Ertiga is Maruti’s second grand success after Swift since the day it was launched. Maruti’s brand pull, 7-seat flexi option, reliable, tried, tested and punchy diesel power plant coupled with penetrative pricing strategy made Eriga a difficult to beat value proposition. Smart Indian car buyers saw through this and lined up in droves for it. No wonder Ertiga ZDI has an almost over 6 months waiting.
After giving our verdict on petrol variant, this time we got behind the wheels of diesel Ertiga to know whether this long-long period is worth waiting or not?
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
Ertiga is a non-conventional MPV as it doesn’t boast of traditional Van-ish profile. Look head on and you will get the impression of Ritz as grill and headlamps are reminiscent of Ritz design philosophy. Sharply raked windscreen enhances the spaciousness of the Ertiga.
Front beefed muscular wheel arches dominates Ertiga’s side profile. Rising window line with generous glass area adds to the roominess as well as space inside the cabin. Ribbed roof ensures rigidity and overall reduction in weight.
Rear of the car gets its design cues from another Japanese car manufacturer; Honda Jazz. In fact side view of the car can be easily compared to the stretched version of the Jazz. Tail lamps are small, sharp and somewhat wrap around. Rear windscreen also uses large glass to aid visibility.
Overall dimensions of Ertiga stand at 4265 X 1695 X 1685 mm; which is not very generous especially for an MPV class vehicle. But the wheelbase of 2740 mm is very much comparable to larger Innova and Xylo’s currently operating in teh MPV segment in India. The compact nature of the car makes Ertiga a good city run-about for a family of 5 and the large wheelbase makes the job of Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra car salesman a tad difficult.
INTERIORS, SPACE AND ERGONOMICS
Ertiga not only uses Maruti-Suzuki Swift’s platform but also uses its bin for its interiors. Dashboard is straight lift from the swift except the colour scheme; which is brown and beige. Centre console features a waterfall look and top model comes with inbuilt music system.
Externally the Ertiga does look and feel small for an MPV but the large wheel base ensures cabin room. Starting with front row, seats are spacious and big though fall short on bolstering aspect. Driving seat has the convenience of height adjustment.
Middle row is roomy and has enough room for three passengers when used in its standard position though it is not as spacious as Xylo’s second bench. Third row is best for the kids in the family. The middle row extended adjustment length does help create space in teh third row as and when required, thus ensuring a comfortable long distance ride even for 7 adults.
Ertiga’s third row can be flat folded to get the luggage space. Along with this the 60:40 split of row 2 not only helps in for carving out additional luggage space but also facilitates easy entry and exit to the third row in the car. Generous glass area even at the D-pillar makes the overall space aspect very roomy in nature.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Diesel Ertiga is powered with 1.3 L, multi-jet DDIS engine churning out 90 PS. It’s believed to the same engine which is doing its job under SX4 hood.
Ertiga’ s1248 cc diesel power plant seems and feels very familiar as one has experienced it in Swift, Ritz, New Dzire and SX4. Like SX4, Ertiga got highly tuned variant of DDIS consisting of variable geometry turbocharger which boosts the power output to 90 PS mark while peak torque output is 200 Nm obtainable at 1750 rpm. Fuel is fed through high pressure common rail injection system with the help of 16 valves architecture mounted on DOHC mechanism.
Idle of the engine has low grunt of familiar diesel technology. Though it is always present, it hardly irritates you. Starting off the line is impressive. Ertiga has all the urgency to please you. However up-shift and you will experience the muting of the power plants urgency. Turbo lag is obvious and reminds one of the surge experienced in the old Swift engine beyond the 2000 Rpm mark of the tachometer. Ertiga engine characteristic is no different from the one experiences the lag in lower Rpm something that disappears almost immediately once the turbo kicks in. Mid range of the car is very punchy making Ertiga a commendable highway cruiser.
Engine is mated with 5-speed manual transmission. Gear lever looks familiar to the Swift and Dzire. Shifts are smooth and precise. Clutch action along with power steering makes Ertiga a very easy driving car whether in city or on highway.
Ertiga uses McPherson strut upfront and torsion beam at the rear to suspend the 185 mm wide rubber shrouded on 15”wheels. Like its external appearance, Ertiga is very car like to drive rather than 7-seater MPV. Ride quality of the Ertiga is very impressive as the suspension set up is on softer side to complement the comfort of the passengers. Undulations as well as potholes are wiped out impressively by the Ertiga without showing even slightest hints of panic.
Based on underpinnings of Swift, handling is also above average even with length exceeding the 4 meters mark. Ertiga handles well and there is good composure shown by the MPV when cornered hard. Its only when you won’t let up the gas pedal on sharp curves, situations tend go out of hand otherwise Ertiga is competent handler also.
Electrically power steering systems features rack and pinion layout. Tilt adjustment facilitates in finding the ideal driving positions and adds to the cars overall convenience. Foot well though spacious, addition of dead pedal would have made things better on long drives.
With cut-throat entry pricing Ertiga is a difficult proposition to beat. Thanks to its pricing strategy Maruti has ensured a grand entry into the segment where they had no presence at all and thus were missing a large sales pie. No wonder the Innova and Xylo are the most hassled cars since Ertiga’s launch. Long waiting list with almost zero cancellations is giving some more headaches to competing cars from Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra. Maruti’s Suzuki’s biggest challenge today is production ramp up before other sub 10 lacs MPV’s are launched by competition which might spoil Ertiga’s golden run.
Style and Substance : 3/5 Ride & Handling : 3/5
Interiors & Space : 3/5 Safety & Equipments : 3/5
Power Plant & Transmission : 4/5 Mileage : 4/5
Value for Money : 4/5