The Equator arrived for 2009 as Suzuki’s first venture into the midsize 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 tires, unique seat trim with red stitching and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Equator seats up to four (extended cab) or five (crew cab). It competes with the Toyota Tacoma.
The Equator is available as an extended cab or as a crew cab in two- or four-wheel-drive configurations. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. A 4.0-liter V-6 engine is available. All extended cabs have a 6-foot-long cargo bed; the crew cab comes with a 5- or 6-foot bed.
There are no changes for 2013.
The hood, front fenders, grille, bumpers and tailgate are exclusive to Suzuki. The crew cab’s 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. Exterior features include:
- Chrome door handles on RMZ-4
- Tow hitch optional on all trims
- Standard 15-inch steel wheels; 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels available
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. All trucks come with bucket seats and a center console. Interior features include:
- Standard cloth seats
- Available air conditioning
- Available Rockford Fosgate six-CD stereo with a subwoofer, MP3 jack and Bluetooth connectivity
Mechanical features include:
- 152-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with aluminum block/cylinder head, dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder with 171 pounds-feet of torque
- 261-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 with aluminum block/cylinder head, DOHC, four valves per cylinder with 281 pounds-feet of torque
- Four-cylinder teams with five-speed manual or available five-speed automatic transmission
- V-6 works with a five-speed automatic
- Available electronically controlled part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case
- Maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds (four-cylinder) or 6,300 pounds (V-6), when properly equipped
Suzuki takes advantage of Nissan’s electronic brake controls, such as active limited-slip traction control, an 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 to the gas pedal. Other safety features include:
- Standard antilock brakes
- Standard seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Standard side curtain airbags
- Standard active front head restraints