Maruti Suzuki pulled out a rabbit of the hat with the Ertiga. This is the first compact-sized MUV, and is built on the platform of a Swift. It has sufficient space in the first two rows and the fit and finish could have been a tad better for the price you pay, and most of the bits are a direct pick form the Swift.
Ertiga is based on the Swift platform and so are its interiors. These are a direct pick from the Swift. Except for difference in the colour, it resembles the Swift interiors. It seems that Maruti Suzuki wants to standardise the interior styling of its products. The quality of the plastics is decent; we do wish it were a bit better for the price it comes for.
The first two rows of the Ertiga are spacious and there isn’t much of an issue for headroom. The second row seats have decent kneeroom, while the third row is tight on space. It is meant for children. The front row seats are large and supportive, while the second row seats have decent support for the thighs. The boot is also decently sized.
LXi/LDi: This is the base variant of the Ertiga in petrol and diesel engine. Since it is the entry-level model, it is not loaded with too many features but power stee ring, body colour bumpers, manually folding OVRMs (outside rear view mirrors), multi trip meters, AC with heater, etc. come as standard.
VXi/VDi: This variant is placed above the LXi/LDi and it sports features like central locking, electrically folding OVRMs, keyless entry, adjustable headrests and body coloured OVRMs, door handles and many more. In the petrol you also have an ABS version that comes at an extra cost for safer braking.
ZXi/ZDi: Like other Maruti Suzuki’s other models, the ZXi and ZDi are the range topping models for Ertiga as well. This variant gets a number of premium features, which are not offered in the starting and mid-range models. These include Airbags, alloy wheels, outside temperature gauge on information display integrated into meter cluster, front seat belt with pretension and force limiter for driver and co-driver, steering wheel mounted audio controls, etc.
Maruti Suzuki has cut the length of the new DZire and also introduced new features in it like the new Swift. To differentiate it form the Swift, it has black and beige interiors instead of the black that come with the hatchback. The Swift Dzire is the sedan to buy, if you want it just for the heck of a three-box, else the Swift does the job.
Just like the new Swift, the interiors of the new DZire have also been redone. The DZire’s interiors are based on that of the new Swift. Swift gets all black interiors, while the DZire has black and beige colour combination. The plastic quality of the materials doesn’t just look good, but it also feels good. It has a lot more features than the previous generation Swift DZire, and it looks more premium also.
The space in both the rows is decent and the knee room even in the second row is good, which was a problem in the outgoing version. Though to our dismay, the boot of the Swift DZire is small for a sedan. The cut length of the DZire doesn’t have a large boot.
LXI/LDI:Talking about the LXI/LDI, Maruti Suzuki hasn’t scaled down the base versionas it has loaded the new Swift DZire LXI with body color bumpers and tubeless tyres. Other exterior features are 2 intermittent wipers in front, steel wheels with centre cap, remote fuel lid and back-door opener.
VXI/VDI/VXI automatic:Unlike the LXI/LDI model, VXI/VDI has body color door handles in addition to body color bumpers, electrically powered ORVMs with turn indicators, front and rear fog lamps for enhanced visibility during unfavorable weather conditions, black out film on A and B pillars and 165/80 R14 steel wheel cap. The instrument cluster includes tachometer along with standard equipments like seat belt, key-off, and door close and light-off reminder for driver, low fuel warning, multi information display etc.
ZXI/ZDI:ZXI/ZDI is loaded with comfort factors like power and tilt steering, power windows with auto down function on driver side window, driver seat adjuster, automatic climate control, lane change indicator, high-end stereo with radio and CD Player, intelligent speed based auto volume, Aux-in and USB socket, 2 front and 2 rear speakers, 2 integrated front tweeters, steering wheel mounted audio controls with illumination. Not the luxury, but practical options are available in the model like accessory socket, retractable cup holder for passengers and in centre console, rear seat back folding centre locking, keyless entry, front seat back pocket and remote fuel lid opener.
Petrol and diesel options are available on the Ertiga. The 1.4-litre petrol is efficient and also has sufficient torque to potter around in city. The 1.3-litre multijet has some amount of turbo lag, but once within the torque range, the power is sufficient.
