Chevrolet SUV's

Chevrolet got its start in 1911. After William C. Durant had been ousted from General Motors, he joined forces with Swiss-born racecar driver Louis Chevrolet to found the Chevrolet Motor Car Company. The company's first offering was the Classic Six. Introduced in 1912, this five-passenger touring sedan could top 65 mph, fast for the time. Chevrolet's storied bowtie logo -- reportedly inspired by the wallpaper of a Paris hotel room that Durant stayed at -- made its first appearance in 1914.

The 1960s saw the unveiling of the popular, air-cooled Corvair compact, which held the distinction of being the first domestic production car with all-around independent suspension. That decade also witnessed the launch of the compact Nova, the midsize Chevelle and the sporty Camaro, the latter Chevrolet's answer to the wildly successful Ford Mustang. The Camaro proved an instant hit, comprising 10 percent of Chevrolet's total sales in 1967, its first year of production.

Modern times have seen Chevrolet make significant improvements in its small and midsize car models and introduce the Volt plug-in hybrid. The latter provides a nearly 40-mile range on electric power alone, and adds to the company's already well-rounded lineup of cars, trucks and SUVs. Though today's marketplace is very demanding, Chevrolet seems poised to remain a power player through its affordable and innovative vehicles.

The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox receives an all-new V6 engine option, offering more power with equal fuel economy compared with the V6 it replaces. The four-cylinder model remains unchanged, and it still retains one of the best fuel economy figures in the class. V6 models also receive some suspension updates for 2013, and test drivers say the changes give the Equinox a more buttoned-down feel on the road. Overall, reviewers like the Equinox’s comfortable ride and smooth-shifting automatic transmission. They like the updates to the V6 powertrain, but some maintain that they’d still pick the four-cylinder unit, as it offers adequate power and gets super fuel economy. Good safety and reliability scores also help the 2013 Equinox stand out from the pack.

The 2013 Suburban comes in either regular (1500) or heavy-duty (2500) models. Both are equipped with a V8 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Reviewers say the regular Suburban is adequately powered and they like its transmission, which they say shifts gears smoothly. The heavy-duty Suburban 2500 has a more powerful V8, which helps with its 9,600-pound towing capacity, but hurts its fuel economy. The base engine with either rear- or four-wheel drive achieves good fuel economy for the class at an EPA-estimated 15/21 mpg city/highway. Reviewers say the Suburban handles much like its rivals -- poorly. They say it has a large turning radius and marked body lean in turns. Test drivers agree that it has a comfortable ride, however.

The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe has a 5.3-liter V8 engine that test drivers say moves the large SUV smoothly down the highway. Its tight (for a large SUV) turning radius also makes it more manageable for city driving than most in its class. The V8 engine is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and comes with either two- or four-wheel drive. While it’s far from being an exciting vehicle to drive, reviewers call the Tahoe’s handling car-like, which is high praise for a heavy, truck-based SUV. Auto writers also say it has strong brakes. The Tahoe achieves 15/21 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.

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