Are you interested in knowing more about the Chevy Equinox years to avoid if you intend to buy a Chevy Equinox? If so, you are in the correct spot since there will be a lot to discuss on this subject, where we will learn everything there is to know about this model.
One of your main objectives should be to carry out the necessary research before you purchase a new or used vehicle. What makes me say this? Well, you should always do your homework before purchasing anything, especially if it’s something as expensive as a car.
Prices for cars have skyrocketed in recent years, and you need to be careful before purchasing because many models are plagued by issues. Additionally, some of these issues require expensive fixes and are rather significant.
They may cost several hundred or even several thousand dollars. With labor and parts costs adding up so fast, you can find yourself spending all of your cash on mechanics. And that’s why we’re here to assist you.
We will first discover what Equinox is and why it is so well-liked. After that, we’ll talk about all three generations. We’ll talk about the Chevy Equinox model years to avoid as well as the specifications and issues. So, keep reading to discover more about this subject.
The Chevy Equinox: What Car Is It?
So let’s first explain what the Chevy Equinox is in general before talking about the years to avoid. I’m willing to guess that many readers of this essay are really curious about this approach. We must thus introduce them to the subject properly and begin with a suitable introduction. The Equinox is what, then?
The Chevy Equinox, however, is a mid-size crossover SUV that Chevy has been making since 2005. People were immediately drawn to the vehicle when it was shown in 2003 at the Detroit Auto Show since it used a relatively contemporary strategy.
Unlike the S-10 Blazer and Chevy Tracker, which weren’t quite right and were out of date by today’s standards.
In case you were unaware, this is the exact moment in time when the market for tiny crossover SUVs began to boom. Therefore, Chevy has to act swiftly to avoid losing a significant amount of sales to Ford and other rivals in the industry.
Equinox also became popular right away. What is crucial for you as a potential owner of an Equinox is to comprehend more about the generations; we will talk more about popularity later.
The Equinox has had three iterations overall, and it is being manufactured today. This implies that you may simply purchase one for yourself by visiting any Chevy dealership.
However, study more about the Chevy Equinox model years beforehand and do your homework. And we’ll talk about that in greater detail later. Let’s now examine the reasons behind this model’s popularity.
A Short Chevy Equinox Overview
Since its 2005 showroom introduction, the Equinox has had fairly steady popularity as a well-liked crossover SUV.
It was a first since all Chevy SUV models used body-on-frame construction, and the Equinox was the first to do so with the body and frame being manufactured as two separate entities.
This indicates that the body and structure are one. Are there particular Equinox model years to steer clear of in light of this new styling?
Many other vehicles and SUVs employed unibody construction before the introduction of the Equinox, but this was the first Chevy SUV to do so. To differentiate itself from the Blazer, it offers all-wheel drive in place of the Blazer’s rear-wheel drive. It was created to replace a few older SUVs in the Chevy family.
The Chevy Equinox debuted for the 2005 model year to replace the well-known Blazer and Tracker SUVs. The congested compact crossover SUV sector, one of the most competitive market categories, was where it was entering.
It should be emphasized that none of them could be regarded as bad cars because every brand and model has advantages and disadvantages.
What Is the Secret Behind Chevy Equinox’s Popularity
We now know the fundamentals about the Chevrolet Equinox and that it is a mid-size compact crossover SUV. Now, before we explore the Chevy Equinox years to avoid, let’s talk about how long this model has been on the market. Why is Equinox so well-liked?
As you are surely aware, the model made its debut in the 2005 model year, and three versions have since been introduced. Production of the first generation commenced in 2005 and continued until 2009.
Beginning in 2010, the second generation was manufactured through 2017. Additionally, the current model’s most recent iteration was unveiled in 2018.
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV by Andra Febrian / CC BY 3.0. Thanks to its excellent handling and control, this vehicle will be a fantastic choice for people looking for a vehicle that can handle difficult terrain.
This indicates that the current Equinox generation is not as new as some would believe. However, Chevy always adds new features to their portfolio, so this is meaningless.
Therefore, the sales figures do not decrease; rather, they increase significantly each year, and at the moment, Equinox is selling around 300,000 units yearly, which in our opinion is a respectable level.
