Chevy Equinox Years to Avoid: Best & Worst Years

chevrolet equinox

The Chevy Equinox was introduced in the market by Chevrolet in 2005. It receives several updates yearly, so it has 19 trims. As the Earth and sun are at equilibrium during the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Equinox is named after them. In body-on-frame construction, the Equinox was the first vehicle to have the body and frame built independently. Similar to the Jeep Patriot, it is a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

If you are looking for a reliable vehicle and need clarification on different models of the Chevy Equinox – worry not; I got you covered. I have gathered information about Chevy Equinox years to avoid, its complaints, and best models along with its common problems and FAQs, so by reading this article, you can easily choose the best suitable model for yourself.

Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid

Here are the Chevy Equinox Years to Avoid

  • 2005 First Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2006 First Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2007 First Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2010 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2011 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2012 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2013 Second Generation Chevy Equinox

2005-2007 First Generation Chevy Equinox

2005 Chevy Equinox

An engine-related problem plagued the 2005 Equinox, which was often attributed to a blown head gasket. In addition, ABS issues, overheating, loud engine noises, and stalling were reported by owners. 

The 2006 model’s most widespread issue was a faulty heater which was a real pain for its users. Ice and fog could not be cleared by the heater in the colder months because the heater blew cold air. In addition, this model also has engine problems like its previous model.

A failed fuel pump was the most common problem with the 2007 Equinox. The fuel pump starts leaking the fuel on its top, which also results in strong gas fumes. Dash gauges acting up and the key getting stuck in the ignition are also some common issues in this model.

2010-2013 First Generation Chevy Equinox

2010 Chevy Equinox

Again, the 2010 Equinox had engine issues due to excessive oil consumption, making it another Chevy Equinox year to avoid. Furthermore, many transmission failures and engine noises were reported, and wipers became dysfunctional.

Statistically, the 2011 Equinox is this list’s most problematic model year. Most of the complaints were about excessive oil consumption, which seriously affected critical engine components. Several transmission failures occurred at around 90,000 miles, requiring an average repair cost of $3500.

Furthermore, the 2012 Equinox suffered from excessive engine oil consumption issues, negatively affecting the timing chain, valves, and pistons. To compensate, the company announced the recall. But some users claim that they were not even notified. 

Engine problems plagued the 2013 Equinox; excessive oil burning was the most common complaint. In order to compensate, the company announced the recall; and just like the previous year, some users claim they were not notified. 

Best Models To Buy

Here are the best models of the Chevy Equinox 

  • 2009 First Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2016 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2017 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2020 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2021 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2022 Second Generation Chevy Equinox
  • 2023 Second Generation Chevy Equinox

2009 First Generation Chevy Equinox

2009 Chevy Equinox
  • 2009 was the final release of the 1st generation Equinox, and it proved to be the most reliable model of its generation because a number of issues from previous models were resolved. Its features include comfy seats, a V6 engine, Bluetooth connectivity, side-curtain airbags, and a satellite radio system.

2016-2017 Second Generation Chevy Equinox

2016 Chevrolet equinox
  • The 2016 model was notably more reliable than many of its 2nd Gen predecessors, as it is the penultimate model of the 2nd Gen. A new 7-inch touchscreen with a rearview camera is standard on this vehicle model’s entry-level trims, L and LS. Additionally, the LT and LTZ come with blind spot monitoring systems with rear cross-traffic alerts. 
  • Despite its many standard features and a lot of rear passenger space, the 2017 Equinox is a solid vehicle to consider. It has two special LT trims, including Midnight Edition, which has a leather interior, exterior with detailing, and 18 inches alloy wheels, and Sport Edition, which has only one difference from its twin, which is its white body paint.

2020–2023 Second Generation Chevy Equinox

2023 Chevrolet Equinox
  • An impressive 3500-pound towing capacity is available with the 2020 Equinox. It has a 2.0-liter engine coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission. 2020’s new standard features include lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, automatic emergency with pedestrian detection, forward collision alert, and automatic high beams. There is also an adaptive cruise control package called Driver Confidence II.
  • Despite having fewer features than its successors, the 2021 Equinox is a safe bet with nimble on-road behavior, good fuel economy, and a spacious interior. This model year is an extension of the previous model year. However, it only has a 1.5-liter turbo engine as the only option. 
  • The 2022 and 2023 Equinox models boast the most modern safety features, technology, and styling. These are the finest choices if you’re looking for the best Equinox Model. The 2022 model features include a new grille design, a more angular front and rear bumper, and distinctive headlights. RS model was also introduced that year, featuring dark alloy wheels and blacked-out exterior trim.
  • There were three new color options for 2023, and the brakes were upgraded from a vacuum-boosted system to an electronic-assisted system called “E-boost.”

Common Problems of Equinox

There are some Chevy Equinox years to avoid. Following are some of the most frequently occurring problems across these Equinox models.

  1. Excessive oil consumption: The 2010 to 2013 Equinox models were reported to consume excessive amounts of oil. Vehicle owners have reported that their vehicles consume abnormal amounts of oil after experiencing symptoms such as illuminated check engine lights and violent shaking.
  2. Defective Heater: There is also an issue with the heater, especially in the 2005 model. The heater is blowing cold air, which becomes a pain for its users in the cold weather.
  3. Battery issues: This issue is also one of the most prominent issues in the Chevy Equinox. Defective battery results in many electrical issues, including defective USB ports, lights, and spotty Bluetooth audio. There are some people who have to replace their batteries, which can be expensive.
  4. Rattling: Some models of the Equinox have rattling issues with the engine and front lower control arm. The Rattling becomes loud when driving at high speed and over bumps.
  5. Oil leakage: Some Equinox models have oil leakage issues, which the bad rear seal mostly causes. Whenever your Chevy Equinox burns oil faster than usual, you should take action; otherwise, leaving this problem unchecked can cause damage to the engine.
  6. Starter Motor:  There is a tendency for the starter motor to fail without warning, preventing the vehicle from starting. Due to the malfunctioning of this component, it is also possible to find issues with the ECU of the vehicles.
  7.  Fuel Efficiency: A major problem with Equinox is its poor fuel economy, which is often caused by problems with the V6 engine. This issue may have happened due to some faulty components.


Here are some of the frequently asked questions, and their answers are given below.

Is the Chevy Equinox a Reliable Car?

Reliability ratings for the Chevy Equinox are above average. J.D. Power(American data analytics, consumer intelligence, and Software Company) gave a reliability and quality rating of 85 out of 100 to the 2021 model. On the other hand, RepairPal has given it a rating of 3.5 out of 5. Among Compact SUVs, it ranked 23rd, so if you are considering buying it, it’s a good choice.

What year is the most reliable Chevy Equinox?

The 2009 model of this car is the most reliable one in different trims of the Chevy Equinox.

What is the best year to buy a used Equinox? 

Due to its affordable price and functionality, the Chevy Equinox is a popular vehicle. If you’re looking for something newer, try the 2021 model, or if you’re buying a used Chevy Equinox, then the 2009 model is the best. Overall 2009 model is considered the best model of Equinox, but if you can afford then go with the 2021 model, as it has advanced safety and comfy features.

What is the longevity of a Chevy Equinox?

Just like the Jeep Grand Cherokee Chevy Equinox can last more than 200,000 miles if properly maintained, which means it can be used for 17 to 20 years. Despite its less-than-perfect condition, the Equinox should last over 150,000 miles and about ten years. Although there are some Chevy Equinox years to avoid, it’s a reliable car overall. So if you are looking for a car for long-term use, why not this one?

Related Posts