2009 Suzuki Equator Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Suzuki Equator

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Suzuki Equator Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 152 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Suzuki Equator

  • Boasting all the goodness of its Nissan Frontier twin, the 2009 Suzuki Equator also offers a few additional features, making this dark horse a top pick in the midsize pickup truck derby.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Capable chassis, plenty of ground clearance, superb off-roader, potent V6, pleasant highway ride, roomy interior, clever truck bed accessories.

  • Cons

    Tighter crew-cab backseat than competitors', some desirable features only available on top trim level, regular-cab body style not available.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Suzuki Equator is a new midsize pickup truck. It's based on the Nissan Frontier and offers two cab styles, plus a choice of four- or six-cylinder engines.

Full 2009 Suzuki Equator Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Suzuki Equator is a new midsize pickup truck. It's based on the Nissan Frontier and offers two cab styles, plus a choice of four- or six-cylinder engines.

Introduction

Those in the know and even casual observers will note the all-new 2009 Suzuki Equator looks pretty familiar. That's because the company's first pickup is essentially a rebadged Nissan Frontier. Arguably more handsome than its platform mate (then again, maybe not), the Equator features a few things unavailable on its Nissan cousin, such as standard front side and curtain airbags and a very generous seven-year/100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty.

One may wonder why Suzuki decided to enter the pickup truck game now, of all times. Actually, there are a few good reasons. In the last five years, sales of midsize crew-cab pickups have doubled as folks realize they don't need a truck that can pull a house and seat a basketball team. And Suzuki, being a motorcycle, ATV and boat-engine producer, figured a capable pickup (with a towing capacity of up to 6,500 pounds when properly equipped) was a natural addition to its vehicle lineup.

As the Frontier is one of our favorite trucks, thanks to its strong V6, ideal size, relatively nimble handling and considerable off-road talents, our sentiments for the Suzuki Equator are likewise favorable. The Equator is a very capable workhorse that also happens to be a comfortable daily driver. The few downsides to the Suzuki are, yep, the same as those for its cousin, a tight crew-cab backseat and the complete lack of a regular-cab option.

That latter con is pretty minor, though, given that most small- and midsize-truck buyers get an extended cab or crew cab anyway. Boasting a handful of advantages over its highly regarded progenitor, the 2009 Suzuki Equator is a "badge job" that deserves serious consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Suzuki Equator midsize pickup truck is available in extended- and crew-cab body styles. Extended cabs are available in base, Comfort, Premium and Sport trims, and all come with a 6-foot bed. Crew cabs are available in base, Sport, RMZ-4 and RMZ-4 Sport trims, and all have a 5-foot bed except the Sport trim, which can be had with a 6-footer. All trims are rear-wheel drive except the Sport (which can be either rear- or four-wheel drive) and RMZ-4s, which are 4WD only.

The price-leader base Equator is a stripper, fitted with 15-inch steel wheels and bucket seats with a console but little else, as neither air-conditioning nor a sound system is standard. The Comfort trim adds the A/C and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player. The Premium adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a sliding rear window, a tilt steering wheel, keyless entry, full power accessories and upgraded cloth upholstery. Opting for the Sport gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, a sprayed-in bedliner and movable tie-down cleats in the bed.

The RMZ-4 adds chrome exterior trim, heavy-duty axles, an electric locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, 16-inch alloy wheels with off-road-oriented tires, foglamps, unique upholstery, height and lumbar adjustments for the driver seat and metallic cabin accents. The RMZ-4 Sport adds a sunroof, hill descent and hold control and an upgraded audio system with a CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio prep, Bluetooth connectivity and a subwoofer.

Oddly, an aftermarket-style navigation system is optional on all crew cabs but not available on the extended-cab Equators. Bluetooth is optional only on the RMZ-4 crew cab.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Suzuki Equator comes with a choice of two engines -- a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque) or a 4.0-liter V6 (261 hp and 281 lb-ft). The V6 is the only engine choice for crew cabs and 4WD variants, while the four-cylinder is available only in the lower-trim extended-cab models. The four-cylinder is matched to either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic (standard on the Premium). The V6 is equipped with a five-speed automatic only.

Properly equipped, the Frontier can tow up to 6,500 pounds. Fuel economy estimates range from 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined for the rear-drive, four-cylinder extended cab down to 15/19/16 for a 4WD V6 crew cab.

Safety

Antilock brakes, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on all trims. Traction control is standard on Sport models, while stability control is only available on the top RMZ-4 Sport trim.

In government crash testing, the Equator crew cab received four stars (out of five) in frontal tests for both driver and passenger while the extended cab garnered four and five, respectively. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal offset testing, the Equator scored a rating of "Good," the agency's highest.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2009 Suzuki Equator extended cab utilizes small, reverse-opening doors to allow rear-passenger access to the fold-up jump seats. As expected, accommodations in these are cramped and meant only to be used in a pinch. The crew cab employs conventional rear doors along with a larger rear cabin, but passengers will find less room in back than in the Dodge Dakota or Toyota Tacoma. Otherwise, the cabin is attractively designed, with intuitive controls and comfortable front seats. The various plastics are hard, but so are those found in all compact pickups -- therefore, the Equator isn't great, but it could be worse.

