in 2011 Compact Pickup Trucks

Avg. Price Paid: $9,950 - $17,055
Original MSRP: $17,595 - $28,950
MPG: 19 City / 23 Hwy

2011 Suzuki Equator Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

For the most part, reviewers like the Suzuki Equator's performance. Like the Nissan Frontier it's based on, the Equator isn't as comfortable or refined as a crossover or SUV, but what drivers sacrifice in refinement they gain in towing, hauling and off-road capabilities.

  • "We drove the two-wheel-drive short-bed V-6 Crew Cab and weren't surprised to find that the Equator not only looks like the Frontier, but drives like it, too." -- Motor Trend
  • "Should you want to venture off road, the Equator 4x4 should be able to handle just about everything short of the Rubicon Trail." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The Equator was quiet and stable on the road with driving dynamics that are quite good for a truck. Though nowhere near as car-like as some competitors, namely the Honda Ridgeline, that truckiness is exactly what Suzuki wanted and the fully boxed frame and rugged suspension deliver on that promise." -- Autoblog
  • "The Equator's V-6 provided nice acceleration, and the truck handled nicely on tight canyon roads." -- Los Angeles Daily News


Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Equator comes with either a 2.5 liter in-line four cylinder engine, or a four-liter V6 engine. Most reviewers commented solely on the V6, saying that the engine is competent, though some add that it's also very noisy. The Equator's fuel economy also leaves something to be desired in the eyes of many reviewers. Equators with the four-cylinder engine and two-wheel drive get an EPA-estimated 19/23 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 17/22 with the automatic. Two-wheel drive equators with the V6 get 15/20 mpg city/highway. A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the four cylinder engine, while the V6 has a standard five-speed automatic.

  • "The V-6 engine has enough torque to throw you back in the seat without having to rev it to the redline. Which is fortunate, because at redline this engine is as sonically gratifying as a Fran Drescher-Gilbert Gottfried rendition of 'I Got You Babe.'" -- New York Times
  • "The Equator's V-6 engine is smooth but hardly capable of providing the urge that V-8 pickup owners enjoy. The electronically controlled transmission is slow to kick down for passing and hill climbing. With a 4000-pound boat trailer in tow, we had no difficulty keeping up with traffic but passing moves had to be carefully timed." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Speaking of gas, oh boy. The paper work says 15/20 mpg. The reality was about 17 mpg in a 40/60 mix of city/highway driving. I wasn't wearing my heavy shoes, nor was I pulling a trailer or driving in 4WD." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission shifted nicely while I romped on the accelerator. I found driving the Nissan...uh, Suzuki, very enjoyable on the road aided by greater visibility and less rear wheelhop associated with most full-size trucks." -- Truck Trend

Handling and Braking

The 2011 Suzuki Equator gets mixed reviews where handling is concerned. While some reviewers find it nimble for a truck, others complain about poor handling. However, most reviews are positive about how the truck drives. Reviewers who took the Equator off-road, especially those with the off-road RMZ-4 package, found the truck to be extremely capable.

  • "The Equator's rough ride could be helped by filling the bed with cargo, but there's nothing that can be done about its 43.6-foot turning circle-that just about guarantees three-point turns where U-turns would suffice in other trucks." -- Motor Trend
  • "Despite the lofty ride height and rear leaf springs, the Equator handles with lively precision for a body-on-frame pickup. That seems to be a Nissan truck hallmark, as even the full-size Titan steers with a nimbleness that belies its sun-blotting mass." -- New York Times
  • "Handling is nicely balanced for a pickup truck. The steering feels weighty and direct, but is slow to react in tight turns and parking spots."--Consumer Guide
  • "Zipping around corners the Equator feels a little skittish and makes you think you're riding higher off the ground than you are. Standard four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake-force distribution provided ample stopping power." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "And the fun wasn't limited to the asphalt. I took the Equator down dirt roads and up rounded hills. Its fully boxed frame remained firm on uneven paths with ease, which is impressive considering this is the two-wheel-drive version of the truck." -- Truck Trend
  • "The Equator impressed with flawless handling of a rutted dirt mountain road. It honestly felt like I was driving a large, enclosed-cabined ATV." -- The Sunbury PA Daily Item
  • "The brake pedal feels mushy, with [s]topping power more proportional to the distance the pedal is pushed than the pressure. Braking distances were acceptable and there was no particular fade tendency." -- Automobile Magazine

Towing and Hauling

Two-wheel drive Equators can tow up to 6,300 pounds , while four-wheel drive Equators can pull up to 6,100 pounds. Reviewers say that for light towing, the Equator is up to the task. Crew cab Equators can haul up to 1,471 pounds while extended cabs can haul 986 pounds.