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A blue 2016 Chevy Equinox is shown from the side driving on an open road after leaving a Certified Pre-Owned Chevy dealer.

A CPO King: Six Years of the Chevy Equinox

Brand new and pre-owned. These methods of shopping are as polar opposite as can be. However, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are a popular and preferable method for many drivers because they give you the best of both worlds. Not only are the financial benefits that are normally associated with a pre-owned vehicle present, but CPO vehicles allow drivers to reap the benefits of a new vehicle, such as manufacturer warranties. When you’re at your local Certified Pre-Owned Chevy dealer, an SUV that we would like to recommend is the Chevy Equinox. Some may not know, but Chevy CPO vehicles span the past six years of a model’s existence. What this means is that the current selection of CPO Equinox models will be mostly current-generation vehicles.

With that said, the Equinox, like many vehicles, has received a fair share of upgrades over the past six years. How deep do these changes go, and will opting for any of the six prior model years be detrimental? Fortunately, you’d be in luck, and that’s because the newest Equinox model is within the same generation as the models that began shipping in 2018. Even with the oldest Equinox model available as a CPO vehicle, the 2016 variant, you’re still in luck as this was the year of the mid-cycle refresh for the previous generation. This means that you shouldn’t expect to miss out on too many features, and that cements the 2016 model and the 2018 model as two still-relevant choices. Let’s start by discussing the 2016 model in-depth and see how it stacks up to the later Equinox models.

The 2016 Equinox

The 2016 Equinox embarked on a mid-cycle refresh for this SUV. Like most mid-cycle refreshes, Chevy saw this as an opportunity to implement new features that would be a sign of things to come with the succeeding generation. Reasons as to why you should consider this model as your next CPO purchase include the optional V6 engine (dropped for the next generation) and the spacious design of this vehicle. Performance is a strong selling point for earlier Equinox models such as this one, and it all begins with the vastly efficient and amply powerful 2.4L I-4 engine. A 6-speed automatic transmission comes with this powertrain, and the I-4 brings forth 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. The efficiency of this powertrain gives the 2016 Equinox EPA-estimated ratings of 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

That’s not all for the 2016 Equinox, and that aforementioned V6 engine will vastly improve performance with 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, your Equinox will also be ready for towing, thanks to a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. Other features that made an appearance starting with the 2016 Equinox include integration of Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, albeit this is restricted to the LT and LTZ trim levels. However, that doesn’t mean that the base model didn’t get some new upgrades, such as an infotainment center with a 7-inch screen.

The 2017 Equinox

There’s not a whole lot to say about the 2017 Equinox. Performance, safety, and integrated technology are mostly identical to the preceding model year. With that said, the 2017 Equinox has the advantage of being newer, of course. However, a couple of notable changes that were made include adding Midnight and Sport editions equipped with a black grille, color-matching 18-inch wheels, and, more importantly, available leather seats. The appeal of this model stems from the same as the year prior, which is acquiring a powerful and spacious SUV at a fantastic price, especially when purchasing a CPO one.

A white 2018 Chevy Equinox is shown from the side driving through a city.

The 2018 Equinox

After a rather tame preceding year, there were some big changes in store for the 2018 Equinox. With this year’s SUV came an entirely new generation for the Equinox, which is the same as the latest models. The first major change that was made for this new generation of the Equinox was replacing the two engines that were previously available with a new trio of powertrain options. Aside from that, the vehicle is lighter too. Chevy made several advancements to the build quality of the Equinox at this time, and Chevy’s data concludes that the 2018 Equinox is 10% lighter than the preceding generation of models, which is a difference of 400 lbs. Another notable addition that was made with the 2018 Equinox is an array of new safety tech.

The three safety features that you can find on the 2018 Equinox starts with Surround Vision, which will combine the camera feed of several cameras that wrap around your vehicle to display unique angles for much greater visibility. Other safety features that it comes with include Forward Automatic Braking, an assistive braking feature that will bring your vehicle to a stop to prevent collisions, although you must be traveling at a low speed for this to activate. Lastly is a Safety Alert Seat, and this one is rather simple as it’s a seat that will send vibrations to each side to warn the driver of impending danger.

The 2019 Equinox

The 2019 Equinox saw Chevy continue its pattern of implementing more safety features than the years prior, and a plethora of interior enhancements was made too. For instance, the vehicle comes standard with four USB ports instead of two, giving you more options to recharge electronic devices. New safety features include Front Pedestrian Braking, which is akin to the aforementioned Forward Automatic Braking, except this will stop the vehicle from colliding with pedestrians. Adaptive Cruise Control is also present, which is a cruise control setting that will shift your speed up and down depending on how much distance separates you from other drivers.

This Equinox model was also the last to offer a 1.6L turbo-diesel engine with its accompanying 6-speed automatic transmission. With 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, it offers the least horsepower of the three available engines, but it does provide a greater torque output than the base engine. The primary benefit associated with this diesel engine was fuel efficiency, and it certainly pays off as the 2019 Equinox with this engine will earn EPA-estimated ratings of 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway.

The 2020 Equinox

When the 2020 Equinox was introduced, those who benefited the greatest were the drivers who were interested in the base model. This is because the 2020 Equinox included more standard safety features than any preceding model by that point. The new additions that you wouldn’t have to pay extra for now include Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Assist, which prevent your vehicle from drifting out of its intended lane. A Forward Collision Alert is present to give drivers a proper heads-up before the improved Automatic Emergency Braking could take over. This time, this is a newer autonomous braking feature that surpasses the capabilities of the Forward Automatic Braking on older models such as the 2018 Equinox.

A blue 2021 Chevy Equinox is shown from the side parked in a modern parking garage.

The 2021 Equinox

Simplifying Equinox was the goal with the 2021 model, and the first change that had to take place was removing another engine. Chevy found a solid mix between performance and efficiency by retaining the base 1.5L turbocharged engine, but those seeking more power will be missing the 2.0L turbocharged option that was previously offered. Ultimately, the 2021 Equinox is a welcomed addition, and despite its place as a placeholder for the succeeding model, it is still a competent choice.

The 2022 Equinox

The 2022 Equinox brought forth a wide array of changes to the interior and exterior of the vehicle, with each trim offering up an exclusive design with grills, badges, and more. A new trim level, known as the RS, makes an appearance, and a couple of new safety features have been implemented too. These two safety features that are new for the 2022 model begin with Front and Rear Park Assist, which will use sensors on both ends of your vehicle to help you correctly align yourself for parking without hitting any obstructions.

The other feature is Automatic Parking Assist, which is a ground-breaking feature that will allow your Equinox to park your vehicle autonomously in a parallel parking situation. We can all agree, those are the worst, so this feature is highly welcomed. Lastly, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are here, and while this doesn’t change the overall function of the software, the ability to connect without a USB cable is much appreciated. As impressive as the 2022 model is, when you’re shopping for a CPO vehicle, you shouldn’t be worried to take a look back at the six preceding model years because you may have the chance to save money and still get the very best that the Equinox has to offer.