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2011 Chevrolet Equinox Sounds Quiet Enough For Better MPG

 
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2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

2011 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

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There are many ways of making a vehicle more fuel efficient. Improvements in engine technology, materials, rolling resistance and aerodynamics can all contribute towards making a car easier on gas than its predecessor.

How about making it quieter?

You may think making a car quieter at speed might involve more sound-damping material and therefore more weight, but General Motors has used techniques often found in sound-cancelling headphones improve the economy of the Chevrolet Equinox.

Engines are generally most efficient at quite low engine speeds, but this can often result in unpleasant "boom", or low-frequency noise that resonates through the car at lower revs and under load.

To deal with this, GM uses Active Noise Cancellation. At lower engine speeds, between 1,000-1,500 RPM, a noise-cancelling module kicks in that creates a sound to cancel out the unwelcome boom, making it inaudible to the driver.

The other background noise found in cars such as wind noise, road noise, stereo sounds and passengers made finding the right balance difficult, but by linking the artificial sound with the engine's firing frequency, the team was able to solve the problem.

The end result? The four-cylinder Equinox manages 32 miles per gallon on the highway, a touch better than the 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid at 31 MPG highway.

Better fuel efficiency and a quieter car? Maybe you can have your cake and eat it.

[GM via All Car Tech]

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Comments (6)
  1. Source for the 38.5 MPG?

    Current equinox gets 29 MPG on the highway (not bad really) but 38.5 would be epic, if real.
     
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  2. Hi John, thanks for your comments. Unfortunately it's not that exclusive! GM's figures were Canadian market - article is now amended to U.S. market from official EPA figures (32mpg hwy), though the Equinox still gets better highway MPG than the Escape Hybrid (31).
     
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  3. Ah, well 32 MPG is still impressive, but the 38.5 did seem too good to be true.

    Perhaps worth adding that the 34 MPG city number on the Escape hybrid is likely dramatically better than the Equinox city numbers.
     
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  4. Google news service makes it look like you have an exclusive on
    "Chevrolet Equinox 38.5 MPG"
     
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  5. But how many customers opt for the 2.4L FWD option with 32 MPG
    versus
    the thirsty 3.0L AWD option with 23 MPG?
     
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  6. My 2011 Equinox, 4 cy, AWD has never come close to 32 mpg on the highway. Best I can get after 2 years is 23 mpg.
     
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