Following a notable spike in July sales for its crossover lineup, Chevrolet has announced significant upgrades for all three members for the 2017 model year: The Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse – Chevy’s compact two-row and midsize three-row entries – have expressive new special editions that already are on sale. Meanwhile, the refreshed 2017 Chevy Trax subcompact crossover is scheduled to launch this fall.
Together, they represent one of the deepest, best-selling crossover rosters in the industry, and as mentioned, demand for all three was strong last month. Actually, all three set all-time July sales records, with the Traverse and Trax notching their best one-month sales totals ever. Combined volume for the trio was up more than 15 percent, too, on the strength of 46,521 deliveries. To put that into context, overall auto sales increased by less than 1 percent in July.
Some of the Chevy success certainly had to do with end-of-the-model-year incentives, but thanks to their updates, the brand’s crossovers look ready to carry that momentum into the new selling season as well.
2017 Chevrolet Equinox: Midnight and Sport Editions
It all starts with two special editions for the brand’s No. 1 crossover by volume, the Chevy Equinox, which had been thoroughly restyled for the 2016 model year. The 2017 Midnight Edition follows similarly themed versions first introduced for the Colorado and Silverado pickups, and it’s distinguished by a deep Mosaic Black Metallic exterior finish. With a black finish for the mirror caps, roof-rack cross bars, grille, Bowtie logo and 18-inch aluminum wheels, the result is a full blackout-style effect that’s set off by LED daytime running lamps.
Also new at dealerships is the 2017 Chevy Equinox Sport Edition. It wears a Summit White exterior and, since it shares the same black accents as the Midnight model, it creates a high-contrast alternative. The two vehicles otherwise furnish the same content, including seats appointed in Jet Black perforated leather. Bolstering the packages are memory functions for the driver’s seat and exterior mirrors, plus all of the features that are standard on the up-level Equinox LT trim. The highlight: A Chevy MyLink infotainment system supported by a complimentary three-month trial for OnStar’s mobile Wi-Fi capability.
The Equinox Midnight and Sport Editions are each priced at $28,445 in their front-wheel-drive configurations, which is a $1,695 premium over the traditional LT trim.
2017 Chevrolet Traverse Graphite Edition
The 2017 Chevy Traverse checks in next with a more luxury-oriented Graphite Edition. Here, owners have a choice of four eye-popping exterior finishes: Siren Red Tintcoat, Iridescent Pearl Tintcoat, Tungsten Metallic or the Mosaic Black Metallic that details the Equinox Midnight. In all cases, the Traverse Graphite rides on a set of 20-inch Dark Charcoal wheels that are 3 inches bigger than on the standard model. Black Bowtie logos also are on display all around, while at the rear, a dual-exhaust system adds both style and power. More specifically, that setup delivers an extra 7 horsepower and 4 pound-feet of torque from the Traverse’s standard V6 engine, upping output to 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. As a final touch, the special-edition package furnishes integrated assist steps for easier access to the vehicle’s cabin.
Speaking of which, because the Traverse Graphite Edition builds on the fairly premium 2LT trim, that interior has a fairly wide range of upscale cues. There are heated front seats, for example, along with second-row captain’s chairs, a 10-speaker Bose audio system and a power liftgate. For infotainment, Chevy serves up a MyLink system, complete with mobile Wi-Fi service and navigation.
Pricing is likewise on the upscale side, though the Traverse Graphite’s $39,890 starting price is competitive with that of its comparably equipped rivals.
Refreshed 2017 Chevrolet Trax
For Chevy’s smallest crossover, the 2017 model year means more than just a special edition. Instead, there are major design, safety and connectivity enhancements across all trim levels, like an infotainment system with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. The technology is a great complement for the vehicle’s mobile Wi-Fi hot spot and 4G LTE service, which were standard last year and continue to be that way for the new model.
Remaining on the standard equipment list as well are a rearview camera and 10 air bags. However, for the refreshed Chevy Trax, engineers have upped the ante with available side blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and forward collision alert. The last three are competitive advantages that Honda’s direct rival for the Trax, the HR-V, doesn’t offer. The front and interior of the vehicle also have been updated, with a revised version of Chevy’s current dual-port grille and a more sophisticated appearance for the instrument panel and dashboard.
And yes, there’s a new starting price of $21,895, which is an increase of $1,595 when compared with the 2016 Trax.
Beyond the “regular” version, it would be no surprise if the 2017 Chevrolet Trax eventually had at least one special model of its own. After all, a Midnight Edition previously helped boost sales of the 2016 Trax, and Chevy reports that, in total, its special edition trucks are “selling up to three times faster than the average truck.”