Suzuki Equator

Suzuki Equator

When considering motorcycles, Suzuki is likely a brand that comes to mind. Their cars, on the other hand, nearly go unnoticed unless you are looking for specifically cheap transportation. They typically only account for a fraction of a percent of U.S. auto sales, but that fraction is a tight and very loyal market. Well, it looks like they are trying to dig themselves out of obscurity by adding high-end features to their vehicles.

Starting in the 2013 model year, nearly every Suzuki car, truck, and SUV will include a Garmin stereo system that will also include Pandora radio. With the internet taking over everything nowadays, it’s only expected that internet radio would make its way into more cars – heck, some cars now have a hard drive bigger than my desktop PC, seriously…

Pandora works a lot like satellite radio, as it is not broadcasted from terrestrial towers, but rather streamed through the internet. You can personalize your own station too, so there is no need to swap the station every time something you can’t stand comes blasting through the speakers.

There is no receiver or anything like that for Pandora radio, so this is really not costing Suzuki much, meaning the cost to you would be minimal, if anything. The Garmin radio connects to an iPhone, per Pandora, and the iPhone in turn receives the Pandora signal, broadcasting it through the radio. It makes us curious because Pandora radio also has an Android app, which means nearly any phone on the market can receive its signal. However, Pandora specifically mentions just the iPhone in its press release.

We are starting to wonder if iPhone and Garmin are maybe up to something, or did the Pandora rep just misspeak. For the sake of all Suzuki buyers that choose to use this service, we hope the latter is the truth. From our research, it looks like Garmin and Suzuki have apps for both Android and iPhone, so it was likely a mistake to just say “iPhone.”

Regardless of its connectivity, this is a step in the right direction towards Suzuki reeling in its direct competitors, Hyundai and Kia .

Hit the jump to read Pandora’s official press release.

A few weeks ago, GPS manufacturer Garmin issued a recall on its Nuvi portable navigation systems after it was discovered that the batteries in these units have the potential to overheat and could, in a worst-case scenario, result in the system catching fire.

It also just so happened that Suzuki has three vehicles in its line-up that use the aforementioned Garmin GPS – the SX4 , the Grand Vitara , and the Equator – and as such will also be issuing a recall of the cars to fix the malfunction at the soonest possible time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 20,000 of these Suzuki vehicles ranging from the 2008-2010 SX4, the 2010 Grand Vitara, and the 2009-2010 Equator, will be recalled beginning this month with Garmin technicians on hand to replace the malfunctioning batteries “by replacing the battery and inserting a space on top od the battery” at no cost to the customers.

So, if you own any one of these models, you can contact either Garmin (1-866-957-1981) or Suzuki (1-887-697-8985) for further information on the impending recall.

NHTSA Press Release after the jump.

Source: NHTSA

With the Chicago Auto Show being held this week, here are the most important debuts:

2008 GMC Denali XT

2009 Seat Bolero Preview

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse

2009 Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet

2009 Ford Edge Sport

2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid

2009 Chevrolet Traverse

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

2009 Acura RL

2008 Volkswagen Routan

2009 Suzuki Equator

2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring

2009 Mercedes SL63 and SL65 AMG

Suzuki unveiled at the 2009 Equator, Equator RMZ-4, Quay and Quad Concept. The 2009 Equator will be built at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn.

The 2009 Equator is powered by a fuel efficient 2.5-liter DOHC inline four with 152 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque or an optional 4.0-liter, V6 DOHC engine producing a class-leading 261 hp with 281 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to either a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (I4 and V6) or five-speed manual transmission

Equator also features a variety of available wheel and tire packages, including 16-inch off-road style wheels with rugged 265/75R16 tires and 17-inch wheels with 265/65R17 tires.

Suzuki Equator

The all-new Equator features a contemporary exterior design with a number of unique Suzuki elements, including hood, front fenders, grille, bumpers, front fascia and tailgate. Both Equator Extended Cab and Crew Cab models offer an available high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and an extensive tie-down system with adjustable tracks, providing ultimate cargo hauling flexibility through the use of five special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed.

Press release after the jump.

Suzuki will unveil at the Chicago Auto Show the 2009 Equator, a pick-up based on the Frontier midsize pickup and scheduled to be built at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn. Production of the pickup truck will begin in 2008.

Until the official debut in just a few days, PickupTruck smashed the embargo again and released the first official image of the Equator.

More details will follow; you know it already: as soon as an embargo is broken, it really is!

Source: Pickup Truck

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