesel-powered vehicles were never extremely popular in the U.S. market. The negative press towards diesel engines following the 2015 scandal certainly hasn’t helped the cause, and with electric power taking an ever-larger slice of the market, diesel’s future is most decidedly uncertain.
We contacted GM to confirm the information and were told that yes, the diesel Equinox is dead for 2020. Furthermore, we also learned from a GMC spokesperson that the GMC Terrain will also lose the 1.6-liter turbodiesel option. As of now, you can still configure the 2019 Terrain and Equinox with a diesel, but as we approach the model-year changeover, that will obviously change.