Road trip, anyone?

While the demand for family sedans and cars is waning, the demand for SUVs and crossovers is reaching new heights. It’s clear that increased cargo room, a higher stance, and all-wheel-drive systems are worth slight sacrifices in fuel economy and handling to most buyers. But what if you could achieve passenger car efficiency in a crossover? What sounds like a road-tripper’s dream is now a reality: Chevrolet has finally unleashed the much anticipated Equinox diesel to crossover-crazed consumers everywhere.

The Equinox posts an industry best of 39 MPGs on the highway, thanks to a thoughtfully engineered (yet textbook) marriage between diesel fuel, displacement (1.6L), and a variable-geometry turbocharger. To compare, its gas-powered sibling is rated at a notable 32 MPG.

That marks GM’s 12th vehicle in the lineup to sip from the green pump, but don’t call that dozen dirty. Beyond proving to be emissions compliant, the Equinox offers fuel-saving features (such as stop/go technology) and can run on B20 bio-diesel. This bowtie-badged crossover can also take you 592 miles on a tank (AWD), and 240 lb-ft or torque on tap, which means you can effortlessly drive from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in one go.

Dan Nicholson, GM Vice President Global Propulsion Systems, is confident that diesel-powered light duty vehicles in the United States will be a hit. The diesel-powered Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon model offerings already make up 10 percent of sales. Industry experts estimate that 16 percent of compact crossover buyers would consider going to diesel power, and that translates into a half million vehicles by 2020.

“Chevrolet continues to lead with technologies that offer customers more choice,” said Steve Majoros, marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “Our three-engine turbo-charged Equinox lineup means we can provide drivers more options for the performance and efficiency they desire.”

Want to hear more about what’s going on in Colorado? Did you know that ski train tickets are now available?