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.
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.
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 Innova has one of the most plush interiors in the MUV segment. It is spacious and even the seats are comfortable. After the recent facelift, there is no complain of missing brownies as it now has all the frills.
Innova being a successful product, not many changes have been made on the inside either. It still retains the same styling and the fit and finish is first-rate. The quality and the feel of the materials are decent. The instrument panel design is simple and subtle.
The range topping Innova now has a touchscreen. This in-dash system has auxiliary and USB connectivity, reverse parking camera and also telephonic and music Bluetooth connectivity. Even the instrument binnacle has been refreshed. The rest of the kit remains identical.
The seating is still the same, with ample space for the front and middle row passenger. The second-row seats do not have sufficient support for thighs. The third row of seats is meant for children, as there isn’t much legroom. In the top of the line, the Innova gets roof-mounted air-conditioning vents for the second and third row occupants. The boot space of the Innova is decent, when compared to competition. Some of its competition lacks a boot with the third row of seats. Even folding the third row of seats is simple and easy.
E: The Innova’s entry version is the E version. This version is available as a seven and an eight-seater option. The seven seats variant gets captain seats in the second row, while the one that can seat eight gets a bench in the second row. This version is also available with in petrol and diesel engine options. This is a very basic version that doesn’t even get power windows and even power steering is optional.
G: The G version also comes with seven and eight seating options and it gets additional features like power steering, power windows, keyless entry and immobiliser. This version is also available in petrol and diesel engine options.
GX: The GX version is one variant above the G. It gets a lot more features like electrically adjustable mirrors, ABS, driver airbag, in-dash music system with four speakers, rear wiper, defogger, height adjustment for the driver’s seat.
VX: This is the top of the line version on the Innova and is available with petrol and diesel engines. The VX version is a completely loaded variant that comes with even passenger airbag, in-built music system with touchscreen, six speakers, Bluetooth, aux and USB connectivity.
The 2.5-litre engine on the Innova produces only 100bhp and there are more powerful engines available on other MUVs. But nothing comes close to the drivability of the Innova. This makes it a hot seller, even after being introduced in 2005.
Innova is propelled by a 2.5-litre diesel engine that powers the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission. This engine produces 100bhp and 200Nm. The Innova comes with Bharat Stage IV and Bharat Stage III norms engines. The Bharat Stage IV norm oil burner gets an intercooler, however the BS III goes missing on the same. The engine is noisy, especially on cold starting and at higher rpms.
The drivability of the Innova is astounding. It has a strong low and mid-range. This means it will pull cleanly even when lugged into a higher cog without any hiccups. Overtaking isn’t an issue in the Innova and driving it is a breeze further in city or out on the open road.
The Innova comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The gear stick is long and shifts are wee bit notchy. But the gearing is just spot-on for city and highway driving. As the ARAI test cycle, the Innova returns a fuel economy of kmpl.
The ride of the Innova is plush and most of the jolts are irons out by the suspension. The handling of the Innova is decent and the body roll is less, despite its large size.
Innova is a multi-utility vehicle, which means the ride quality is priority over the handling. The ride of Innova is supple and composed. The suspension of the MUV irons out most of the jolts on uneven road surfaces as well. The dampers absorb most of the shocks keeping the ride smooth.
The handling of the Innova is decent for its size. Considering the length of the vehicle, the body roll isn’t much. One might not lose control, unless you do something that is stupid. The steering wheel is also light and it weighs gradually with the increase in speed.
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