2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Roadtest Review – Utility with Versatility
2012 saw the first generation Maruti Suzuki Ertiga that created an all new CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle) segment. This was a vehicle that had all the comfort and space of an MPV and the convenience of a sedan. Suzuki introduced the 2nd generation Ertiga in May this year in Indonesia. India has just received the latest version of this CUV and we drove it in chilly Dilli (Delhi) to get you this extensive roadtest review.
Food for Thought
The Ertiga was a runaway success for Maruti Suzuki, and they sold more than 4 lakh units of the CUV since its launch in 2012, making it the largest selling CUV in the segment. The 1st gen Ertiga shared a lot of design and styling cues from the Swift and the Dzire. Smart Hybrid and CNG versions were also introduced later on the Ertiga, which contributed to 50% of the sales. Mazda sells the Ertiga as the VX-1 in Indonesia, while it is also sold by Proton as the Ertiga in Malaysia.
The Next Gen Ertiga has grown in proportions as is instantly visible at first glance. The vehicle is now wider by 40mm, 99mm longer and 5mm taller over the older version, while the wheelbase remains the same at 2740mm. The Ertiga comes with a dynamic looking face that comprises of chrome studded front grill, a totally redesigned, sharper-looking bumper with round fog lamps placed within the black surrounds. The headlight gets sleeker in design and now comes with projector headlamps, standard across all variants. The bonnet sits higher and has prominent character lines defining it. The side comes with a sharp crease on the waistline that runs all the way from the front fender, cutting across the door handles to the back, integrating itself with the wrap around tail lamp. The highlight of the side profile is the unmistakably and cleverly done floating roofline. The Ertiga comes shod with 185/65 R15 tyres with multi-spoke silver alloys. The Ertiga probably has the largest glass window in the rear door amongst its rivals. The third row fixed glass is also huge. Door handles come in chrome, while the electrically adjustable and foldable wing mirrors get LED turn lights infused on them. The rear profile looks to be a lot inspired from the Volvo range of SUVs, but comes with a very well and neatly integrated style element which includes the Christmas tree styled 3D LED tail lamps. The boot lid is now a lot sharper along with the newly designed rear bumper, which now comes with sharp body lines and a pair of reflectors placed on them. There is a neatly placed chrome strip just above the license plate that mates the tail lamps on either side. Overall, the Ertiga now has its own identity and seems like it has grown into a handsome CUV over the older version.
The Next Gen Ertiga that has now grown in size comes with a larger cabin too. The dash comes in dual-tone black and beige finish which gets separated by premium-looking maple wood inserts. The three-spoke steering is now leather wrapped and comes with a trendy-looking flat bottom design with maple wood inserts on it and audio and telephone controls. The instrumentation comes with a twin pod analogue speedometer and RPM meter along with a color, multi information display (MID) placed between the pods. This MID unit is also seen on the Baleno, S-Cross and Ciaz models, and is very easy to read along with being intuitive. The center dash comes with the 7-inch touch screen color infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Mirror Link connectivity along with FM radio, USB, 3.5mm Jack, GPS etc. This is the same smart infotainment system also doing duty on the other range of latest Maruti Suzuki cars. Surprisingly, the top end ZDI + Diesel trim does not get the LCD Color MID unit in the instrument cluster, this unit is only reserved for the Petrol Manual and Automatic. The Petrol Automatic does not come with the touch screen infotainment system, this trim gets a basic unit with Bluetooth connectivity etc. loaded.
