2014 Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain To Get eAssist Hybrid System

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2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

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Starting with its rollout in the 2012 Buick Lacrosse, GM has steadily added its eAssist mild-hybrid system to an expanding roster of vehicles.

Next year, it will be offered as an option on the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2014 GMC Terrain, which will be the first crossover utility vehicles to receive the system.

The news was reported by GM Insider this morning, based on Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) cards issued by General Motors for 2014 models.

UPDATE: GM representative Joe LaMuraglia contacted Green Car Reports to say the original report was incorrect. The VIN card located by GM Insider, he claimed, was a mockup that contained only placeholder information, not actual production data.

Following Chevy nomenclature, the Equinox with the mild hybrid system added to the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine will likely be dubbed the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox Eco.

The "Eco" suffix indicates Chevrolet's most fuel-efficient models, and on the 2013 Malibu and the 2014 Impala, it means the car is fitted with the 2.4-liter engine and hybrid system.

Only the Cruze Eco compact sedan breaks the mold, with a downsized and turbocharged 1.4-liter engine rather than the larger four with the hybrid system.

Other cars currently offering the eAssist system (which is the Buick label) as standard or optional include the Buick Verano compact sedan, Regal mid-size sedan, and Lacrosse full-size sedan.

The Terrain drossover will be the first GMC vehicle to receive the mild-hybrid system and, as yet, it's unclear how General Motors' all-truck brand will label its highest gas-mileage option.

The eAssist system consists of a 0.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and an electric belt-alternator-starter motor.

That motor not only acts as a conventional starter when the engine shuts off at stops, but can also feed added electric torque into the engine so the six-speed automatic transmission doesn't have to downshift--meaning the engine can run at lower and more efficient speeds.

Finally, the motor can run as a generator to recharge the battery pack under regenerative braking.

2013 GMC Terrain Denali

2013 GMC Terrain Denali

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The mild-hybrid 2.4-liter engine is expected to be a new option for the two crossovers, adding to the current (non-hybrid) 2.4-liter and the more powerful 3.6-liter V-6.

The most fuel-efficient version of the Equinox this year is the front-wheel drive model with conventional 2.4-liter engine, which is rated at 26 mpg combined (22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway).

The mild-hybrid system is likely to boost each test-cycle number by a few miles per gallon.

The Equinox Eco ratings, however, won't be as high as those delivered by full hybrid vehicles, which can run on electricity alone at least part of the time at low speeds and under light loads.

The two 2014 crossover hybrids will compete with a future Toyota RAV4 Hybrid model, based on the all-new 2013 RAV4 crossover just launched by Toyota.


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Comments (16)
  1. "The eAssist system consists of a 0.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and an electric belt-alternator-starter motor."

    That is the problem. There are NO advantage of the belt system beside cost. Even that is arguable. GM is really silly in sticking with its "crappy" mild hybrid system. If they want to keep the cost down, then just add it to all GM cars as standard option. If People are going to "pay" for it, then buyers will expect more out of it.

    GM's marketing team needs some new leadership on this issue...

  2. @Xiaolong: In the interests of keeping the site respectful, could we avoid use of words like "crappy" and "BS"? (Not sure if the last one was you, it came up in moderation.)

    And GM does appear to be rolling out the eAssist system across an increasing number of vehicles. It's standard on the four-cylinder Lacrosse and Regal, optional on Verano, Impala, and Malibu, and with more coming.

  3. Hmm, I'm all for respectful, but not being allowed to call GM systems one doesn't like "crappy" seems over the top.

  4. @Chris: I'm all for robust criticism, seriously. A word like "crappy" hits our moderation filter, and surely there are words just as powerful that are less scatological.

    Might I suggest: inadequate, weak, substandard, suboptimal, unimpressive, irrelevant, or even pathetic?

    Xiaolong also put it in quotation marks, for reasons I'm not sure I understand.

  5. Okay, I will call it a "pathetic" engineering design.

  6. @ John Voelcker: Maybe the moderation filter is a bit overly sensitive. I'm not aware that the use of the word "crappy" is generally particularly frowned upon in mainstream journalism, maybe depending a bit on general context. It's a derogatory term of course but in this case used in relation to an object, not a person or group of persons.

