We drive the new generation people mover
The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga has been doing well in India ever since it was launched. However with time, the little MPV had started showing its age. The company did give the people mover minor updates over the years, but even that did not help matters. So in sync with modern times, Maruti Suzuki has brought in the new generation Ertiga in India. What is even more exciting is the fact that the company has priced it just right. But what all has changed? Let’s see.
The new Ertiga is based on the Suzuki’s fifth generation Heartect platform which had earlier been deployed in the Swift, Dzire and the Ciaz. Maruti Suzuki says that this new generation platform offers better safety and rigidity and is perfect for these cars. The new Ertiga is also 40mm wider, 5mm taller and 99mm longer than the outgoing model. This then has allowed engineers to free up more cabin space. As far as the looks of the Ertiga are concerned, the people mover looks more matured than before. The chrome grille and the large projector headlamps help achieve this trait. The front bumper is new too, and overall the Ertiga looks good. In profile, one can spot the floating roof design element which adds to the looks of the MPV. At the back, the tail lights feature LED lighting and the tail gate looks smart as well.
Step inside and one can clearly see a host of changes. The dash is all new and comes with faux wood treatment. The AC vent design gels seamlessly into the top half dash design and looks good. Positioning of the vents and air throw are good too. Maruti Suzuki has loaded the new Ertiga with the 17.8cm touch screen infotainment system which is also deployed in the Brezza, Ignis and other new generation Maruti Suzuki cars. The system offers a host of functions which include navigation, audio, Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible to Apple and Android devices. The instrument panel is also new and looks cool. The LCD display positioned in between offers a plethora of information which include power and torque reserves, performance of the hybrid system and so on. The steering wheel is now leather wrapped flat bottom unit and is good to grip. There are controls for audio and Bluetooth as well. A few other thoughtful features include cooled cup holders up front and little stowage bins next to the steering wheel. The Ertiga also feels spacious than before. This is especially the case at the back. The middle row seats are large and comfortable too. There is ample room and on top of that the seats can be adjusted for both kneeroom and backrest incline. The large windows add to the airy feel inside. Rear seat passengers also get a roof mounted aircon system which comes with its own control knob.
Accessibility to the third row has improved as the company has incorporated a one touch sliding seat. Just pulling a lever is all it takes to move the middle row seats ahead. Space though is not exactly excellent and two will be a squeeze still. The boot with all three rows deployed offers 209 litres. In this state, the boot is good enough to hold a soft luggage. However, there are deep recesses provided which can take bits and pieces of luggage and they do come handy. The third row offers a 50:50 split while the middle row offers a 60:40 split. This feature surely adds to the overall versatility of this vehicle. With all two rear rows folded the space offered is 803 litres. Quite a lot we must say.
Moving on to the techie bits! The new Ertiga has been launched with the tried and tested 1.3litre diesel engine which was used before. But the newest kid on the block is the 1.5-litre K15 Smart Hybrid petrol engine which debuted in the Ciaz some time back. In the Ertiga too, the motor comes as a hybrid engine and deploys a
lithium ion battery pack. The new Ertiga also gets features like brake energy regeneration and idle start/stop function which aids fuel efficiency. The petrol variants of the Ertiga come with an option of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic. We got behind the wheel of the manual version and were pleasantly surprised by the high level of NVH achieved. The engine is barely audible at tickover. The motor is free revving and offers decent acceleration. On the go, the motor offers ample power to cruise at 80kmph and even if one needs to overtake, all you need is a dab of the accelerator pedal. Overall the new Ertiga will keep owners happy with decent performance. Maruti Suzuki is also claiming a phenomenal fuel economy of 19.34kmpl which should sure keep the Indian janata happy. As far as we are concerned, a little more power would have worked wonders. The gearbox shifts slick and one does not have to hunt for gears. Adding to it, is the light clutch which should make city driving easy.
We are also happy to report that the new Ertiga rides pretty well. At speeds up to 80kmph, the soft set suspension absorbs ruts and undulations with ease. This keeps passengers inside comfortable. However, there is a generous body roll exhibited when driven sportily. The steering is light and offers decent amount of feedback and is better than the one seen on the outgoing model.
MARUTI SUZUKI IS ALSO CLAIMING A PHENOMENAL FUEL ECONOMY OF 19.34KMPL WHICH SHOULD
SURE KEEP THE INDIAN JANATA HAPPY
The middle row slides forward now by pulling this ergonomically well placed lever(above). The first two rows offer ample space. Third rowis a squeeze (right)
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1. The rear AC vent panel is roof mounted and gets its own fan speed control. 2. The top variant gets a climate control system12
VERDICTThe new Ertiga is a vast departure from the outgoing model. It looks upmarket and mature and at the same time offers a classy cabin. There are plethora of features to keep owners happy and space is decent too. What has made it even better is its green credentials. It is now a hybrid and this should give owners a certain degree of satisfaction. The tall fuel efficiency claim should further seal the deal. Last but not the least, the new Ertiga comes at a rather ravishing price tag. But before you take too much time to decide, let’s tell you that these are introductory prices.