The other main highlight on the dash is the cleverly designed faux AC vent that runs across the dash just like the Audi Q7. There also are very cleverly made cooled, can holders for the front passengers placed just in front of the gear shifter, which can be turned off when not in use. The Ertiga also gets an automatic climate control unit with blowers placed in the 2nd row with fan speed control. The front seats are large and wide in design and the driver’s seat comes with height adjust. The Ertiga also gets smart flexi seating for the 2nd and 3rd row. The middle row seats get 40 : 60 split and also comes with a foldable arm rest. These seats can also slide front and rear to increase leg room for the last row passengers. Both the middle and last row seats can be reclined too. The last row seats get a 50 : 50 split seating arrangement. There are charging sockets for all the three rows and loads of bottle holders in all the doors, including the 3rd row passenger. The Ertiga boasts of a boot area of 209 litres with all the 3 rows up, which can be increased to 550 litres with the 3rd row folded and 803 litres with the 2nd and 3rd row folded.
The Ertiga’s cabin feels premium and well-appointed with loads of space all around, with the use of maple wood inside helping it look and feel extremely premium, while the quality of plastics used is also good.
Engine, Transmission, Drive
The Ertiga in its latest avatar gets the new K15 Petrol engine option along with the tried and trusted DDiS 200 Diesel motor. The K15 Petrol engine is a 1462cc 4-cylinder unit making 105PS @ 6000rpm with 138Nm of torque @ 4400rpm. This unit comes with 5-speed manual transmission and also a 4-speed Automatic transmission option.
The DDiS 200 Diesel engine on the other hand is a 1248cc 4-cylinder unit with 90PS of power @ 4000rpm and churns out a healthy 200Nm of torque from as low as 1750rpm. As per Maruti Suzuki, the fuel efficiency has improved by 10% on the petrol, 4% on the diesel and 9.4% on the automatic versions due to use of 39% high tensile steel in construction, helping it lose 20 kgs of overall weight.
We drove the Petrol Automatic first and this is clearly our pick from the lineup. The K15 petrol engine is one of the best engines from the Maruti Suzuki stable in the current lineup. It’s the same engine which we first saw in the 2018 Ciaz. It is super refined, powerful and extremely silent. The four speed automatic gearbox is also a direct lift from the Ciaz. Even though there is nothing wrong with the gearbox, it’s high time that Maruti Suzuki upgrades it.
The Diesel version with the super tried and trusted DDiS engine does its job here extremely well. This version is heavier and hence drives differently. The cabin insulation is better than the older Ertiga diesel and the gear shifting is also crisper.
The Petrol manual like its automatic sibling is extremely spirited and agile, power delivery is linear and the gear ratios feel well spaced out. The engine oozes tons of torque across the rev range and does not run out of steam at any given moment.
The ride and handling is surprisingly good on the all-new Ertiga. We were surprised the way it handled sharp corners that we threw at it at speeds of 100kph. The 185/65 R15 tyres help matters in enhancing the overall ride and handling on bad roads and high speeds alike. The Ertiga behaves more like a full blown sedan when comes to handling and less like an MPV. The short turning radius continues to shine in its long list of USPs. The brakes are excellent and reduce the momentum in no time at any given speeds. Seating is extremely comfortable, offering a commanding seating position to the driver and front co-passenger. Second row seating is perfect for 3 average sized passengers, plus you have the manual adjust for back recline to enhance the comfort level. 3rd row seating is strictly for 2 lean passengers, but leg space here can be enhanced by sliding the 2nd row seats ahead.
The Next Gen Ertiga comes with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD as standard across all variants. You get reverse parking sensors standard and reverse camera on the top end variant, high speed warning alarm system. The vehicle has also undergone 35 types of different crash tests in test facilities in Japan and Rohtak, making it one of the safest cars from the Maruti Suzuki stable. You also get ISOFIX mounts as standard. The automatic version comes with ESP and hill hold feature.
The Ertiga created this segment when it was launched in 2012, and now with this all new version the best seller from Maruti Suzuki takes the lineage ahead. The car comes loaded with features both for convenience and safety. The Ertiga also gets the K15 Petrol engine to its lineup, which is our pick amongst the engines on offer, along with the convenience of an automatic option. The car looks extremely trendy and smart, the segment leader is back to where it all started and this time it is loaded to the brim, with prices starting at as low as Rs.7.44 lakhs ex-showroom making this the pick of its segment.