The history of the Suzuki Equator midsized pickup truck is a short one with a long future very likely. It's actually based on the concepts presented from the Nissan Frontier - and it is even assembled by Nissan. It was introduced to North America at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show and is available for US consumption as of spring, 2009.
MSRPs start at $17,220 for the Suzuki Equator. It comes to you as either a Crew Cab or an Extended Cab. Extended Cab models have a stock 2.5L 152hp 171 lb-ft I4 engine with an option for a more robust 4.0L 261hp 281 lb-ft V6. Crew Cabs come exclusively with the V6. The engines are both supplied by Nissan as well.
All trims except for the base with the 4-banger come with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The base I4 comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox. On the V6 models, a 5-speed automatic is standard with all wheel drive capabilities offered as an option. The Extended Cab Equators seat 4 adults comfortably while the Crew Cabs seat 5.
Peterson's 4 Wheel and Offroad's 2009 4x4 of the Year chose the Suzuki Equator above the Hummer H3 Alpha, the Hummer H3T Adventure, the Toyota Sequoia Platinum, the Ford F150 and the Dodge Ram 1500. That has to mean something of substance.
As of 2009, the new Suzuki Equator will be manufactured from the plant in Smyrna, Tennessee and will be classified as a 2-door midsized pickup truck. It will be built upon the Nissan F-Alpha platform. Overall dimensions will measure 220.1 x 72.8 x 68.7 inches for the Crew Cab models and 206.6 x 72.8 x 68.7 inches for the Extended Cab models - length, width and height respectively. The wheelbase for all models will measure 125.9 inches.
Especially when equipped with the V6, the Suzuki Equator displays ready and impressive power. It's agile and yields an excellent level of confidence to both drivers and passengers. It features well placed controls and very comfortable front seats as well as an innovative cargo tie-down system. And let's not forget about the impressive extended warranty offered by Suzuki that beats the competition into the dirt.
Since the Suzuki Equator is really just a Nissan Frontier clone, the question of "Why does it even exist?" is begged. Most experts agree that it is simply an attempt to bring over the loyalty demonstrated by owners of Suzuki motorcycles and ATVs to the midsized pickup truck market. Suzuki sells A LOT of these dirt toys and purchasers need a way to haul them around. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when you consider that the Suzuki Equator is actually a very agile and able pickup.
Only time will tell how well the Suzuki Equator will fair against its much more established competition. As foe now, Suzuki CEOs are enjoying their time in the spotlight. And really, why shouldn't they?