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Sponsored feature: Maruti Ertiga

27th Aug 2014 12:44 pm

Sponsored Feature: Two rally champions put the Ertiga through the test on the Manali-Leh Highway.


Kishore Kumar or Mohammed Rafi?SouravGanguly or MS Dhoni?Tea or coffee?Roti or rice? India is a buffet of colours, cultures, languages, religions, cultures and ethnicity. Everyone has their own tastes, preferences, opinions, likes and dislikes. But what binds us together as a family, and as a nation, is our shared values. Our sense of family.Our veneration of frugality.Our celebration of diversity.
In this Tower of Babel, one name moves the people of India. From Kargil to Kanyakumari and Koteshwar to Kibithoo, Maruti Suzuki stands for trust and reliability. It is the name most people in India trust with their hard earned rupee. And Maruti Suzuki Ertiga again underlines the reason why.
Made for India
Let’s look at the very philosophy behind the Ertiga. Most Indian families are not nuclear families with one or two children. There are often aged parents living with the family too. And we Indians like to share our good times with as many people as possible, friends or family. So the more number of people we can carry with us, the merrier. That’s why Maruti Suzuki designed the seven-seaterErtiga. The company calls the Ertiga a Life Utility Vehicle, which is quite an apt description of the vehicle. The versatility and flexibility of the Ertiga’s seven seats give you the space to share your life, your journeys and your experiences with friends and family. The utility of this vehicle stems from its multifaceted functionality; designed to tackle office-hour traffic with the same élan as a driving holiday to a remote corner of the Himalayas.
The Ertiga is also designed keeping in mind our almost compulsive fixation to get the maximum out of every rupee. Mind you, the Ertiga is not the cheapest car in the market, but it’s a car that perhaps gives you the maximum bang for your buck. That’s because for the price of an ordinary car, you get the compactness and manoeuvrability of a hatchback, the style and comfort of a sedan along with the space and stature of an SUV!
Let’s take a more detailed look at what makes the Ertiga so special.
Beautifully FLEXIBLE
Let’s begin with the looks. While beauty might lie in the eye of the beholder, even the most vapid philistine will find it difficult to fault the aerodynamic lines of its design. Begin with the swept-back headlights and the stylish cluster-lamps that give the car its distinctive face. The car looks proportional squatting on 15-inch alloys. A nicely designed tail-lamp unit rounds up the rear.
The more important question is, what’s the Ertiga like from inside? After all, you spend more time experiencing the car from inside than looking at it from the outside. You can tell from the wide opening doors that the Ertiga is built for ease and comfort. Once inside, don’t just look, but touch and feel the surfaces. Everything falls easily to hand, and the quality of materials used in the cabin is evidently good. The list of equipment too is comprehensive — second- row AC control, CD player, aux and USB ports, steering-mounted audio controls, powered mirrors and windows, the list goes on.
The front seats are broad with generous cushioning which makes them truly comfortable even over long journeys. Even the middle bench is a comfortable place with its high ‘hip point’, adjustable backrest, terrific headroom and good legroom. Even the third row of seats is comfortably useable, making it
a true seven-seater.
The Ertiga’s best trick is the massive 240mm seat travel that allows you to deftly balance the legroom for both the second- and third-row passengers. Well-engineered latches and levers allow you to push forward or collapse the seats neatly into the floor. With all seven seats in place, there is still enough space in the back to hold two soft bags, while a concealed storage bay hidden beneath can hold small items. For more space, the third row can be folded flat. You also have the option to fold the middle row, and the 60:40 split further aids flexibility. Simply put, the cabin is far more useable than the Ertiga’s exterior dimensions would suggest.
Here’s the most important question. What’s the Ertiga like to drive? The question has to be answered in two stages since the car comes with two engine options and three fuel options.
The 1.4-litre K14 VVT petrol engine produces a peak output of 95PS at 6000rpm and torque is 130Nm at 4000rpm. At the heart of the engine is Maruti Suzuki’s advanced new VVT or Variable Valve Timing technology. It optimises intake-valve timing, to refine power delivery and boost fuel efficiency. This is further enhanced by paying special attention to reducing friction in engine components, for smoother running and reduced engine noise. The result is spectacular. Touch the accelerator pedal and you will be delighted by its crisp throttle response. The power is evenly spread out over the rev range and the delivery is smooth and linear. Thanks to the short gearing and the torquey nature of the motor, you never feel short on power and progress is rapid. But this is not at the cost of fuel efficiency. The petrol Ertiga is certified to give you 16.02* kpl.
The diesel too is an impressive performer. The 1.3-litre DDiS engine generates 90PS at 4000rpm. The engine uses a combination of common rail fuel injection with an inter-cooled turbocharger that generates high dynamic torque. This gives the diesel Ertiga excellent acceleration and all-round performance, together with outstanding fuel efficiency. In fact, the diesel motor gives you 20.77* kpl.
Now there’s a third option. You can choose to buy a CNG-fuelled Ertiga which gives you even better mileage and economy, 20.88* kpl. 
But as they say, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. That’s why the very structure of the Ertiga is designed to protect you in a crash. The use of higher tensile steel for strategic sections of the body structure and carefully positioned reinforcements provide excellent rigidity and strength. The Ertiga is also equipped with active safety systems like ABS with EBD. Add to it the extra protection of the three-point ELR seatbelts and airbags and you can rest assured that the Ertiga will keep you safe.
*Test result of rule 115 of CMVR, 1989.
Satish Gopalakrishnan and Savera D’Souza are a power couple. In the competitive world of rallying and motorsports, they have won a closet full of trophies. So, when they decided to drive to Leh, they needed a car that was up to the challenge. A car that is tough, comfortable and reliable. The journey they were about to take, after all, was over some of the most difficult terrain and through the harshest conditions in the country. They chose the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.
Perhaps there is no better test for a car than the Manali-Leh drive. As Satish and Savera reported post their drive, the Ertiga sailed through everything with aplomb. Once they crossed the swarms of tourists at Rohtang, they were able to push the car through the mountain roads. They had misgivings about the car making it through the water crossings, but the clearance was good enough to take them through without a problem. The Ertiga clambered up the broken and slippery ascent to the rarified air of Tanglang La without breaking sweat. The drive through More Plains and Sarchu were the times they enjoyed the Ertiga’s power. The car became their cocoon of comfort despite the harsh environment they were in. After reaching Leh, they drove up to the highest motorable road in the world, to Khardung La. Not surprisingly, the Ertiga made this difficult drive effortless.
Though not everyone will or wants to drive up to Leh, what this drive proves is the Ertiga’s ability to take on the worst you can throw at it. And just keep going.
Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

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