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.
The facelift version of the Etios gets improvement in quality. The sedan has always been practical, with loads of space to seat five and a massive boot of 595 litres. The brownies on the Etios are decent. The only thing we are against is the plastic quality.
Major changes have been made on the interiors of the Etios and the results are positive. The dashboard now has beige and grey trim and even the quality has been improved by a couple of notches. The interior trim has been changed from grey to beige fabric and even the headrests are no longer integrated and can be adjusted. This alone changes a lot in the interior, and it does feel premium than before.
The music system on the Etios has been changed and even the new 2 DIN music system does look a lot more stylish and better in design. Toyota built a sedan for a family that can only afford a single car, so the Etios had to be spacious. The Etios can comfortably seat five adults and to make things easier the central tunnel has almost been flattened. Even the boot space is large, as it can swallow 595 litres of luggage, making one the best in its class. The driving position is great and the light steering makes maneuvering in city convenient.
J: This is the base variant of the Etios and now comes in diesel variant also. This version comes with body coloured bumpers, tubeless tyres, air conditioner with heater, cooled glovebox and digital tripmeter. It even misses out on power steering.
G: This is a variant higher than J and is available in petrol and diesel engine options. It also includes body coloured door handles, body coloured ORVMs, B-Pillar Black-Out, intermittent wiper, chrome garnish on boot, power windows, electric power steering and central locking.
G Safety: Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
V: This variant encompasses front fog lamps, 12 spoke alloy wheels, and roof-mounted antenna, and rear defogger, tachometer and in-dash music system with USB & Aux-in.
V (with safety pack) A top end variant in Toyota Etios includes side skirt, steering mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and chrome-accented shift knob. Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
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 engine of the Etios is amazing, thanks to the power to weight ratio. It is one of the quickest sedans in the C segment and even efficient. There is always enough power to drive through city lanes, and downshifting might not be required.
1.5-litre petrol: The petrol engine of the Etios is a 1496cc mill that churns out 89bhp@5600rpm and a maximum torque of 132Nm@3000rpm. The engine isn’t a stonker of a performer, but there the power to weight ratio of 90bhp/tonne changes the entire game. The Etios weighs 930kg, which is hatchback territory. The engine is perky and power is always available at the tap of your right foot. One usually doesn’t require a downshift to overtake.
This motor happily revs upto 6000rpm, but it tends to get a bit noisy when it crosses the 3500rpm mark. The torque spread is good and the power delivery is linear like any other efficient petrol engine. The 5-speed manual transmission comes mated to the petrol engine. The gear lever is small and the shifts are precise.
1.4-litre diesel: The 1.4-litre engine that powers the Etios is the same that also does duty on the Corolla Altis. In the Etios, this engine has been detuned to generate maximum power of 68bhp and 170Nm of maximum torque. The Corolla Altis it gets a variable geometric turbocharger in the Etios it gets a conventional fixed geometric turbo. With the same engine block, there is bit of diesel clatter during cold starts but this is muted once the engine warms up. The throttle is fairly responsive and the engine has good mid-range and is drivable around the city. The engine is drivable as the power delivery is linear. It is on the open road you feel that the engine lacks that extra punch.
The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Gearshifts are positive and slick. As per ARAI test cycle, Toyota claims the Etios diesel to have a fuel economy of 23.59kmpl.
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 Etios is fairly composed and most of the road shocks are absorbed by the suspension. The handling on the Etios is good enough even driven within city speed limits.
The suspension set-up is soft and it ensures better ride and fairly decent handling characteristics. The Etios smoothly glides over potholes with a muted thud and most of the road shocks are ironed-out by the transmission. The ride is smooth, but some road noise does intrude the cabin.
The Etios’s handling is decent, when within city speed limits. The sedan can zip through busy streets but things get difficult as you make it to twisty roads. The steering wheel of the Toyota Etios is light and feels slack around the corner as the car gathers speed.