This model is also available in China, where it is fairly well-liked and sells more than 50,000 copies a year.
The value you receive for your money is Equinox’s strongest selling point. There are very likely no vehicles in this class that offer a greater value than what Kia and Hyundai are providing. Therefore, this is the reason Chevy sells many of them.
But what about the years to avoid the Chevy Equinox? Now that we have covered more of it in the post, let’s talk about the different generations of Equinox.
Which are the Chevy Equinox Years to Avoid?
The following are the Chevy Equinox years to avoid in case you are in the market looking for a used car;
The First-Generation 2005 to 2007 Chevy Equinox Models
The 2005 to 2007 models, which were first-generation cars, experienced a significant amount of problems. From the start, these model years fared badly in the side and head restraints & seat categories of the IIHS crash test, and they received a mediocre to below-average grade.
The front passenger chairs did not function as well, despite the back passenger seats. If you’re looking for a family vehicle, you should steer clear of the 2005 to 2007 Equinox model years because safety is one of the most important considerations.
The heater on the Equinox models from 2005 to 2007 was the subject of several complaints. Not only will the passengers be chilly, but there may be a safety hazard if the windshield has trouble defrosting. In addition to the safety issues, they also performed poorly in terms of passenger friendliness.
Naturally, issues and recalls will occasionally occur with vehicles. One of the rare vehicles in its family history to experience this issue was the 2007 model, which underwent a temporary recall for malfunctioning passenger airbag sensors.
Because it only affected the 2007 model year, it seems to be an isolated problem. However, because of concerns about customer happiness and safety, the first few years of the first generation should be avoided as a whole.
Focus on the 2008 and 2009 model years if you’re determined to buy a vehicle from the first generation to save money or just because you like the car better.
Although they still had occasional problems, they were generally more dependable than the first generation’s initial three years. The most prevalent issue with the final two models of the first generation was engine overheating, which cost buyers around $700 to repair.
This year is important to watch since the 2008 model was the first generation to get numerous crucial advancements. This is approximately the farthest back you should go for a used Equinox unless you’re willing to put some substantial work into your car or find one with low miles.
Another Chevy Equinox year to steer clear of is 2005. It was deemed by WVDOT to be the worst model year.
All of these problems are expensive to remedy and, if ignored, might harm the vehicle.
One of the older models on this list, the 2005 Chevy Equinox, has a lot of problems. Head gaskets have a history of blowing off the engine, and replacement may be quite costly.
The ignition switch may malfunction as well, making it difficult or impossible for the vehicle to start.
Finally, the ignition can jam and you will be stranded until help arrives with a wire hanger and some WD-40. You shouldn’t have to deal with this issue.
One of the most often complained-about models is the 2006 Chevy Equinox, which has difficulties ranging from faulty air conditioning to blown head gaskets and stalling while driving.
Particularly troublesome was the air conditioning system, with several customers complaining that their air conditioner would spew hot air. This frequently results from a broken thermostat.
Numerous customers also complained of an engine that would stall while driving as well as the same head gasket blowing problem.
If these problems are not resolved very away, the results might be fatal.
The Second-Generation 2010 to 2017 Chevy Equinox Models
Models from 2010 to 2017 are the top Equinox model years to stay away from because of their high gas consumption, lack of contemporary amenities, and problematic safety features.
Particularly, vehicles with 2.4L engines have poor fuel economy when compared to rivals and expensive engine replacement costs.
The first two years of this stretch were rather forgettable for Equinox, and vehicles with a V6 are renowned for numerous trips to the repair shop due to broken mechanical parts.
The 2017 model’s LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) design garnered negative reviews, even though it is not a big safety risk for children in the rear. The current method was enhanced and made more user-friendly by more recent models.
The overuse of many models was a problem that this generation of cars had. There was a lubricant deficiency as a result of excessive oil use in both E85 and non-E85 engines. This is a time for Equinox to avoid because of concerns, especially those regarding the 2.4L engine.
A blown engine is a worst-case scenario and one of the most costly repairs. The NHTSA did investigate all model years from this period for wiper failure, so this is a smart Equinox model to avoid even if it may not be everyone’s top worry.
