Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Hatchback Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW

It’s easy to see why the MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) segment is one of the most successful here in India. With large families predominant here, the average sedan is just not enough. The MPV, however, not only seats 5 or 7 in comfort but also carries everyone’s luggage with room to spare. And to top it all, it drives just as well as your everyday sedan. The Toyota Innova has been leading this scene ever since its inception, and Maruti Suzuki’s all-new Ertiga, though not the same size, aims to offer almost the same at a lot less. Check for review , features & price of Maruti Cars

EXTERIORS

The Ertiga’s wheelbase, at 2740mm, is a considerable 310mm longer than the Swift’s and the kerb weight has increased by around 155kg. But this is impressive considering it’s a seven-seater. Suzuki has kept the Ertiga’s weight in check with extensive use of lightweight high-tensile steel in its construction.

With a length of 4265mm, the Ertiga is a fair bit shorter than the other MPVs in the market, namely the Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo and Tata Aria. The Ertiga employs an independent, MacPherson-strut, coil-spring suspension at the front and a non-independent torsion beam setup at the rear. The brakes are also a conventional front disc and rear drum setup. Get Price of Ertiga in Carzprice

Styling is typically Suzuki, with swept-back headlights like the new Swift’s, and a grille and bonnet that resemble the Ritz. The overall design is pleasing, but not what you would call eye-catching. In fact, the van-like look, which clearly doesn’t exude the status and image of a saloon, is possibly the Ertiga’s biggest weakness.

INTERIORS

A new variant, Z+ is introduced in the New Maruti Ertiga. This variant gets additional features like keyless entry, push start and stop, touchscreen system with navigation and reverse parking camera. The New Maruti Ertiga gets the same beige interiors and the upholstery is also the same. In terms of other features, it gets single airbags and ABS as a standard feature. Dual airbags is available on all variants as an optional feature

The New Maruti Ertiga has an identical dashboard with the Swift, however it is beige in colour. The quality of the materials is not that premium. The front row of seats are quite comfortable and even large. On long journeys this helps quite a bit. The rear seat space too on the New Maruti Ertiga is good enough. These seats slide and recline too. The third row is quite cramped, but it gets some knee room when the second row seats are moved a bit ahead. The boot becomes small when all the seats are raised. One needs a carrier for luggage especially with seven passengers

PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING

The choice of engines for the Ertiga is the new 1.4-litre K14BVVT petrol engine and the D13A DDiS super turbo diesel carried forward from the SX4. Given the additional weight of the new vehicle the two engines manage to offer a fair balance of power and torque.

The new, larger K series petrol engine reflects the same characteristics of its existing siblings. Quiet and almost vibe-free in idling mode, the engine comes across as refined and quick under hard acceleration. With variable valve timing to optimise performance and with low friction components, the new 1,373cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine delivers a peak power of 95PS at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 130Nm at 4,000 rpm.

The diesel engine is combined with an intercooled variable geometry turbocharger and this is same basic mill from the SX4. This 1,248cc engine with common rail diesel injection is almost free of any turbolag and delivers a peak power of 90PS at 4,000 rpm and a peak torque of 200Nm from as low as 1,750 rpm. The diesel engine makes its presence felt audibly despite the use of an extended dash silencer and other sound deadening components.

But, that is only when you accelerate hard, during idling and cruising conditions the familiar diesel engine is just the same as in the SX4. On the road, the Ertiga feels very much like the Swift and DZire. Though the Ertiga is no where near as big as the other utility vehicles like the Innova and the Tavera, you still get to feel its extra length compared to the Swift.

The engines have been mated to the five-speed gearbox already in the family cars, only the gear ratios have been optimised for the Ertiga’s expected driving cycle. Gear shifts are crisp and quick. The rated fuel efficiency for the petrol engine is 16.02 kmpl and the diesel is 20.77 kmpl.

The Ertiga handles quiet well too – almost, but not entirely, like a sedan. The suspension is also a carry forward in terms of its configuration – MacPherson strut at the front and torsion beam at the rear. The ratings for the springs have been increased and the dampers have been stiffened to handle the higher loads.

DRIVING

The Ertiga’s driving dynamics are largely influenced by its long wheelbase – the 2.74-metre gap between the front and rear axles give this MPV good poise and straight-line stability for most situations. The flipside is that it isn’t happy darting through corners and prefers a more relaxed driving style. The soft suspension means the low-speed ride is pretty absorbent, and even as speeds increase, the Ertiga handles bumps with aplomb and feels pretty solid. The Ertiga’s suspension works silently too and it’s just over sharp bumps that there is a mild thud from the suspension.

There is a bit of up-and-down motion over undulating surfaces and the diesel pitches a bit more in the front. However, at moderate speeds, this never gets uncomfortable and it’s only when you begin to push really hard that you long for a tauter setup. Considering its MPV proportions, the Ertiga doesn’t roll excessively and the steering is fairly accurate too. What you do miss is a tighter turning circle and the ability to wiggle into tight parking spots as with a hatchback. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the Ertiga is by far the most urban-friendly MPV in the market today.

SAFETY

Servicing the Ertiga won’t be an issue because Maruti has a service centre in almost every nook and corner of India. Talking about safety, the Ertiga comes equipped with dual front airbags and ABS on almost every variant. The LXi and LDi variants miss out on these safety features but Maruti offers them on the LXi (O) and LDi (O) trims. Apart from that, all the other V and Z trims come with these features. The same goes for front seat belt pretensioners too.

CONCLUSION

The Maruti Ertiga is a very good people’s carrier and it offers a good amount of features and practicality is also top notch. With the facelift, the car looks better, gets more equipment and even boasts of better efficiency. At the price it is offered for, the Ertiga does provide you with a lot of value and Maruti has got a strong contender on their hands in the 7-seater MPV segment.

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