Maruti Suzuki Ertiga: Should You LUV it?
In India with a joint family which is very common it is necessary to own a vehicle which can accommodate many in comfort when planning a trip with family or friends. The need becomes inevitable for people like me who possess only a small vehicle. The only solution for this is to purchase a multipurpose vehicle which can be utilized for any kind of journey for large families. Many are compelled to sacrifice that desire when considering the size and the other inconveniences of such vehicles available in the market now.
In 2010, my MPV dreams were revitalized by the concept called R3 which was displayed at the Delhi Auto Expo. When I came to know that R3 is being materialized as Ertiga my dreams took wings to fly. And when I saw the Maruti Ertiga for the 1st time at the 2012 Auto Expo I realized it wouldn’t be too late before I get my MPV.
The Maruti Ertiga is making big news and has created a lot of interest in car buyers recently, so here I finally get behind the wheels of the latest MPV in town the Maruti Ertiga to bring you the first hand report which would make your buying decisions a bit easier.
The market share for utility vehicles in India is 14 percent. 2/3rd of this market is monopolized by MPVs. In the last four years the MPV segment has registered a growth of 15 percent. The Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo, Tata Aria, Chevrolet Tavera, etc all have sold well. Maruti was, till now, just selling the Eeco in the MPV segment but it is considered more of a semi-urban unit and also lacked a diesel unit.
Ertiga comes anew into this segment where there are a lot of opportunities. Ertiga has also paved its way as a beginner in the new sub segment of compact MPVs. Maruti has classified Ertiga as a Life Utility Vehicle (LUV).
Ertiga is built on the platform of the new Swift which the Ritz and the Dzire also share. To state it lightly we may call the MPV an “extended Swift”. The length of the MPV is 4265 mm. It is less when compared to the senior opponents like Tata Aria, Mahindra Xylo and Toyota Innova.
Ertiga is 155 mm taller than the Swift (1685 mm) and the wheel base is increased by 310 mm. Over hang is very less. All these reflect in the interior space. The ground clearance is also increased by 15 mm (185 mm) when compared to the Swift. The breadth of both the Ertiga and the Swift are the same (1695 mm). In short the physical attributes of the Ertiga is very suitable for the purpose of a compact MPV.
The front view of Ertiga is very similar to that of Ritz. The grille and the bonnet contribute to the similarity. The large air dam, fog lamp area and the broad bumpers add a mature and proud look to the Ertiga. The long head lamp reminds one of the Swift’s.
The specialties of the sides are 15 inch wheels (alloy wheels only available in Zxi and Zdi variant) and the thick wheel arch give a strong muscular look to the Ertiga. The sides also have very simple curves. The side profile becomes complete with wing mirrors (with turn indicators in Vxi, Vdi and the Zxi and Zdi variants), the roof line which is slanted a bit to the rear and the tail lamps which are extended to the side.
The Ertiga also gets a body clad spoiler which continues from the roofing, stop lamp, compact tail lamps and the Ertiga badging makes the rear noticeably different in the crowd read traffic.
Now, let us enter the interiors. It is easy to enter and alight as the ground clearance is not higher than that of cars. Full marks to the design engineering team at Maruti for making ingress and egress so easy.
The pleasance of beige interiors in the cabin welcomes you giving a lot of bright and airy feel and making the cabin look much larger than it actually is. The beige color radiates wholly on the lower part of the dash board, center console, steering wheel, door pads and the comfortable and beautifully made seats that are wider and more supportive as compared to the Swift.
The dash board seems similar to that of the Dzire but the color theme is different making the speedo cluster look sleek. To contrast the brilliance of beige the black color on the upper part of the dash board has been made lighter.
The steering wheel is compact, feels chunky to grip and can be adjusted for height manually. The display on the instrument cluster is in yellow. The steering mounted audio control is only available in the Zxi and the Zdi variant. Music system and USB port are not available on base variants. The wing mirrors are electronically adjustable in Vxi, Vdi and Zxi and Zdi variants.
The absence of dead pedal was felt much during our drive. We feel that all large cars meant for highway cruise should get the dead pedal as standard fitting as it’s very painful to drive without the pedal in place.
The driver seat which can be adjusted in six positions makes the front view very comfortable and clear. The A pillars are a bit broad which makes the front sight a bit difficult in sharp curves. There is enough leg room in front seats and seating is more than comfortable. As the rear part of the front seats are a bit curved the knee space in the second row is increased.