To prevent this issue, look for an Equinox from the 2010 to 2017 generation that features a V6 engine. In the V6 engines, there were complaints of timing chains breaking in the years 2010 through 2012, but not in the years 2013 through 2017.
The third generation of the Chevy Equinox debuted with 2017 models, however, buyers and reviewers have been somewhat more inclined toward 2018. The third generation of Equinox (from 2018 to the present) has, for the most part, been almost maintenance-free.
If you’re looking for a 2018 model, keep an eye out for it when looking at used Chevy SUVs. As you weigh your options, bear in mind that these cars are available in a variety of trim levels.
Chevrolet changed to a more family-oriented portfolio in recent years, joining other American automakers in doing so. This reorganization likely resulted from the SUV market’s lackluster performance. With Equinox, Chevy avoided many of its developing difficulties from the consumer’s perspective.
The business revisited the idea and improved it for drivers after a few dismal years. You’ll be in excellent condition if you choose an Equinox model year from 2018 or later, however, there are undoubtedly some to avoid.
One of the worst years for Equinox was 2011, which had several serious difficulties documented.
The engine problems are among the most obvious. According to MotorBiscuit, the 2011 Chevy Equinox uses too much oil. One motorist even discovered they were adding 1.5 quarts of oil to their car every 1,000 miles.
Additionally, it was claimed that interior parts that failed and fractured chains may create engine problems before a car had driven 100,000 miles.
Numerous drivers have mentioned engine stalling problems with the 2011 Chevy Equinox in addition to oil problems.
Chevrolet didn’t make up for the subpar 2011 model with the 2012 Chevy Equinox the following year. Both the 2011 and 2012 versions received a 1 out of 5 rating from Consumer Reports for dependability and owner satisfaction, and both had an average fuel efficiency of 22 mpg.
According to Consumer Reports, the greatest dependability concerns drivers experienced with the 2012 model were with the engine major, engine minor, transmission major, and transmission minor. This suggested that the 2012 model likewise had engine problems.
The worst of the reported problems with the 2015 Chevy Equinox were electrical problems that pervaded the whole vehicle.
According to MotorBiscuit, the vehicle’s battery depleted fast, leaving users angry since they would park their cars overnight only to discover a dead battery the next day.
In addition to battery problems, electrical problems with the engine not starting, the radio shutting out, and technology freezing were also noted. Not to add, this model year’s engines have issues, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A 2018 Chevrolet Equinox by Kevauto / CC BY-SA 4.0. When shopping for secondhand Chevy SUVs, keep an eye out for the 2018 model if you’re looking for one. Keep in mind that these automobiles come in a range of trim levels as you consider your alternatives.
What are the Chevy Equinox’s Best Years?
We’ll talk about the top Equinox models right now that have been tried and true. These models are excellent and can be purchased with confidence.
Let’s examine what makes them exceptional.
The 2009 Chevy Equinox model is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a roomy, cozy, and secure car.
Passengers in the front and back seats will have plenty of room to stretch out within the spacious, comfy cabin.
You won’t have to worry about not having enough space for your belongings because it offers a lot of cargo space.
The sports model’s 3.6L V6 engine, which generates 264 HP, will offer you plenty of power on the road.
With the engine running efficiently, you may achieve up to 17 miles per gallon when driving in cities.
The tiny SUV with a lot to offer is the Chevy Equinox, which debuted in 2016.
The first is that a V6 engine is a possibility. This performs well and provides you with more power than a typical four-cylinder.
If you’re searching for an SUV that can manage dirt roads and highways, this is the ideal car for you because the ride is comfortable even on tough terrain.
With adjustable seat backs that may go forward or backward per your demands, the backseat is cozy.
The 2017 Chevy Equinox is a good option if you want an SUV that offers a comfortable driving experience.
It is excellent since it resembles the 2016 model. Better acceleration is made possible by the V6 engine, which facilitates travel.
The suspension system of the car serves to smooth out the ride by absorbing road jolts and providing a comfortable interior for passengers.
Overall, it is a fantastic choice for anyone searching for a solid SUV on a tight budget.
With its potent 2.0L turbocharged engine, the 2020 Chevy Equinox gives you the power to travel anywhere and accomplish everything.
