2010 Suzuki Equator Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Capable chassis, potent V6, clever truck bed accessories, generous warranty.
  • Less backseat comfort than competitors, some desirable features only available on top trim level, regular-cab body style not available, limited dealer network.
Other years
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List Price Estimate
$3,566 - $5,125

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 Suzuki Equator is an enticing choice for a midsize pickup, but the relative scarcity of dealers should also be considered.

Vehicle overview

The 2010 Suzuki Equator is one of the more capable and powerful pickups on the market. It's so good, in fact, that we rank it up there with the best midsize trucks on the market. But some explanation on the Suzuki's strong showing is probably in order. Other than some altered styling, the Equator is basically a rebadged version of the Nissan Frontier, which also happens to be a top pick of ours. Open the Suzuki's hood and you'll actually find traces of Nissan labeling.

So why would anyone buy the Suzuki instead of the Nissan? Glad you asked. In terms of exterior styling, the Suzuki Equator has a more traditional truck look to it, and some of us find it more appealing than the Frontier's more chunky and angular style. Then there's the Suzuki's drivetrain warranty that spans seven years or 100,000 miles -- compare that to the Nissan's five-year/60,000-mile warranty. However, it's also important to note that all warranty work must be performed at Suzuki dealers, which are pretty scarce compared to Nissan's dealer network.

Purchasing an Equator will naturally give you all of the advantages and drawbacks that come with the Nissan Frontier. In the plus column, the 2010 Suzuki Equator can count on a strong optional V6 engine, a manageable size, relatively nimble handling, respectable off-road performance and sturdy construction. On the downside, though, the Suzuki has the same cramped crew cab rear quarters and lack of a standard cab model that the Nissan does.

For 2010, Suzuki has sweetened the deal, but only slightly. A removable Garmin navigation unit is available on RMZ models and stability control is now standard for all V6-powered Equators. These improvements aren't huge, but given how highly we rank the Equator, they're welcome additions, nonetheless. In terms of competition, the Toyota Tacoma is the only other truck you'll likely want to look at; it has a bigger cabin with nicer materials, though it comes at the expense of some drivability. All things considered, though, Suzuki's Equator should suit midsize truck buyers quite nicely.

2010 Suzuki Equator models

The 2010 Suzuki Equator is a midsize pickup truck that 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 Sport and RMZ trims. The Sport comes with either a 5-foot or 6-foot bed, while the RMZ has the short bed only. All trims are rear-wheel drive except the Sport (which can be either rear- or four-wheel drive) and RMZs, which are 4WD only.

The entry-level base Equator features 15-inch steel wheels and bucket seats with a console, but little else. Buyers who desire air-conditioning will have to spring for the Comfort trim, which also includes 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 spray-in bedliner and movable tie-down cleats in the bed.

The RMZ adds chrome exterior trim, heavy-duty axles, an electric locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, hill descent and hold control, 16-inch alloy wheels, off-road-oriented tires, foglamps, unique upholstery, height and lumbar adjustments for the driver seat and metallic cabin accents. A removable Garmin navigation system is optional on the RMZ crew cab.

2010 Highlights

As the Suzuki Equator enters its second year of production, changes are light for 2010. A removable Garmin navigation unit is available on RMZ models and stability control is now standard for V6 models.

Performance & mpg

The 2010 Suzuki Equator comes with a choice of two engines -- a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, or a 4.0-liter V6 that makes 261 hp and 281 lb-ft. The V6 is the only engine available 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 Equator 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.

In a recent test of a V6-powered Sport model, the Equator accelerated from zero to 60 mph in only 8.0 seconds -- a time that we're more accustomed to seeing out of a more powerful V8-powered pickup.

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 standard on V6-powered Equators.

In government crash testing, the Equator crew cab received four stars (out of five) in frontal tests for both driver and passenger and five stars for side impact protection. The extended cab garnered four stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and five stars for frontal-impact passenger protection and driver protection in side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest score of "Good" for frontal-offset testing.

Driving

The 2010 Suzuki Equator four-cylinder model makes for a good choice as an inexpensive light-duty work truck, especially considering its higher fuel efficiency. However, for those who plan on using the truck for more than just basic transportation, 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 heavy but precise, with ample feedback, and ride quality is unexpectedly pleasant for a pickup truck (although the RMZ'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 model is definitely the pick of the litter. For the vast majority of truck owners who keep to the pavement, the Sport model will be a wiser choice, with its quieter tires and more compliant suspension.

Interior

The 2010 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 still 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/midsize 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Suzuki Equator.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I love my new Equator!
Chris Thomas,08/27/2010
I never thought I would ever own a truck other than a Toyota but after 20+ years here I am, the very happy and satisfied owner of a Suzuki Equator. I did serious research on this purchase as it was my first new vehicle purchase and it came down to the Equator and the Tacoma. Toyota did not seem to care if they sold the Tacoma to me, no incentives and the frame design is really sad compared to my old Toyota. So I went with the Equator which is rugged, durable, high quality, and well thought out and executed. Course I have only had it a few months and any new vehicle is a good thing. Still, I am really happy with this truck which sees lots of hunting trip use. Well done, Suzuki!
Great Value - Hard Find
Tim D,05/28/2010
I searched locally, state-wide, and the internet. Finally, I found a dealer that would actually work for me to find the vehicle I wanted 250 miles away! Sales guy, was the best. I needed an extended-cab that was 4WD. Just not that into a 4-door pickup truck. The truck almost rides like a car. 17" wheels give you that extra height to get a good look down the road and the noise is low. Plenty of reserve power, CD player sounds phenomenal, cruise control is at your right hand thumb on the steering wheel and braking is smooth. The seats are comfortable. Holds the corners very well. Love the spray-on bed-liner and the tie-down rail system. A Nissan with a Suzuki warranty. Love it!
Great little/big truck
douglas98012,07/25/2010
I just bought this truck and love it. Comparable to any truck in this category, except way better price and warranty. I am looking forward to putting this truck through its paces and to see how it will hold up. Will update in a year after i use it and abuse it the way a truck is supposed to be treated.
So Far So Good
So far so good,08/19/2010
Great little truck. No problems and paid much less that I thought. I guess I need to do this again in a year or two.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2010 Suzuki Equator features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Suzuki Equator

Used 2010 Suzuki Equator Overview

The Used 2010 Suzuki Equator is offered in the following submodels: Equator Crew Cab, Equator Extended Cab. Available styles include Sport 4dr Crew Cab 5 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Crew Cab 6 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Extended Cab 6 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Premium 4dr Extended Cab 6 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A), RMZ-4 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), RMZ-4 Sport 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Comfort 4dr Extended Cab 6 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), and 4dr Extended Cab 6 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Suzuki Equator?

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Which used 2010 Suzuki Equators are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Suzuki Equator for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Suzuki Equator.

Can't find a used 2010 Suzuki Equators you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Suzuki Equator for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $20,442.

Find a used Suzuki for sale - 2 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $17,311.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki Equator for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $11,304.

Find a used certified pre-owned Suzuki for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,427.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 Suzuki Equator?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Suzuki lease specials
Check out Suzuki Equator lease specials