16 Best & Worst Chevrolet Equinox Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Chevy Equinox is a competent compact SUV that was first introduced for the 2005 model year.

It’s not the most highly praised vehicle in its segment but it does offer precise handling, lots of passenger space and an athletic chassis.

In this article, we’ll look at the best and worst years of the Equinox…

2022 Chevrolet Equinox

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Chevrolet Equinox Are:

The best Chevrolet Equinox model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2009. The worst model years of the Equinox are 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2005. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Chevrolet Equinox?

Listed below are the top picks for the Equinox models.

2022 and 2023 Chevrolet Equinox

If you’re looking for the best Equinox available than look no further than the 2022 and 2023 models, boasting the most modern safety equipment, tech and styling.

For 2023 the 1.5-liter engine gained 5 horsepower, 3 more color options were added and the brakes were upgraded from a conventional vacuum-boosted system to an electronically-assisted system dubbed “E-boost.”

The 2022 model received a light refresh including a new grille design, distinctive headlights, and a sharper-looking front and rear bumper.

The RS model also became part of the 2022 lineup, which includes sporty designs and features such as dark 19-inch alloy wheels and blacked-out exterior trim.

2023 Equinox:

  • Edmunds: NA
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2022 Equinox:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2023 Equinox, Kelley Blue Book review:

“It’s sleek, drives amazing, very comfortable and roomy. I would buy this car again and again. Hope it lasts forever.”

2022 Equinox, Edmunds review:

“Bought a 2022 Equinox LT. Reviews say its is low on power, and rides rough. Not true!!!! I’ve only had mine a week and it rides smooth and packs plenty of power along with a roomy and comfy interior. Entertainment system is excellent and easy to use. Gas mileage is good, I drive 48 miles round trip to work and get good mileage”

2021 Chevrolet Equinox

Agile on road behavior, good fuel economy and a capacious interior – the 2021 Equinox is another safe bet although it has fewer features than its successors.

This model year is essentially a carryover of the previous model year.

However, the turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine was dropped, leaving the 1.5-liter turbo engine as the only option. 

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2021 Equinox, Edmunds review:

“bought a 2021 Equinox and I must say I am impressed. I thought a 4 cylinder turbo would lack the power BUT I WAS WRONG. Bought the LS with cov. package and it is JUST what we need in a vehicle. LOTS of room, great appearance, handles like a sports car at a price that IMPRESSED me!.”

2020 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2020 equinox is available with a 2.0-liter engine paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission boasting an impressive 3500-pound tow rating.

New standard features for the 2020 model include:

  1. Automatic emergency with pedestrian detection
  2. Lane-departure warning
  3. Forward collision alert
  4. lane-keeping assist
  5. Automatic high-beams

A Driver Confidence II package is offered, which adds adaptive cruise control.

The turbocharged 1.6-liter diesel engine was discontinued for this model year. 

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2020 Equinox, Edmunds review:

“This is my second Equinox purchase. My first one was a 2011 and it now has about 120K miles on it, but still runs great however, I was just ready for an upgrade. I’m a realtor, so since I spend a lot of time in my car and on the road, I want whatever I drive to be comfortable and economical. So far the new Equinox has been both. I love all the new upgrades and the 1.5 liter engine has a ton of pick up. I bought the AWD model and so far have been pleased with every aspect of this car. I found the new infotainment system a bit difficult, however once you get used to it, it’s pretty nifty. Overall, I really love this car, in fact my friend saw mine and went out and bought her daughter the exact same one.”

2019 Chevrolet Equinox

With carlike handling and a lofty seating position, the 2019 Equinox is a decent choice.

For 2019 three new option packages were introduced:

  1. LS Convenience
  2. LT Appearance package. 
  3. The Lights and Bright package

The Lights package equips 19-inch chrome wheels, a chrome grille, LED headlights and tail lights, and molded running boards. 

Four USB ports are standard on every trim, and there is the option of a high-definition rearview camera.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2019 Equinox, Edmunds review:

“DO NOT listen to the negative comments from the critics in car magazines and online about this Equinox. The 1.5 – 4 cylinder turbo engine is GREAT. I wanted this engine and did not want the 2.0. I was looking for an SUV that rides well and is fuel efficient. I am very happy. I am getting a lot better mileage than my last SUV. My Equinox rides very well, the seats are very comfortable, and there’s plenty of room inside. I do not need the navigation system. I am using the Android Auto app on my cell and I now use Waze on the screen. My only complaint is that I wish the warranty lasted longer than 3 years/36,000 miles.”