Large rear doors and the second row seats which can be slid up to 240 mm makes the entry to the third row moderately comfortable. Three passengers can be seated in the second row and two in the third row without much discomfort. If the second and the third row seats are folded up to get a massive 735 litre of luggage space a mini playground of sorts. In Vxi, Vdi and Zxi, Zdi variants get roof mounted AC vents for the second and the third row passengers.
Engine – Suspension - Drive
The latest and the most powerful 1.4 litre, 4 cylinder VVT engine of the K series is used in petrol variants, this is the newest engine that Maruti has developed. Ertiga becomes the very first model to get this brand new Petrol engine. The new 1.4 K Series VVT engine produces 95 PS of power @6000 rpm. This engine makes a healthy torque of 130 Nm @ 4000 rpm. The new K series engine makes very less noise at idling also exhibits extra ordinary refinement, one of the smoothest petrol engines that we seen for some time.
The Petrol Ertiga performed very spiritedly on the busy traffic roads and leaped ahead on highways. The only drawback is that it showed was a bit of low mid-range power but that was very negligible. The drive pleasure on the Ertiga is as good as that on any sedan. The handling is spot on thanks to the small overhangs and dimensions.
Later we drove the important Diesel version of the Ertiga which is the biggest seller by default. The diesel Ertiga variant comes powered with the 1.3 litre DDIS super turbo engine that also powers the Maruti Suzuki SX4 Diesel. This VGT engine gives out 90 PS power @ 4000 rpm and has a good 200 Nm of torque that kicks in at 1750 rpm. Though silent at idle some amount noise of the diesel engine drifts into the cabin in high speed.
The 5 speed manual gearbox which is commonly used in the Maruti family is used in the Ertiga too. The gear ratio has been adjusted according to the nature of the car to make it most drivable at all speeds. Gear shifting is smooth and accurate. The clutch pedal is super soft and enhances the comfort level during gear shifts. All the Ertiga variants have ABS while the ZXi and ZDi variants come with front driver and passenger side air bags for safety.
The Maruti Ertiga uses Mc Pherson Strut in the front and the rear Torsion beam which is included in the suspension makes the ride handling more efficient. The suspension set up is tuned on the harder side. The Ertiga’s suspension has been fine-tuned according to the size and the weight of the vehicle to keep body roll minimal. The mono cock construction chassis of the Ertiga contributes a lot to the Ertiga’s car/sedan like drive nature. While all the other rival MPVs have used the ladder frame chassis, which is to be noted. Body roll and the drifting in low speeds are not experienced in the Ertiga mainly due to this chassis set up.
The Maruti Ertiga is a very good performer at all speeds and you can drive it with confidence through sharp curves and twisters due to its taut handling mainly done to the car like underpinnings. With the Ertiga Maruti begins a new MPV culture with its soft and accurate steering and extremely comfortable drive nature. The specialties of any Maruti product are underlined by a very good mileage. The Maruti Ertiga too excels in this department with the petrol variant of Ertiga giving 16.02 kmpl and the diesel variant of the Ertiga giving a mind boggling 20.77 kmpl according to ARAI test figures.
The Maruti Ertiga easily excels in all departments, it comes loaded with all the stuff that makes a complete MPV plus also drives as easy as a Car/ Sedan. The build quality is excellent and the comfort level is pretty high for the segment. Compact dimensions from outside and large cabin area are its USP. The compact body dimension work in the Ertiga’s favor making it’s a breeze in traffic and while parking.
The Maruti Ertiga comes in seven color options to choose from and in L, V and Z variants in Petrol and Diesel engine options. With the pricing starting at Rs. 5.89lakhs for the base LXi Petrol Ertiga and Rs 7.30 Lakhs for the Base LDi Ertiga there is nothing much that can go against the Maruti Ertiga to stop it rule the MPV segment. The Maruti Ertiga is easily another winner from the Maruti stable and our final words would be – Competition Seriously Beware as the LUV of the segment the Maruti Ertiga is here.
Pricing for the Ertiga Prices are Ex-showroom Delhi
Rs. 5.89 lakhs
Rs. 6.60 lakhs
Rs. 7.30 lakhs
Rs. 7.30 lakhs
Rs. 7.90 lakhs
Rs. 8.45 lakhs