  7. @Xialong : That's exactly what GM has done. Essentially the "base" 4cyl models of the majority of their current Global-A carlines "include" eAssist.Thats the only way to get a 4cyl on some (like the Lacross)and there's essentially no significant "premium" to pay for the system on these cars. (unlike stronger hybrid systems) GM isnt even marketing them as "hybirds" to avoid any ambiguity with other systems out there (although it has very similar capabilities to the Honda IMA system and other single motor "pure" parallel systems) Say what you may, but this relatively simple and inexpensive system mangages to reduce fuel consumption and tail-pipe emissions quite significantly.Those that say otherwise, simply don't have their facts straight.

  8. Well, hybrids suppose to improve city MPG. But those so called mild hybrid doesn't really do much to the city EPA rating. I call them the word "XXXXX" b/c they are exactly how it is to me in terms of fuel saving methods. If you want to do it, do it right. Hybrids shouldn't cost more with volume and continue improvement in technology...

  9. Maybe they're trying to attract older folks or typical truck guys. They tend to be as sensitive of the word "hybrid" as John Voelker of the word "crappy". I consider myself a truck guy, albeit an unconventional one having a Prius next to the Ram in the garage. Any time I bring up the topic of hybrids around truck guys I get lambasted by insults. This is due mainly to ignorance but I also blame GM's two mode hybrid system. It simply didn't add any significant benefit and that's exactly how I see e-assist. It's nothing but a gimmicky buzzword for a very halfassed hybrid system. Sorry John ;)

  10. @Kevin: Actually, I'd argue GM's Two-Mode system added significant benefits--but not much payback given its cost & limited availability. In terms of mileage improvement, the hybrid GM pickups were remarkably good. Combined was 21 mpg (20 city, 23 hwy) versus 17 mpg combined (15 city, 21 hwy). That's a 24% improvement in combined and a 33% improvement in city efficiency--and a LOTS of gallons saved.

    If the Two-Mode system cost less & Chevy offered it in more than one configuration, it might have had a chance.

    But its very high cost and truck owners' contempt for what they thought "hybrid owners" were like politically likely doomed it, as you indicate in "lambasted by insults".

  11. @Kevin: I'd also add that whether or not you consider them "half-assed" (a word that does NOT trigger our filters; hmmmm....), you will see a LOT more such mild hybrids from GM. They are a cost-effective way to boost EPA mileage ratings for a company that does not intend to pursue full hybrids.

    See here for more on GM's future technical directions:

  12. There are more comments in this thread
  13. I'm looking forward to seeing more applications of the eAssist technology because it is an excellent concept - a low cost system that captures energy from slowing and braking a vehicle via a regenerative braking system - energy that is otherwise completely lost in the form of heat - and then using that energy to assist the gas engine in powering the vehicle. The only problem with eAssist is that most drivers are brick-footers - using way too much gas and then mashing hard on the brake to slow & stop the vehicle - instead of using proper throttle (gas pedal) application as the primary method of controlling the vehicle's speed - especially in the deceleration mode. In the hands of a skilled driver - the eAssist system is a Big PLUS!

  14. On the Contrary - In the hands of a Skilled Driver and not a Brick-Foot Driver (you're probably one of them as are most drivers out there) it is definitely possible to get a significant increase in gas mileage with the eAssist system, which will also dramatically extend the life of the brake system components. This yields Big Savings! There should be a course offered to teach drivers how to get the most out of eAssist and I'd make an excellent instructor!

  15. I am a very happy and extremely satisfied owner of a new 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist. A brand new 2012 model and I got an incredible deal on it, driving it away from the dealer on Sept 27 (2013) for 24,766.19 - what a GREAT DEAL. I was planning on spending 10k more for a 2014 model next Spring but when my 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP developed costly repairs - I opted to trade up to this new Regal, since I've been wanting to buy an eAssist Regal and here it was at an incredible price. I got 393 miles on the 1st tank and will get well over 400 on my 2nd tank! In the hands of a skilled driver you will exceed the OEM's mpg ratings of 25 city/36 hwy. I'm getting 27 city/38 hwy Incredible!

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