Reason Rates Well for Suzuki

For those of us who actually use pickup trucks to haul stuff, the Suzuki Equator 4x4s reasonable size is a breath of fresh air.
Big American pickups have reached an absurdity in immensity.
We recently drove a pristine ‘47 Ford pickup before climbing, and I do mean climbing, into a 2009 F150 for a test drive. The difference in scale was appalling, yet the ’47 has the same load capacity.
The greater size contributes to reduced fuel economy as well as constituting a more serious aerodynamic challenge to reduce the drag of moving so much mass through the air.
Detroit says its pickups reached gargantuan scale to appeal to the macho-ego of pickup buyers. Imports followed the trend, emulating the size craze. But if you load stuff over the bed side or tailgate, and that side is suddenly up to your eyebrows, it’s a lot more work than tossing pitchforks of hay or lifting bags of horse feed half that high, as with classic pickups.
Suzuki shows better judgment in maintaining more practical scale on the Equator, which also performs as an excellent SUV. Its four doors and comfortable interior would do credit to a luxury SUV, with fit and finish to match. The sound and feel of closing the door is as secure, solid and satisfying as that of an Audi or Mercedes.
The short bed on the Equator has an extensive and innovative array of tie-down and cargo securing hardware, thoughtfully and appropriately placed and easily adjustable for an extraordinary range of functional adaptability.
Even more impressive is the power-performance and handling of the Equator.
Our test truck was the RMZ-4 model with a 4-liter V6 that produces 261 horses and an impressive 281 pounds of torque at 4000rpm. The four-wheel drive contributes to better traction and improved control under the most hazardous road conditions. High speed maneuverability is substantial with minimal body sway, a rare characteristic in the truck/SUV realm.
While the Suzuki Equator is based on the Nissan Frontier body, the Suzuki refinements and additions and better warranty make the Suzuki a better bargain all the way around.
In the final analysis, the ultimate test is the combination of signals and feedback through the controls, or the ‘feel at the wheel,’ and here, the Equator excels, drivewise.



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