Holden's new Equinox SUV to eclipse Captiva
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While today's equinox is when day and night are the same length of time, for Holden NZ the difference between its current medium SUV and new one is night and day.
Holden is adding General Motors and Opel vehicles to its lineup due to the closure of its Australia manufacturing plant next month, with 24 all-new models by 2020.
Replacing the Korean built Captiva SUV is the General Motors crossover Equinox, which goes on sale in New Zealand on December 1.
Holden NZ is introducing seven models of the Equinox: from a 1.5-litre petrol front-wheel-drive to a 2-litre petrol all-wheel-drive and two 1.6-litre diesels.
The Captiva replacement is a vital product for Holden New Zealand.
"The medium SUV segment is the largest and fastest growing part of the new vehicle market, accounting for almost 17 per cent of sales at the end of August year to date," said Holden NZ's managing director Kristian Aquilina.
"While pricing won't be released until closer to launch, I can assure Holden customers the new model will represent an extremely compelling value proposition as it offers impressive driving dynamics and features a rich array of technology which enhances the ownership experience," said Aquilina.
"And the all new Equinox comes with the very best of Holden Complete Care, which includes three years free certified servicing, three years roadside assistance and three years warranty ... and is transferable from one owner to the next."
Holden NZ has had an Equinox here for the past few months for evaluation, and revealed the Captiva replacement this week at a dinner event in Auckland.
Driven was given the Equinox the next day for our exclusive cover shoot. We had the 2-litre, 186kW front-wheel-drive model with the nine-speed transmission but as it is an early build unit our drive impressions have to be reserved until the media launch of the completed vehicle in mid-November.
I first saw the Equinox at the Detroit motor show in January, and thought the exterior of the Equinox was aimed at the US market due to its large front grille and wedge-shaped rear side windows.
But the interior is a vast improvement over the current Captiva, which is showing its age as far as technology. I liked the inset touchscreen infotainment centre and the vast amount of function buttons on the steering wheel.
The SUV also gets rear park assist and camera, front and rear seat heating, and a two-panel panoramic sunroof.
The Equinox also gets bonus points for its LED headlamps and tail lamps. The Equinox project manager told me at the Detroit motor show that thanks to LEDs, designers now have a chance to create revolutionary front and rear lights.
"In the past, when the designers were drawing a car, they'd just put circles in the front and rear of the vehicle, now they can be creative," he told Driven.
In addition to parking sensors, the Equinox has a vibrating seat that alerts the driver to any hazards ahead and when reversing.
At first it's startling but added to the shaking is a red flashing light on the windscreen in the driver's eyesight so the combination does a great job of warning you.
But before Holden NZ signs off on the final Equinox for our market, it must make sure the driver's seat is changed.
The seat is meant for left-hand-drive vehicles so the seat adjuster is to the left and juts out about 8cm into your calf, and as the Equinox doesn't have a foot rest, your leg frequently ends up jammed on it.
LS 1.5-litre petrol 2WD
LS+ 1.5-litre petrol 2WD
LT 2.0-litre petrol 2WD
LTZ 2.0-litre petrol AWD
LTZ 1.6-litre diesel AWD
LTZ-V 2.0-litre petrol AWD
LTZ-V 1.6-litre diesel AWD