Hot, hot Equator

There’s a new player in the light truck market.

There’s a new player in the light truck market. Suzuki has expanded their lineup, not only adding compact cars and mid size SUV’s, but now also have a mid-size truck in their portfolio. They call it the Equator.

Suzuki has built trucks before. Their first truck was the Suzulight Carry in 1961. We didn’t see it here. Compared to other manufacturers, Suzuki is a relative newcomer to Canada, with Suzuki Canada Inc., founded in 1979 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation. To build a truck for North America, Suzuki has partnered with Nissan and will utilize Nissan’s next generation Frontier platform for their first venture into the mid-size truck market.

According to Seiichi Maruyama, president of Suzuki Canada, “Pickup buyers in Canada are a particularly good fit for Suzuki since, statistically speaking, they’re more likely to participate in lifestyle-oriented activities.”

While U.S. buyers get the option of extended cab or crew cab, four cylinder or V6, manual or automatic transmission, the Equator in Canada is only available with the more versatile and popular crew cab configuration with V6 and automatic transmission. With 261 horsepower, the 4.0 litre V6 engine with a five speed automatic transmission provides ample power. Fuel economy is rated at 14.4 L/100 km in the city and 10.4 L/100 km on the highway, which is excellent for a vehicle with 281 ft lbs of torque and a towing capacity of 2767 kg.

For some serious off-road adventures, shift the standard two-speed transfer case into low range and let that four wheel drive system do the work. Stability control, traction control and ABS will help the driver both on and off road. A spray-in bedliner comes as standard equipment on every Equator and this tough low-slip surface will keep the interior of the box looking good no matter what you are hauling.

Inside, the Equator offers air conditioning, power windows and locks, keyless entry, cruise control, tilt steering, 60/40 split folding rear seats with underseat storage and security net over the storage area, rear window defroster and heated outside mirrors.

The interior looks attractive and access is very good, with the rear doors opening a full 90 degrees.

Mid-size trucks are gaining popularity for their fuel economy and economical pricing.

There are limited choices in the mid-size truck market and Suzuki may be introducing the right vehicle at the right time. Recent Suzuki vehicles have been of excellent quality and the Equator’s five year/100,000 km powertrain warranty will build confidence in the product. Capable of hauling passengers and cargo, towing a trailer or just playing around in the countryside, the Equator looks ready to go.

2009 Suzuki Equator
Type: 4WD mid-size pickup truck
Price: from $33,795
Engine: 4.0 litre DOHC V6
HP: 261 at 5600 rpm
Torque: 281 lb.ft. at 4000 rpm

• Stability control
• Spray-on bed liner
• Rear window defroster
• Air conditioning

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