"We bought our 2008 Equinox LT2 in Feb. 09 to replace our 1999 Blazer. The car was 11 months old and had 10,800 miles. It had been bought by a major rental agency and used in Virginia, sold at auction in Florida, and bought by a Ford/Mazda dealer in Baton Rouge. The history report was clean as a whistle.
The Equinox is a larger vehicle than the S10 Blazer. The rear doors are very wide, and with the rear seat slid back, even very tall people have no difficulty entering and exiting, and have plenty of knee, leg, and head room back there. With the seat slid all the way forward, there is more cargo space than in our Blazer. The rear seat-back releases are easier to reach than the Blazer, but they don't lay flat when folded as the Blazer's did. I am told that in the new body style 2010's and 11's, they now fold flat.
I have owned two Corvettes, and several other "muscle" cars in my younger days, and have a 6.0L GM truck right now. I was pleasantly surprised by the drive train in the Equinox. Acceleration and passing are excellent for this size vehicle, and the 5-speed transmission is smooth and very well programmed. As yet, I have never felt that the Equinox needed more power. (Most of the newer models have 4-cylinder engines, not the V6.) The only negative thing I have to say here is that the Equinox's 5-speed (not the Equinox Sport's 6-speed) automatic transmission control has only D-I-L positions on the shift quadrant. You cannot hold any gear (O/D, 3,2,1) as with the GM 4-speed automatics except "low" gear. The "I" position is supposed to downshift to hold back your speed going downhill. Here in the Texas Hill Country, it doesn't do much holding back down steep grades. I can't imagine going down a steep grade in Colorado. Fortunately, however, the Equinox has the best brakes I have ever had on a vehicle, and that includes my Gen 3 Corvettes and late model GM trucks. It stops VERY quickly, VERY Straight, and in a VERY short distance with absolutely no brake fade. (The anti-lock feature works great, too. I have never triggered the stability system into operation.) Shifting into "L" will not bring the trans down 1 gear at a time until it slows sufficiently to shift into Low, IT WILL SHIFT INTO "LOW!" RIGHT NOW. Don't try it!
The unit body is very tight, no squeaks or rattles, the seats are comfortable (although I wish the slick leather seats had "bolsters" on each side to hold me in place.) Seat heaters work fine. I was a little dubious about the electric power steering, but it's also great. I don't know why some people said they can't "zip" into a parking space (should you ever "zip" around in a public parking lot, or in between two parked cars while turning?). The steering is very quick, has good feel, and is easy to hold steady on a constant-radius turn (like circular freeway entrance and exit ramps). This mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle's handling is superb for an SUV, easily surpassing the maneuverability of some cars we owned as recently as the mid-90's. It can be driven hard if needed in an emergency, under full control. Just in case, there's the electronically-controlled stability system, but even when speedily winding through our deserted and curving secondary roads at or above the speed limit, I've never triggered it, and the vehicle has never felt unstable, even though it's fairly tall (it doesn't "feel" top-heavy). The LT2's upgraded semi-chromed 17-inch wheels and tires (16-inch are standard on LS and LT1) make the Equinox ride firmly, but it's never harsh unless you hit some REALLY buckled or potholed pavement. But if there's no oncoming traffic to worry about, most of this can be easily dodged in this vehicle without ever feeling as though you're driving a box van. The handling really impresses me, for a grocery-getter SUV.
After 25 months of ownership, we now have 34,800 miles on our Equinox. It's still very tight, and tread wear is just beginning to be slightly noticeable. I can almost say that we have had absolutely no trouble with ours, but I can't. When we bought it, the plastic license plate pal-nut, into which you thread the screw had fallen into the tailgate, and our local dealer had to remove the access panel inside the tailgate to replace it. And last winter, the windshield washers stopped squirting (the pump was running fine, the reservoir full). Our local dealership had to remove both washer lines and clean them out (he said they were full of dirt and aluminum corrosion). They are working fine now. And that's the extent of our repairs on the Equinox.
The AM/FM/CD/MP3/Satellite sound system works great, and I'm glad it does. My major complaint about our Equinox? Excessive road noise. I noticed that when driving new ones before we bought this one. In defense of the Equinox, I will say that I think a large part of the problem is the tires. On Texas' roads resurfaced with the tiny artificial gravel they've used for 25 or 30 years, the tires make so much noise you can't hear normal conversation or the radio at highway speeds unless you turn it up quite a bit. However, if you hit a stretch of pavement that's been repaired with fresh, smooth asphalt, things suddenly get ghostly quiet in there. As with a Chrysler Concorde we had back in the 90's, as soon the Equinox needs tires, I'm going to search out the quietest-rated tires I can find. That made a world of difference on that Chrysler, and I hope it helps this car, too. We are well satisfied with our Equinox. Although it's a "utility vehicle" (and we have hauled stuff inside), it's a SPORT utility vehicle.... and you could almost call it "fun" to drive. We have very few complaints.
By the way, if your vehicle has been involved in a crash, and not repaired properly, or you have neglected maintenance or not heeded gauge or driver information center warnings and your engine disintegrates, THIS IS NOT THE MANUFACTURER'S FAULT. Pay no heed to such negative reports. Such people could destroy an anvil with a ball-peen hammer."
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