Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid (Best and Worst)

Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid – The Chevy Equinox, a stalwart in the world of crossover SUVs, made its debut in 2005, ushering in a new era of design and construction for Chevy’s SUV lineup.

Unlike its predecessors, the Equinox featured a groundbreaking body-on-frame construction where the body and frame were independent entities, a departure from the traditional method.

This innovative approach raised an intriguing question: are there specific Equinox model years to avoid?

Before the Equinox came onto the scene, many cars and SUVs relied on unibody construction. The Equinox marked a significant departure for Chevy, introducing a structural paradigm that set it apart from the rest.

This shift was not merely a technicality; it represented a leap forward in design and engineering.

Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid

In 2005, the Chevy Equinox was introduced as the successor to the beloved Blazer and Tracker SUVs.

This was a pivotal moment in the history of Chevy SUVs. It was venturing into the fiercely competitive small crossover SUV market, a landscape dominated by formidable contenders.

The Equinox, however, held its own with a blend of innovative features and Chevy’s signature reliability.

Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid

While we delve into the discussion of Chevy Equinox years to avoid, it’s crucial to emphasize that none of these models should be labeled as terrible vehicles.

Each make and model has its unique strengths and weaknesses, catering to different preferences and needs.

The Equinox, with its storied history, offers a spectrum of choices, each deserving careful consideration.

The Chevrolet Equinox has been a prominent figure in the crossover SUV market since its debut in 2005.

Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid

Let’s explore the specific Equinox years to avoid and the issues that plagued them.

2005 Chevrolet Equinox: A Shaky Start

The inaugural 2005 Equinox model generated significant excitement upon its release. However, it was marred by severe reliability concerns, particularly regarding head gasket failure. reports over 1,000 complaints from owners, primarily linked to Equinoxes equipped with the 3.4L V6 engine.

This engine variant often led to blown head gaskets and gasket leaks, raising red flags for prospective buyers.

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2006 Chevy Equinox: Engine and Heating Woes Persist

Hopes were high for the 2006 Chevrolet Equinox, anticipating improvements in reliability. Unfortunately, data reveals over 1,000 complaints, with a majority centered on engine and heating system malfunctions.

Owners lamented the heating system’s propensity to blow cold air, a predicament traced back to issues with the air temperature blend door.

Furthermore, reports of engine shutdowns and failing speed sensors underscored ongoing concerns.

2010-2013 Chevy Equinox: Second-Gen Struggles

The second-generation Equinox models, spanning from 2010 to 2013, encountered their fair share of reliability challenges. The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox faced over 300 complaints primarily related to engine issues.

This model year accumulated over 1,000 complaints and three recalls, with excessive oil consumption emerging as a prevalent grievance.

Owners found themselves scheduling oil changes more frequently than anticipated.

In the subsequent years, the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox mirrored its predecessor’s woes.

With over 1,000 complaints predominantly focused on engine troubles and excessive oil consumption, extensive repairs were often necessary, including piston ring replacements or even full engine overhauls.

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Additionally, disconcerting clattering noises during startup were added to the list of concerns.

The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox: A Troubling Culmination labeled the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox as the worst model year, amassing over 1,000 complaints and prompting two recalls.

Engine-related issues, along with persistent excessive oil consumption, continued to plague this iteration.

Consumer Reports echoed these sentiments, assigning the 2013 Equinox a low-reliability score of 2.0 out of 5.0.

A recurring factor contributing to the excessive oil consumption problem was the Equinox’s 2.4L I4 engine.

Chevy Equinox Best Years

In the realm of compact SUVs, the choices abound, with models like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5 dominating the market.

However, if you’re seeking a more budget-friendly option with longevity in mind, the Chevrolet Equinox deserves a closer look. Renowned for its easy handling and smooth ride, this SUV often boasts reasonable prices in the used car market.

Chevy Equinox Best Years

But which year stands out as the most reliable for the Chevy Equinox?

Let’s dissect each generation of the Chevy Equinox, pinpointing the most reliable model years and highlighting those to approach with caution.

2009 Chevy Equinox: A First-Gen Gem

In the inaugural generation of the Chevy Equinox, the 2009 model year emerges as the pinnacle of reliability. With only 170+ complaints logged by CarComplaints and zero recalls, it stands as a testament to Chevrolet’s engineering prowess.

A few concerns regarding the timing chain and power loss were noted, but they remained isolated incidents.

Prospective buyers can expect to find a used 2009 Equinox priced between $5,125 – $6,050, though it’s worth noting that modern safety features may be lacking.

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2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox: A Mixed Bag

The second generation of Equinox models, spanning from 2010 to 2017, brought about notable improvements in interior design and a shift towards a more car-like profile.

However, the blanket of reliability was not as encompassing.

2017 Chevy Equinox: The Second-Gen Savior

Within the second-generation Equinox lineup, the 2017 model year shines as the beacon of reliability. While it did receive some reports of high oil consumption, they pale in comparison to earlier models.

According to Consumer Reports, the 2017 Equinox boasts a perfect reliability rating of 5.0 out of 5.0. J.D. Power also lends its endorsement, offering a near-flawless predicted reliability score.

For those seeking a recent model with unwavering dependability, the 2017 Equinox stands as the undisputed champion.

2018-Present Chevrolet Equinox: A Stronger Foundation

The current generation of Equinox models showcases improved predicted reliability ratings, making it an enticing option for those in pursuit of a newer used SUV.

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2019 Chevy Equinox: A Compelling Choice

The 2019 Chevy Equinox emerges as an alluring option in the compact SUV segment, boasting a spacious, comfortable cabin, outstanding fuel economy, and highly favorable predicted reliability ratings.

Consumer Reports bestows a reliability verdict score of 4.0 out of 5.0 upon the 2019 Equinox.