2019 Chevrolet Equinox

2017 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2017 Equinox is a solid choice with plenty of useful standard tech and a ton of rear-passenger space.

Two special edition models were introduced on the LT trim for this model year:

  1. Midnight Edition – black 18-inch alloy wheels, paint, exterior accents and interior leather trim
  2. Sport Edition – the same wheels, accents and leather but with white body paint

Also, the top-tier trim LTZ was renamed the Premier trim. 

  • Edmunds: 3.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2017 Equinox, Edmunds review:

“I had a 2011 Equinox LT that I traded in for a 2017. I wanted the same body style I had – before the 2018 redesign. I found a gently used fleet vehicle they classified as LT w/ 1LT. It’s loaded. Heated seats, temperature control, running lights, etc. I’m getting 29.1 mpgs commuting, which is better than the 2011. I like the Equinox so much I’ve bought two of them now. It’s the perfect size for my needs. It gets me from point A to point B safely and in comfort and all the tall people in my family can fit in this vehicle. 6′ 3″ inches in the back seat, no problem. I have back issues and the seats in these vehicles are wonderful. I can go long distances with no discomfort. It is easy to get in and out of and I have plenty of room to move and haul anything and everyone.”

2016 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2016 Equinox is the penultimate model of the 2nd Gen, and it was notably more reliable than many of its 2nd Gen predecessors.

This model received updated front-end styling with projector-beam headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRL) for the LT and LTZ trim, and a revised rear fascia with new tail lights.

For the entry-level trims, L and LS, a new 7-inch touchscreen with a rearview camera are standard equipment.

The LT and LTZ trims also get a blindspot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2016 Equinox, Edmunds review:

“Have had this 2016 Equinox for three weeks now and totally love it. The ride is fantastic. Both my wife and I have commented how our legs don’t feel like rubber after getting out from a trip. Car handles wonderfully with great steering and comfortable ride. So far I have been averaging slightly over 27 MPG on the highway and better than 23 MPG around town. The 4 cyl. 2.4 engine is great and has plenty of power to handle the hills and can easily pass on the highway without punching the pedal. Could not be happier with this choice. Only con is that my wife is short and cannot reach the back hatch to close it…”

2009 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2009 Equinox is the final entry of the 1st Generation, and as is often the case, it was the most reliable model of its generation as many of the issues from previous models had been ironed out.

It boasts a standard V6 engine, comfy seats and plenty of cargo space.

A satellite radio system, Bluetooth connectivity and side-curtain airbags with rollover-detection sensors were new for 2009.

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2009 Equinox, Edmunds review:

“My wife and I recently traded a 2006 Grand Caravan for a 2009 Equinox 2LT. We wanted something a bit smaller and more modern and the Equinox really fits what we were looking for. The styling is great. The controls are far more advanced than GM used to put on their vehicles. The handling is tight. The seats are comfortable. We totally happy with this decision. We looked at many of it’s competitors, and liked the Equinox the best by far.”

Consumer Scores For Best Chevrolet Equinox Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Equinox model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds 
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Chevrolet EquinoxNA4.0 / 5.085 / 100
2022 Chevrolet Equinox4.3 / 5.04.0 / 5.085 / 100
2021 Chevrolet Equinox4.1 / 5.04.0 / 5.082 / 100
2020 Chevrolet Equinox3.9 / 5.04.0 / 5.084 / 100
2019 Chevrolet Equinox4.3 / 5.04.0 / 5.084 / 100
2017 Chevrolet Equinox3.6 / 5.04.0 / 5.084 / 100
2016 Chevrolet Equinox3.9 / 5.04.0 / 5.084 / 100
2009 Chevrolet Equinox3.9 / 5.03.9 / 5.085 / 100

Related: 11 Best & Worst Chevrolet Trailblazer Years (With Facts & Stats)

What Are The Worst Years For The Chevrolet Equinox?

The Equinox is a strong candidate in the compact SUV segment, but it’s had its share of problems over the years.

Be cautious of the model years listed below.

