2008 Chevrolet Equinox SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Chevrolet Equinox SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Equinox Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.4 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox

  • With its spacious cabin, powerful and efficient V6 engines and expanded model lineup, the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox is worth a look in the compact crossover SUV segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy and versatile cabin, wide-ranging model lineup, excellent crash test scores

  • Cons

    Subpar interior materials, slow steering response on non-Sport models

  • What's New for 2008

    The Chevrolet Equinox gains two new trim levels to spice things up in 2008: a fully loaded LTZ and the racier Sport with 264 horsepower and a sport-tuned suspension. More basic LS and LT variants receive recalibrated suspension tuning, and all Equinox models get standard OnStar and stability control -- the latter now with integrated electronic trailer sway control.

Full 2008 Chevrolet Equinox Review

What's New for 2008

The Chevrolet Equinox gains two new trim levels to spice things up in 2008: a fully loaded LTZ and the racier Sport with 264 horsepower and a sport-tuned suspension. More basic LS and LT variants receive recalibrated suspension tuning, and all Equinox models get standard OnStar and stability control -- the latter now with integrated electronic trailer sway control.


With lots of functional cabin space for a vehicle of its size, the well-equipped Chevrolet Equinox has been a popular choice for a small SUV in recent years. Owners enjoy the Equinox's roomy cabin -- the rear seats slide fore and aft to boost cargo room or legroom when needed -- and often comment favorably about the vehicle's power and fuel efficiency.

For 2008, Chevrolet injects more style and performance into the Equinox. Leading the way is a new high-performance Sport model complete with lowered ride height and a new 3.6-liter V6 good for 40 percent more power over the standard 3.4-liter V6 engine. Chevrolet promises a 0-60-mph acceleration time under 7 seconds. The Sport's hydraulic power steering also addresses one of our Equinox criticisms that related to lackluster steering response on lesser versions. Like its stablemates, it offers the option of all-wheel drive.

For those who instead desire more refinement and luxury, the new Equinox LTZ is differentiated by bright exterior accents, heated leather seats, upgraded premium audio and head curtain side-impact airbags. The LTZ also benefits from the same enhanced ride and handling package as LS and LT models, consisting of retuned shocks, spring rates and hydraulic bushings.

The well-rounded 2008 Chevrolet Equinox has a lot going for it, including a spacious and versatile cabin and smooth, quiet ride that makes it a great choice for long trips. And now its basic goodness has been enhanced with variants that focus on performance and luxury for those so inclined. True, it faces solid competition from rivals like the Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4 and even the Saturn Vue, but the Equinox is certainly hard to beat given its something-for-everyone lineup. If you're looking for a competent, functional and safe runabout that does most things well, the 2008 Equinox definitely belongs on your list of models to check out.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door 2008 Chevrolet Equinox SUV seats five and comes in four trim levels: base LS, midlevel LT, fully loaded LTZ and performance-oriented Sport. Standard equipment on the LS includes 16-inch aluminum wheels, a roof rack, air-conditioning, a sliding 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a flat-folding front passenger seat. Cruise control, fully powered accessories, automatic headlights, a driver information center and a CD player with an auxiliary audio jack are also standard. The LT comes in two subsets, 1LT and 2LT. The Equinox 1LT adds body-color exterior trim, rear privacy glass, premium cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The 2LT package then adds 17-inch chrome-plated wheels, foglamps, remote engine start, a power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio.

The new LTZ luxury trim includes chrome exterior trim, leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats, an in-dash six-CD changer and a Pioneer premium sound system. For performance fans, the new Sport model adds a larger V6, 18-inch aluminum wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, special exterior trim, sport bolstered front seats and unique instrumentation. Depending on trim level, other optional Equinox features include a rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system and a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2008 Chevy Equinox trim levels are available with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Non-Sport models are equipped with the standard 3.4-liter V6 engine coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission. With 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, this engine offers respectable performance that should please most owners. The Sport model substitutes one of the most powerful engines for this class, a 3.6-liter V6 cranking out 264 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. It's hooked up to a six-speed automatic with manual shift control. With either engine, towing capacity is a competitive 3,500 pounds. Despite their considerable power disparity, both engines achieve about the same fuel economy, with a 2008 EPA fuel economy estimate of 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. (The Sport gets 16 mpg city.)


Antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control and OnStar are standard on the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox. Full-length head curtain airbags are standard on the LTZ trim and optional on all other Equinox models. In crash testing, the Equinox (even without the side airbags) earned the highest marks possible, receiving a perfect five stars in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frontal- and side-impact tests and a highest-possible "Good" rating in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The standard Equinox instrument panel and center stack project a clean, industrial-looking design with large, clear gauges surrounded by faux aluminum accents, while the LT model is warmed up by imitation wood. The new Equinox Sport is specially outfitted with exclusive blue-lit instrumentation and ebony accents. The layout is generally straightforward, with GM's ergonomic stereo and climate controls. With its longer-than-average wheelbase, the Equinox provides lots of stretch-out room for both rows. To accommodate larger passengers or cargo, the adjustable 60/40-split rear seat slides nearly 8 inches fore and aft. A movable rear cargo shelf functions as a shelf, security cover or picnic table. Out back, the Equinox offers an above-average 35 cubic feet of luggage space behind the rear seats -- its 69 cubic feet of total cargo capacity is among the class leaders.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Chevy Equinox's fully independent suspension setup offers a satisfying balance between ride comfort and competent handling. It dispatches bumps and surface irregularities with ease, and long trips are especially relaxing thanks to its quiet, well-insulated cabin. We find fault with the standard electric power steering, however, which is overly light and slow to respond. The performance-oriented Equinox Sport addresses this criticism with a better-connected hydraulic setup, and of course is the go-to choice for buyers who expect sharp handling dynamics and versatility in equal measure.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Loving it

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Got this SUV in Feb 2014. Been very pleased with it. Took it on a road trip from Albuquerque to LA and San Diego with fiance and future mother in law recently - did very well, and my future mother in law who sat in the back the whole way commented about how comfortable it was. It's got reasonable muscle, rides smoothly, and can handle light off roading (don't get too crazy, though). Good cargo space, and just a great overall SUV. Great for those camping trips to places where the campgrounds aren't all paved over.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

My biggest disapointment

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Equinox Sport 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I got this car for my wife, and she loved it for about 3 months. Got it new in 09 and have had nothing but issues. Understand a car that is on the road for 5 years should have some normal ware and tear. at 45K we had the privlige of buying a new transmission. Shortly after that timing chain. Sun roof drains keep pluging and when it rains comes inside car. Have had tire issues and TPMS issues and now Im sure spark plug issues. I made an appointment to see the dealer for stalling issues. I am getting to be real good friends with the service center operators. At 60 K now Im afraid to sell this to anyone. I dont want to pass on junk.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Biggest mistake i ever made!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Purchased my Equinox new in 2008 with 56 miles on it. The issues in order of occurance: Rear window washer quit, power steering locked up, tire sensors malfuntioned, driver side window & lock and cd player all quit working simultaneously, misfiring at 50mph (changed plugs and wires. Still misfiring) Both headlights have been replaced 9 times in 5 yrs and are very hard to replace. Headlights quit simultaneously each time. GM dropped the ball with the Equinox. Why has there not been a recall?

Amazing truck!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Equinox LS 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

May be one of the greatest trucks ever built. The exterior is amazingly solid, with very strong metal. I feel very safe when driving around in it. The front seats are nice and supportive, although the back seats are a tad hard, but a 5 hour road trip would still be easy to get through. VERY powerful engine, although still more fuel efficient than my 2001 Dodge Caravan with the 3.3l V6. I am getting 13 litres/100KM CITY! 5L HIGHWAY! I have factory chrome which covers the door handles, grille, exhaust tip, and the trunk. I am 5'11, and when in the back, I have well over 5 inches of leg room, and that is with the passenger seat in my position, and with the rear seats pulled all the way back.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Money pit!!!!

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Equinox Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

We bought this vehicle used with 60,000 miles almost 2 years ago. Since it was used, we went ahead and got the extended warranty from the dealership. we had to replace the plugs for the car chargers, we had to replace the heated seat sensors twice w/in 2 weeks, the ignition cylinder had to be replaced so that the car would stop cutting in and out. Then just after the warranty expired, we were told the routers needed to be replaced, but in order to do so the entire brake system had to be done. We've had a slight power steering leak, and today while driving down a country road the transmission went out!! Ahhh, stay away from this money pit. Not worth the problems and money

Looked great but total pia

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Equinox LT 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

The Equinox drives good for the most part but has tons of issues. My biggest issue is the tire sensors are always going off. Had the sensor issue replaced 3 times under warranty in only a year. Warranty ran out and sensor now doesn't read pressure right. Also have a big issue with when you replace the brakes you have to replace the whole thing. It would be fine if it was rare but you have to do this every 40k miles approximately. At 70k you than get to replace the belts too. The headlights are impossible to replace on your own you have to find a dealer or a good mechanic to figure it out. Good thing my brake lights never went out because they look more difficult.. Wasn't worth the money!

Talk About The 2008 Equinox

2008 Chevrolet Equinox Discussions See all Started By

I just purchased a 2008 Equinox Sport and it now has 6,000 miles on it. The "check engine" light came on and I took it to the dealer. They state that it has a faulty cylinder head and they n...

I am looking at purchasing a 2008 Equinox. I noted moisture buildup on the inside of the headlamp lens. When asked about it the dealer rep said it was normal and of no concern, adding if I wanted he c...

I posted awhile back, I had a 2010 Equinox 2LT AWD V6 with navi, it was a well equipped Nox, and my wife fell in love with the red color and 2-tone interior. The reviews had all talked about how &quo...

Read more about the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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