Suzuki hoped that a mid-size pickup would appeal to its wide base of motorcycle, ATV, and marine customers, but the Equator has barely registered a blip on the sales charts since its debut for the 2009 model year. Still, without the resources to conceive and create a truck of its own, Suzuki picked a solid donor in the Nissan Frontier. Like the Frontier, the Equator is built in Tennessee and offers a choice of four- and six-cylinder dual-overhead-cam engines, but the Suzuki's are covered by a longer factory warranty (seven years/100,000 miles). Unfortunately, our favorite Frontier powertrain -- the V-6 with a six-speed manual gearbox -- isn't available in the Equator. In fact, the only stick shift is a five-speed bolted to the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, an engine offered exclusively in extended-cab models -- which, by the way, feature old-school flip-up jump seats that are best suited for people built like (and with the dexterity of) female gymnasts. Equator crew cabs come with practical back seats and the powerful V-6, and optional features include heated leather front seats, a sunroof, and a roof rack. Japanese-badged versions of American-branded or -built pickups haven't fared all that well in recent years (think Isuzu i290/i370 and Mitsubishi Raider), and so far it appears that very few of Suzuki's loyal power-sports customers have taken the plunge on a new Equator. With the recent demise of the Ram Dakota and the Ford Ranger, however, the Equator might get a new lease on life.
Drive: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim levels: Equator, Premium, Sport V-6, RMZ
Body style: Pickup, 4- or 5-passenger
Engines: 2.5L I-4, 152 hp, 171 lb-ft
4.0L V-6, 261 hp, 281 lb-ft
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
passenger volume: (extended cab/crew cab)
87.7/101.1 cu ft
Capacities: Towing 3500-6300 lb;
payload 883-1471 lb
Stability control is now standard on all Equators instead of only on V-6 models. Three new exterior colors have been added: a brighter blue, a brighter silver, and a new shade of red that's paired with a new graphite interior trim. Headrests are now larger, too, and navigation is no longer available on the Equator RMZ.
Dual-stage front, front side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and tire-pressure monitors are standard. All Equators now feature traction and stability control (that wasn't the case on 2011 four-cylinder models).
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 14-19 mpg city/19-23 mpg highway
- Based on the Nissan Frontier
- Better warranty than
- Lots of configurations
You Won't Like
- 4WD models are pricey
- A basic truck
A pickup truck for your Suzuki toys.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Colorado
- GMC Canyon
- Honda Ridgeline
- Nissan Frontier