Should You Buy a Nissan Frontier or a Suzuki Equator?

November 30, 2009
How about neither? When was the last time you picked up a car or truck magazine and saw a compact pickup truck on the cover? The reason for this is that while full size pickup truck sales have grown year over year (Ford F-150, Dodge Ram), sales of compact trucks like the Toyota Tacoma and positively geriatric Ford Ranger have not.

Suzuki offers a badge engineered version of the Nissan Frontier with a different grille and a superior 7 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. So if you are interested in a Frontier and live close enough to a Suzuki dealer do be sure to have a look at their alternative. Neither Nissan nor Suzuki has much badge clout so who cares which one you buy? Not your friends or neighbors, that's for sure.

Although interior materials are sturdy enough to withstand most harsh treatment, the design and quality of plastics easily dates back to the "Friends" era. But if you do insist on buying one of these sorta-compact pickups don't claim it was because you liked one interior better. They are identical.

Available with either a 152 horepower 4 cylinder or 241 horsepower 4.0 liter V6, prices for the Frontier can vary greatly from econo-basic to leather lined 4-door super luxurious. Fuel economy on 4 wheel drive V6 models can be as low as 14 city/19 highway. That sort of blows the whole argument that there is some sort of fuel efficiency gain to be had with a compact pickup truck right out of the water.

But what really is the point of a $30,000 Frontier or Equator (the price for a fully loaded off-road Pro-4x model with leather and moonroof) when you can get a perfectly good full size pickup for the same price? The point is, there really isn't a point.

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