Purchasing a used Equinox

Considering buying the Equinox. I’m 6-7 and looking for room. Is this Chevy model good for a long stand 150,000-200,000?. Does it tend to have any mechanical issues?

Don’t buy it… problems galore!

The surveys show that from 2009 to2012 they were rather dismal, but they have improved to worth buying by the 2015, 2016,and 2017 models. Any model prior to 2015 expect a lot of things to go wrong, although they would not put you in the poorhouse the way a bad German or British car would.,

Chevrolet quality is nothing to crow about; a friend has a late model Traverse, a larger version of the Equinox. His power steering rack, just out of warranty, is leaking already. The steering rack on my wife’s 1994 Nissan Sentra did not start leaking until the car was 18 years old!

Paul , you did not even give the year of this vehicle , mileage or even if you have checked the history by Carfax or some other service. And they don’t all have the same problems . As for how long it will run - who knows.

Assuming you are going to trade the 2017 Camry that you are unhappy with why not new with warranty ?

The car is a 2015 with about 9,000 miles. The owner was an elderly lady. Going used this time to save the depreciation and pay the loan off quickly. We also have a Nissan Rogue and considering getting a another for a pair

There’s a poster here, @Cavell , who posts about their Nox quite frequently. I get the impression they quite like that vehicle. Hopefully Cavell will chime in on this topic.

I buy a vehicle the way I buy shoes. I try the car on for fit. I don’t know much about the Equinox. However, since you know the history of the vehicle, it might be a good purchase.
Back in 2006, I bought a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander from the Chevrolet dealer that was a “program” car whatever that means. It had about 15000 miles when I bought it. Consumer Reports said that these Uplanders were troublesome. My son now owns the Uplander and it has gone over 200,000 miles with no major problems. The university where I was on the faculty for 44 years still has some Uplanders in service. I just recently talked to a supervisor in the service area and he told me that the Uplanders had held up very well.
I say this because I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in CR’s recommendation for used cars. Its ratings are based on the responses of its subscribers who may or may not represent all owners of an Equinox. I am a subscriber to Consumer Reports. To me, it’s interesting that CR will survey the owners of a particular vehicle and the reliability will be subpar, but the owner satisfaction will be high. There are other vehicles that have good reliability, but low owner satisfaction.
Since you are 6’ 7" I would suggest that if you are comfortable in the Equinox, buy it. It’s the same as me buying a pair of shoes. I wear a 14 AA. I really have to have the narrow width. I don’t care what company makes the shoes. If the shoes fit, I buy them.

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I’ve driven a newer Traverse, maybe a 2015, that’s a company car, and it seems like I’ve driven an Equinox, either as a test drive or maybe a relative’s. I’m not tall like you, but I think they are roomy enough. I’ve never owned one so I don’t have experience with its reliability.

Given its history, I think it’s a good prospect. Take it on a good test drive to check for fit and whether you actually like driving it.

The 2015 Equinox has an electrical problem that drains the battery.
Read on

Do you know the current owner? If so, ask about problems. If she hasn’t had many (any), it could be a good buy if it fits your frame. I’ve had great success with GM cars over the years. Even though a little old lady owned it, I’d still pay $100 or so for a prepurchase inspection to see if there are den problems that she is unaware of.

You may have noticed that the rear bench slides. This could be a bonus for you since you likely have to push the driver’s seat all the way back.

The car is now well depreciated and with only 9000 miles it might be a good buy. I would ask for the maintenance history, and as mentioned, pay a mechanic $100 or so to check it over.

The lower price you pay will allow for the odd repair you may encounter.

In the past I’ve bought 4 used cars with low mileage form seniors and had good luck with them as well as cheap driving.

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Not much to add, except that my humble opinion is that reviews from Consumer Reports are based on the average person’s experience with cars, and average people don’t enjoy maintaining a car and I suspect don’t enjoy driving it either. They seem to like a car that quietly goes about the business of getting them places. Some of the “worse than average” grades come from systems that are fiddly and difficult to understand, even though they work. It seems like some cars get bad marks for major systems that present minor but annoying issues. Car hobby magazines usually get all excited by performance and handling, and tend to ignore frequent maintenance and breakdowns, and their readers are people who either do a lot of maintenance in the driveway or just expect to pay a mechanic often.

That’s why it’s so hard to respond to this kind of question.

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I am not sure that the responders to the Consumer Reports surveys are “average people”. My impression is that Consumer Reports caters to the upper middle class in the products that it tests and reports about.
I subscribe to Consumer Reports just to see what rich people buy.
I still mow my lawn with a push mower that I purchased in 1992. CR didn’t even test that mower. The recommended mowers were much more expensive than what I purchased. CR listed in one issue on whether to repair orc replace something that if a mower was more than 7 year years old, it was better to replace than repair. The mower I have which is starting its 28th season has a cast aluminium deck that won’t rust out. I reduced it’s oil consumption by 75% by switching it to synthetic oil.
As for vehicles, CR talks about the feel of a car and criticizes a vehicle where control knobs are hard plastic. I, personally, don’t care about things like this.
Whether or not the Equinox receives a high CR score wouldn’t make a difference to me. What would have been helpful to the OP is giving the legroom and headroom measurements as CR used to do in its writeups instead of the subjective reports it now provides.
When I bought a minivan, I would like to have had the dimensions of the cargo space. The statement that the Sienna I bought “is not engaging to drive” doesn’t mean anything to me. As I stated in an earlier post for the OP, if the Equinox fits your needs, buy it.


To be honest, I haven’t been on the CR website in quite awhile . . .

they don’t give interior measurements . . . head room, leg room, trunk space, etc. any more . . . ?!

Isn’t that crucial information, when it comes to making decisions, as to whether or not to buy a vehicle?

They sure have watered down their magazine, it would seem

or maybe they figure its readers aren’t smart enough to understand raw data . . . ?!

lol … I have to agree w/that assessment, their focus seems to have changed to higher priced products, a good example is TV sets. They focus on really expensive TV’s, seldom the basic function versions that appear to be have very good image quality in the $200-$400 range you see on display at Walmart and Target. Last time I was at Walmart they had a 43" LED Sanyo HDTV for $199. That wasn’t a special sale price, their normal price. I’ve never seen that model or anything comparable reviewed in Consumer Reports.

@George_San_Jose1 I bought a cheap Vizio television for our sun room. I bought the set at Target. While it was on warranty, it developed a problem in the power supply. I looked at the warranty and I was to pay the charges to ship it to an authorized repair station. I called the 800 number to see where to send the set. However, a technical was dispatched to my house and arrived in half an hour. He spent 15 minutes replacing the power supply board in the set and half an hour playing with our dog. I don’t really think I would have had any better service with an expensive brand

I have a 2013 Equinox with the 2.4 4cyl. The pistons, rings, and a timing chain were replaced at 42k miles due to excessive oil consumption. Other than that mine has been reliable. It is coming up on 82k with no issues.

The oil consumption issue should have been fixed by 2015. I would get it inspected before purchase and keep a close eye on the oil level if you get it.

Ed B.

I bought the April issue of the CR for the first time in my life as I am shopping for a new car for our second kid. The 10-11 Equinox is on the “To avoid list” The 2015 gets one notch bellow best for reliability/ Its problem areas are in car electronics, power equipment and noises.
I think if the price is right, it is worth a test drive.
I also can’t blame the OP for not liking the Camry. I test drove one of those models and coming from Hyundai, the interior seems pretty basic. The drive wasn’t good either. The quality of the radio screen was depressing.

We have been reading CR since 1968 (we were definitely not rich then) and always use it as part of the input in making purchase decisions. The average CR reader is probably not “rich”. Rich people I know have such strong egos that they won’t listen to any outside information source when making a buying decision…

An assistant professor may use the magazine while a long distance trucker making a lot more money may not.

The readership is all over the map, with academics and technical types liking the details as part of their decision making process.

We bought a Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer set a few years back, partly on the good rating it got and also we had never bought a bad product from Whirlpool before…

My wife loves the set, but the main bearing of the washer now sounds like a jet plane taking off and repairs shops won’t come to even look at it since replacement cost as much as the unit itself. So we will let it self destruct and then buy a new one of a different make…

Our next washer will be a Koran LG or Samsung since US manufacturers have basically abandoned those fields. And German washers (Miele) are hideously expensive to buy and repair.

I agree that CR tests all the top of the line items which we would never buy and they often also have a weird definition of what a good product should do functionally.

In the sixties their definition of the “American family car” was a roomy vehicle big enough for 6 male adults with a weekend supply of luggage. Not sure what kind of “family” they had in mind!

All in all we keep reading it and use the online info as well. It’s a very cheap source of good info to SUPPLEMENT your buying decisions.

My parents had cars that size in the 1960s. We bought an Impala in 1962 to replace a 1955 Chevy 210, then bought a 1964 Cadillac Series 62 in 1966. We actually went looking for a Cutlass Supreme, but the Caddy cost less and was a wonderful ride. We certainly weren’t rich as both my parents worked. Gas was cheap and we didn’t consider it in the purchase decision.