I'll come clean with you, folks. I've never been much of a fan of compact SUVs. For the most part, they've been bland, boring commoditized appliances. I'm not saying they're bad vehicles, just not particularly exciting.
But this drought of excitment among cute 'utes looks like it is thankfully coming to an end. The first was the Subaru Forester XT. This boxy little conveyance came available with a turbocharged engine and manual transmission good for sub-6-second 0-60 sprints. Next came along a revitalized Toyota RAV4 with a 269-horse V-6. Then Mazda pulls the wraps off its head-turning CX-7. So I guess Chevy looked at the competition and decided it was time to add a little pizzazz to its staid Equinox. Finally, Chevy has my attention about the Equinox for more than two consecutive minutes. Check out the hardware: 3.6L DOHC V-6 with 263 horses, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Granted, I'd prefer a do-it-yourself gearbox, but at least it's not slapping the same old decades-old 4-speed slushbox on it. My prediction for Chevy's new hot cute-ute? It'll be a hit. For those that don't need the size or the fuel bill of the TrailBlazer SS, but still want something with a little spice, the Equinox Sport fills the bill perfectly. I've also heard rumblings of a HHR SS with a 240+ horse Ecotec turbo. This too, is a good thing. Even though Pontiac may be the "excitement" division, a little personality for the bowtie boys couldn't hurt either.