Chevrolet Equinox Years To Avoid (Read First)

Chevy Equinox is the GM brand’s best-selling crossover/SUV in the U.S., known for its intuitive infotainment system, an abundance of tech features, and plenty of passenger space.

Like most cars, the Equinox has had its fair share of problems. If you’re planning on buying a used Equinox, it’s important that you know which years are reliable, and which years to avoid.

In this article, we’ll cover which Equinox years are the best and worst, we’ll also provide a short summary of the issues faced by every Escape model in the last 15 years.

Which Chevy Equinox Years to Avoid: Quick Answer

There are several Chevy Equinox years you should avoid, but the worst years have to be 2010, 2007, and 2006. Not only do these years have the highest number of reported problems, but they also feature faulty engines and transmissions that give out and require expensive replacements.

The second-generation (2010) Equinoxes were problematic from the get-go. They suffer from a poor engine design which leads to excessive oil consumption. This, in turn, leads to more serious engine issues and typically ends with costly replacement.

Interestingly enough, the first-ever Equinox from 2005 isn’t as problematic as the 2006 and 2007 models. The most serious problem with the early first-generation Chevrolet Equinoxes is their poor engine design which often leads to overheating and blown head gaskets.

Additional problems such as ABS and brake failures, leaking fuel pumps, and a host of electrical issues are just icing on the cake.

Which Chevy Equinox Years Are The Best?

According to our research, the best Equinox year is 2017. It has the fewest complaints among the bunch and some of the best reliability scores across multiple platforms such as J.D. Power (84/100), Edmunds user reviews (3.7/5), and the lowest PPMY index of 0.10 among all Equinox years.

Despite the persistent issue with blown rear main seal and some electrical problems, 2017 Equinoxes are among the more reliable used crossovers money can buy.

Good alternatives are the late first-gen 2009 models, as well as late second-gen 2016 models. Even the third-gen 2018 to present Equinoxes are holding up reasonably well despite receiving an entirely new platform.

You might also like: How Long Do Chevys Last? (Explained)

Do Chevy Equinoxes Have a Lot of Problems?

Chevy Equinoxes typically do have a lot of problems, although it has to be noted that some model years are quite reliable.

The number of complaints for some Equinox model years is simply staggering – especially for older models while Equinox was still a mid-size crossover.

Things have improved considerably in the last few years, however. Both for the last model years of the second-generation’s mid-size units and the initial years of the third-generation’s compact crossovers.

Chevy Equinox Problems by Year:

Further down, you’ll find some of the most common Chevy Equinox problems over the years,

according to the data gathered by carcomplaints.com and NHTSA.

2020 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • engine loses power
  • brakes fail to respond on time

Total complaints: NHTSA 65, car complaints 7

2019 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • turbocharger cooler tube prone to failing
  • engine loses power
  • computer failure

Total complaints: NHTSA 115, car complaints 24

2018 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • vacuum pump failure
  • transmission not shifting properly

Total complaints: NHTSA 190, car complaints 58

2017 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • blown rear main seal
  • electrical issues

Total complaints: NHTSA 84, car complaints 31

2016 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • blown rear main seal
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • windshield wipers failure

Total complaints: NHTSA 168, car complaints 46

2015 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • excessive oil consumption
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • electrical issues and constant battery draining
  • windshield wipers failure

Total complaints: NHTSA 461, car complaints 115

2014 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • excessive oil consumption
  • random acceleration
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • windshield wipers failure

Total complaints: NHTSA 394, car complaints 101

2013 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • excessive oil consumption
  • engine stalls while driving
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • windshield wipers failure

Total complaints: NHTSA 613, car complaints 230

2012 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • excessive oil consumption
  • engine stalls while driving
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • windshield wipers failure
  • the body is prone to rust

Total complaints: NHTSA 600, car complaints 274

2011 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • excessive oil consumption
  • engine stalls while driving
  • transmission prone to failure
  • windshield wipers failure

Total complaints: NHTSA 703, car complaints 331

2010 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • excessive oil consumption
  • engine stalls while driving
  • transmission prone to failure
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • windshield wipers failure

Total complaints: NHTSA 742, car complaints 327

2009 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • engine loses power
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • StabiliTrak and traction control failure Total complaints: NHTSA 92, car complaints 23

