Never Buy These Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain Models With Oil Problems, Consumer Reports Warns

The Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are popular SUVs and have been for several years now. Even if you’ve never owned one yourself, you likely know someone who has. You might be exploring used variations of the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain for your next purchase. But before you commit, there’s a Consumer Reports you should see. A few model years for each of these crossovers prove to be problematic due to oil-burning concerns. 

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Consumer Reports features oil consumption problem cars

Consumer Reports looked at the data and compiled a list of problem cars notorious for oil consumption. It’s not uncommon for an older model, used vehicle to start burning oil over time. But as the CR team points out, consuming oil within the first five to 10 years is not a very good sign, especially if the vehicle is well-maintained and serviced during those years.

This report also mentions that many of the featured oil-burners have potential recourse as some manufacturers have fixed or discontinued problem cars. But it may just be best to steer clear of these models altogether, including a few years for the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.

On this list of notorious oil-burners are a few performance and luxury vehicles you might not expect. The second generation of Acura’s MDX, from 2010 through 2013, experienced significant oil consumption problems. Audi’s S4 did, too, for the 2010 through 2012 model years. And Audi’s Q5 made this list, with both the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 engine variations, as well. Any Q5 model within the 2010 through 2015 model years may be at risk.

Other used vehicles with a reputation for consuming oil include the 2012 through 2019 model years of the BMW M5 and 2010 through 2013 Mini Cooper. Also showing up with several models on this Consumer Reports list is Subaru. The 2012 and 2013 Subaru Impreza models are worth avoiding, as are the 2010 through 2015 Forester and Outback models.

These Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain models are the worst

If your shortlist of new-to-you used vehicles includes a Chevy Equinox or a GMC Terrain, buyer beware. The reliability data collected by the Consumer Reports team isn’t stellar for either ride. And any model year of either, between 2010 and 2013, will likely experience oil consumption problems. 

Some of those 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines used within those years had a knack for burning oil prematurely. General Motors did offer to extend the 100,000-mile warranty from five years to 10 and mileage benchmarks to 120,000 miles.

However, even with those extensions, those models are no longer within their warranty periods. And it may be best to avoid any 2010 to 2013 of either crossover.

General Motors officially issued a Technical Service Bulletin, acknowledging potential problems with the piston rings wearing prematurely. The NHTSA outlined the details when this 2016 bulletin was posted. In this report, GM says some 2011 model year Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs, equipped with the 2.4-liter engine, could achieve less than 2,000 miles of driving per quart of engine oil because of these worn piston rings.

What you should choose instead

The Consumer Reports list of oil burners also points consumers to better alternatives to buy. If you now feel you should abandon the Chevy Equinox or GMC Terrain for those model years, the Consumer Reports team recommends looking at a 2010 through 2015 Toyota RAV4 instead. Comparable in size, the RAV4 earns excellent reliability scores and continues to be a cost-effective, practical choice. According to the vehicle owner reviews for the used RAV4s within these model years with Edmunds, the RAV4 continues to receive high remarks and five stars.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, used SUV, you don’t want to take on an oil consumption problem with 2010 through 2013 Chevy Equinox or GMC Terrain. So steer clear of these and maybe consider a different model year. Or try the Toyota RAV4 instead.

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