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2008 Chevrolet Equinox

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$23,035

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

SUV

Body style

2

Seating capacity

188.8” x 69.3”

Dimensions

Front-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

The good:

  • Interior space and versatility
  • Ride comfort
  • Automatic-transmission response
  • Availability of AWD

The bad:

  • Engine noise
  • Visibility
  • Uncertain construction quality

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Chevrolet Equinox trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • Performance Equinox Sport
  • FWD or AWD
  • Passenger- and cargo-area versatility
  • Electric power steering
  • Standard ABS and electronic stability system

2008 Chevrolet Equinox review: Our expert's take

By Steven Cole Smith


The 2008 Chevrolet Equinox Sport is the answer to a question I thought no one was asking: “Why isn’t there a deluxe, high-performance version of the Equinox?”

Shows what I know. The Equinox, introduced as a 2005 model, has filled an important but moderately low-profile niche for General Motors: As a five-passenger “crossover,” sharing bits and pieces with the Saturn Vue, it targets consumers who don’t need the ruggedness of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, or want a minivan like the Chevrolet Uplander. Though offered in all-wheel-drive, the Equinox is no off-roader, and most sold are front-wheel-drive. It’s an attractive, utilitarian vehicle marketed at a reasonable price, powered by a reasonably old-fashioned, Chinese-built 3.4-liter V-6 engine with 185 horsepower. Hard to get excited about that.

For 2008, that sensible-shoes Equinox remains, but it’s joined by the Equinox Sport. The Sport is more than just a bigger engine, though: Quite a bit of suspension work has been done to the SUV, the numb electric power steering was replaced by a much better hydraulic unit, handsome 18-inch tires and alloy wheels replace the 16- or 17-inchers on other Equinox models, and some modest but effective body trim identifies it as something different.

So does the sticker: Base price of our front-drive Equinox Sport is $27,380. Had we wanted the all-wheel-drive model, that would have added $1,600. The least expensive Equinox starts at $22,995, including shipping, and even at that price, the base Equinox is very well equipped. Standard on all models is air conditioning, a six-speaker AM/FM stereo with CD player, cruise control, antilock brakes, stability control, keyless entry and a five-speed automatic transmission to go with the 3.4-liter V-6. The next step up from the base LS is the LT, then the LTZ, then the Sport. Load up an all-wheel-drive Sport with most all options, including a navigation system, and you’re nudging $34,000.

The test Sport had several options, including leather upholstery, a sunroof, roof racks and side-curtain airbags, bringing the total price, with shipping, to $29,580.

Inside, the Equinox still has some interior trim that belongs on a less expensive model, but there are some very nice features: The rear seat slides forward or back about eight inches, giving you the option of lots of room for passengers or cargo. With the seat toward the rear, there’s room aplenty for five six-footers. There is no third seat, but Chevrolet could probably squeeze one in there if they tried — the Equinox is big enough.

Instruments and controls are standard GM-issue, which is fine. The front seats are supportive; rear seats are comparatively hard and upright. Even with the rear seat all the way back, there’s still lots of luggage space.

On the road, the Equinox Sport shines. The ride is firm but compliant, and handling is better than I thought I’d ever see in an Equinox. This engine, optional on the new Malibu, has plenty of punch, nicely delivered through the six-speed automatic transmission. And you don’t pay much of a price in fuel economy: The test Sport is EPA-rated at 16 mpg city, 24 highway; with the regular 185-horse engine, it’s 17 mpg city, 24 highway. Both engines run on regular gas.

The Equinox Sport, and its counterpart, the Pontiac Torrent GXP, add some genuine spark to serviceable but otherwise dull vehicles. Good for General Motors.

Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smithcan be reached at scsmith@orlandosentinel.com.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior 3.8
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Exterior 4.2
  • Reliability 4.1
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Most recent consumer reviews

4.0

Very dependable, runs like a champ at 16 yrs old

Father in Law bought this car towards end of 2008 with 18,000 miles on it, a 'GM program car' It was his 2nd vehicle so it didn't get used a bunch, he wanted the AWD option for winter driving. Fast forward to end of 2018 and we took possession of it with 79000 miles on it after he stopped driving. We have maintained it with regular oil changes, trans fluid changes, and have had some small repairs done (wheel bearings, power window motor replacement, that kind of stuff). It now has 215000 miles and engine and transmission still going strong. It's my husband's daily driver-70 miles a day- plus taking it on trips out of town. Metallic gray paint still looks great. Averages 24mpg. We are actually looking for another one with the 3.4 v6 with 100,000 miles or less, we've been so impressed with it.

2.0

I will never buy Chevy again either.

I bought my 2008 brand new from a dealership. Right away the fuel pump was making up and down squeeling noise. I took it in so they put in a new fuel pump. Then they called me and said we found out that the equinox has two fuel pumps and the engineers say that this is a normal noise. So they offered to put on soundproofing underneath the car to drown out the noise. Check engine lights constantly for many many years. Seal around the back hatch had to be replaced three times after the factory installation. The tire well kept filling with water and rotting. Light bulbs burn out like crazy constantly. Nothing was wrong with my front lights until each one of them had the bulb changed and then they took on condensation. There were no cracks. Finally had to buy completely new headlight lenses. Now they're working great back lights aren't burning out quite as often as they used to. Lot of issues with the battery that was installed when it was new. Obviously bought a new one. The tires that came on it wore off very quickly. Interior pieces and parts some of them break due to being all made out of cheap plastic. Including handle on glove compartment which broke off and I still can't get into my glove compartment.

3.0

Equinox the lemon that squeezes you

Bought used from dealer after a new transmission, brakes, and turn signal control was installed. A year later dealer rebuilt that transmission twice in 4weeks. Then I had to replace power steering pump 4 times along with lines, complete gears and lines. Then rear end, bearings and entire suspension. Then had put in another transmission. Not sure if the part list will ever end because I have literally rebuilt the car under a 160,000 miles

See all 62 consumer reviews

Safety

Based on the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox base trim.
Frontal driver
5
Frontal passenger
5
Nhtsa rollover rating
4
Side driver
5
Side rear passenger
5

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
72 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
60 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/100,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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