Upgraded Equinox Engines Won’t be Here Until Summer

General Motors will happily let you configure a newly downsized 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, but moving up a step in power means cooling your heels for a few more months.

The third-generation crossover bowed this spring with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder as its base powerplant, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel-drive traction. While that mill generates 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque, more power is on the way.

Chevrolet plans to offer two engine upgrades for the slimmed-down Equinox — a turbocharged 2.0-liter four and a 1.6-liter diesel. The first of those two engines gained its emissions certification from the California Air Resources Board last week.

While not yet available on GM’s online Build & Price tool, a spokesperson for the automaker tells us the engine should appear on the configurator about the same time the uplevel Equinox hits dealer lots. When asked when that would be, Chevrolet assistant communications manager Tara Kuhnen could only say in the “summer timeframe.”

Moving up to the 2.0-liter brings 252 hp and 260 lb-ft to the table, as well as a nine-speed automatic. The automaker estimates a 29 mile-per-gallon highway fuel economy rating — 3 mpg less than the base front-drive 1.5-liter model.

Diesel models stand to see 137 hp and 240 lb-ft, plus a significant fuel economy boost. Though the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to bestow a fuel economy rating on the 1.6-liter Equinox, or the 2.0-liter for that matter, the same oil-burner allows GM to advertise a 52 mpg highway rating for its diesel Cruze. However, that model only reaches the sky-high rating via a six-speed manual transmission. When equipped with a nine-speed automatic, the highway figure lowers to 47 mpg, though the 37 mpg combined rating remains the same.