Your trip will be more pleasant and pleasurable thanks to the excellent suspension, which offers a smooth driving experience.
This vehicle is a great option for those seeking a vehicle that can manage tough terrain because of its good handling and control.
2016 Chevrolet Equinox by Bull-Doser. The Chevy Equinox, which made its debut in 2016, is a small SUV with a lot to offer. The first is the potential for a V6 engine. You get better performance and more power from this than a standard four-cylinder.
It makes it ideal for traveling and discovering new locations.
A decent choice for individuals who don’t want to spend money on a new car is the 2021 Chevy Equinox.
It has all the newest technologies and provides outstanding driving control.
You won’t have any problem driving over rocky terrain because the suspension is also rather excellent.
The inside isn’t unduly intricate or confusing, and it appears to have been built by someone who cares about your comfort.
All things considered, it’s a great choice for anyone who prefers comfort and performance.
Which are the Top Chevy Equinox Common Problems?
The Chevrolet Equinox is a reliable compact SUV, but it still has a surprising amount of issues. The top complaints for various model years are listed below:
1. Wheel Wells with Flimsy Fiberboard
Owners of the 2020 Chevy Equinox claim that some of these vehicles frequently experience issues with their wheel wells.
Wheel wells built of weak fiberboard, according to some drivers, are prone to cracking in regions where ice buildup is widespread.
Additionally, the fiberboard wheel wells became encrusted with ice, making them very hard to remove. Some of the afflicted owners were required to hose the ice away with hot water at a vehicle wash.
As of the time of this writing, Chevrolet has not taken any action to address this problem.
2. Repeatedly Turning On the Check Engine Light
The 2018 Chevy Equinox has one of the most bothersome difficulties of this model year while having fewer troubles than previous model years. Owners of the 2018 Chevy Equinox regularly reported that their SUV’s check engine light would come on.
Some mechanics were unable to determine the cause of the check engine light occasionally coming on when the vehicle was taken to the dealer.
Regarding the remaining vehicles, owners were informed that the check engine light was illuminated as a result of OBD-II code P25A9, which is associated with an internal engine issue. This problem should be resolved by replacing the primary engine control unit (ECU).
3. Battery Issue
Numerous 2015 Chevy Equinox owners claim that battery issues are common for various models from this year’s lineup. The computerized radio, USB port, Bluetooth audio, and electrical system parts of the SUV are among the potential failure points.
In colder temperatures, the SUV could not start for some people. The battery in the impacted Chevy was confirmed to be the source of these problems by mechanics.
Some owners started their SUVs with no problems at all by connecting the battery to jumper wires. For others, it’s a pricey problem to fix because the battery might need to be replaced entirely.
Numerous Equinox owners have reported having problems with the 2011 Chevy Equinox’s A/C compressor. Their air conditioner would occasionally leak freon or quit producing cold air.
4. Overuse of Oil
Owners of 2013 Chevy Equinox models frequently complain about excessive oil use. The afflicted devices may shake severely and stop functioning entirely or jerk before halting. Drivers may also receive a warning from their check engine light if something is wrong.
Most owners discovered that their SUVs were using too much oil after giving them a closer look. Others weren’t as fortunate since they discovered leaks in their vehicles before they realized they were using oil abnormally quickly.
This issue has been reported by several 2013 Chevy Equinox owners, and it is a well-documented complaint. Despite this, as of the time of this writing, Chevrolet has not taken any steps to fix this.
5. Defective AC Compressor
The 2011 Chevy Equinox’s A/C compressor has caused issues for several Equinox owners. Sometimes their air conditioning system would leak freon or stop blowing cold air. Many owners also reported that their air conditioners only produced hot air.
Most SUV owners who had their vehicles tested discovered that the issues were being caused by defective A/C compressors.
By restarting their cars, some drivers were able to resolve this issue, while other drivers weren’t as fortunate. The specialists advise changing the A/C compressor with a new one to remedy this issue.
6. Front Lower Control Arm Rattling
Some 2005 Chevy Equinox customers claim to have heard rattling coming from the front lower control arm of their car.
The majority of them reported that as they drove over bumps, the suspension at the front of their cars would rattle.
