The Chevrolet Equinox was supposed to launch into 2021 with a mild-yet-snazzy design refresh. It debuted in February 2020, but that was back before the world changed course due to COVID-19. As such, the updated Equinox was pushed to 2022, but not all trim levels will see a new model year.
We're hearing that the base-model Equinox is getting the axe. That's the Equinox L for those not familiar with the Bow Tie's crossover, and at a starting price of $23,800 before destination, it's an attractive option for budget-minded shoppers. By comparison, the next-level Equinox LS requires a sizeable financial jump to $26,400, outfitted with the same turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that still turns the front wheels through the same six-speed automatic. Mind you, this is info for the pre-facelifted 2021 model year. 2022 numbers haven't been announced so LS pricing will likely be a bit higher still.
Gallery: 2021 Chevrolet Equinox
The million-dollar question is, were people buying the Equinox L to begin with? Presumably, Chevrolet wouldn't dump a trim level that was raking in cash. And while the powertrain on the L was identical to its stablemates, it was otherwise a sleepy machine available in just silver or white. Aside from an engine block heater or a license plate bracket, no other options items were offered, though standard equipment did include a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It was sleepy, but not comatose.
Still, Chevrolet won't be able to tout a sub-$25,000 price point for the Equinox, provided the rumor is true. We suspect the news will be offset by the new RS model, which debuted along with the rest of the updated Equinox lineup last year. The sporty makeover adds black trim, 19-inch wheels, quad-exhaust tips, and contrast stitching for the interior. Under the skin, however, it's like every other Equinox.
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The Equinox RS will slot between the LT and Premier trims, so it definitely won't be a replacement for the base-model L. Chevrolet says the RS will arrive in the third quarter of 2021.