Should I Buy a Used Chevrolet Equinox?


Vehicle Overview

The first generation Equinox bowed in the 2005 model year. Although the Equinox was similar in size to many mid-size crossover of the same era, Chevrolet officially classified the vehicle as a compact crossover. As a five-seater, it lacked the third row seating option found in many mid-size crossovers and even a few compact ones.


Initially, power came exclusively from a 3.4-liter V6 that made 185 HP and 205 lb-ft of torque. It was matched up to a five-speed automatic and available with front- or all-wheel drive. In 2008, a Sport version of the equinox was released, powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that significantly increased output to 264 HP and 250 lb-ft of torque. It was paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and a sportier tuned suspension.

Trims Packages

From 2005-2007 the Equinox was available in two trims, LS and LT. In 2008, the  fancier LTZ and Sport trims joined the LS and LT.

Top 3 Reasons to Buy

  1. Chevrolet-Equinox-2005-2009-05.jpgValue – A used Equinox can be a good value with a low price when compared to other crossovers of the same era, especially imports.
  2. Size – Although priced and optioned like a compact crossover, the Equinox is closer in size to mid-size crossovers.
  3. Style – many owners like the look of the first generation Equinox as it stood out from the compact crossover crowd.

Top 3 Problem Areas

  1. Chevrolet-Equinox-2005-2009-06.jpgKey/Ignition – Owners of Equinoxes have complained of ignition keys getting stuck in the ignition cylinder and/or falling out of the cylinder with the vehicle still running.
  2. Head Gasket – Equinox models equipped with the 3.4-liter V6 are known to have premature engine head gasket failures. This is particularly evident in 2005 and 2006 models.
  3. Safety – Safety ratings from IIHS for all years of the first generation Equinox were marginal to fair. NHTSA scored the Equinox slightly better, but other crossovers of this era did have better crash test ratings.

Before You Buy

If looking to buy an Equinox with the 3.4-liter engine, ask for a full service history and see if the head gasket has been replaced previously. As well, check the condition of the key and ignition. Fiddle around with the key while the vehicle is both on and off to ensure it will not come out of the column.

Finally, all the usual checks should be made when purchasing a used car as these crossovers can be upwards of ten years old.  Look for rust, worn tires, worn brakes and visible body damage.


Best Bang for Your Buck

It’s best to avoid the 2005 and 2006 Equinox as these years are most prone to engine head gasket failures. The 2007 model had four recalls on it, while all other years had one or none.  It’s our recommendation to go with a 2008 or 2009 model as these have proven to be more reliable and to have significantly fewer complaints. If possible, look for a sport model with the larger, more powerful 3.6-liter engine.

Recall and Crash Test Database

2005 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2006 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2007 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2008 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2009 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2005 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2006 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2007 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2008 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2009 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2005 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2006 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2007 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2008 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2009 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database

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Rolls-Royce SUV “a Fantastic Idea” Says CEO

rolls-royce suv

Rolls-Royce has already started an internal SUV project and the creation of high-riding Rolls seems like more of an inevitability than a dream hints the company’s CEO.

Speaking during a stopover breakfast with the media in Toronto, Canada on his way to Pebble Beach, Törsten Müller-Ötvös says the question “is not, does I make sense,” but “how will it fit the brand?” He continues; “It definitely makes sense.”

When asked point blank if Rolls is building an SUV, Müller-Ötvös commented that there is “no final decision,” but “we’re on it.”

While purists may say no to the idea, they’re the vocal minority. Müller-Ötvös commented that the night before he hosted a dinner with local owners in the Greater Toronto Area and their reaction to the idea of a Rolls SUV was that “it’s a great idea.” In fact, he insists, “everybody thinks it’s a fantastic idea.”

SEE ALSO: Rolls-Royce Wraith Review

Of those customers, Müller-Ötvös said 90 percent have one thing in common: they have a Land Rover in their driveway. Luxury SUVs are obviously on his mind and he believes the super-luxury SUV segment is only going to grow. Land Rover just introduced a new $184,000 version of the Range Rover and Bentley’s upcoming SUV is expected to top the $200,000 mark while Lamborghini is also planning to attack the segment with its upcoming Urus model.

And demand for a Rolls-Royce SUV is strong, in developed markets as much as developing ones. While much has been said about building SUVs to sell models in China, Müller-Ötvös isn’t interested in that. “We want to be globally balanced,” he says.

As for when this new SUV will arrive, it’s unlikely for at least two years. Next year Rolls has announced the debut of a new convertible model and a plus-in hybrid is also a possibility and Müller-Ötvös says it could arrive in the next five years.

Discuss this story at our luxury lifestyle forum.

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Mazda Poised to Introduce Compact CX-3 Crossover

Mazda CX-3 MainArt

Compact crossovers are BIG business these days and Mazda is apparently hard at work on a small utility vehicle that will slot in under their compact CX-5 model.

