Pickup trucks in the U.S. have gotten bigger over the years. However, with the latest downsizing trend catching on, midsize trucks are likely to regain some footing. Though the choices are minimal in this category, the 2011 Suzuki Equator does a good job of establishing its own identity.
Although the Equator has its own unique style, the truck is somewhat reminiscent of the Nissan Frontier. Both vehicles have a similar interior, with just some badge changes in the Equator. Beneath the hood, however, you’re likely to find some trace of the quintessential Nissan handling.
The 2011 Suzuki Equator is an inexpensive pickup truck, priced around $18,000. The four-cylinder model is apt for light-duty work. The pickups that have the V-6 Nissan-built engine and sufficient low-end torque are, however, worthy of more strenuous tasks, whether it is hauling supplies to a construction site, or navigating morning traffic. In all cases, the competent automatic transmission system delivers a well-timed shift.
None of the spares of the available trims have any reported problems. The tires are heavy-duty and don’t require frequent changing. The engine is trouble-free as well. Some minor repairs and services are required after prolonged runs.
The 2011 Suzuki Equator, as a result, comprises almost all of the pros and cons that are inherent to the Frontier. The vehicle has comparable features to those in the Nissan Frontier with regard to relatively nimble handling, sturdy construction, a manageable size, respectable off-road performance, and an optional V-6 engine.
Suzuki is presently offering a seven-year/100,000 mile power-train warranty. However, the company suffers from a limited number of dealers and service centers. But if there’s a dealership close to your home, the 2011 Suzuki Equator could turn out to be a good choice for you.
Body styles: mid-size pickup truck
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder; 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Suzuki Equator Comfort, Suzuki Equator Premium, Suzuki Equator Sport, Suzuki Equator RMZ-4
For 2011 Suzuki has discontinued RMZ-4 Sport model while also no longer offering the V-6 engine with the rear-wheel-drive extended cab version.
The Premium trim has a rear-wheel-drive in the extended-cab version. Additionally, this version has 16-inch alloy wheels. The RMZ-4 trim only has a short bed. It comprises heavy-duty axles, skid plates, a locking rear differential, 16-inch alloy wheels, and fog lamps.
The Comfort trim has air-conditioning, which is not available in the standard entry-level model of the pickup. The extended-cab version of the Comfort trim is equipped with a six-foot bed. The Suzuki Equator is equipped with a tilt-steering wheel, a sliding rear window, full-power accessories, upgraded cloth upholstery, a keyless entry, metallic interior accents, and a driver seat with lumbar and height adjustment. A bed extender and a detachable navigation system are optional accessories. This is the best trim for those who want to haul cargo frequently; it consists of a sprayed-in bed-liner. There are other accessories like trays, dividers, bike racks, storage bins, etc. that allow for exhaustive cargo space.
Performance & Handling
There are two choices of engines with the 2011 Suzuki Equator: a four-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine that generates 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, and a V-6, four-liter engine that can generate 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. The latter is available only for the four-wheel drive and crew cab variants, while the four-cylinder engine comes only with the extended-cam lower-trim models. The four-cylinder engine allows for either an optional five-speed automatic transmission system (a standard in the Premium model), or a standard five-speed manual transmission system. The V-6 version, however, comes equipped only with the five-speed automatic transmission feature.
The Equator can tow nearly 6300 pounds, while the maximum payload is 1,471 pounds.
Full-length side-curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes, and front-side airbags are standard equipment in all trims. Stability and traction control are standard to the V-6 and Sport models. Descent and hill-hold control is offered in the four-cylinder Sport, the V6-powered RMZ-4, and long-bed models.
While the 2011 Suzuki Equator hasn’t yet been subject to government crash tests as of 2010 ratings, the vehicle received four stars out of a maximum of five in frontal tests for frontal impact and driver protection, and five stars for frontal-impact driver and passenger protection during the side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the highest ?good? score to the vehicle for the frontal-offset test. Although these results aren’t valid for the 2011 Suzuki Equator, they nevertheless act as pointers to what the safety standards of the car could be.
EPA Fuel Economy
Suzuki Equator: 19/23 mpg city/highway
- Formidable V-6 engine option
- Sturdy, capable chassis
- Clever accessories for truck bed
- Good Warranty
You Won't Like
- Backseat is less comfortable than it could be
- Many of the best features are only available on top trim level
- No regular-cab version
The 2011 Suzuki Equator is an appealing mid-size pickup, but the model’s small network of dealerships has the potential to make owning one difficult.
If You Like This Vehicle