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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated Jan. 12, 2024

Older Chevrolet Equinox Overview (2005 - 2017), Reliability, Possible Maintenance Problems, Overall Pros And Cons

Related: How To Get The Lowest Price On A "Brand New" Chevy Equinox

In today's very high-priced used car market, many shoppers have found it the right time to look at "older" models that have aged well as a way to save significant dollars.

2013 Chevy Equinox

Is the Chevy Equinox such a vehicle? Well, its history for reliability is a bit mixed. While many owners have reported very good long-term experiences that included only regular maintenance and minimal repairs, others have experienced more serious or recurring issues.

That said, an older, well-maintained and lower-mileage Equinox could definitely be worth a look for those seeking a used "larger" small SUV that also offers superior handling and driving comfort over traditional truck-based models.

As a crossover SUV (built on a car-like platform), the very popular Equinox provides the look and versatility of a traditional SUV, while providing more car-like driving dynamics and better fuel efficiency.

So here, ...

- We'll do an overview of some earlier Chevy Equinox generations, specifically the first and second covering the 2005 - 2017 model years.

- Then we'll list possible mechanical issues for each generation that have been reported by some owners so they can be checked before buying one today.

- And then we'll summarize the overall pros and cons of an older Equinox worth consideration for potential buyers today.

Second Generation Chevy Equinox (2010 - 2017)

2010 Chevy Equinox LTZ

Overall, this generation improved over its predecessor with a sharper design, upgraded interior fit and finish, new features and new engine selections. And aside from some minor feature revisions, this version remained relatively unchanged during this production run.

Advanced safety features, such as lane departure warning and front collision warning, became available in 2012. And a new direct-injected 3.6L V-6 engine became available on LT and LTZ models in 2013. In 2016, front styling got a refresh and a backup camera and touchscreen radio became standard.

Available in LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ trims, even the base LS model is well-equipped with most of the standard features usually expected in higher trims, while additional features such as leather upholstery, heated seats, a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth and automatic climate control are available in the other trims.

These models can also be found with options such as navigation and a lane-departure warning system.

Newly available was a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's good for 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Also available on all but the LS was an upgraded 3.0-liter V6 that pumps out a lively 264 horsepower and 222 lb-ft. These engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.

2010 - 2017 Chevy Equinox Possible Mechanical Problems

The second generation of the Chevrolet Equinox generally had fewer reported mechanical problems compared to its predecessor, but it's essential to note that individual experiences can vary, and not all vehicles within this generation experienced these issues.

Here are some more common mechanical problems reported by owners that should therefore be checked pre-purchase:

Oil Consumption: Some owners reported issues with excessive oil consumption, which could be related to engine problems.

Timing Chain Issues: Timing chain issues were reported in some models. Problems with the timing chain tensioner or guides could lead to timing chain noise or failure, potentially causing engine damage.

Transmission Issues: While generally improved from the first generation, there were occasional reports of transmission problems, including issues with shifting or transmission fluid leaks.

Electrical Problems: As in the first generation, various electrical issues were reported, including problems with power windows, door locks, and the infotainment system. Some users also reported issues with the instrument cluster.

Power Steering Problems: Instances of power steering problems, such as leaks or failures, were reported.

Cooling System Issues: Problems with the cooling system, such as radiator leaks or issues with the thermostat, were reported by some owners.

Stabilitrak and Traction Control Issues: Some owners reported issues with the Stabilitrak and traction control systems, including warning lights on the dashboard.

Fuel Pump Failures: Problems with the fuel pump were reported, leading to issues with fuel delivery and potential engine performance problems.

Front Suspension Components: Similar to the first generation, some users reported issues with front suspension components, such as control arms and bushings.

First Generation Chevy Equinox (2005 - 2009)

2007 Chevy Equinox LT

Available models included the LS, 1LT, 2LT, LTZ and Sport. Powering all but the Sport is a 3.4-liter V6 that produces 185 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. The more robust Sport model is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 264 horsepower.

All models came standard with a five-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, while an all-wheel drive version was available as an option.

The base LS model is well-equipped with standard features which include full power accessories, air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, an alarm system, a driver information center, automatic headlights, a rear window wiper and a 6-speaker CD stereo with a MP3 player jack.

The 1LT comes with 17 inch alloy wheels, foglights, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded cloth upholstery, faux wood accents, a rear center armrest, and a cargo net, while the 2LT adds the likes of remote start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power driver seat, automatic climate control and an upgraded audio system.

The uplevel LTZ then adds features such as a power liftgate, leather-trimmed upholstery, chrome exterior trim, heated front seats, an in-dash 6-disc CD changer and a Pioneer premium sound system.

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The Sport model is equipped with the larger engine, a sport-tuned suspension with a lower ride height, 18-inch aluminum wheels, hydaulic power steering, unique exterior trim accents, sport bolstered front seats and special instrumentation. The Equinox Sport has a very quick 0 to 60 mph time of just under 7 seconds.

