Flash Drive: 2009 Suzuki Equator
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2012.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Suzuki Equator pickup truck has a truly enormous turning circle that really limited the everyday usability of this vehicle for me. The huge radius required for any turn made it much harder to park in an urban setting, or to maneuver along narrow paths. Agility aside, the Equator is a fine truck. There's plenty of room for four adults (and their legs) in the King Cab version; the suspension has a lot of travel but doesn't feel "floaty"; and the engine provides adequate acceleration. If you don't need to drive in tight places, the Suzuki version of this light-duty truck is definitely worth considering. – Paul Hagger
I know that the new Equator is basically a Nissan Frontier underneath, but Suzuki has done a nice job with the styling so that it doesn't just look like a rebadged version of someone else's truck. Our tester was the Crew Cab 4WD, which provides plenty of rear-passenger room and comfortable front seats. The ride is surprisingly smooth for a pickup truck, and power from the 4.0-liter V6 engine is plentiful — this truck can really move fast off the line. Unfortunately, the Equator is difficult to maneuver due to the slow steering and very wide turning radius. This became a hindrance in everyday driving, but especially when trying to park. – Perry Stern
Suzuki's first midsize truck, the Equator, is based on the Nissan Frontier. To make it a Suzuki, the automaker restyled the front sheet metal and added a large grille with the Suzuki "S" logo for a distinctive appearance. Inside, it is virtually identical to the Frontier, except for the S in the center of the steering wheel. The Equator includes removable storage bins with net covers under rear seats that fold up easily to create additional cargo capacity when needed. The 4.0-liter V6 delivers good power, and the transmission shifts quickly but smoothly for good overall drivability. The steering is direct and responsive, but the turning radius is wide and requires a little planning. The Crew Cab offers room to seat four adults comfortably and five occasionally, with easy access through four full-size doors. – Mike Meredith
The new Suzuki Equator is the company's first foray into the truck market. It is based on the Nissan Frontier, but Suzuki did a nice job updating the exterior styling by adding a bold new grille. I had the opportunity to drive the Equator in the snow, and it had great traction and confident handling on the ice as well. The truck bed also had an integrated rail system to tie down cargo. Towing capacity is a healthy 6,500 pounds, which is more than enough for most tasks. However, the brake pedal felt mushy and required more effort to get the truck slowed down. The Crew Cab turning radius is large, but that is to be expected. Inside the truck, the fit and finish were nice, and all the controls were easy to use and understand. However, headroom felt tight in rear cab. – Joe Chulick