The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 28, 2009

Suzuki Equator provides total off-road experience

Suzuki has always found a way to cater to those who thirst for off-roading, speed and ruggedness in the outdoors. The company is well known in the U.S. for its line of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles and boating merchandise, and many swear by Suzuki products in these areas.

It was only a matter of time until Suzuki entered the U.S. truck market with a rugged workman-like truck that continued its off-road exploits. Working with Nissan's Frontier model, Suzuki has introduced the Equator truck series.

I was eagerly waiting for the Equator review truck after reading a number of online reviews that sang the truck's praises. Most were consistent in stating that the Equator was a far superior product to the Frontier, especially in overall styling with an aggressively angled front end. The Equator also comes with a 100,000-miles/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty -- which Suzuki self-proclaims as "America's No. 1 Warranty." I was further impressed when seeing the truck for the first time not only with the styling, but with the optional RMZ-4 off-road package.

I was getting the truck at arguably the best time possible -- just before Thanksgiving. This allowed us to take the vehicle off the beaten path for our annual family Christmas tree hunting expedition. 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 bed on the crew cab model I was testing seemed fairly small, but comfortably fit two Christmas trees with some room to spare.

Timing of the truck's delivery also allowed me to take my son out on the opening day of rifled deer season in style. Other hunters took notice of the stylish off-roading machine, especially when I drove it through open fields, on dirt paths and across a rocky stream bed. The truck got a workout during my time with it, and the most impressive thing to me was that I only had to engage the four-wheel drive once.

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