What Are the Best and Worst Years for Chevy Equinox?

If you’re in the market for a Chevy Equinox, it’s important to know which years are considered the best and which ones you should avoid. The Equinox has been a popular choice for those looking for a reliable SUV, but not all model years have been created equal.

The best model years for the Chevy Equinox are 2013 and 2019, while the worst years are 2010 and 2018.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the Chevy Equinox and discuss which years have proven to be the most dependable and which ones have had the most issues. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of which Chevy Equinox model years you should consider when shopping for your next vehicle.

History of the Chevy Equinox

The Chevy Equinox is a popular compact SUV that first hit the market in 2005. As part of the first generation, which lasted from 2005 to 2009, the Equinox offered a roomy interior and a comfortable ride, quickly gaining attention from car buyers. However, this generation faced some challenges, such as a lack of powertrain options and a somewhat dated design.

In 2010, Chevrolet introduced the second-generation Equinox, which featured significant improvements in design, technology, and performance. This generation, which spanned from 2010 to 2017, offered a more modern and sleek appearance, as well as updated technology features. Engine options expanded to include a fuel-efficient four-cylinder and a more powerful V6. While the second generation had its share of ups and downs, it continued to be a popular choice among compact SUV buyers.

The third generation of the Chevy Equinox debuted in 2018 and is still in production today. This generation has seen further design refinements, including a more aerodynamic and stylish exterior. Chevrolet also focused on improving fuel efficiency by introducing a range of turbocharged engines. Additionally, advanced safety features and modern infotainment systems became standard or available options, keeping the Equinox competitive in the ever-evolving compact SUV market.

Best Years for the Chevy Equinox

Like any car, not all Chevy Equinoxes are made equal. There have been some stand-out features found in certain model years, which we’ll explore below.

2013: The Peak of the Second Generation

The 2013 Chevy Equinox stands out as one of the best years for this compact SUV, thanks to its remarkable performance, reliability, and features. The model offered a choice between a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a robust 3.6-liter V6 engine. This gave consumers the flexibility to prioritize either fuel economy or power, based on their individual preferences.

In terms of reliability, the 2013 Equinox received high ratings from both consumers and automotive experts. This model year showed fewer issues compared to other years in the second generation, which contributed to its overall positive reputation.

The 2013 Equinox also boasted an impressive array of features, such as a touchscreen infotainment system, a rearview camera, and available safety technologies like lane departure warning and forward collision alert. These advanced features, coupled with the model’s performance and reliability, made the 2013 Equinox an excellent choice for buyers in the compact SUV market.

2019: A Promising Third-Generation Model

The 2019 Chevy Equinox continued the tradition of refining and improving the compact SUV by offering enhanced fuel efficiency, updated technology, and a refreshed interior and exterior design. This model year marked a promising development in the third generation of the Equinox.

One of the most notable improvements in the 2019 Equinox was its fuel efficiency. Chevrolet introduced three turbocharged engine options, including a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel. These engines provided a balance between power and efficiency, making the 2019 Equinox a cost-effective choice for those seeking a fuel-sipping SUV.

The updated technology in the 2019 Equinox was another significant selling point. The model came standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which was compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Buyers could also choose from a range of available safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Worst Years for the Chevy Equinox

Now that we know what the best model years are, let’s take a close look at what years you should probably avoid.

2010: A Troublesome Start to the Second Generation

The 2010 Chevy Equinox marked the beginning of the second generation but unfortunately faced several challenges, making it one of the worst years for this compact SUV. Engine issues were a significant concern for this model year, with many owners reporting excessive oil consumption and engine failure. These problems often led to costly repairs and a great deal of frustration for Equinox owners.

Reliability was another area where the 2010 Equinox struggled. The model received lower reliability ratings compared to other years in the second generation. This was likely due to the widespread engine issues and other problems, such as faulty power steering systems and water pump failures.

Furthermore, the 2010 Equinox was subject to multiple recalls, including issues with the seatbelt buckles and the front seat height adjuster. These recalls, combined with the engine and reliability concerns, made the 2010 Equinox a less-than-ideal choice for used car buyers.

2018: A Rocky Transition to the Third Generation

The 2018 Chevy Equinox marked the transition to the third generation, but this model year faced its own set of challenges, making it another less favorable year for the compact SUV. One of the primary issues reported by owners was transmission problems, such as rough shifting and hesitation. These issues not only affected the overall driving experience but also raised concerns about long-term reliability.

Infotainment glitches were another concern for the 2018 Equinox. Many owners experienced issues with the touchscreen freezing, slow response times, and intermittent loss of connectivity with smartphone integration features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These problems were frustrating for drivers who relied on the infotainment system for navigation, entertainment, and communication while on the road.

Lastly, the build quality of the 2018 Equinox was questioned by some owners and automotive experts. Complaints included rattling noises, loose trim pieces, and poor paint quality. While these issues might not have impacted the overall performance of the vehicle, they did raise concerns about the attention to detail and quality control during the manufacturing process.

Comparing the Chevy Equinox with Competitors

When considering the Chevy Equinox, it’s essential to compare it with other popular compact SUVs in the market, such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape.

  • The Honda CR-V is known for its exceptional reliability, spacious interior, and class-leading cargo capacity. While Equinox offers competitive features, the CR-V tends to have an edge in terms of long-term dependability.
  • The Toyota RAV4 is another strong competitor, boasting a rugged design, efficient hybrid powertrain options, and a reputation for quality and reliability. Although the Equinox has a more comfortable ride, the RAV4’s off-road capabilities and fuel efficiency may appeal to some buyers.
  • The Ford Escape offers a sporty driving experience, user-friendly technology, and a range of engine options, including a plug-in hybrid variant. While the Equinox has a more refined interior, the Escape’s performance and powertrain options make it a strong contender in the compact SUV market.


1. Why was the 2013 Chevy Equinox such a standout model?

The 2013 Chevy Equinox was a standout model due to its excellent performance, reliability, and features. It offered a choice between a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine. Additionally, the 2013 Equinox had high reliability ratings and came with an impressive array of features, such as a touchscreen infotainment system, rearview camera, and available safety technologies.

2. What went wrong with the 2010 and 2018 Equinox models?

The 2010 Equinox struggled with engine issues, poor reliability, and recalls, while the 2018 model had transmission problems, infotainment glitches, and questionable build quality. These issues made these model years less favorable choices for used car buyers.

3. Is the Chevy Equinox a good choice for a used car?

The Chevy Equinox can be a good choice for a used car, especially if you focus on the best years, such as 2013 and 2019. However, it is crucial to do thorough research and be cautious of the 2010 and 2018 models due to their known issues.

4. How does the Equinox stack up against other popular SUVs?

The Equinox stacks up well against other popular SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape. It offers a comfortable ride, competitive features, and various powertrain options. However, each SUV has its strengths, and potential buyers should carefully consider their priorities to find the best fit for their needs.

5. What should I look for when buying a used Chevy Equinox?

When buying a used Chevy Equinox, look for well-maintained models with a documented service history. Pay particular attention to the engine and transmission, as some years had issues with these components.

Test the infotainment system for any glitches, and inspect the overall build quality, including paint and interior materials. It’s also advisable to have a trusted mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection to identify any potential problems.