Overview & Reviews
When people think of pickups, they probably don't think of Suzuki. Even though the brand has been selling vehicles in the United States under its own name since the 1980s, it's never offered a real pickup for the U.S. market. The Suzuki Equator changed all that, but just because it now offers a pickup, doesn't mean it builds one.
You see, the Equator is essentially a clone of Nissan's midsize Frontier pickup, with the only significant differences related to exterior styling and features. This really isn't a bad thing, since the Frontier is a highly regarded pickup with a stout V6 engine, lots of versatility and substantial off-road capability. Therefore, like its twin, the Suzuki Equator pickup can handle just about anything thrown at it, short of the kind of major duty that a full-size truck would be better suited to. Fans of Suzuki's offbeat portfolio and beefy warranties will want to take a look, as should other midsize pickup truck shoppers.
Current Suzuki Equator
The Suzuki Equator midsize pickup truck is offered in two styles: a basic extended cab and a crew cab. Extended cabs are available in base, Comfort package, Premium and Sport trims, and all come with a 6-foot bed. Crew cabs are available in Sport and RMZ-4 trims -- the former can be had with either a 5- or 6-foot bed, while the RMZ-4 is 5-foot-only.
The Equator comes with a choice of two engines -- a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, or a 4.0-liter V6 that makes 261 hp and 281 lb-ft. The V6 is the only engine available for crew cabs and 4WD variants, while the four-cylinder is available only in the lower-trim extended-cab models. The base and Comfort trims with the four-cylinder are matched to a five-speed manual transmission, while a five-speed automatic is standard on all other models. The V6 is equipped with a five-speed automatic only.
Inside, the Equator is comfortable but far from luxurious. There is no leather seating option. Instruments are no-nonsense but easy to read. The crew cab provides a nice list of features, including a cleated "C-track" tie-down system, with various storage compartments and a spray-on bedliner for the Sport version. The RMZ-4 is an off-road-oriented truck with heavy-duty axles, an electric locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, hill descent and hold control, 16-inch alloy wheels, off-road-oriented tires and foglamps.
On the options roster are a removable Garmin navigation system (for RMZ models only), Bluetooth, a satellite-radio-ready audio system and a sunroof. Safety features are extensive and include side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and stability control on all Equators.
Driving dynamics are impressive for a midsize pickup. The steering is precise with ample feedback, the brakes are reasonably responsive and the suspension soaks up the bumps adequately, even for the 4WD-equipped trim when it's taken off-road. In fact, the specialized Equator RMZ-4, with its dedicated off-road-biased hardware, is especially appealing as a vehicle that can tackle the great outdoors. The four-cylinder engine provides superior fuel economy, but we suspect most buyers will be happier with the less economical V6.
In all, the Suzuki Equator is a solid truck that, while not outstanding in any one particular area (except for its seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty), can stand up admirably against its far better known competition. It's a good daily driver, with the only significant drawbacks being the absence of a regular cab option and limited availability of certain features.
Used Suzuki Equator Models
The Suzuki Equator debuted in the 2009 model year. For 2010, the removable Garmin navigation unit was made available only on the RMZ-4, whereas before, it was only offered on crew-cab Equators. In the first two years, there was also an RMZ-4 Sport trim, which included hill descent and hold control, plus luxuries like a sunroof, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo.
Stability control was only available on the RMZ-4 for 2009. It became standard on all V6-powered models the following year, and it became standard on every Equator starting in 2012.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 21.00
This truck is not safe for your family - 2009 Suzuki Equator
By Family - June 29 - 10:56 pm
We bought this truck hoping for better fuel mpg & better performance. We loved the truck when we first bought but in Aug 2009 we were on vac. the brakes went all the way to the floor & are very mushy. We are still dealing with this issue & no one wants to help us. The Suzuki rep. states everything is fine but two other certified brake tech states that there is a problem. So we have a truck that we can not drive because it is not safe for our family!!!!!
Bang for the Buck - 2012 Suzuki Equator
By gonetruckin - November 12 - 7:01 pm
This a great truck! Although it is a Suzuki, in reality it is a Nissan Frontier but with better looks,emminaties,and standard features. The reviews of this truck are not always fair. Test drive it and you will quickly see why. Gas mileage is that of a truck. But bang for the buck it is the best. I'm glad I picked the Equator, a solid choice.
