In what was to be a brief stint for the Ertiga, ferrying my parents around, has turned into the MPV becoming a near-permanent addition to the family.
A few months prior, I had used our long-term Ertiga to ferry around my visiting parents; and on the whole, the Maruti really impressed us all. My dad, who typically sits in the front, was very impressed with the second row, thanks to the reclining seats and the legroom on offer. My mum, an avid back-seat driver actually felt relaxed enough to fall asleep a couple of times and my 14-year-old son was happy with the space and comfort of the bigger third row; plus, my wife and I have Android Auto, so all was good in the Barretto household. I was pretty sure that I would soon change the car for something more exciting to drive, but that wasn’t to be.
Unexpectedly, my wife took a liking to the Ertiga, and so it’s still in our garage. I say ‘unexpectedly’ because any car she drives has to meet very exacting requirements. It’s got to be small enough to manoeuvre through traffic on the school run; economical, as it will do about 50km a day; peppy enough to keep up with the many hats my wife dons through her busy day; and be stylish and safe too. She drives an A-Star and a Punto. Both have ABS and airbags, and are small and peppy; the Punto is gorgeous, while the A-Star isn’t too bad either. So why was she asking me to hang on to an MPV?
TOUCH OF CLASS: Convincing wood-finish makes the uninitiated believe it costs far more.
Well, the main reason was, of course, the fact that her relatives were due to arrive from Dubai and the extra seats would once again come in handy – and of course they did; but there were other reasons too. Her aunt suffers from Parkinson’s and finds it uncomfortable when being driven over bumps and potholes, as well as to climb in and out of too low or too high vehicles. The Ertiga’s seat height proved to be easier to negotiate, and the suspension easily smoothened out potholes and broken roads – so well, in fact, that my wife found it a lot less bouncy than the Hyundai Creta we’d had earlier.
Besides this, she also found the Ertiga very easy to manage on a few school runs too. Yes, the length was a bother when it came to finding parking but the width is slightly lesser than the Creta’s; and dimensions aside, the seating position and light controls made the Ertiga very easy and car-like to drive. The clutch is quite light and what my wife also particularly liked was the fact that the steering returns to the centre position quite easily, unlike the A-Star – and well, quite a few other Marutis too. As for performance, the petrol engine isn’t a cracker, but it’s willing to respond to a slightly hurried nature.
STUCK ON SUNSHINE: Screen stuck on day mode, leading to a distractingly bright screen during the night.
At an average of 12.3kpl, the mileage is pretty respectable, given that all of the driving has been in Mumbai city with its crazy traffic. One trip, however, saw fuel efficiency drop to 9kpl. With the monsoons in full swing, Mumbai has been reduced to a virtual standstill – and it’s here that the Ertiga won me over with its comfy seats, plush ride and, of course, Android Auto; perfect ingredients to sit out the crazy traffic jams.
INSET: The Ertiga key is now fixed to the house keychain – an honour not bestowed on many cars.
How I wish it was an automatic – having said that, if it were, efficiency would have been even lower. So with the monsoons still underway, I think comfort and practicality will have to outweigh driving pleasure. I’ll hold on to the Ertiga a little bit longer. In any case, my wife’s already fixed its key to the house keychain – an honour she hasn’t bestowed on many cars.
2019 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga long term review, first report
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