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By Mike Levine
October 15, 2009
Vehicle Overview The Equator arrived for 2009 as Suzuki's first venture into the compact pickup market. The truck is built by Nissan and features mostly Frontier hardware, but Suzuki had plenty of input in its styling. The fully loaded Equator isn't a luxurious model, but it does come in the RMZ-4 off-road package. The RMZ-4 features a moonroof, Dana 44 axles, electronic rear-locking differential, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, BFG Rugged Trail T/A tires, unique seat trim with red stitching and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Equator is available as an extended cab only in two-wheel drive and as a crew cab in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. The base engine is a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder. A 4.0-liter V-6 engine is available in the extended cab and standard in the crew cab. There's a choice of Base or Premium trims in the extended cab inline-four-cylinder models; the V-6 comes in a Sport trim. The crew cab is available in Base or Sport with two-wheel drive, and four-wheel-drive models are available in either Sport or the off-road RMZ-4. All extended cabs have a 6-foot-long cargo bed, while the crew cab comes with a 5- or 6-foot bed.
New for 2010 There are no significant changes for 2010.
Exterior The hood, front fenders, grille, bumpers and tailgate are exclusive to Suzuki. The bed comes with a factory spray-on bedliner and an adjustable tie-down system. The prominent Suzuki badge on the honeycomb three-bar grille distinguishes the Equator.
Chrome door handles on RMZ-4
Tow hitch optional on all trims
16-inch alloy wheels on RMZ-4
Available 17-inch alloy wheels on other V-6 models
Interior Only those opting for four-wheel drive will get all of the Equator's interior frills. The RMZ-4 package includes chrome trim on the instrument panel, more adjustments in the driver's seat and upgraded seat material. The Sport 4x4 and RMZ-4 get a premium eight-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo system with a subwoofer. All trucks come with bucket seats and a center console. The base audio system, which is standard in two-wheel-drive Equators, doesn't include an auxiliary jack to accommodate MP3 players.
Available hands-free Bluetooth connectivity
Optional Rockford Fosgate Audio System
Sport, RMZ-4 packages have only one 12-volt outlet; others have two
RMZ-4 gets illuminated ignition key cylinder
Under the Hood Engine and transmission configurations include:
152-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder, aluminum block/cylinder head, DOHC, four valves per cylinder with 171 pounds-feet of peak torque
261-hp, 4.0-liter V-6, aluminum block/cylinder head, DOHC, four valves per cylinder with 281 pounds-feet of peak torque
Five-speed manual available only in base extended cab 4x2 with inline-four engine
Five-speed automatic standard in all other inline-four and all V-6 models
Electronically controlled part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case
Safety Suzuki also takes advantage of Nissan electronic controls, such as active limited-slip traction control, electronic stability system, hill descent control and hill start assist. Hill descent control helps maintain a slow, steady speed down steep hills so the driver can concentrate on steering. Hill start assist helps keep the truck from rolling back on a steep hill when the driver moves from the brake pedal to the gas pedal.