Anyone planning on a fair amount of cargo hauling would be well advised to spring for the Sport trim, which includes the sprayed-in bedliner and movable tie-down system. Using two "C" cross-section channels running the length of the bed floor (one on each side bed rail and one mounted on the rear of the cab), the system employs removable cleats and a host of accessories like dividers, trays, storage bins and bike racks, providing a very flexible cargo storage solution.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Suzuki Equator four-cylinder model makes for a good choice as an inexpensive, light-duty work truck, especially considering the higher fuel efficiency. However, for those who plan on really using the truck for more than "just getting around," the V6 is the only choice.

Providing an abundance of low-end torque, six-cylinder models are up to almost any task, with a competent automatic transmission delivering well-timed shifts whether you're tearing up the sand dunes, hauling supplies to a work site or navigating a morning commute. Steering is precise, with ample feedback, and ride quality is unexpectedly pleasant for a pickup truck (although the RMZ-4's off-road suspension makes that model's ride a little more rough-and-tumble). The 4WD models are capable off-roaders, thanks to a maximum ground clearance of 10 inches and an abundance of suspension travel. For those seeking an even more heavy-duty off-roader, the RMZ-4 Sport model is definitely the pick of the litter.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Go big or stay nissan

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Suzuki Equator Sport 4dr Crew Cab 6 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Good warranty, okay fuel mileage,and a comfortable ride. After buying my truck, I later returned to the dealer, and was unable to order parts,such as a bush guard, mouldings, etc. The Equator appeared to be there pink elephant, opposed to other Suzuki products on hand. The parts department had no answers, however I found every thing I needed at Nissan. When time for servicing the dealer had to back order a oil filter. I reside in British Columbia, and have only seen one or two Equators in passing over the last 6 months. In western Canada, Suzuki needs to go big or leave this truck to Nissan. My truck gets a lot of looks, along with questions. Obviously due to poor advertising.




This truck is not safe

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Suzuki Equator RMZ-4 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

We bought this truck hoping for better fuel mpg & better performance. We loved the truck when we first bought but in Aug 2009 we were on vac. the brakes went all the way to the floor & are very mushy. We are still dealing with this issue & no one wants to help us. The Suzuki rep. states everything is fine but two other certified brake tech states that there is a problem. So we have a truck that we can not drive because it is not safe for our family!!!!!




Great truck for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Suzuki Equator Sport 4dr Crew Cab 6 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Went from a v8 truck (14mpg combined) to a more fuel efficient truck great ride lots of power,very happy with my purchase looked at frontier,this was a much better deal(gps,side airbags step rails about $2800 cheaper than frontier)most important 7yr/100000 powertrain warranty.Has 2800 miles on it averages 21mpg combined will get better once engine breaks in.




Good truck

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Suzuki Equator Sport 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

This vehicle is made by Nissan for Suzuki however, Suzuki offers a better warranty and it comes standard with side curtain airbags. I can't tell you how many people that have stopped to talk to me about my truck. All of them were amazed that Suzuki is offering a pick-up truck. When I show them some of the features it comes with the factory (factory bed-liner, a utili-track tie down system, a Garmin navigation system, bed-extender, and the passenger seat folds down) they are simply impressed with the value. Now, I have driven this vehicle for approximately 5 months with no problems and or issues. The gas mileage I am getting with pure highway driving has been a consistent 22 MPG.




Diamond in the rough

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Suzuki Equator Premium 4dr Extended Cab 6 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

I needed a newer truck with better gas mileage and Suzuki delivered. Suprised to find the price was $2000.00 less than the Nissian Frontier. I have been driving Equator for 3 months / 3000 miles and averageing 20mpg around town. The automatic transmission does take a bit of getting use to, maybe due to the 2.5l engine. I added spray on liner and a trifold cover. Many people surprised Suzuki has a truck and impressed with the look.




In the nyc area nissan

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Suzuki Equator Premium 4dr Extended Cab 6 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

After considering the Frontier first, during the cash for clunkers period, I learned that Suzuki offers the same vehicle with 2.5L engine, I traded a v8 engine 5.0L/4X4. I wanted a engine, cut in half, to improve the mileage (10mpg), instead, the only engine offer in the neighboring area of 8 Nissan dealers was 4.0L. The vehicle's 1st trip was to my getaway cabin in the Catskill area. It took some learning to deal with transmission on long hill climbs, but it handled well, I brought a 1/2" rubber mat, preferred over the spray on mat and hitch attachment to chassis was simple to install with 6 bolts on chassis, all the wiring connection are right there by the bumper area, simple! Great Truck.



Talk About The 2009 Equator

2009 Suzuki Equator Discussions See all Started By

igozoomzoom
igozoomzoom
01-18-2011

xostnot
xostnot
04-30-2009
If you want sales figures, someone at cartalkcanada posts US and Canadian sales breakdowns monthly, right down to the model. The Equator, indeed, is not doing well. Surprise! The SX4 presently is s...



Read more about the 2009 Suzuki Equator

ADVERTISEMENT
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411