These Equinox models can also be found with options such as a rear entertainment system, a sunroof and a hard-drive-based navigation system.

Some of the more significant changes over these years include the addition of antilock brakes (ABS) for 2006, standard stability control and four-wheel disc brakes and an optional navigation system for 2007, the introduction of the Sport and LTZ models for 2008, and standard satellite radio and curtain airbags as well as optional Bluetooth connectivity for 2009.

2005 - 2009 Chevy Equinox Possible Mechanical Problems

2009 Chevy Equinox LT

It's important to note that individual experiences have varied, and not all vehicles experienced these problems. Here are some common mechanical issues reported by owners that should be included in an inspection before buying:

Transmission Issues: Some owners reported problems with the transmission, including issues with shifting, slipping, or premature failure.

Head Gasket Leaks: There were instances of head gasket leaks, leading to coolant leaks and potential overheating.

Power Steering Problems: Some owners experienced problems with the power steering system, such as leaks or failures.

Engine Cooling System: Issues with the cooling system, such as radiator leaks or problems with the thermostat, were reported by some owners.

Electrical Problems: Various electrical issues were reported, including problems with power windows, door locks, and interior lights. Some users also reported issues with the instrument cluster.

Front Suspension Components: Problems with front suspension components, such as control arms and bushings, were reported. This could lead to handling issues and increased road noise.

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Oil Consumption: Some owners reported higher-than-normal oil consumption, which could be indicative of engine problems.

Intake Manifold Gasket Issues: There were reports of intake manifold gasket failures, leading to coolant leaks. This could result in engine overheating and potential damage.

Timing Chain Tensioner Problems: Some Equinox models experienced issues with the timing chain tensioner, leading to timing chain noise or failure.

Fuel Pump Failures: Problems with the fuel pump were reported, leading to issues with fuel delivery and potential engine performance problems.

Overall Pros And Cons Of An Older Chevy Equinox

Older Chevy Equinox Pros

Cost Savings: Obviously, older models tend to be significantly cheaper than newer ones, saving a substantial amount of money upfront. However, this savings has to be weighed against the increased risk for possibly higher maintenance and repair costs going forward.

Depreciation: Older vehicles have already experienced significant depreciation, which eliminates much of the steep initial depreciation that occurs with newer cars.

Easier Maintenance: Older vehicles often have simpler mechanical systems, making them potentially easier and less expensive to maintain and repair.

Spacious Interior: The Equinox has a roomy interior, offering ample space for both passengers and cargo. This makes it a suitable choice for families or those who need extra cargo room.

Fuel Efficiency: The fuel efficiency of the first generation Equinox was reasonable for its time, with estimates typically ranging from around 18 to 26 mpg combined, depending on the engine and drivetrain configurations. The 2nd generation improved on this to approximately 20 to 28 mpg.

Smooth Ride: Many drivers find the ride of the Equinox to be comfortable, providing a smooth and pleasant driving experience.

All-Wheel Drive Option: Models with all-wheel drive (AWD) can be beneficial for improved traction and stability, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Safety Features: The are equipped with standard safety features such as antilock brakes, stability control, and front-seat side airbags.

Older Chevy Equinox Cons

Reliability Concerns: Some owners reported issues with reliability, such as problems with the transmission or other mechanical components.

Outdated Technology: Older Equinox models may lack modern technology features found in newer vehicles, such as advanced safety systems, infotainment options, and connectivity features.

Potentially Higher Maintenance Needs: As vehicles age, they may require more frequent maintenance, and components may be more prone to wear and tear, potentially leading to higher repair costs.

Fuel Efficiency: Older models might not be as fuel-efficient as newer ones due to advancements in engine technology and design.

Limited Safety Features: Older Equinox models may lack some of the advanced safety features found in newer vehicles, potentially compromising on overall safety.

Interior Quality: While spacious, the interior materials and build quality might not be as upscale as those found in some competing models.

Handling: Some drivers have noted that the handling might not be as precise or responsive as they would prefer, especially when compared to other vehicles in its class.

Limited Towing Capacity: While suitable for everyday use, the Equinox's towing capacity might be considered limited compared to some other vehicles in its class.

Engine Performance: Some drivers expressed concerns about the performance of the available V6 engine, stating that it might not be as powerful as they would prefer.

Noise Levels: There were occasional complaints about noise levels inside the cabin, especially when driving at higher speeds.

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Vehicle

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

And My #1 Price Tip: It's important to get dealers to compete for your business by using auto sites such as and (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business is what gets you a lower price, and it's very easy.

And quickly, while we're at it, my #2 Tip is to always know the up-to-date trade-in value of your current car. You can get a quick and surprisingly accurate one at Edmund's Trade-In Quotes.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting A Low Equinox Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Chevrolet Equinox if the price was really good, here's info on The Best Way To Buy A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.

And checkout our Facebook page for more tips, car news and fun.

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