2010 Suzuki EquatorEnlarge Photo
Spanning several motive worlds is Suzuki's Equator mid-size pickup. Available as a quad-cab with six-foot bed and four-wheel drive, it's an all-purpose work or recreation vehicle. And with its sturdy cargo holding hardware, it's, as Suzuki's David Boldt claims, geared toward outdoor motorsports enthusiasts. Especially those who play all day and travel at night; bed lighting is excellent.
It's a versatile truck that's narrower than a full-size rig, an attractive proposition in urban neighborhoods or on trails. The long-wheelbase model I drove, however, required a large turning radius.
As trucks go, the Nissan Frontier-based Equator has responsive handling, easy-to-use drive modes (two-wheel, four-wheel and four-wheel low) and a frisky if occasionally coarse 261-hp, V6 go train. A responsive five-speed automatic transmission is standard. Wind rush and a rubbery ride are about par for its class. A rattling sun-visor extender proved annoying. Front seating is adult rated. In back, it's kid's territory; knee room is tight.
Irritants include hard interior plastics, itsy bitsy control buttons and a spongy brake pedal. In contrast, the hand brake is handy--perfect for a stick-shift.
Instrumentation has a European flair with smaller gauges built into the arc of larger ones. Fuel economy: expect 15 mpg overall. The EPA numbers: 14 city and 19 highway. Pricing should be competitive: about $27,000. Given the Equator's reasonable balance of on and off road abilities, it's got a world of possibilities.
Get an in-depth review at TheCarConnection's 2010 Suzuki Equator page