Since its introduction in 2009, the Suzuki Equator has served the varied needs of Suzuki's motorcycle, ATV and outboard motor owners, many of whom were happy to find a reliable pickup truck from a familiar source. Available in both Extended Cab and Crew Cab body styles, in addition to rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive (4WD), and Short Bed and Long Bed configurations, the Equator has also found favor with activity-oriented consumers.
Exterior changes in 2012 are limited to color enhancements with the Equator now offering Bay Blue Metallic, Silver Alloy Metallic and Adobe Red Metallic, which is paired with a new graphite-colored interior treatment. Inside, the Equator gets larger headrests and all Equators now offer Electronic Stability Control (ESC) standard, a feature that was previously only available in V6 models. Finally, the top-tier RMZ model no longer offers optional navigation.
As with all retail 2012 Suzuki automobiles and light trucks, the Equator is backed by America's #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.
Heft and Hardware
Built at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., the 2012 Equator offers a choice of either a 2.5-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine with 152 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque or an available 4.0-liter, V6 DOHC engine producing an unsurpassed 261 horsepower with 281 lb.-ft. of torque. Designed for outstanding performance and durability, the Equator's V6 engine features an aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners, Teflon(R)1-coated pistons, micro-finished forged steel crankshaft, micro-finished camshafts driven by a silent two-stage timing chain and variable valve timing.
The Equator comes equipped with either a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission (available only on four-cylinder models) and offers an available shift-on-the-fly 4WD system that features an electronically controlled part-time two-speed transfer case. For enhanced off-road capability, the rugged Equator 4x4 offers comprehensive off-road hardware, including Bilstein Performance Shocks, electronic locking rear differential, four-wheel active limited slip traction control, Vehicle Dynamic Control (DVC), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Hold Control (HHC). In addition, all 2012 Equator models now come standard with Electronic Stability Control, previously standard on V6 models only.
Full-Size Capability Without Full-Size Footprint
The Equator's right-sized packaging suits both the work and recreational needs of many pickup truck customers. Though somewhat smaller than a full-size truck, the Equator is built with big-truck toughness and capability. The strong, fully-boxed frame uses a design completely appropriate to the full-size segment - and full-size needs. It is largely constructed of high-tensile strength steel, which is both stronger and lighter than conventional steel.
The Extended Cab and Crew Cab (standard bed) Equator offers a 125.9-inch wheelbase that provides outstanding driving stability and comfort, while its overall length of 206.6 inches provides the perfect balance of utility, maneuverability and composure. Its all-steel double-wishbone front suspension balances rugged capability with everyday driving comfort. In the rear, a solid axle configuration uses leaf springs with anti-windup bars and long suspension travel for a proven combination of on- and off-road capability and cargo capacity. Moreover, the go-anywhere Equator has all the qualifications to expand a customer's weekend adventures with a maximum towing capacity of up to 6,300 pounds (V6 Extended Cab 4WD Sport Package and Crew Cab 2WD) to haul Suzuki motorcycles, ATVs and/or a boat with a sophisticated four-stroke Suzuki outboard motor of up to 300 horsepower.
Additional Equator chassis features include engine-speed sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering for responsiveness and good on-center feel and standard four-wheel disc brakes with an anti-lock braking system and electronic brake-force distribution for optimal stopping performance in all conditions. Equator also features a variety of available wheel and tire packages, including 16-inch off-road-style wheels with beefy BFGoodrich Rugged Trail P265/75R16 tires and 17-inch wheels with BFGoodrich Long Trail P265/65R17 tires.
Tough, But Easy On The Eyes
For 2012, the Equator's exterior changes are limited to color enhancements, including Bay Blue Metallic, Silver Alloy Metallic and Adobe Red Metallic, which are paired with a new graphite-colored interior treatment.
The contemporary exterior design of the Equator features a number of signature Suzuki elements, including the prominent hood, front fenders, grille, bumpers, front fascia and tailgate. A large Suzuki "S" over the honeycomb mesh grille proudly conveys Suzuki's dynamic spirit and off-road history.
Both standard bed and long bed Equator Crew Cab models are equipped with a standard high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and an optional innovative adjustable tie-down system using built in tracks, extending cargo hauling versatility for active and spontaneous lifestyles. The tie-down system employs five special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel). Removable utility cleats slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attachment points for securing cargo. A full range of accessories are also available for use with the channel system, along with specialized bed accessories that make securing and transporting a motorcycle or ATV easier than in most competitive trucks.
Cabin For Cruising
Content changes to the 2012 Equator are minimal, including the addition of larger headrests and the deletion of optional navigation in the Equator's RMZ model.
