Quality » 8
Shopping for a new Suzuki Equator?
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
To our eyes the interior doesn't seem cheap, just easy to clean
Equator's truck bed benefits from Nissan's Utili-track bedrail system and spray-on bedliner
Hard plastic abounds on the dashboard, console, door panels, and looks low-buck
The 2011 Suzuki Equator is configured like most trucks, with a choice of an extended cab or a true four-door Crew Cab. It's more spacious than the likes of the Ford Ranger, and it's on par with its biggest competitor, the Toyota Tacoma.
In front, the Equator has good, comfortable, basic seats with simple two-way adjustment on base levels, while expensive trim levels add on lumbar adjustment. There's not much side bolstering, but the cloth upholstery makes for a more grippy seat than the vinyl benches you'd find in a truly basic Ford Ranger.
When it's trimmed out as an Extended Cab, the Equator sports a pair of vestigial rear jump seats that are really suitable only for children or cargo. One adult would max out the available space, even if it were safe to sit across the space behind the front seats.
On the Equator Crew Cab, the rear seat accommodations are much nicer. In this body style, the Equator is reasonably comfortable, with good utility, though the rear bench is fixed in place. Head and leg room are ample enough for six-foot passengers in front and back.
The real reason to buy a pickup, of course, is for the bed. Extended Cab trucks have a standard-issue 73-inch bed that's not quite long enough for the usual truck test device--a 4x8 sheet of plywood. On the Crew Cab Sport 4x4 edition, the bed length is the same. On the 4x2 Sport and the RMZ-4, the bed is just shy of 60 inches long. In either case, Suzuki is betting the truck will meet the driver's needs, since it's hoping to sell Equators to people who already own one of its ATVs, motorcycles or jet skis. That's why the Equator's bed can be trimmed out with aftermarket accessories like a slanted bed-extender tailgate that cradles the rear wheel of a dirt bike in the short-bed, crew-cab truck perfectly. A system of tie-downs and cleats is common with the Nissan Frontier, as is the factory spray-in bedliner found on most Equators.
In all, the Equator meets a demographic target as well as a price target. Interior materials and trims are unremarkable, a bit plasticky but about par for this class. It's not too loud inside for a truck, either.
The 2011 Suzuki Equator offers impressive cargo utility, but those seeking a plush interior should look elsewhere.