Following the brand’s established nomenclature this new vehicle could be called the CX-3, though nothing is official at this time. But whatever this new small schlepper is called it’s widely expected to share major mechanical components with the subcompact Mazda2 hatchback.

In the styling department we don’t expect this new crossover to deviate much from the brand’s established design language. Look for a pointed, shield-shaped grille, angular headlamps and dramatic surface details on the body-side.

SEE ALSO: MINI Takes the States, Wrap Up

The CX-3 should give competitors like the Nissan Juke, Jeep Renegade and Chevrolet Trax a dash for their dollars. In typical “Zoom-Zoom” fashion it ought to be a lot of fun to drive, too.

The upcoming CX-3 is expected to come with either front- or all-wheel drive and could make its big premiere at the Paris Motor Show in October. If and when it does take a bow you can bet we’ll be there to provide full coverage.

GALLERY: 2016 Mazda2



Discuss this story on our Mazda2 Forum

[Source: LeftLaneNews]

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VW Seven-Seat Crossover to be Built in Chattanooga in 2016


Volkswagen announced today that it will build its new seven-seat crossover at its Chattanooga, Tenn. plant.

Despite being the worlds number two automaker, Volkswagen is having a hard time in the U.S. market and the company hopes a large utility vehicle that will sit above the Touareg will help shore up its sales here. The mid-size sedan segment expanded from roughly 7500,000 in 2009 to about 1.4 million currently.

“The Chattanooga-built midsize SUV will allow us to fulfill the wishes of our dealer network, bringing new customers to our showrooms and additional growth for the brand,” VW Group of America CEO Michael Horn said. “We are eager to be entering this growing vehicle segment with a world-class, seven-passenger SUV from Volkswagen.”Volkswagen

Volkswagen’s yet-unnamed SUV will begin rolling off Volkswagen’s Chattanooga assembly line by the end of 2016, the company said today. Horn also said the MQB-based crossover will be offered with a diesel variant.

Apart from announcing the official decision to build the SUV there, Volkswagen also announced a commitment to invest $7 billion in its U.S. operation by 2018 including a new research and development facility in Tennessee that will employ 200 engineers. Early reports suggested that Volkswagen was leaning toward manufacturing the SUV in the U.S. over its Puebla, Mexico plant where the seventh-generation Golf is being built for this market.

“The Volkswagen brand is going on the attack again in America,” Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said today.

The news also means that VW’s Tennessee facility will be tooled up to build MQB-based vehicles by 2016 including the next-generation Passat. Horn expects the new SUV to become one of Volkswagen’s key sales pillars in the U.S. along with the Jetta, Passat and Tiguan compact crossover.

Production of the new SUV alone will merit an investment of about $900 million in Tennessee and 2,000 new jobs, the company said today.

“The United States of America is and will remain one of the most important markets for Volkswagen,” Winterkorn said. “We are now launching the second phase of the Volkswagen campaign in the US.”

GALLERY: Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

VW-CrossBlue-Concept (12).JPGVW-CrossBlue-Concept-01.jpgVolkswagen-CrossBlue-01.JPGVolkswagen-CrossBlue-02.JPGVolkswagen-CrossBlue-06.JPGVW-CrossBlue-Concept-1.jpgVolkswagen-CrossBlue-03.JPG

Discuss this story at our Volkswagen forum

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Five New Tech Features in the 2015 Ford Edge


2015 Ford Edge Technology

Whether it’s a base model small car or a flagship luxury sedan, every modern automobile is chockablock with high-end features, some of which seemed like impossibilities just a few years ago.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Ford Edge Revealed with New Style

Things like adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and voice-activated infotainment systems have become commonplace in the market. In order to appeal to tech-savvy customers the all-new 2015 Ford Edge offers some attractive, high-end features.

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Chrysler Makes Start-Stop Standard on Two Models


Later this year the V6 Jeep Cherokee or four-cylinder Chrysler 200 will both add engine start-stop (ESS) technology to their list of standard equipment.

Chrysler said today that it expects both vehicles to offer up to three percent better fuel economy as a result of the system. The Jeep Cherokee will gain the system first, sometime during the third quarter of the year while the Chrysler 200 will add it during the fourth quarter of 2014.

This is the same system that Chrysler uses in its Ram 1500 pickup truck to save a single city-cycle MPG along with aerodynamic features like active grille shutters that shut at highway speeds to reduce drag. Chrysler also said today that its system is able to adapt to driver habits to speed the re-starting process.

SEE ALSO: Ford Offering Start-Stop on ’70 Percent’ of Line by 2017

The company didn’t release specific fuel economy estimates for either of the vehicles equipped with ESS, but the V6 front-wheel drive Cherokee is rated for 19 MPG in city driving. A three percent gain in that case would boost the crossover to 19.57 city MPG. Chrysler’s four-cylinder 200 would rise from 23 city MPG to 23.7.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Chrysler 200 Review

Marginal as those increases might seem, the company also says it will allow drivers to shut off ESS at the touch of a button.

