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2009 Suzuki Equator Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

By

2009 Suzuki Equator Pickup Truck

2009 Suzuki Equator Pickup Truck

© Dale Wickell

The Bottom Line

Suzuki took a different approach to building its new Equator truck by hiring Nissan to provide a basic Frontier that could be re-branded by altering some of its components. The company didn't set out to rule the truck market, its goal was to offer loyal Suzuki ATV and motorcycle customers a pickup with the same nameplate. Nissan has a good track record for reliability, making the union a good fit. The end result is a dependable truck that is easily identified as a Suzuki and can haul your ATV or dirt bike out to that remote riding area.

Pros

  • Track type cargo tie-down system is standard equipment
  • Reliability of the Nissan Drive Train
  • Removable storage bins under Extended Cab rear seats

Cons

  • Extended Cab rear seats lack leg room

Description

  • Suzuki Equator trucks are offered as Extended Cabs and Crew Cabs
  • Crew Cabs are offered in both 2WD and 4WD, with either a 6-foot bed (both) or a 5-foot bed (2WD)
  • Extended Cabs are only available in 2WD and with a 6 foot bed
  • Crew Cabs are available with a 4.0L V-6 engine and automatic transmission.
  • Extended Cabs are powered by a 2.5L 4-cylinder (automatic or manual transmission) or a 4.0L V-6 (automatic transmission)
  • RMZ-4 Sport has a power sunroof, BFG Rugged Trail tires, skid plates, fog lamps and an adjustable height driver's seat
  • The RMZ-4 Sport also features hill decent control, hill hold control and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
  • Equator's 4WD system has a 2-speed transfer case with an electronic locking rear axle and limited slip traction control
  • Prices begin at $17,995 for the 2WD basic Extended Cab to a high of $31,375 for the top-of-the-line RMZ-4 Sport 4WD Crew Cab

Guide Review - 2009 Suzuki Equator Review

Meet the 2009 Suzuki Equator Truck

If you like the 2009 Nissan Frontier, you'll probably like the 2009 Suzuki Equator. Suzuki wanted to offer a truck for its motorcycle and ATV customers, but knew the market would be somewhat limited. Rather than invest huge amounts of money to build a pickup from scratch, they chose to take a proven product, add some of their own styling and badging, and get it to market quickly with a much lower investment. With the auto market's 2008 and 2009 downturn, the manufacturer must be very happy with that decision.

Suzuki contracted with Nissan to build mid to upper-level Frontier trucks (Suzuki doesn't offer a base model equivalent to the Nissan XE). The company added its own grille, front fenders and hood, as well as a restyled interior reminiscent of its motorcycle theme.

Suzuki Equator Exterior

Equator trucks have large wheel flares with plenty of clearance for the white-letter BFG Long Trail tires. The grille is made up of three black perforated bars surrounded by a wide chrome molding. In the center of the grille is a large chrome S. The body-colored front bumper has a lower center section that's painted gray. A track-type cargo tie down system is standard equipment, and the sprayed-in bedliner helps avoid scuffs when hauling your ATV or motorcycle.

Inside the Suzuki Equator

The Equator truck has cloth covered front bucket seats, and the passenger seat folds flat. The Crew Cab has a 60/40 split rear seat -- its bottom folds up for access to removable storage bins and its back folds down to provide a flat surface for cargo.

The center of the dash houses the truck's radio and heat/AC controls, all pretty basic and easy to handle without taking your eyes off the road. The right side of the dash has two glove boxes for additional storage, and the console has a storage box and two cup holders. The box lid doubles as an armrest.

On the Road in the Equator

My test truck was a 4WD Equator with the 4.0L V-6 and automatic transmission. The engine exhibits decent acceleration when you pull out on the highway, and good torque in off-road driving. Transmission shifts are smooth and the transfer case switches easily from 2WD to 4WD with the turn of a knob.

The Equator's suspension handled rough trails with ease, controlling wheel hop without giving a harsh, jarring ride. There's plenty of wheel travel and ground clearance for getting over rocks and other obstacles. Choose 4WD LO engage the electronic locking rear axle to make the truck climb most any hill, even on loose rocks or dirt. When you get back to paved roads, switch to 2WD and you're ready for a comfortable ride back to town.

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