General Motors has taken the wraps off the first of its all-new models planned for next month’s Detroit Auto Show. The vehicle is the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover, which also debuts GM’s new compact direct-injection petrol engine range.

Chevrolet expects nearly two-thirds of customers will choose an efficient 182hp (135kW) 2.4L engine. The new mill is expected to see the Equinox deliver best-in-segment highway fuel economy of 30mpg (EPA certification pending) when equipped with standard FWD – a 25% improvement over the previous model. Complementing the four-cylinder engine will be a 255hp (190kW) 3.0L V6, also with direct-injection technology, and expected to be EPA rated at 25mpg on the highway and 18mpg in the city, also when equipped with FWD.

The new Equinox draws its exterior design inspiration from the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Traverse crossover, featuring Chevrolet’s two-tier grille and prominent gold Bowtie global face.

Inside, the Equinox features attention to detail – including a number of storage bins, such as an oversized glove box; a closed storage bin in the instrument panel above the center stack; and closed storage under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer.

The five-passenger Equinox also retains the previous model’s MultiFlex rear seat capability, which allows the seat to be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches (203 mm), for the best rear legroom in its class. With the 60/40-split-back rear seat moved all the way forward, the cargo area offers 31.4 cubic feet (889L) of storage.

Safety features include six-airbags as standard, disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control, plus standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio.

First sales will start by mid-next year, with the Equinox available in LS, LT and LTZ trim, and optional AWD.

2010 Chevrolet Equinox Crossover