Maruti Ertiga Expert Review

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Introduction

The compact utility vehicle segment was almost non-existent till the introduction of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga in 2012. Unlike conventional UVs, the Ertiga felt, looked and drove like a car, which also became the recipe for its success. The carmaker called it the LUV (Life Utility Vehicle), an offering targeted at urban families looking for three rows in compact dimensions.  

Is the Ertiga capable of taking on the full-size 7-seaters on offer? We find out!

Pros
  • For a 7-seater utility vehicle, the car has great road manners.
  • Maruti Suzuki promises a tension-free after-sales service experience.
  • Competent engines that offer good fuel economy. The diesel churns out 24.52kmpl and the petrol, 17.5kmpl.
Cons
  • The second row does not tumble down, making it difficult to get in and out of the third row.
  • With all three rows up, the boot space stands at 135-litres. You have to choose between extra passengers or their luggage.

Stand Out Features

  • The nifty storage box in the boot makes it easy to organize knick-knacks.

    The nifty storage box in the boot makes it easy to organize knick-knacks.

  • Third-row passengers get 3-point seatbelts as opposed to lap belts.

    Third-row passengers get 3-point seatbelts as opposed to lap belts.

  • Small turning radius of 5.2-metres makes the Ertiga easy to drive in the city.

    Small turning radius of 5.2-metres makes the Ertiga easy to drive in the city.

CarDekho Verdict

The Ertiga is a no-nonsense product that is large inside, yet not so large on the outside, which makes it an ideal family car for the metros.

"It is an ideal family car for the metros."

It checks most boxes right, having good engines that are refined and offer good driveability and are, of course, fuel efficient as well. The biggest plus has to be getting the backing of Maruti Suzuki’s can’t-go-wrong after-sales network.

Exterior

The Ertiga recently underwent a midlife makeover and received some subtle changes inside-out. Also, the mild-hybrid SHVS setup has now been added to make the package more efficient.  

Up front, the most prominent styling change comes in the form of a new 3-slat chrome radiator grille that replaces the earlier all-black honeycomb unit.

A relatively thicker strip of chrome sits just beneath the bonnet shut line, whereas the two chrome slats below follow a  curve and lend a smiling face to the Ertiga, as against the earlier face that looked blunt and boring.

The sweptback headlamps have been retained, and also the conventional lighting setup, which is certainly disappointing as we were expecting projectors this time (at least in the top-end variant).

The bumper has also been redesigned and now incorporates a smaller air dam that’s almost square in shape. This in turn has released some extra space for the fog lamp housings. The fog lights continue to be round, but get some extra shine, all thanks to the chrome-lined eyebrows.

The side profile of the new Ertiga remains almost identical to the previous version. The flared wheel arches alongside a sharp crease connecting at the lower end work well to add some muscle to the otherwise plain-looking side.

We love the alloy design, but a set of 16-inchers would have given the Ertiga a more mature look than the stock 15 ones.

Moving to the rear, the vertically opening tailgate has a thick strip of chrome with the car’s name engraved on it. Like the front, the rear bumper has also been slightly redesigned. The fog lamp, which was placed in the centre earlier, has now been ditched, though the car retains reflectors at each end.

Exterior Comparison

Renault Lodgy Maruti Ertiga Toyota Innova Honda Mobilio
Length (mm) 4498 4265 4585 4386
Width (mm) 1751 1695 1760 1683
Height (mm) 1697 1685 1760 1603
Ground Clearance (mm) 174 185 176 189
Wheel Base (mm) 2810 2740 2750 2652
Kerb Weight (kg) 1299 1235 1600 1214Kg

The Ertiga is remarkably compact for a utility vehicle. It is 4,265mm long, 1,695mm wide, 1,685mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,740mm. So it is shorter than the Ciaz and, in profile, doesn't have any of the bulk of larger conventional utility vehicles.

Boot Space Comparison

Maruti Ertiga Honda Mobilio Toyota Innova Renault Lodgy
Volume 135-liters 223-litres 300-litres 207-litres

Interior

The Ertiga’s cabin is familiar, but gets a few differentiators. While the dash design and the whole cabin layout is similar to the Swift and DZire, the colour scheme is entirely different. It gets a mix of beige and brown instead of the black and beige combination of the Dzire and the Swift’s all-black.

The main motive behind the use of lighter colours is to make the cabin feel bright, airy and spacious, and we must say Maruti has passed this test with distinction. The steering wheel, gear knob, seats and even the carpets are beige, so maintaining the cabin will not be an easy job.

