Old GM's bean counters likely would have ignored such criticisms late in development, but the post-bankruptcy GM sent the project back to the drawing board.

General Motors reportedly sent the redesigned Chevy Equinox back to the drawing board in the middle of the development process after showing the restyled crossover to unimpressed focus groups.

"Too bulky. Odd styling. Not compelling enough," the focus group responded, according to Automotive News.

The report suggests the company likely would have dismissed such criticisms not long ago when 'bean counters' held sway over product decisions before the Old GM collapsed. Decision-makers are said to have adopted a different way of thinking in the post-bankruptcy era, however, and the Equinox was deemed too critical to fumble.

"Back in the day, we would have probably just kept going," admits Equinox chief engineer Mark Cieslak. "What we had on paper we felt was not going to win."

The second-generation Equinox was left out of the crossover boom in 2016, with sales down by 13 percent in its seventh year since a major redesign. The 2016 facelift appears to have buoyed sales ahead of the 2018 model's arrival, with deliveries up by 4.3 percent in the first two months of 2017.