Suzuki isn’t generally a brand known for pickup trucks. Suzuki did offer a midsize pickup as one of its last new models in the U.S. before exiting the American market in the form of the Suzuki Equator which ran through the 2009-2012 model years. The Equator was a badge-engineered Nissan Frontier and it was actually a pretty solid choice in midsize pickups in its day. Some of its virtues include a strong available V6, agile handling for a truck and styling that made it stand out from the more generic trucks in its class.
The Equator was a pretty forgettable truck, but did you know that there was an off-road trim that was actually quite capable? It was the RMZ-4 model and it was named after a line of Suzuki motocross motorcycles. The RM series of dirt bikes goes back as far as the 1970s and is still around today, with "RM" standing for "Racing Model." In Suzuki motorcycle parlance, the addition of the letter "Z" indicates that it has a four-stroke engine rather than a two-stroke.
So why would Suzuki name a truck after a dirt bike? Probably because with the exception of Honda, Suzuki is the only brand that offered a pickup truck and a legendary line of off-road motorcycles simultaneously. Suzuki decided to capitalize on the off-road heritage that it has to market a truck with an off-road focus. Think about it — if you were an off-road enthusiast who likes Suzuki motocross bikes and has an RMZ motorcycle in the garage, a Suzuki Equator RMZ-4 is the perfect rig to haul that bike to the trails.
Now what made the RMZ-4 model different from the regular Equator? The off-road trim’s list of off-road kit included standard 4-wheel drive (which I guess is where the "4" in the name comes from), off-road tires, Bilstein shocks, a locking rear differential, hill descent control, hill hold control and an exterior makeover which includes skid plates. RMZ-4 was only available with the crew cab configuration with a 5-foot bed and couldn’t be had with an extended cab or a 6-foot bed. A few options for the RMZ-4 included a sunroof, Rockford-Fosgate premium audio, an aux jack and Bluetooth. Not bad for a decade-old Suzuki.
The Equator RMZ-4 is a strong off-road truck that unfortunately is already largely forgotten, even by off-road enthusiasts. There are off-roaders who like trucks and already have their preferred brands like Toyota or Chevy. Then there are motocross enthusiasts who may like Suzuki dirt bikes but might not even know that the Equator RMZ-4 ever existed. And if they do know about it, they may resent the fact that it’s actually a Nissan. Either way, this is an obscure off-road truck that just never quite found its niche. Today, it’s a great value in used off-road trucks and it’s worth considering if you can find one for sale near you. Find a Suzuki Equator for sale
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