Talking about the storage space, all doors get bottle holders and some additional space for keeping small items. There’s a cup-holder for the driver placed in front of the gear stick, whereas the front occupant gets a pop-out cup-holder right below the aircon vent. Both front seats get seat-back pockets. The third row passengers get armrests integrated into the wheel arch bulges, and cup holders as well.

The seats in the Ertiga are placed much higher than in the Swift and Dzire. The front occupants get really comfortable seats and the view out of the windscreen is brilliant. The driving position is very un-UV–like, and one gets the impression of driving a Dzire on stilts. The top-spec trim also comes with driver seat height adjustment.

The 3-spoke steering is great to hold and gets controls for telephony, audio and voice assist that can be operated by the left thumb. The instrument panel is similar to the Swift and includes a tachometer, speedometer, temperature and fuel gauge, a small LCD display, and space for warning lights inside it. The top-spec Ertiga even has an engine start/stop button.

 

Legroom in the second row is generous, while the third row is suited only for small journeys. With the third row down, the second row can slide all the way back, liberating decent legroom.

 

The seats are comfortable and offer good under-thigh support. With all 7 seats in place, the luggage space can hold just two regular bags. Alongside this, there’s a concealed storage bay hidden beneath, which can hold small items. In case you are wondering where the Ertiga’s spare wheel manages some space for itself, it’s mounted under the body, as with most MPVs.

 

Performance

The Ertiga gets two engine options – Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre turbo-diesel and a 1.4-litre K14 petrol motor.

Performance Comparison (Diesel)

Toyota Innova Crysta Maruti Ertiga Honda Mobilio Renault Lodgy
Power 147.8bhp@3400rpm 88.5bhp@4000rpm 98.6bhp@3600rpm 83.8bhp@3750rpm
Torque (Nm) 343Nm@1400-2800rpm 200Nm@1750rpm 200Nm@1750rpm 200Nm@1900rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 2393 1248 1498 1461
Transmission Manual Manual Manual Manual
Top Speed (kmph) - 160 kmph 165 Kmph 156 Kmph
0-100 Acceleration (sec) - 13.3 Seconds 14 Seconds 13.9 Seconds
Kerb Weight (kg) 1810kg 1235kg 1214Kg 1299kg
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 13.68kmpl 24.52kmpl 24.2kmpl 21.04kmpl
Power Weight Ratio 81.65745856353591 bhp/ton 71.65991902834008 bhp/ton 81.21911037891267 bhp/ton 64.51116243264049 bhp/ton
 

The 1.3-litre diesel unit under the hood of the Ertiga gets tuning similar to the Ciaz and the S-Cross. Having a variable geometry turbo instead of a fixed one, the engine produces 90PS of power at 4,000rpm and 200Nm of peak torque at 1,750 rpm. Twist the ignition key and the engine settles down into a very refined idle, with very little of it audible inside the cabin. The unit feels most comfortable and happy during relaxed cruising on the highway, but driving in the city reveals the serious lack of punch at lower revs. But once the turbo kicks in post the 2,000rpm mark, there is a strong surge, accompanied by an even spread of power, and the motor doesn’t let you complain. The smooth-shifting five-speed gearbox, combined with a light clutch will come as relief for the driver.

We quite liked the refinement levels that are better than most other UVs. The unit does get fairly loud when revved hard, but under normal driving conditions, it’s reasonably smooth for a diesel.

The Ertiga was the first car to get the K14 1.4-litre petrol engine, which is nothing but a bigger version of the Swift’s 1.2 K-Series. The 1,373cc unit produces 93PS of power at 6,000 rpm and 130Nm of torque @ 4,000 rpm, and shows the same kind of characteristics as its younger sibling. It remains quiet at most instances and comes across as smooth and swift under hard acceleration.

Performance Comparison (Petrol)

Honda Mobilio Maruti Ertiga Toyota Innova Crysta
Power 117.3bhp@6600rpm 91.1bhp@6000rpm 163.7bhp@5200rpm
Torque (Nm) 145Nm@4600rpm 130Nm@4000rpm 245Nm@4000rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 1497 1373 2694
Transmission Manual Manual Manual
Top Speed (kmph) 160 Kmph 164 Kmph -
0-100 Acceleration (sec) 16 Seconds 13 Seconds -
Kerb Weight (kg) 1131Kg 1135kg 1730kg
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 17.3kmpl 17.5kmpl 11.25kmpl
Power Weight Ratio 103.71352785145889 bhp/ton 80.26431718061673 bhp/ton 94.62427745664739 bhp/ton

Low-end power is the strongest point of the Ertiga petrol. Throttle response at low rpms is commendable. The mid-range performance, unlike the diesel, is flat and forces you to frequently downshift to stay in the meat of the powerband. Overall, the Ertiga petrol is best at lower rpms, average between 2,500–4,000 rpm, and enjoys cruising post that.

