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2020 Chevrolet Equinox turbodiesel going FWD-only

GMC is dropping the all-wheel drive Terrain diesel, too.

It's a bad time for fans of diesel-powered cars. The Cruze turbodiesel retired with no successor in sight when production of the model ended, and Chevrolet has confirmed it's paring down the Equinox turbodiesel line-up for the 2020 model year.

The 2019 version of the diesel-burning Equinox is available with front- or all-wheel drive. For 2020, Chevrolet will remove the extra-cost all-wheel drive option due to "relatively low demand" from buyers, one of the company's spokesmen told website CarsDirect. Sister company GMC will send the Terrain turbodiesel, which is closely related to the Equinox under the sheet metal, into the 2020 model year without available all-wheel drive for the same reason.

There's no word yet on whether Chevrolet and GMC will make the turbodiesel engine available on additional trim levels. Similarly, updated pricing information won't be released until closer to both models' on-sale date.

The turbodiesel available in the Equinox and the Terrain is a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder unit tuned to provide 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. It's not a powerhouse, but it's the uncontested efficiency champ of the line-up. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates it at 29 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined when it spins the front wheels only. In comparison, the Equinox's mileage figures check in at 26, 32, and 28, respectively, when it's ordered with the gasoline-burning 1.5-liter four-cylinder.

For the time being, buyers who want a diesel-powered crossover with all-wheel drive will need to visit a Mazda dealership. The Japanese company finally introduced an oil-burning CX-5 during the 2019 New York auto show. It's only available with all-wheel drive, and ordering the 168-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder requires stepping up to the Signature trim level, which costs $42,045 including destination. It's about $11,200 more expensive than the entry-level Equinox diesel, and it's less efficient across the board. Mazda quoted EPA-estimated figures of 27, 30, and 28.

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