Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Overview

The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga was an MPV success story that many manufacturers only hoped to emulate. It was spacious enough for joint families, came with a set of frugal engines and didn’t hurt the wallet when it came to maintenance; qualities that made it a popular people mover. Cut to 2018 and Maruti Suzuki has introduced the all-new Ertiga that promises to elevate the MPV experience.Book a test drive for Maruti Suzuki Ertiga in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Check for Maruti Ertiga On Road Price in New Delhi

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Exteriors

Lets start with the obvious first. The new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is now based on the Heartect platform that also underpins the likes of the Swift and the Baleno. The new car is larger as compared to its predecessor in terms of length, width and height, and it shows. But more importantly, the typical van like design language has been dropped for something more upright and more aggressive. Yes, there are several design elements that remind us of the larger Toyota Innova Crysta, and they do seem to work.

The flat face has a new chrome embedded grill that fuses into the headlamps rather well. The headlamps themselves are dual barrel and have a projector setup for the low beam and a standard reflector for the high beam. There is no LED daytime running light or LED bulb for the headlamps itself.

The first thing that comes to mind when the new Ertiga is viewed in profile is that window line and the distinct design feature on the C-Pillar. Move to the back and the large boomerang inspired tail lamps like quite cool but remember, it is only a selective section that actually lights up and not the whole tail lamp. In fact, if given an option, the only thing I would really change are those tiny 15-inch alloy wheels. A set of nicer 16 or even 17-inch wheels would have done wonders.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Interiors

The first thing that strikes you is just how upmarket the new Ertiga looks on the inside. A faux wood theme extends across the stepped design dashboard and to be honest even though it is plastic at the end of the day, it does look quite nice. The new Ertiga gets a beige and darker brown two-tone combination across the dashboard and the seats and with a slightly printed pattern on the seats, the overall effect is quite satisfactory. The new Ertiga also gets a flat bottom steering wheel that is wrapped in leather and behind that, an all-new instrument cluster too.

The central console houses the large touchscreen, which has its own inbuilt navigation but also supports smartphone integration options like Apple Carplay and Android Auto. All of us are now pretty used to this particular infotainment setup and honestly, it is one of the better ones offered on a model today. The top spec models get climate control and a start stop button too. Another cool feature – literally – are the cooled or rather ventilated bottle/zup holders (as seen below). That said, all this is well and good but what is most important in the new Ertiga is interior space and this being a new platform brings in a whole lot more space in it than before.

The new Ertiga is longer and wider on the outside and that gives it more space on the inside too. Even though the wheelbase stays the same, the new Ertiga gets more space in the back as the engine compartment has moved slightly forward. The centre row seats are also much more comfortable as compared to the previous generation and as with the last gen car, there is a roof mounted air conditioner unit.But the big improvement is the space on the last row. While the last gen car had an Achilles heel in terms of people fitting in, this new Ertiga has a lot more space in the third row and is large even for your scribe to fit in – and by no means am I a small human being! The final row of seats also gets a reclining option which makes longer journeys a lot lot more comfortable in general. And while head room might be a slight issue, leg room and the flat floor makes up for it. For Maruti Suzuki Ertiga check

The new Ertiga now also gets a larger boot. In fact, it is twice as large as compared to the previous model and that is an important feat. You get 209 litres of boot space with the seats in place and fold the seats down and that space jumps up to a whopping 803 litres. But even with the rows of seats in play, the new Ertiga can easily swallow up large full sized airline bags – something that the older car could only dream of. The Ertiga’s boot also has two panels that can be manually removed and stowed away in the car to give even more depth to the boot. All in all, this is a big big improvement.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Performance

You get the same 1.3-litre diesel engine as before, still good for 90PS/200Nm and available only with a 5-speed manual gearbox. At 25.47kmpl, it’s about 1kmpl more efficient as per Maruti’s claims. But one big, noticable difference here is a change in the SHVS assist. It feels like Maruti has polished it further. Even though it doesn’t have the petrol’s lithium ion SHVS setup, the initial torque assist feels more fluid.So when you’re throttling out in traffic, for the first second, maybe second and a half, you feel some lag. That’s largely because this isn’t an engine that’s very quick to rev. But once you’re past that, the car picks up pace and delivers power smoothly. Then you enter the 2000-4000rpm zone, its mid range, where this engine has always been quite comfortable. So overtakes may need a little planning, but you won’t necessarily have to downshift.

But in the 1.5-litre petrol, which is borrowed from the new Ciaz, you will need to plan overtakes – downshift and rev it up before you commit to it. Its mid-range performance, even with the output gains of the bigger engine (13PS/8Nm) is rather flat. And as before, it’s available with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed torque converter automatic.That said, the slight initial lag of the diesel isn’t something you feel in the petrol, because the engine revs up quicker. And like before, you can upshift early, before 2000rpm and enjoy a relaxed drive in most scenarios. The cherry on top is that the petrol versions are now more efficient by 2kmpl (petrol claimed FE MT/AT = 19.34kmpl / 18.69kmpl), while enhancing the drive experience rather than dulling it down.

What’s common between these engines is that they give you two benefits. One, city driving is easier since the throttle input can be milder, topped with the super light controls. And two, inclines. Earlier you’d have to overcome the lag to get the torque in the diesel, and the petrol would have to be revved harder to get going because the torque assist and spread wasn’t as good, without the SHVS assist.As for our pick for a full passenger load, it’s still the diesel. The petrol will do alright at low-to-medium speeds, but even low-speed overtakes will need some effort with a full load. It’ll do better now than before, but diesel torque is diesel torque.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Driving

The benefits of the new Heartect platform shine in this department as well. There’s a lovely suppleness to the ride and the Ertiga remained composed through undulations and the couple of potholes that we could find on our test route. Handling too is predictable and confidence inspiring. The Ertiga remained planted through a few set of corners we encountered with only a hint of body roll. The steering, though a tad vague at low speeds, weighs up beautifully as the pace rises, again encouraging you to chuck the MPV in a corner. The brakes offer strong bite and the standard ABS helps you rely on them.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Safety

We generally get a lot of queries and comments – and also the repeated spam – on how Maruti Suzuki cars are unsafe. And while there are some cars that have scored higher or lower in NCAP tests, India’s largest automaker has put in a ton of effort into making its cars safer. The new Ertiga’s platform uses a high percentage of tensile steel and that, combined with the standard airbags on all models means that the car will meet the upcoming crash regulations, according to the automaker. Apart from the two airbags as standard, the new Ertiga also gets ABS as standard on all models and the automatic even gets ESC or Electronic Stability Control as standard.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Cost in Chennai

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 7,63,881 to 12,99,970 for variants Ertiga LXI and Ertiga Smart Hybrid ZDI Plus respectively. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is available in 12 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga variants price in Chennai. Check for Ertiga price in Chennai at Carzprice.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Verdict

So there you have it. A capable family car now gets even more capable with the launch of the new Ertiga. It is priced well, comes packed to the gills with features and is more spacious too. It also handles and performs better and honestly, apart from the fact that it could have had a better set of wheels, LED daytime running lights with LED headlamps and that the automatic desperately needs a fully loaded Z+ model, Maruti Suzuki yet again have made a great package. With bookings open at Maruti Suzuki Arena dealerships across the country and waiting periods already starting to creep up, if you have been waiting for our review to decide whether or not you should buy one, our answer is a definitive and thumping yes! And if you are worried about your next Uber or Ola being the exact same car as your brand new ertiga, Maruti Suzuki has clearly mentioned that this new gen model will be only for the private market… for now at least.

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