We’d also like to shed some light on the SHVS hybrid tech. It is only available with the diesel Ertiga. It has some prerequisites before it can kick-in – the driver’s door needs to be closed, seat belt should be worn, the aircon needs to be in the ‘auto’ mode and, surprisingly, the headlights must be switched off.

Ride & Handling :

Maruti Suzuki’s attempt to make the Ertiga car-like is what impressed us the most. It offers an impeccable ride quality at low speeds and absorbs the worst of roads with ease. Even at medium speeds, the Ertiga flattens out bad roads without throwing passengers around. But at high speeds, the soft suspension leads to a certain amount of bounciness on uneven roads. The rear end lacks that planted feeling over undulating stretches of tarmac.

Despite having a soft suspension, the handling isn’t too bad. It takes corners with relative ease and the steering is quite precise. Body-roll is well managed and while the steering is communicative at high speeds, it’s equally light to use in the city.

Safety

All variants get a driver airbag. An airbag for the front passenger is optional on the base variants, while the rest get it as standard. ABS is optional only with the base petrol variant, while all other variants get it as standard.

Safety Comparison

Renault Lodgy Toyota Innova Maruti Ertiga Honda Mobilio
Airbags righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose
ABS righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose righticonClose
EBD righticonClose close righticonClose righticonClose

Variants

  • Diesel
  • Petrol
  • CNG
Variants Features Price
SHVS LDI Remote Control Functions, Air Conditioner With Heater, Power Steering, 8.57 Lakh*
SHVS LDI Option [ In adition to SHVS LDI ] Front Passenger Airbag, Seat Belt Pre-tensioner, [ Variant SHVS LDI price ] + 7,701 =  8.64 Lakh*
SHVS VDI [ In adition to SHVS LDI Option ] Keyless Entry, Rear A/C Vents, Front and Rear Fog Lamps, [ Variant SHVS LDI Option price ] + 70,542 =  9.35 Lakh*
SHVS ZDI [ In adition to SHVS VDI ] Alloy Wheels, Rear Defogger, Driver Seat Height Adjuster, [ Variant SHVS VDI price ] + 60,028 =  9.95 Lakh*
SHVS ZDI Plus [ In adition to SHVS ZDI ] Rear Parking Camera, Push Button Stop/Start, Touchscreen Infotainment, [ Variant SHVS ZDI price ] + 49,873 =  10.45 Lakh*
Variants Features Price
LXI Power Steering, Air Conditioner With Heater, Remote Control Functions, 6.16 Lakh*
LXI Option [ In adition to LXI ] Front Passenger Airbag, Anti Lock Braking System, Seat Belt Pre-tensioner, [ Variant LXI price ] + 38,656 =  6.54 Lakh*
VXI [ In adition to LXI Option ] Key-less Entry, Front and Rear Fog Lamps, Rear A/C Vents, [ Variant LXI Option price ] + 91,744 =  7.46 Lakh*
ZXI [ In adition to VXI ] Driver Seat Height Adjuster, Rear Defogger, Alloy Wheels, [ Variant VXI price ] + 59,948 =  8.06 Lakh*
ZXI Plus [ In adition to ZXI ] Touchscreen Infotainment, Push Button Stop/Start, Rear Parking Camera, [ Variant ZXI price ] + 57,342 =  8.64 Lakh*
Variants Features Price
VXI CNG Factory Fitted CNG Kit, Rear A/C Vents, Key-less Entry, 8.06 Lakh*

Both, the petrol and diesel versions are offered in 4 variants, with the base variants available with option packs to add safety features.

If you are budget conscious, you can go for the Base L trim, but you will miss out certain features such as the infotainment system, rear parking sensors and central locking. The SmartPlay infotainment system can only be found in the top-spec Z variants. The V gets an infotainment system like the old model but gets speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. You will get parking sensors in the model as well. Parking sensors, electrically foldable wing mirrors and alloy wheels are available only with the Z grades.

Maruti Ertiga similar cars to compare & consider  
*Ex-showroom price

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