The diesel version of the Ertiga is powered by a 1.3-litre multijet, which also propels the Maruti Suzuki SX4, Fiat Linea, Tata Manza and Fiat Grande Punto 90HP. This engine has the variable geometric turbocharger that helps it to produce 89bhp of power at 4000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1750rpm. This is one the largest seeling engines in the country and is one of the most tried and tested one. The engine’s NVH levels are moderate and there is some typical diesel clatter on cranking the engine. But it sort of settles down, once the engine warms up.
There is some amount of lag in this engine and it performs well only if the revs are kept above 2000rpm for best performance. One has to downshift to make those overtaking moves. The engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission that is slick with positive and short throws.
The Ertiga is also offered with a 1.4-litre petrol engine that produces a maximum power of 95bhp at 6000rpm and also a peak torque of 130Nm at 4000rpm. Most of the buyers are likely to buy the diesel version, but the petrol is a good option for those who will scarcely use their cars. This is a K-Series petrol engine with variable valve timing and also refinement levels are high.
This engine has good torque at low rpm despite being a petrol mill. This means that you can lug it into a higher cog and potter around, even in city traffic. The five-speed manual transmission on the Ertiga is slick like the diesel version and doesn’t feel rubbery. Overtaking isn’t a difficult ask in the Ertiga, whether in city or on the highway.
The petrol and the diesel versions of the Swift DZire are both reliable and highly frugal. With highly refined mills, Maruti Suzuki has played well with its cards on the new Swift DZire. The new petrol engine now gets an addition of variable valve timing and also the DZire is the only sedan in the C segment to get an automatic transmission.
1.2-litre PetrolThe new Swift DZire’s petrol engine received the variable valve treatment. This augments performance and fuel efficiency, though on paper, power ratings for this engine are 86bhp – a mere increase by a couple of horses. Like any modern petrol, the engine is quiet and low on NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).
When off the gas, the low engine whining sound— as experienced on the old 800s— is audible. Mid- range is good, but it does make you work-hard a bit to extort performance. Overtaking in city might require a downshift, despite the engine’s gradual power deliverance.
The DZire comes with a 5-speed manual and it is also available with a 4-speed automatic transmission also. The gear shifts on the Swift are short and effortless. The previous-generation Swift DZire had good shifts; these are a further improvement over those.
Talking of the 4-speed automatic, the shifts are slow and there is some latency in it. But it is good enough for city driving. We wish, it had a 5-speed box atleast.
1.3-litre Diesel:Previous generation Swift DZire had earned notoriety with its diesel engine. The engine was highly refined with low NVH levels and sufficient torque. The engine however had a noticeable amount of turbo lag. The R&D team of Maruti Suzuki has rectified now this issue in the current-generation Swift and the DZire.
The low-end pull is cleaner making the engine more drivable than the outgoing version. The NVH levels and refinement is far more superior as well. Crank the engine and it springs to live without the slightest of hesitation or melodrama. Driving in bumper-to-bumper city traffic and overtaking isn’t a tough ask in the Swift DZire. The gear shifts are also positive and the engagement process is smooth.
Ride and handling, both aren’t a problem on the Ertiga. Both are good enough and nothing to worry about in the Ertiga, as it handles like a hatchback despite its size.
The ride of the Ertiga is fairly composed and smooth at low and high speeds. The suspension does a good job of soaking up all the road shocks without affecting the ride. The Ertiga glides through potholes with a muted thud.
The handling of the Ertiga is good enough for its size. The Ertiga is based on the Swift platform and its driving dynamics are good despite the stretch. There is some amount of body roll, and you won’t loose control unless something stupid is done. The steering wheel is also light at low speeds and it weighs up nicely as the car gathers speed.
The ride of the Swift DZire is well composed as the rear springs are softened, as compared to the Swift hatch. The handling is decent, but the soft rear doesn’t mean a lot of fun driving can happen.
The ride on the DZire is softer at the rear when compared to the Swift. This gives it better riding characteristics than the Swift. The bumps are soaked in much better and even the ride is more plush than the Swift, atleast for the back row occupants.
The handling isn’t that bad alright. Apart from the rear being soft, there isn’t so much to worry. Minor corrections can be made through the steering that weighs well, giving an accurate feedback. The flexibility of the chassis adds to the enjoyment. Being engineered for city and highway, the steering wheel is light for easy manoeuvrability.