Solid Truck, Reasonable Price - 2009 Suzuki Equator
By Steve - November 6 - 9:43 am
A solid vehicle, good looks, powerful V-6, 100K powertrain warranty only available from Suzuki.
Go big or stay Nissan - 2009 Suzuki Equator
By R.Norman - August 30 - 7:20 am
Good warranty, okay fuel mileage,and a comfortable ride. After buying my truck, I later returned to the dealer, and was unable to order parts,such as a bush guard, mouldings, etc. The Equator appeared to be there pink elephant, opposed to other Suzuki products on hand. The parts department had no answers, however I found every thing I needed at Nissan. When time for servicing the dealer had to back order a oil filter. I reside in British Columbia, and have only seen one or two Equators in passing over the last 6 months. In western Canada, Suzuki needs to go big or leave this truck to Nissan. My truck gets a lot of looks, along with questions. Obviously due to poor advertising.
Hidden Gem - 2009 Suzuki Equator
By Chtyan - August 2 - 4:16 am
I was shopping and didn't even know that Suzuki had a truck, I was looking at a Nissan frontier and after researching, I found out the equator was a frontier and the price was about the same but there are a few distinct differences 1-the better powertrain warranty 7 yr 100,000 miles vs 5 yr 60,000 miles 2-you get the better looking alloy wheels instead of the steel wheels 3- I think the grill is a lot better looking I've had this truck for 2 weeks now and I have to say I'm a very satisfied person. I'm 6,3 and their is plenty of room for me. I would suggest to anyone to take a hard look at the Suzuki equator.
In the NYC area Nissan only offers 4.0 L - 2009 Suzuki Equator
By Mr.G - January 3 - 8:30 am
After considering the Frontier first, during the cash for clunkers period, I learned that Suzuki offers the same vehicle with 2.5L engine, I traded a v8 engine 5.0L/4X4. I wanted a engine, cut in half, to improve the mileage (10mpg), instead, the only engine offer in the neighboring area of 8 Nissan dealers was 4.0L. The vehicle's 1st trip was to my getaway cabin in the Catskill area. It took some learning to deal with transmission on long hill climbs, but it handled well, I brought a 1/2" rubber mat, preferred over the spray on mat and hitch attachment to chassis was simple to install with 6 bolts on chassis, all the wiring connection are right there by the bumper area, simple! Great Truck.
Air Conditioner Problems - 2012 Suzuki Equator
By equatorhater - August 12 - 3:31 am
I am on my second Equator. The first made it to 20,000 miles with no problems. At 20,000 the airconditioner started freaking out. It would have power surges and the fan motor would go from almost off to full power on and off continuously. Took it to the dealer multiple times, they could not fix it. We traded the truck for a 2012 Equator, it has made it to 9325 miles and is doing the exact same thing. I am at my wits end!!!
great truck for the money - 2009 Suzuki Equator
By arnold - January 8 - 12:06 am
Went from a v8 truck (14mpg combined) to a more fuel efficient truck great ride lots of power,very happy with my purchase looked at frontier,this was a much better deal(gps,side airbags step rails about $2800 cheaper than frontier)most important 7yr/100000 powertrain warranty.Has 2800 miles on it averages 21mpg combined will get better once engine breaks in.
Mileage - 2012 Suzuki Equator
By marvgolf - November 2 - 8:03 pm
Estimated mileage, 17 city, 22 hwy. More like 14 city and 19 hwy. Trying to be very careful with speed and acceleration, does not help. Very unhappy with situation. 1800 miles so far, and no improvement. Would find it very hard to suggest this vehicle to a prospective buyer. My friends v-6 Toyota Tacoma gets better mileage than I do.
Great Value - Hard Find - 2010 Suzuki Equator
By Tim D - June 11 - 1:00 pm
I searched locally, state-wide, and the internet. Finally, I found a dealer that would actually work for me to find the vehicle I wanted 250 miles away! Sales guy, was the best. I needed an extended-cab that was 4WD. Just not that into a 4-door pickup truck. The truck almost rides like a car. 17" wheels give you that extra height to get a good look down the road and the noise is low. Plenty of reserve power, CD player sounds phenomenal, cruise control is at your right hand thumb on the steering wheel and braking is smooth. The seats are comfortable. Holds the corners very well. Love the spray-on bed-liner and the tie-down rail system. A Nissan with a Suzuki warranty. Love it!