Engine start-stop systems started as a feature on premium vehicles but is quickly finding its way into less expensive products. Last December, Ford said it plans to offer engine start-stop technology on 70 percent of its lineup by 2017. Depending on driving conditions, Ford said it expects up to 10 percent better fuel economy in its vehicles or a 3.5 percent savings on average.

GALLERY: 2014 Jeep Cherokee



Discuss this story at our Jeep Cherokee forum or our Chrysler 200 forum


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Rolls-Royce Code-Names SUV After a Giant Jewel


Rolls-Royce is reportedly code-naming its SUV after the world’s largest diamond.

Internally called “Cullinan,” the super luxury utility vehicle is expected to arrive in 2018 according to a report by German magazine Autobild. The BMW-owned brand has yet to officially confirm that it plans to sell an SUV, but CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes has been quoted in the past saying he thinks there is a market for such a high-end vehicle.

SEE ALSO: Rolls-Royce SUV Under Serious Consideration

Bentley is already several steps ahead and has prototypes of its SUV undergoing testing with what looks like production sheet metal. Its SUV – still unnamed – is scheduled to arrive in 2016 and will be offered as a the first plug-in hybrid, eventually to be followed by the rest of the Bentley product portfolio.

Rolls-Royce is also expected to offer a plug-in hybrid version of its ultra-luxury utility vehicle, which will likely share an aluminum and carbon fiber structure with the next Ghost and planned BMW 9 Series flagship.

Discuss this story at our luxury lifestyle forum

[Source: Autobild]

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Mercedes-Benz Plug-In Hybrid ML-Class Planned


Mercedes is planning a plug-in hybrid ML-Class crossover that will likely arrive in U.S. showrooms late next year.

One of three planned plug-in hybrids that the company will launch in North America, the ML-Class will join the S-Class and C-Class in offering Mercedes customers highly-efficient options. The ML is due to be refreshed in 2016 and the company is expected to include a small number of plug-in hybrid models when the revised versions start to arrive.

Mercedes is expected to launch the trio of plug-in vehicle over the next 18 months starting with the S-Class sometime in the spring of 2015. The C-Class will be next, followed closely by the ML. BMW, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Land Rover are all planning plug-in hybrid SUVs. Bentley is also preparing to launch its first-ever SUV, which it will offer with a version of the Volkswagen Group plug-in powertrain.

[Source: Green Car Reports]

Discuss this story at our Mercedes forum

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Bentley SUV Teased in New Video


The Bentley SUV is being teased again ahead of its official debut.

Bentley’s engineers are “now completely dedicated to creating the world’s most powerful and luxurious SUV,” the company said in a press release.

The SUV will be offered as a plug-in hybrid and will be the first model with such a powertrain to wear a Bentley badge. Initial models will arrive in 2016 with the plug-in version following in 2017.

SEE ALSO: Bentley SUV Teased With New, Less Ugly Look

Bentley said in March that it expects the SUV to create an entirely new segment in the auto market. Bentley’s concept preview of the SUV took styling cues from the Mulsanne and received a lukewarm reception at its 2012 Geneva Motor Show debut.

The first teaser Bentley released this year of the new SUV revealed that its front fascia is more in line with the Continential. Today’s clip offers glimpses of the wheels spinning, shots of the rear quarter panel and of course the front.

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Bentley Bolsters British Workforce to Build SUV


Bentley SUV Teaser Shot

Storied British brand Bentley is adding 140 employees to its payroll. The new hires will be put to work at their headquarters in Crewe, England.

The extra person-power is required to produce the company’s upcoming SUV. Engineers will account for 90 of the workers while the remainder will be apprentices. Currently the company employs about 3,700 people in Crewe.

This hiring spree is the result of a large investment made by parent company Volkswagen Group. They’re pouring 800 million pounds into the U.K. over the next three years to upgrade the factory that will assemble this new vehicle.

Bodies for the SUV will be imported from the mothership’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia. This is where the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg are built. However, final assembly of the new Bentley model will take place in England.

Crossovers are big business these days, even in the super-luxury segment. Bentley hopes the new model will boost annual sales to 15,000 units by 2018. That’s a pretty hefty increase considering it delivered a little over 10,000 vehicles last year. A company spokesman said they anticipate sales of the new SUV will tally around 3,000 per annum.

Getting off on the right foot, the company already has some 2,000 pre-orders for the vehicle. Catering to affluent clientele, it should be priced competitively with Range Rover’s top-of-the-line model, which stickers for around 140,000 pounds in Great Britain; that’s about $236,000 USD.

[Source: Automotive News]

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