Nuclear family may have replaced joint household in metros though when it comes to travelling, we still love to travel together. Toyota Innova is the key player in people mover segment but with price that is affordable to only few. Maruti sensed this latent demand of affordable MPV, and launched Ertiga. The MPV quickly struck a chord with customers, and although competition in the segment rose, Ertiga continued to play vital role in Maruti's sales ocean.
And now, to further reinforce its position, Maruti has launched facelift Ertiga. New 2015 Ertiga comes with host of external and internal changes. Besides, top-end diesel version comes equipped with Smart Hybrid Vehicle System (SHVS) that enables the fuel-saving to enhance mileage. With 24.52 kmpl, Ertiga diesel is among the top most fuel efficient cars in India. Further, new smart play infotainment system makes the vehicle quite upmarket. Maruti claims to have made Ertiga a complete MPV. We get behind the wheels of new Ertiga to find substance behind this touting.
Design, Style & Interiors
On the outside, new Ertiga does look refreshing and bracing. New chrome layer grille flanked by sweeping headlamps casts good impression. Sculpted bumper and bezel fog lamps further reinforce the new turnout of the MPV.
Profile has now got newly designed alloy wheels and electrically operated ORVMs with integrated blinkers. Rear is more or less the same to the outgoing model though company claims to have redesigned bumper for enhanced visual appeal.
Inside the cabin, the overall ambience feels much more upmarket than before. Contrasting colour of brown and beige gel quite well to make for very sleek dashboard. It comes with practical bits like retractable cup holder and good sized glove box. Silver inserts and chrome door latches further complement the inside beauty. Premium light shade upholstery adds to the elegance besides complementing the inside space feel though it is prone to dust. The most important addition to the Ertiga is the new touchscreen smartplay infotainment system that we have already witnessed in Ciaz. The unit plays host of media formats, doubles up as screen for reverse camera display, and offer voice operated navigation. In addition, Ertiga cabin has other goodies like second row AC, armrests, bottle holders etc.
Space continues to be firte of Ertiga as this MPV offers quite amazing room for its size. Despite being compact on outside, Ertiga doesn't feel any less on comfort. Space besides, the flexibility of the seats is certainly of benchmark. By using simple common sense, it’s amazing how easy is to operate seats inside. One touch flip down second row and tumble down third bench is something that others must learn and emulate from Maruti.
Engine, Transmission & Driving Dynamics
Resting beneath light and a bit flimsy hood is familiar 1.3-litre multi-jet DDiS diesel engine putting out 90 PS and 200 Nm of max power and max torque respectively. The top variant has now get additional prowess of hybrid system that make use of technologies like idle stop start, brake energy regeneration and more powerful starter motor to enhance the net mileage. There is no noticeable difference in the drivability of the car as DDiS suffers from a bit low sluggish end. That said, string mid and top end range makes up for the weak bottom end. Highway cruising is effortless, and despite being 7-seater Ertiga doesn't labors even with fill load.
5-speed manual transmission is precise, direct and easy to operate. Clutch pedal is easy to module and its lightness adds to the convenience. Brakes are assuring too but bite us not as good as in VW or Honda for that matter.
Ertiga doesn't feel like a long MPV as it drives just like a car. Ride quality is on par with the standards, and in fact Ertiga does a decent job of cushioning occupants from road undulations. Of course, potholes do bother the car but not to the extent of botheration. Now real treat about Ertiga is its handling which is simply best among the MPVs. No shifting of mass that is so typical of a MPV is altogether absent in Ertiga. In sum, dynamically Ertiga scores cut above the rest.
2016 Maruti Ertiga price range stretches between Rs 5.99 lakh to Rs 9.25 lakh ( ex-showroom, Delhi). In fact Ertiga offers almost all what Innova comes at half price. In fact, this wonderful value for money makes Ertiga quite dominant among budget buyers. With new facelift edition, Ertiga has become even more appealing. Now it comes with refreshed exteriors, has got upmarket interiors, and is equipped with smart Hybrid technology. Now all this and more at almost similar price of outgoing model, so we won't get surprised if Ertiga continues to rake in money for Maruti in near future.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3.5/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for Money 4/5