By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
Over the years, the Suzuki Equator has gone up in price but not so much in popularity. While the truck is a spiritual twin to the Nissan Frontier, the Suzuki name badge and the lack of widespread recognition of the company even having automotive products have not done the Equator any favors. Although this may be the case, the 2012 Suzuki Equator is still an aesthetically altered Frontier, which makes it decent competition for others in its class, including the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. The Equator is also backed by one of the best warranties in the business and, while that might not mean a lot to some buyers, it does offer peace of mind.
Those in the market for a truck to haul their toys can find a lot of bang for their buck in the Suzuki Equator as it shares its platform with the much-lauded Nissan Frontier but at a lower price point and it comes with Suzuki's transferable 7-year/100,000-mile warranty.
While the 2012 Suzuki Equator is a good truck to consider, another big consideration is the general shortage of Suzuki dealerships in many areas. The warranty may be one of the best on the market, but those needing immediate warranty attention might be stuck with an out-of-pocket expense due to the scarcity of Suzuki dealers.
Not much has changed for the 2012 model year as the Equator has three new colors, larger headrests and the RMZ trim level is no longer available with navigation.
Driving Impressions The 2012 Suzuki Equator is a truck pretty much like any other in its class. Buyers can expect an extremely stiff chassis structure that's amazingly capable, but also rather heavy...for its size segment. The suspension, brakes and steering get the job done with little to disappoint, but we prefer the driving attributes of the RMZ-4 off-road version to those of the base RWD models. Compared to other trucks in its class, the Equator has a more solid feel than the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado, so those looking for a rough and rugged truck to haul their other two- and four-wheeled toys can put the Equator towards the top of their shopping lists.
The RMZ moniker is taken from Suzuki's motorcycle line in an attempt to garner some interest from the motocross crowd with the addition of a "4" to indicate the 4WD capability. And capable it is, as the skid plates, Bilstein shocks, locking differential and off-road tires make driving in the dirt and other off-road terrain an easy task.
ADJUSTABLE TIE-DOWN SYSTEM
The adjustable tie-down system employs five special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed and removable utility cleats that slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attachment points for securing cargo.
The 2012 Suzuki Equator's interior is simple, but effective. The dash layout is quite basic, with buttons and knobs that are easily operated, even with gloved hands. Cabin space is generous in both the Extended and Crew Cab versions, which should suit a variety of passengers of all shapes and sizes and, while leather interior is not offered, the cloth interior is soft and comes in your favorite color – just as long as it's black.Exterior
The Suzuki Equator has not changed much since its introduction in 2009. It looks almost identical to the Frontier from the side view, but the front and rear are genuine Suzuki, with a large front grille, prominent fenders and husky bumpers. That said, there's nothing significantly new here – only the basic, honest representation you want from a work or play truck. In its aggressive 4X4 RMZ-4 version this is a perfectly reasonable vehicle for your off-road pursuits.
Both 2012 Suzuki Equator Extended Cab and Crew Cab models feature flip-up rear seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat and removable storage boxes located beneath the rear seats. Beyond that, the base Extended Cab is appropriately spartan. Opt for the Premium, Sport or RMZ-4 packages and power mirrors, door locks, and windows, air conditioning and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system are all standard. The Crew Cab is better equipped, but its base MSRP is several thousand dollars higher. Standard safety equipment in both version is comprehensive, with ABS braking, tire-pressure monitoring system and both front-seat side-impact airbags and curtain airbags for front and rear outboard passengers.
Most options are tied to the trim levels: Premium, Sport and RMZ-4. Opt for the RMZ-4 with Sport upgrades and you'll enjoy the benefits of Vehicle Dynamic Control, Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control. Inside, the Sport package on the RMZ-4 adds a 380-watt 8-speaker high-performance Rockford Fosgate audio with subwoofer, an auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth capacity. And, while there's little or no aftermarket support specific to the Equator, there is a plentiful number of aftermarket options for the Frontier and many, if not most, of those items should fit.
