Maruti-Suzuki Er­tiga

We drive the new gen­er­a­tion peo­ple mover

Auto Today - - Dashboard - PIC­TURES Gur­deep Bhalla

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)

Re­nault Lodgy EN­GINE 1.5-litre POWER 110bhp TORQUE 245Nm PRICE 12.11 lakh

EN­GINE 1.5-litre POWER 121bhp TORQUE 300Nm PRICE 13.9 lakhMahin­dra Marazzo

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

Rahul Ghosh As­so­ciate Ed­i­tor [email protected]­to­day.com @bul­let­com­pany

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.

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