Suzuki sells a pickup truck in the United States. Who knew? One of the best-kept secrets in the auto industry, the Equator is based on Nissan’s Frontier and built at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., with a different grille, colors and badging.
Both extended cabs and crew cabs are available. Equators are offered in several different trim levels, including base, Comfort, Premium, Sport, RMZ-4, and RMZ-4 Sport. The RMZ-4 Sport is the top of the line, with a bed extender, moonroof, Rockford-Fosgate sound system, Bluetooth, plus Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control.
The Equator offers a choice of a 2.5-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine with 152 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque, or an optional 4.0-liter V-6 DOHC engine rated 261 horsepower with 281 lb.-ft. of torque. The base-level Equator extended cab comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, and a five-speed manual transmission.
The Equator comes equipped with either a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission (available only on four-cylinder models), and offers an available shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system that features an electronically controlled part-time two-speed transfer case. For enhanced off-road capability, the Equator 4×4 offers comprehensive off-road hardware including Bilstein Performance Shocks, electronic locking rear differential, four-wheel active limited slip traction control, Vehicle Dynamic Control (DVC), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Hold Control (HHC). For trailerists, the V-6 is the way to go, as the four-cylinder has much less power, but not much better fuel economy and four-banger models don’t offer stability control, even as an option. For the 4×2 V-6 trim, the maximum tow rating is 6,500 pounds.
On the inside, the Sport upgrade adds a 380-watt Rockford-Fosgate AM/FM/6-CD/XM Satellite Radio with eight high-performance speakers plus subwoofer, an auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth capability. Bluetooth and audio controls are located on the steering wheel so drivers can keep their eyes on the road or trail. Suzuki also offers bed extenders with spray-in bedliners, tie-downs and adjustable tracks, for transporting loads. Suzuki’s powertrain warranty is for 100,000 miles or seven years.
For more information, visit www.suzukiauto.com.
This article originally published in the March 2011 Trailer Life email newsletter.