Chevy Equinox or Honda CRV?

A bit of a ramble here. Sorry about it. I have broken it up into sections to make it easier to read.

I am looking for a small SUV. I am getting older and I need a higher seat for easy entry and exit. I am only looking at vehicles built in the USA or Canada. This would likely be my retirement vehicle.

I am not decided between new and a 1 or 2 year old lease return vehicle.

I have eliminated the Escape as I have a 2004 Focus and while I am OK with it the mileage has been disappointing (22 MPG average) and the reliability has been poorer than I would like. In 112,000 miles it is on its 5th alternator. There have been a good many other things as well.

I am very happy with the mileage my daughter gets with her 2005 Chevy Cavalier and it has been quite reliable.

This led me to the Equinox. A 4 cylinder with 2WD. However, online I see all kinds of people who have had engine issues, especially the 2010 and 2011. Serious issues, The Equinox shows a medium frequency of repairs compared to the CRV which has a far lower repair rate..

My son in law has a Canadian built 2010 Civic and in his 100,000 mile son it, it has been very reliable. I feel bit like a traitor looking at a Japanese brand vehicle even though it is built in Canada with 60% US/Canadian content. Compared to the Equinox with 65%. Though I did have a Miata for a couple years and it only had one issue in the 3 years I owned it.

Anyone out there have any opinions other than blind loyalty to a brand??


There is a car show here in Vancouver next month and I plan to try out the ergonomics on multiple vehicles. The sight lines and gauges are indeed important to me.

I understand what people are saying about the GM 4 cylinder. The GM has had issues. The V6 has a great reputation and I can afford that option and the gas. But being able to afford it does not mean I want to burn the extra fuel getting around.

Sometimes I think a good part of the reliability difference is that the owners of Japanese cars may tend to take care of them better. While buyers of US vehicles may slack off.

Regardless, I want to thank those who answered with their well reasoned and detailed answers. Just the sort of feedback I am looking for. I will be driving this vehicle into my senior years and I want reliability above most all else.

9 Answers

  • bw022
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    I purchased a CRV in 2011. Great vehicle.

    I had narrowed it down to the CRV and RAV4. Both had good mileage and were one and two on the reviews. I had considered the GMC (which is similar to the Equinox) and even test drove one -- but the sight lines to the rear were terrible and the styling really blocky. My in-laws have a Hyundai Tucson which I drove. I found it a good vehicle.

    My final decision came down to two vehicles -- the CRV and RAV4. These are #1 and #3 on reviews at the time. The RAV4 instrumentation was just at a strange angle. No matter how much I adjusted the seat or steering wheel it was just odd. The RAV4 also had a swing open rear door rather than a raising one. I liked the raising one for opening when street parking. I also liked in the CRV that the gear controller was on the lower dash... meaning it has no center console, just a cup holder you can fold down. I spend the extra money for the AWD version. The rear shelf is well worth it.

    Since 2011, newer SUV versions have come out and the rankings have changed. CRV is #2 and the Equinox is way down now. I've driven a new (2013) CRV and their isn't much difference, from my limited drive. The engine in slightly better while keeping the same mileage.

    I'm not a heavy driver. The vehicle handles well, have enough pep for most driving. At high speeds, it is somewhat slugging on highway passing if you are coming from a non-SUV. Mileage is as advertised. Instrumentation is clear. The vehicle holds a lot -- with the rear seats folded down, I've used it for bottle drives, it holds to bikes, a large desk, etc.

    The reliability of the vehicle is amazing. It has an alert system which tells you when the oil is low or it needs servicing. I've only changed the oil one in two years. I keep asking the dealer and they say "No need to bring it in again until it tells you."

    My best advice is to actually test drive the vehicles. Despite liking the GMC and RAV4, once inside, sightlines and instrumentation make a big difference. I suspect this is personal, but it is something you want to be comfortable with.

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  • 3 years ago


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  • 6 years ago

    If it's a matter of cast to maintain and repair when broken, then the CRV will win hands down. The engine that Honda uses in that vehicle is used in many of their vehicles. I have personally seen many of them with over 200k miles. Honda almost over-uses that engine. With that said it is very easy to get parts and almost every auto tech has worked on them enough that they know very well what might go wrong and how to address it before it becomes a problem.

    As for the Equinox, I personally have never been very fond of the 4 cylinder engines that Chevrolet uses. Now, if you were talking about the v6 engine they have used for many years, that would be a different thing altogether.

    My opinion is based upon what I see on a regular basis and I have not seen very many with over 100k on them.

    When you see a car company use an engine for many, many years and in many, many cars, it's because they have found a very solid engine platform and they're going to stick with it. That's how it is with Honda. They made a good engine and they're sticking with it.

    Chevrolet, on the other hand, hasn't really done that yet with their 4 cylinder. Every few years they toss out the old design and start over. Doing that causes problems with part availability for previous models and casts doubts on new models.

    The decision is really up to you. Do you like how the car feels? Do you like the way it rides?

    What is your gut telling you?

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  • 6 years ago

    Look into or at Subaru's. They have been one of the recommended cars by Consumer Reports for years. Around here that is what most retired drivers own. They take well to about any road condition.

    I drive Mazda by the way, but my Dad (who is 93) drives Subaru's and while my MIata's are reliable- I don't put the miles on my cars Dad does. He has driven them to 250000 miles a couple of times before trading them off.

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  • 6 years ago

    I would go with the Honda. It has a better reputation for reliability and it will hold it's value much better. And based on the info you've given it wins by default. I drive a Honda and it's very solid. My answer isn't biased and doesn't have to do with brand loyalty. I'm more into German cars but i chose Honda because i need something more economical since i attend university.

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  • Carol
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    CRV. Great on gas. One of the most reliable cars on the road according to Consumer Reports. Very comfortable. Lowest center of gravity out of the bunch (less likely to roll over). Arguably the smoothest suspension. Prices on used models ain't bad, either

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    5 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The Honda CRV!

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Honda CRV all the way

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