in 2012 Compact Pickup Trucks

Avg. Price Paid: $10,980 - $17,959
Original MSRP: $17,999 - $29,700
MPG: 19 City / 23 Hwy

2012 Suzuki Equator Performance

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

Though the Suzuki Equator’s towing abilities help it stay competitive, reviewers say its engine power and handling are about average for the class. They like its V6 engine and fairly nimble handling, though they disapprove of its wide turning radius and poor fuel economy.

  • "Firm but absorbent. Sharp ridges register, but don't jar. Typical truck-like bounding and jiggle over bumps with an empty bed is quickly quelled. RMZ-4's off-road-biased suspension and tires contribute to additional jiggle and hop.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "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 

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Equator comes standard with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower, though a 261-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 is optional. Most reviewers comment solely on the V6, saying that the engine is competent, though some add that it's also very noisy and not as refined as some rivals. In most cases, test drivers recommend opting for a four-cylinder engine in a compact pickup truck. A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the four-cylinder engine, while the V6 has a standard five-speed automatic.

According to the EPA, Equators with the four-cylinder engine and two-wheel drive get 19/23 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 17/22 mpg with the automatic, while those with the V6 earn 15/20 mpg. Four-wheel drive is only available on the V6 engine, and these models earn just 15/19 mpg city/highway.

  • " They're strong from a stop and around town. The automatic transmission kicks down quickly for good mid-range passing punch.” -- Consumer Guide (4WD V6 model)
  • "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

Handling and Braking

The 2012 Suzuki Equator gets mixed reviews for its handling. While some reviewers find it nimble for a truck, others complain about poor handling. Multiple test drivers note the Equator’s especially wide turning radius.

  • "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. Body lean is evident in corners.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "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

Towing and Hauling

Two-wheel drive Equators can tow just 3,500 pounds, while four-wheel drive Equators can pull up to 6,300 pounds. That’s about average for the class. The Toyota Tacoma’s maximum towing capacity is only 200 pounds more.