2008 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • engine hesitation
  • spark plug issues
  • timing chain prone to failure
  • electrical issues

Total complaints: NHTSA 357, car complaints 141

2007 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • blown head gasket
  • electrical issues and constant battery draining
  • faulty front passenger seat airbag sensor
  • faulty fuel system leaks fuel
  • StabiliTrak and traction control failure Total complaints: NHTSA 673, car complaints 114

2006 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • blown head gasket
  • engine stalls while driving
  • brake issues and faulty ABS
  • faulty AC system – heating not working
  • the key often gets stuck in the ignition Total complaints: NHTSA 690, car complaints 501

2005 Chevy Equinox Problems

  • blown head gasket
  • brake issues and faulty ABS
  • engine stalls while driving
  • faulty fuel system leaks fuel

Total complaints: NHTSA 633, car complaints 255

What Is The Most Reliable Equinox Year?

The most reliable Equinox year is 2017. As the ultimate year of the second generation, such an outcome doesn’t come as a surprise. Chevrolet had plenty of time to iron out the second gen’s early issues which resulted in one of their most reliable models in recent years.

Aside from receiving an 84/100 rating from J.D. Power and an acceptable score of 3.7/5 from users on Edmunds, the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox also boasts an impressive “problems reported per thousand vehicles per year index” of 0.10.

The mentioned problems reported per thousand vehicles per year index (PPMY) is one of the most balanced user satisfaction measuring tools. Aside from the sheer number of complaints, it also takes the model’s age and sales figures into account. All three factors are equally important as older models tend to exhibit more problems over the years. A similar can be said about high-selling models as it’s only natural for problems to arise more frequently with a higher sales volume.

Model YearNumber of problemsSales FiguresVehicle AgePPMY Index
2020103351,80020.15
2019161353,46630.15
2018252368,43440.17
2017110225,97650.1
2016217209,08860.17
2015565284,53270.28
2014500214,11580.29
2013789259,36190.34  
2012813220,966100.37
2011992188,479110.48
20101018139,663120.61
200914032,555130.33
200847890,025140.38
200785988,141150.65
2006848124,366160.43
2005777183,822170.25

Chevrolet Equinox Reliability By Year:

Some model years are more reliable, while others are more prone to failure, and the Chevrolet Equinox is no exception. The following rundown of Equinox reliability comes from the data collected from Car Problems, J.D. Power, and Edmunds user reviews.

J.D. Power uses a scale from 1 to 100. Edmunds user reviews use a scale from 1 to 5.

Car Problems PPMY index is simple – the lower, the better.

2020 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 84
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.9
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.15

2019 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 85
  • Edmunds Rating: 4.3
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.15

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 84
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.5
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.17

2017 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 84
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.7
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.10

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 84
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.9
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.17

2015 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 86
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.6
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.28

2014 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 86
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.9
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.29

2013 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 87
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.6
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.34

2012 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 84
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.7
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.37

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 82
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.3
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.48

2010 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 81
  • Edmunds Rating: 4.2
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.61

2009 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 85
  • Edmunds Rating: 3.9
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.33

2008 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 79
  • Edmunds Rating: 4.2
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.38

2007 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 79
  • Edmunds Rating: 4.3
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.65

2006 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: 78
  • Edmunds Rating: 4.0
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.43

2005 Chevrolet Equinox Reliability

  • J.D. Power rating: N/A
  • Edmunds Rating: 4.3
  • Car Problems PPMY index: 0.25

Final Thoughts – Equinox Years Not To Buy

The Chevrolet Equinox can be a good choice if selected carefully, but the mid-size/compact crossover isn’t known as the most reliable vehicle in its class.

This is all the more reason to heed our warning and avoid most of the first and second-generation models, but especially the 2006, 2007, and 2010 Equinoxes.

They all suffer from some serious engine flaws which often lead to premature engine replacement. Even if you get a great deal on one of them, Equinoxes built in 2006, 2007, and 2010 might not be worth it.

On the other hand, going for the 2017 Chevrolet Equinox is arguably one of the safest routes into Chevy crossover/SUV ownership. They’re much more reliable than their predecessors and still relatively new. Third-generation models are also a fine choice, and if you’re looking at something older and more affordable, 2009 Equinox would probably be the way to go.

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