2015 Chevrolet Equinox

Despite the numerous issues of the 2015 Equinox, the biggest and most frequent problem faced by owners was the intermittent failure of the windshield wipers caused by defective ball joints. 

This was addressed via recall campaigns, although it put many drivers at risk.

This model was also known for burning excessive oil which often preceded engine failure.

There was a class action lawsuit against Chevrolet for this issue which was known to affect the 2.4L EcoTech engine.

The 2015 Equinox had a total of 140 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 641 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Burning excessive oil
  • Wiper transmission broke
  • Low oil ruined motor

2014 Chevrolet Equinox

Much like the 2015 model year, the 2014 Equinox suffered from an abundance of windshield wiper failure issues.

Here’s one owner’s experience:

“Driving along freeway with wipers on in heavy rain and the wipers just stopped working. I was able to pull over safely but was not able to drive for hours till the rain stopped.”

The 2014 Equinox was also plagued by excessive oil consumption problems of the 2.4L models, costing owners an average of $3000 to repair.

The 2014 Equinox had a total of 119 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 551 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Rattling on start-up
  • Rear main seal malfunction
  • Engine blown out

2013 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2013 Equinox was plagued with engine problems, the most common complaint was excessive burning of oil.

Here’s what the owners had to say:

“My vehicle is consistently serviced for regular oil changes by a local GM dealer but I’m still having excessive oil burn – having to add 3-4 quarts each month. There is a GM recall for other 2013 Equinox but my VIN is not covered. We all know these vehicles are being produced in the same plants with the same parts. GM needs to own up.”

“It’s horrible! It’s cost me to keep paying for tune-ups and cause other components to fail. Getting oil changed twice a month. Have to keep putting oil in the truck, but you won’t ever see oil in your carport. Oil light never comes on. This has made me lose so money on this truck.”

The 2013 Equinox had a total of 243 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 824 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Timing chain malfunction
  • Rusting doors
  • Wiper failure

2012 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2012 Equinox was also riddled with excessive engine oil consumption issues which has negative effects on the timing chain, valves and pistons.

Owners report this was accompanied by frequent stalling, jerking and shutting down whilst driving.

A recall was issued although some owners claim their vehicle was not covered despite experiencing the problems mentioned.

The 2012 Equinox had a total of 284 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 843 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Rear main seal blew out
  • Check engine light is on
  • Wipers stopped working
2012 Chevrolet Equinox

2011 Chevrolet Equinox

Of all the model years on this list, the 2011 Equinox is statistically the most problematic model year ever.

Many of the complaints were related to excessive oil consumption which had serious consequences for critical engine components.

There were also a number of reports of transmission failure that occurred at around 90,000 miles costing an average of $3500 to fix.

The 2011 Equinox had a total of 336 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,030 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Clattering noise when starting vehicle
  • Transmission failure
  • AC stopped working

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Another year to forget is the 2010 Equinox, which again was plagued by engine problems due to excessive oil consumption.

There was also a high number of transmission failure reports, wipers becoming inoperable and complaints of a roaring noise coming from the engine.

The 2010 Equinox had a total of 336 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,028 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Defective engine
  • Transmission failure

2007 Chevrolet Equinox

The most common problem with the 2007 Equinox was a failed fuel pump, which was subsequently recalled.

Here’s what one owner had to say:

“Our 2007 chevy Equinox fuel pump return started leaking fuel on the top of the fuel pump causing fuel to leak on the ground and releases strong gas fumes while parked in our garage. This vehicle is under current safety recall in other states but not in Indiana.”

Other owners complained of the key getting stuck in the ignition and erratic dash gaugues.

The 2007 Equinox had a total of 115 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 864 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine overheating
  • Leaking antifreeze
  • Battery does not keep a charge
  • Fuel odor

2006 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2006 Equinox was bestowed with the notorious “Beware of the Clunker” badge by CarComplaints.com.

The most widespread issue that many owners had with this model year was a faulty heater.

This inevitably led to visibility issues in the colder months as the heater only blows cold and thus was unable to clear ice and condensation.

There were also numerous complaints of engine problems commonly caused by a blown head gasket.

The 2006 Equinox had a total of 502 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 851 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Heater blows out cold air
  • Engine shut down while driving
  • Blend door broken

2005 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2005 Equinox had various engine-related problems which were often attributed to a blown head gasket.

Owners reported the vehicle overheating, loud engine noises and stalling.

