The Ertiga is a result of Maruti has painstakingly making sure that it can succeed by carefully moulding the MPV to suit the Indian tastes plus ‘MPV’ is the latest buzzword in the Indian auto industry as Nissan and Chevrolet and others are also planning to launch MPV’s.The result of that is that when the Ertiga went on sale in April 2012, it clocked up a massive 32,000 bookings in the first month but Maruti can only make about 6000 per month! The Ertiga looks much bigger in person than in pictures and the Swift influence is very much there. Don’t be surprised though as the Ertiga is based on the new Maruti Swift platform but it does have its own visual identity. The Ertiga’s dimensions look more like a big hatchback rather than a MPV.
The Ertiga has an overall length of 4265 mm and an overall width of 1695 mm. Step inside and immediately you get a sense that it is a spacious and an airy cabin. The light beige look to the interiors does help in that matter. As expected the interior design borrows heavily from the Swift but with a more upmarket look. Maruti has squeezed out a lot of space in the Ertiga. For starters the 6-way adjustable front seats are large and comfy with good headroom and legroom. The 2nd row is also comfortable with enough legroom and adequate thigh-support though three people at the back can be a bit of a squeeze. The Ertiga has two engine options, a new 1.4 litre petrol and a 1.3 litre diesel.
The petrol K-series engine makes 95 PS at 6000 rpm and has max torque of 130 Nm@4000 rpm. It feels punchy and eager to rev. At city speeds the engine feels good and performance delivery is fine but once you start putting in some speed it feels strained. The DDiS diesel engine makes 90 PS at 4000 rpm and has max torque of 200 Nm at 1750 rpm. At first there is some turbo-lag but once it frees up and the turbo spools up, the performance is very good and it is quite quick for a MPV. The Ertiga does impress with a figure of 16 kmpl for the petrol and 20 kmpl for the diesel, both being ARAI certified and certainly miles ahead of the other MUVs / MPVs. The suspension of the Ertiga features MacPherson Strut at the front and Torsion Beam at the rear. Thanks to a monocoque chassis both the ride and the handling are impressive.
The steering though was light but that will add to the car’s user friendliness as it will be easy to drive in traffic and while parking. The braking performance of the Ertiga also proved to be satisfactory as it has ABS with Brake Assist and EBD. The Ertiga has three variants each for diesel and petrol. The base LXi (P) and LDi (D) are priced at Rs 5.89 lakh and Rs 7.30 lakh, midway through the range the VXi (P) and the VDi (D) are priced at Rs 6.60 lakh and Rs 7.90 lakh and the top of the line ZXi (P) and ZDi (D) are priced at Rs 7.30 lakh and 8.45 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). In our opinion the variant that makes the most sense is the VXi (P) and the VDi (D) variants as they are well equipped with features like the rear AC, radio/CD/USB player. Of course the ZXi (P) and ZDi (D) variants are the top of the line variants and have features like steering mounted audio controls and driver and passenger airbags. Whichever way you look at it the Ertiga is stunning value for money. Maruti has now also launched the CNG variant in LxI and VxI trim. For a detailed analysis continue to read below..