Starting with the 2017 model year, General Motors is planning to add a new family member to its line of Chevy crossovers. The new model, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to debut around mid-2017 and should effectively compete with vehicles like the 2015 Ford Edge, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and even the 2016 Honda Pilot. GM is dipping into the Traverse gene pool for design ideas, though, and will include third-row seating in the new mid-sized design.

Chevy can’t just pop out a new mid-sized model without making at least one change to its current lineup. To make room for another crossover, Chevy is designing the 2017 Equinox to be a bit smaller than in previous years — designing it around the same compact platform underpinning the 2016 Opel Astra and the 2016 Chevy Cruze. The smaller 2015 Chevy Trax will remain to compete with vehicles like the 2016 Honda HR-V and 2015 Nissan Juke, and the Traverse may undergo some design changes too, but it will remain the full-sized option in Chevy’s crossover lineup.

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Why it matters

One can certainly understand the need to follow the footsteps of competitors like Nissan and offer a crossover in any size desirable, but is adding another model to the already successful lineup actually a good idea? Market demand says yes, but I’m not so sure. And, what about that third row of seats? It’s already a difficult task to climb into the rear of the Traverse, so I don’t think I’ll want to try to sit in the third row in the new design.

None of the competitors offer a third row in their less-than-full-sized crossovers, so that third row may be more of a flaw than the feature they intend it to be. Perhaps the giant should just leave the Equinox where it sits, and come out with an all-new compact design to fit between the subcompact Trax and the mid-sized Equinox. That would at least scratch the itch that is the current crossover craze without shuffling around the current lineup too much.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox

2016 Chevrolet Equinox High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review here.

Source: Automotive News

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