2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga First-Drive Review: Still No Rivals?
The 2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga comes in 10 variants and it’s priced between Rs 7.44 lakh and Rs 10.9 lakh ex-showroom. This multi-purpose vehicle has got quite a few changes in it including the design and it’s based on the Heartect platform shared by the Baleno and Dzire as well.
The Ertiga looks a lot smarter now with twin-beam projector headlamps and a chrome grille, making it look kind of like a mini Toyota Innova Crysta from the front. The top-end variants get 15-inch alloy wheels. It gets a floating roof design and L-shaped LED tail lamps at the rear.
The new Ertiga comes with a 1.5-litre petrol motor that puts out 138 Nm of torque and 105 PS of power. But what’s special about this is that it has the SHVS system - the Suzuki hybrid vehicle system - which has a starter-generator that gives it a little bit of electrical boost to save on fuel and turns it off at traffic signals for better fuel efficiency.
Maruti has worked on the refinement levels to quite an extent in the new Ertiga and it feels very car-like to drive. The petrol motor is pretty silent, but in the diesel Ertiga you can still hear the engine noise inside the cabin. The ride quality in the Ertiga is more or less the same as before, although I think it feels a little soft overall.
This is an MPV, so you are not really looking at sporty handling in this car. That said, for long-distance drives the Ertiga does feel pretty comfortable.
Maruti is known for fuel-efficiency and the Ertiga is no different. The petrol motor puts out 19.34 Kmpl and on our test drive we got about 13 Kmpl which is good.
None of its immediate rivals except for the far more expensive Honda BR-V have a petrol motor & automatic option. The Ertiga’s automatic variant comes with a 4-speed transmission. It is fairly responsive at slow city speeds. And then there’s the tried-and-tested 1.3 litre diesel also. It also gets the SHVS system and a five-speed manual transmission only.
The new Ertiga is 99 mm longer than before and about 40 mm wider. That’s really made a difference to space. The middle row of the Ertiga has always been comfortable and the new model is no different. The seats can slide and recline to free up space as needed.
The space increase is evident in the third row. Once you get in there, you would notice that legroom is better than before. And you can also recline the last row for a little added comfort.
The added length of the Ertiga has also resulted in a little more boot space. You now get 209 litres of space and if you flip down the last row, you get 550 litres of space and 803 litres with both rows folded. There is also a hidden shelf under the boot floor to hide some stuff.
The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga actually has no direct competition in its price segment. You have the Mahindra Marazzo, which is slightly larger than this, but priced also higher.You also have the Renault Lodgy and to some extent, the Mahindra TUV300, which is actually an SUV. And also the Honda BR-V, but it is priced between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 13 lakh.
So if you want a people-mover in this price segment right now Maruti seems to have a monopoly. The earlier Ertiga consistently sold about 6,000 units a month - the new one should probably continue with that trend.
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