Holden drops entry-level models to 'streamline' Equinox SUV line-up
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Holden New Zealand has confirmed a number of tweaks to its Equinox medium SUV line-up.
The three most humble trims of the Equinox — the LS, LS+, and 2.0-litre LT — are all set to be wiped from the range in a move that's designed to 'streamline' the model's make-up. In the trio's place will be a new LT entry-level model powered by the brand's 127kW/275Nm turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol.
The move mirrors an Australian announcement that also cut the same three models earlier this week. The pricey but frugal 1.6-litre diesel engine and manual gearbox optiosn were also removed from the range as part of the Australian announcement (neither is offered in New Zealand).
"Holden NZ is aligning with the Australian range rationalisation strategy with regards to our popular mid-size SUV, Equinox," says Holden New Zealand spokesman Ed Finn.
"This streamlines the Equinox range and removes complexity from the model portfolio, in turn enabling Holden and our dealer partners to focus on key models and ensure the correct specification mix is available for motoring enthusiasts who desire a fun-to-drive, safe and feature-laden mid-size SUV.
"Of further appeal, and available on every new Holden model across the range, is the three-year free scheduled servicing programme, which also includes three-year free roadside assistance as well as three-year warranty."
The decision to make the LT the new entry-level variant reflects New Zealand's Acadia and Trailblazer SUV line-ups.
This is the second time that a Holden model range has received a trim, following June's announcement that the Commodore line-up would lose a selection of models in Australia (diesel models are among those rumoured to be on the chopping block). The difference this time around is that while New Zealand didn't follow suit then, they are following suit now.
This could be down to the Equinox's arguable sales woes on this side of the ditch (the Commodore on the other hand continues to sit atop the large-car stakes). Despite a better critical reception than the Captiva it replaced, the Equinox has struggled to make a big dent in the medium SUV segment — a segment that continues to be dominated by the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-5.