Some claim that as they went over a difficult section of the road, it sounded as though the steering column was about to collapse.
The front lower control arm replacement should fix the problem. Chevrolet has not yet issued any recalls to address this issue as of this writing.
NOTE: If you’re considering a Chevy Equinox, be ready to accept both its advantages and potential drawbacks. Purchasing it should involve little risk as long as you are aware of the problems unique to the model year you intend to purchase. Knowing what to look out for will also enable you to maximize the service life of your small SUV by avoiding expensive repairs via preventative maintenance.
Chevy Equinox: Is It a Reliable Car?
The dependability ratings for the Chevy Equinox are above average, with certain model years doing better than others.
It received a 3.5 out of 5.0 rating from RepairPal, placing it 23rd among the 26 small SUVs in its category. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox has a J.D. Power quality and dependability rating of 85/100.
The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox was ranked 11th among 18 vehicles in the small SUV market by US News & World Report.
Customers who purchased a 2005 Chevy Equinox assert that their vehicle’s front lower control arm was rattling.
These numbers show that the Chevrolet Equinox may easily have a long service life with cautious handling and regular maintenance.
Is Maintenance Cost for a Chevy Equinox Expensive?
The Chevy Equinox is one of the more affordable SUVs to maintain. In terms of car maintenance expenditures, it’s one of the most affordable options available.
The car will require roughly $8600 in maintenance over ten years, which is about $500 less than the typical SUV maintenance expense.
Chevy Equinoxes: How Long Do They Last?
Since the Chevy Equinox has been in production since 2004, it has had ample opportunity to undergo extensive testing.
The Chevy Equinox has a lifetime of around 200,000 miles. That is still a large figure, even though it is not the highest one you would find on an SUV.
Owners will receive more than ten years of servicing if they drive 15,000 miles each year. That’s very good for an SUV!
Therefore, if you want a vehicle that will serve you well for a long time and make it easy for you to go around town, this is the vehicle for you.
How to Extend the Life of the Chevy Equinox
Your Chevy Equinox should last you for a very long time. We also want it for you! Let’s discuss what you can do to extend this as much as you can.
- Regularly changing filters is one of the most crucial things you can do. Make it a routine to inspect them at least once a month, and when they become filthy or clogged, replace them.
- Depending on which filter you’re referring to, the limitation of either fuel or air might impact the engine’s performance. So, watch out that they don’t become blocked.
- The next step is to promptly replace all fluids.
- Make sure to replace your brake fluid around every two years, as well as your transmission fluid, engine coolant, and engine every 50k miles or so.
- Keep a watch out for any leaks or issues with these systems, such as a damaged radiator, so that you can fix them before they get out of hand.
- Finally, keep an eye out for any problems, no matter how small they may seem, and have them rectified right away!
- Take your Chevy Equinox to a professional straight immediately if it exhibits any issues at all (even if it’s simply a problem with one of its tires)!
Equinox is unable to sustain itself. These are only a few of the various ways you may assist it if you choose to. Without a doubt, they will lengthen the SUV’s lifespan.
In conclusion, the Chevy Equinox has had both successful and unsuccessful years. It has been around since 2005, and reviews have been inconsistent over time.
It’s still a fantastic SUV, in my view, but you need to be cautious about whatever model you choose to purchase.
You will benefit much from reading this post on the greatest and worst Chevy Equinox years, which is fortunate for you.
You don’t need to worry about things like which model to avoid and what to check to make sure you receive a nice car because all the information you want has been given here.
Jim Wicks is the founder of MotorVehicleHQ. With over two decades of experience in the automotive industry and a degree in Automotive Technology, Jim is a certified car expert who has worked in various roles ranging from a mechanic, car dealership manager, to a racing car driver. He has owned more than 20 cars over the past 15 years. Ask him about any vehicle you see on the road and he can tell you the make, model and year. He loves the aesthetics of all things cars, and keeps his vehicles in pristine condition.
In his free time, Jim enjoys getting his hands dirty under the hood of a classic car or taking long drives along the country roads. His favorite car? A 1967 Shelby GT500, a true classic that, according to Jim, “represents the pure essence of American muscle.”