The Equator's interior strikes a balance between pickup truck function and sedan-style comfort, with both Extended Cab and Crew Cab body styles featuring flip-up rear seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat and removable storage boxes tucked beneath the rear seats to provide additional cargo capacity. Additional convenience features include a dual glove box with locking lower compartment and center console storage with power outlet. A number of power points and cupholders, including one-liter bottle storage in the front doors, are standard throughout the cabin. The Premium, Sport and RMZ-4 packages include standard power mirrors, door locks and windows; cruise control and remote keyless entry.
The Equator Crew Cab RMZ-4 with Sport package takes it one step farther with a factory-installed moonroof. An exclusive moto-style bed extender increases cargo room for hauling dirt bikes and other gear, and off-road capability is enhanced with the addition of Vehicle Dynamic Control, Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control. On the inside, the Sport upgrade adds a 380-watt Rockford-Fosgate(R)2 AM/FM/6CD/XM Satellite Radio(R)3 with eight high-performance speakers plus subwoofer, an auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth(R)4 capability. Bluetooth and audio controls are located on the steering wheel so drivers can keep their eyes on the road or trail.
Safety Across The Board
The Equator boasts a comprehensive list of standard safety equipment, including front and rear crumple zones; dual-stage front airbags with seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification sensor; three-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters; and both a tire pressure monitoring system and a standard stability control for all models.
Putting Equator at the head of its class in safety, all Equator models also come equipped with front seat-side-impact airbags and curtain airbags for side impact and rollover protection for front and rear outboard passengers. Additionally, both Extended Cab and Crew Cab models provide three-point seat belts for all rear-seat occupants, including the center position for the Crew Cab. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child seat anchor system is provided in the rear seat of the Crew Cab model.
2012 Equator Trim Levels and Packages
Pickup truck buyers traditionally demand a wide array of vehicle configurations and powertrain/driveline choices to meet their multi-tasking needs. Equator Extended Cab models are available with a four-cylinder engine and 2WD in Base and Premium trim lines, with the Base offering a choice between a five-speed manual transmission and a Premium five-speed automatic, plus additional amenities. The Premium trim line combines the 4.0-liter V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission and 4WD and adds a number of additional features.
The Equator Crew Cab offers two trim levels, all powered by the V6 with five-speed automatic transmission. The Crew Cab Sport model offers the choice of 2WD or 4WD. For off-road enthusiasts with a "confident explorer" attitude and appetite, Suzuki offers an RMZ-4 take on the Equator. A name synonymous with Suzuki's class-leading motocross bikes, the RMZ-4 production model comes ready to kick sand or get muddy. It's fully equipped with Dana 44 axles, electric rear locking differential, Bilstein high-performance shocks, skid plates and BFGoodrich Rugged Trail P265/75R16 tires.
Fog lamps, chrome mirrors and door handles and a bed extender to accommodate motorcycles enhance the outside, while unique RMZ-4 seat material with red stitching, chrome instrument cluster bezel and vent trim, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel further enhance the interior. The numerous champions who have ridden Suzuki's motorcycles to victory would be proud, and Equator's owners will be too.
Technical Specifications - 2012 Suzuki Equator
Wheelbase: 125.9 inches (short bed); 139.9 (long bed)
Overall Length: 206.6 inches (short bed); 220.1 (long bed)
Overall Width: 72.8 inches
Engine: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine;
4.0-liter, V6, 24-valve DOHC engine
Horsepower: 152 hp @ 5,200 rpm; 261 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 171 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm; 281 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission, Manual: 5-speed manual
Transmission, Automatic: 5-speed automatic
Brakes: Front ventilated disc brakes and rear ventilated disc brakes; Electronic Brake Force Distribution
EPA Fuel Economy Estimates: 4-cylinder 2WD: MT 19/23; AT 17/22
V6 2WD: AT 15/20; V6 4WD: AT 15/20
1Teflon is a registered trademark of DuPont.
2 Rockford Fosgate is a registered trademark of Rockford Fosgate.
3XM Satellite Radio is a registered trademark of XM Satellite Radio, Inc.
4Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.
The Brea, Calif.-based Automotive Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corporation was founded in 1963 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and currently markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of approximately 250 automotive dealerships and numerous other motorcycle, ATV and marine distributors in 47 states. With global headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, SMC is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle and outboard motor manufacturer. In 2010, SMC sold more than two and a half million new cars and trucks and more than three million motorcycles and ATVs. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has operations in 193 countries and regions. For more information, visit www.media.suzukiauto.com. Suzuki can also be found on Twitter (@SuzukiAuto), Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SuzukiAuto) and YouTube (www.YouTube.com/SuzukiAutomotive).