The 2012 Suzuki Equator is available with two engine choices: A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and a 4.0-liter V6. The 2.5 liter offers only a 2-mpg increase over the V6, which isn't much in the way of fuel savings, particularly since the V6 offers much greater performance. The 4.0 liter, on the other hand, is smooth and responsive and delivers the capability to tow over 6,000 pounds.
152 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
171 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/23 mpg (manual), 17/22 mpg (automatic)
261 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
281 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 mpg (2WD), 15/19 mpg (4WD)
By chucky on Monday, February 02, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Was very fun to drive especially off road"
Cons: "Horrible fuel drinker, off road acted out"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Great truck was a good deal. The fuel economy is horrible drinks fuel like a v10 but has some torque and power."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Turbo on Saturday, August 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "On Off Road, comfortable, reliable, versatile"
Cons: "not so great gas mileage, no option for leather"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Comfortable, but not fancy. Excellent performance at the cost of fuel economy. Which would be my only complaint, gas mileage should NOT be your first concern if buying this truck. Although it improved quite a bit since new, it still only gets appx. 18 mpg overall IIRC. Very versatile hauling and towing capabilities. I love this truck after almost 2 years of ownership."
12 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By Foxster68 on Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Suzuki RMZ-4 equals Nissan Pro-4X enough said."
Cons: "No 6-speed, leather, or sunroof option!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I Purchased this truck new in the RMZ-4 trim which included a V-6 and 5 speed automatic. I had to take it on a trip immediatley, so it's just over 3 weeks old and I have 2,200 miles on it. I am suprized at the over all quietness in the cabin, a reflection of the quality build. The overall mileage average was 19 mpg. for the entire trip, which was mostly interstate. The engine has plenty of get-up-and-go. The view from the cabin is perfect, neither to high nor to low. The ride quality was excellent. I would recommend this vehicle before their gone, It's a Nissan Frontier for heavens sake...a wolf in sheeps clothing. Suzuki is offering great incentives, mine was $5000.00 off sticker."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Mike O on Thursday, March 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, love to drive, power of motor"
Cons: "Interior a little plain, gas mileage is so so"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this truck in November and so far I have no complaints. My favorite part about the truck has to be the motor. It has a lot of get up and go. I used to have a Sport Trac and don't quite have all of the interior features I had with that, but am thrilled with the power, it's ease of driving in winter conditions and am looking forward to the large towing capacity this summer."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By John on Thursday, November 01, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this truck new off the lot. Have been looking for a mid size pick up. I previously owned a Chevy Colorado Z71 Crew Cab inline 5, great on gas, but no 4wd or posi, just plain old limited slip (no good). I paid 19,000 used for that one and well i thought it was time to get a new one since i've driven it for 5 years plus my son was getting his license so decided to give him that one. I searched for many Mid size trucks. Noticed that alot of people had the Toyota Tacom, Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, but no Suzuki. I looked it up on pickuptrucks.com and found it for 26,800, Crew Cab, RMZ4, 4wd, locking rear diff (it is a DANA axle also comes in the Nissan Frontier Pro-4x), Blisten Shocks, Came with Garmin GPS(removable, but hard to find them with it), 10year warranty(no other manufacture gives that much), Sweet bf goodwrich allterrain tires, lacks on fuel economy but hey if you have the money to buy it then it wont bother you! Now tell me are you going to go to chevy and buy a colorado for 29,000, 4wd, no locking rear diff, no 5 star crash test, no 10 year warranty??? I would chose the equator over any other company. The motor is AMERICAN but the transmission is Japenes. Shifts good, has plenty of storage, easy to clean interior. Test drive it. Oh yeah i drove it in a 2ft deep pond with thick mud/clay didnt get stuck at all. My buddy with a Suzki Samurai started spinning tires! With bigger size tires. and my other buddy with a chevy colorado that was 4wd had got it stuck. So go SUZUKI!"
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "get up and go leaves all other trucks behine"
Cons: "see notes"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"great gas mileage, powerful get up and go, comfortable ride needs turning lights on mirrows, larger back up light on cab, close up side mirrows, radio volume control on wheel, full power seats in front,"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful