Safety » 7
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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
Good," frontal offset impact; no test, side impact
Four stars, frontal driver impact; four stars, frontal passenger impact
The safety picture for the 2010 Equator isn't great, with a mix of crash-test ratings and some models lacking crucial safety features.
In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal offset crash testing, the Suzuki Equator earns a top "good" rating. The IIHS has not yet tested an Equator for side impact protection, but it gives the Equator its worst rating, "poor," for rear crash protection. The Suzuki Equator earns decent ratings from NHTSA, receiving a mix of four- and five-star ratings for frontal protection in the Extended Cab model but four-star ratings for Crew Cab models. Rollover ratings aren't quite as impressive, with only three stars for both 2WD models.
Side airbags and supplemental curtain bags are standard, as now required by the feds, but the lack of electronic stability control on the four-cylinder model is a sore point. Autoblog notes that "limited-slip traction control, Vehicle Dynamic Control, Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control" are all available as options.
The editors of TheCarConnection.com point out that electronic stability control, a safety feature that's even more of a must-have on pickups, is not at all available with the four-cylinder engine. Another feature included with only the upgraded trim levels is "hill ascent/descent control" on the RMZ-4, according to ConsumerGuide.
One area where the Suzuki Equator outshines some other pickups is driver visibility. ConsumerGuide reports that although the "wide-base windshield pillars can hinder visibility to the front corners, the view is fine to the rear corners and directly aft." Without any kind of optional rearview camera or parking assist, that's fortunate.
Especially safety-minded pickup shoppers should probably look elsewhere than the 2010 Suzuki Equator, though it covers the basics and offers some off-road extras.