Though not without minor electrical and interior accessory issues, it remains a highly practical choice with excellent fuel efficiency ratings (27 mpg).

With a price range of $17,525 – $24,600, it caters to those on a budget without compromising on modern tech and safety features.

2022 Chevy Equinox: A Cautionary Tale

Chevy Equinox best years

Despite its appealing attributes on paper, the 2022 Equinox grapples with poor predicted reliability ratings and a steep price tag for nearly-new models.

Consumer Reports’ assessment paints a grim picture, awarding it a reliability score of 1.0 out of 5.0 and a customer satisfaction score of 2.0 out of 5.0. While not plagued by severe issues, its rear occupant protection falls short.

In light of stiff competition, the 2022 Equinox, though a decent new SUV, doesn’t emerge as the optimal choice for used car buyers.

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Chevy Equinox Problems

The Chevy Equinox has established itself as a reliable choice in the world of compact SUVs.

However, like any vehicle, it’s not without its quirks and common issues.

Chevy Equinox Problems

Understanding these issues will empower both current owners and prospective buyers to make informed decisions.

1. Excessive Oil Consumption: A Concern for 2010-2013 Models

One of the most prevalent issues affecting Equinox models from 2010 to 2013 is excessive oil consumption.

Owners have reported abnormal levels of oil consumption, often signaled by check engine lights and noticeable shakes.

This concern, while not universal, underscores the importance of regular maintenance and vigilance.

2. Defective A/C Compressor: A Chilling Problem in 2011 Equinox Models

For owners of 2011 Equinox models, a recurring problem has been with the air conditioning system. Complaints range from the inability to produce cold air to freon leaks.

Investigations have traced the root cause to a faulty A/C compressor, shedding light on the necessity for thorough inspections and potential repairs.

3. Battery Issues: Electrical Gremlins Plague Various Models

A common thread among Equinox owners is the occurrence of battery-related problems. Issues with Bluetooth audio, malfunctioning USB ports, and other electrical system failures have been reported.

Expert mechanics attribute these concerns to battery-related faults, sometimes necessitating costly replacements.

This serves as a reminder of the significance of regular electrical system checks.

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4. Rattling from the Front Lower Control Arm: A Distinctive Issue in 2005 Models

Particularly evident in 2005 Equinox models, a prevalent problem has been rattling emanating from the front lower control arm. This noise becomes particularly noticeable when navigating bumps in the road. While not a safety concern, it underscores the importance of addressing suspension-related issues promptly.

5. Check Engine Light Woes: A Universal Annoyance

The illumination of the check engine light is an issue that has irked many Equinox owners.

Specifically, models equipped with 6-speed transmissions have been susceptible to this problem, often accompanied by various error codes (P0716, P0776, P0717, P0777, etc.).

In-depth examinations have attributed this issue to a faulty 35R clutch wave plate within the transmission system.

Symptoms may include a loss of reverse gear and slippage, necessitating timely attention.

6. Defective Takata Airbags: A Safety Concern Across Generations

The specter of the infamous Takata airbags looms over the Equinox, affecting both the first and second generations.

This constitutes one of the largest automotive recalls in the U.S. due to the potential rupture or explosion of the airbag inflator during deployment, posing a severe risk to occupants.

The gravity of this issue serves as a reminder of the importance of staying informed about recalls and promptly addressing safety concerns.

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7. Delayed Acceleration: First-Gen Equinox Owners Raise Concerns

Owners of first-generation Equinox models have voiced complaints about delayed acceleration and throttle lag.

Investigations reveal an electrical delay within the drive-by-wire throttle system, resulting in a noticeable lag before the vehicle responds to throttle input.

This delay can potentially pose a safety hazard, particularly in situations requiring swift acceleration.

What goes bad on Chevy Equinox?

One common issue that many Chevy Equinox owners face is excessive oil consumption, particularly with the 2.4-liter engine. Some owners report their Equinox consuming over a quart of oil for every 1,000 miles driven.

This can lead to the crankcase being nearly empty by the time the vehicle is due for an oil change.

What is the high mileage for a Chevy Equinox?

The Chevy Equinox boasts an impressive lifespan, often lasting well beyond 200,000 miles. In fact, some drivers have reported their Equinox surpassing the 300,000-mile mark, attesting to the vehicle’s durability and longevity.

Is Chevy Equinox high maintenance?

In terms of repairs and maintenance costs, the Chevrolet Equinox falls within the average range. The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Chevrolet Equinox is approximately $537.

This compares favorably to the average of $521 for compact SUVs and $652 for all vehicle models.

Why do people buy Chevy Equinox?

Consumers are drawn to the Chevy Equinox for several compelling reasons. According to a Consumer Reports review of the Third Generation Chevrolet Equinox, it outperforms its predecessor due to being significantly lighter by approximately 400 pounds.

This results in improved handling.

The Equinox features a quiet cabin and a suspension system that effectively smooths out road bumps, providing a comfortable ride for passengers.

These factors contribute to the appeal and popularity of the Chevy Equinox among discerning buyers.


It’s clear that when considering a Chevy Equinox, being mindful of specific model years is crucial for a satisfying ownership experience.

The Equinox has proven itself as a reliable choice in the compact SUV market, there are certain years that stand out for their exceptional performance and longevity.

On the flip side, it’s crucial to exercise caution with models like 2005 and certain years from 2010 to 2013, which have faced specific issues like excessive oil consumption.

The 2022 Equinox, while appearing promising, has garnered poor predicted reliability ratings, warranting careful consideration.

Making an informed decision about the Chevy Equinox requires weighing the specific strengths and potential drawbacks of each model year. By doing so, you can confidently select a vehicle that aligns seamlessly with your preferences and needs.

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