Owners also reported problems with the ABS, here’s one example:

“ABS pulsates by itself while driving making it hard to stop when I need to. When I do push down on the brakes it pushes back preventing me from stopping quickly or at all. After a while of driving like this the ABS traction light comes on and stays on until I turn it off and then it happens all over again. I have been to the dealer to have it fix but the problem keeps reoccurring.”

The 2005 Equinox had a total of 255 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 781 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Head gaskets blew
  • Head gaskets leaking
  • Blown head gasket
2005 Chevrolet Equinox

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

It is important for every vehicle owner to take note of the tally of problems of complaints of vehicles owned.

Listed below are the number of reported complaints and problems for each model year of the Equinox. 

Model YearComplaints
(CarComplaints.com)
Problems
(CarProblemZoo.com)
2023 Chevrolet EquinoxNANA
2022 Chevrolet EquinoxNA16
2021 Chevrolet Equinox421
2020 Chevrolet Equinox8142
2019 Chevrolet Equinox31188
2018 Chevrolet Equinox62298
2017 Chevrolet Equinox38137
2016 Chevrolet Equinox58255
2015 Chevrolet Equinox140641
2014 Chevrolet Equinox119551
2013 Chevrolet Equinox243824
2012 Chevrolet Equinox284843
2011 Chevrolet Equinox3361,030
2010 Chevrolet Equinox3361,028
2009 Chevrolet Equinox23140
2008 Chevrolet Equinox141479
2007 Chevrolet Equinox115864
2006 Chevrolet Equinox502851
2005 Chevrolet Equinox255781

What Problems Do Chevrolet Equinoxes Have?

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Heater blows out cold air
  • Engine shut down while driving
  • Blend door malfunctioning
  • Defective engine
  • Transmission failure
  • Clattering noise when starting vehicle
  • Rear main seal blew out
  • Check engine light is on
  • Defective timing chain
  • Rusting doors

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Chevrolet Equinox?

As part of the compact SUV segment, the Equinox performed relatively okay, ranking 12th overall, beating noteworthy competitors such as the GMC Terrain and the Jeep Compass. It secured a score of 7.6 out of 10.

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Honda CR-V8.8$26,400 – $36,200City: 27 – 28 /Highway: 32 – 34
Hyundai Tucson8.8$25,800 – $36,800City: 24 – 26 / Highway: 29 – 33
Mazda CX-58.7$25,900 – $38,650City: 22 – 24 /Highway: 27 – 30
Mitsubishi Bronco Sport8.4$28,165 – $34,590City: 21 – 25 /Highway: 26 – 28
Subaru Forester8.3$25,395 – $35,495City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 28 – 33
Mitsubishi Outlander8.2$26,095 – $42,695City: 24 /Highway: 31
Nissan Rogue8.2$26,850 – $38,130City: 28 – 30 /Highway: 34 – 37
Toyota RAV48.1$26,525 – $36,465City: 25 – 27 /Highway: 32 – 35
Volkswagen Tiguan8.0$26,490 – $37,320City: 21 – 23 /Highway: 28 – 30
Kia Sportage7.9$25,990 – $36,790City: 23 – 25 /Highway: 28 – 32
Jeep Cherokee7.7$29,995 – $39,345City: 18 – 23 /Highway: 24 – 31
Chevrolet Equinox7.6$26,300 – $33,100City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 31
GMC Terrain7.5$27,900 – $36,600City: 25 /Highway: 30
Jeep Compass7.2$26,785 – $34,210City: 22 / Highway: 31
Jeep Wrangler7.2$30,295 – $79,995City: 13 – 22 / Highway: 17 – 29
Mitsubishi BroncoNA$29,300 – $49,475City: 16 – 20 /Highway: 17 – 22
Ford EscapeNA$26,510 – $36,630City: 23 – 28 /Highway: 31 – 34
Mazda CX-50NA$26,800 – $41,550City: 23 – 24 /Highway: 29 – 30
Mitsubishi Eclipse CrossNA$25,795 – $29,295City: 26 /Highway: 29

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 17 Best & Worst Honda CR-V Years (With Facts & Stats)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/chevrolet/equinox

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/chevrolet/equinox

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Equinox/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/chevrolet/equinox/

https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/equinox/

https://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/equinox/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2022/chevrolet/equinox