Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain Four-Cylinder Models In Short Supply

By Blake Z. Rong | March 12, 2012
It used to be that our fathers, manly men worth their mettle, would spring for the big-block engine when buying a new car, because anything else was weak! and wimpy! Why not, when the Turbo-Fire 409 was just a paltry $300 option, and gasoline cost mere pennies per gallon? But 40 years later, and amidst near-$5 gas prices, those buying the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain are springing for the smaller four-cylinder  instead of the 264-horsepower "big-block" V-6. What a world we live in when Americans stop picking the larger engine. Does this mean the Communists have won? Glacial acceleration and nonexistent towing capacity hasn't deterred sales of the four-cylinder engine for these heavy crossovers, but with the economy still in shambles, nobody has the credit to apply for a boat loan anyway. With a short supply of the 2.4-liter, 182-horsepower Ecotec engine, dealers are forced to stock the 3.0-liter V-6 and take them off GM's hands, in order for a new shipment of four-cylinders to arrive. "It's a function of a strong industry, a hot vehicle and very robust demand for the four-cylinder model," said Jim Cain, a spokesman for GM. "We're working with our suppliers to increase deliveries of key components to meet demand." The shortage of smaller engines is a supplier issue, according to GM, and for parts that go into the engine—not the engine itself. The four-cylinder comprised almost 80 percent of Chevy Equinox and Terrain sales in February, continuing the trend set by 2011 where a whopping 87 percent were sold with the smaller four-banger. In the Terrain—the Chevy Equinox is essentially the same vehicle—the 2.4-liter engine gets 22 mpg city and 32 highway in front-wheel-drive guise, while the larger V-6 returns 17 and 24 mpg, respectively. Dealers aren't happy about the V-6. "I cringe when I have to order a six," says Eduart Lela, general sales manager at Herb Chambers Chevrolet Cadillac in Danvers, Mass. To help dealers, GM is offering a $1,000 rebate on V-6 engined Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers, and nothing on the four-cylinder. For consumers that despair because they're saddled with a big, thirsty V-6 engine—still a strange phrase to type out—take heart: that 1,000 bucks can buy a lot of gas. Source: Automotive News