What is it?
Launched way back in 2012, Maruti's Ertiga came as a breath of fresh air for buyers looking for a seven-seat people mover. It was different in many ways. To begin with, it was a bit more compact and easy to drive than the competition, and then, because it was based on a car rather than a light truck, it was also lighter, more efficient and easier to drive in traffic. Targeted more at family car buyers rather than taxi operators, it slowly but surely carved out a niche for itself. Now, come end-2018, Maruti will launch the all-new, second-generation Ertiga.
What’s it like on the outside?
Familiar but also different, Suzuki's designers have done well – it clearly has a more upmarket and fleshed-out look. The car's nose is now more prominent and SUV-like, the chin has been made wider, and the new details work well too. This is especially true of the beautifully detailed chrome grille, the sleek, multi-element headlights and the large C-shaped fog light enclosures. The new Ertiga is also more attractive-looking from the rear. The sides are more sculpted and it even gets an Innova-like rising window line and a Swift-like floating roof. Even the rear bumper has been made wider for a more grown-up look.
The new Ertiga, like its sister cars – the new Dzire and the new Swift – is also based on Suzuki’s new Heartect platform. This means it has a more rigid and stronger underbody to help comply with the new crash-test norms that are soon to be introduced in India. The new MPV is also larger than the current one. Yes, it is built on the same 2,740mm wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), but to make it more spacious, Maruti’s engineers and designers have made it around 100mm longer and 40mm wider. As a result, there is an increase in the third-row legroom and space over the current car, and since the new car is a bit wider, Maruti is likely to introduce individual captain seats for the middle row as well.
What’s it like on the inside?
The new Ertiga is also a lot more grown up on the inside. The dashboard, instrument panel, and flat-bottomed steering are similar to those used in the new Dzire and that bodes well for those of you desirous of buying the new Ertiga. However, as on the Dzire, quality levels won’t quite be a match for the upmarket design, what with the metallic highlights and faux wood trim. Still, potential buyers can, all the same, expect a very high level of fit and finish.
What should also work well is the little bit of bling on the steering. The band of faux wood running across the dash is very attractive and looks upmarket, and those slats running across vents add a real touch of class too. There’s even a larger 6.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Though there’s no climate control system on the car pictured here, the one sold in India will come with a much higher specification, and climate control, for one, will be on that list.
Seats and seat comfort are extremely important on a car like the Ertiga, and here too, the heavily bolstered front seats look carried over from the Swift. This, again, is good news as these seats are both large and lateral support provided by the bolsters (on the sides) is good. Importantly, now there’s more leg-, shoulder- and elbowroom on the second row, and, as on the current car, the seats will slide back and forth as well. This, hopefully, should make the third row more habitable for regular-sized people, increasing the appeal of the new Ertiga. This, after all, is a seven-seater.
What engines will it come with?
To make the new Ertiga drive better, it will come with an enlarged 1.5-litre petrol engine under the hood. Putting out a healthy 104hp, the new engine should make the new Ertiga a bit more fun to drive and, importantly, a fair degree more effortless when fully loaded. There’s no official word on the diesel yet, but Maruti is likely to carry on with the 90hp, 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine. A new 1.5 diesel, developed in India, sits waiting in the wings, but we hear it isn’t ready yet. What we can confirm is that the 1.5 petrol will be available with an automatic gearbox as well.
Is it worth waiting for?
The Ertiga has always been a very capable car that offers great value for money. Now, with a better design, larger cabin, higher quality levels and a more powerful engine, it will be better still. A proper seven-seater at the price of a sedan? It clearly is worth waiting for then, even if the expected price is in between Rs 6.5-10.99 lakh, which is an increase of Rs 20,000 or Rs 30,000 over the current car.
|Price||Rs 6.5-10.99 lakh (est.)|
|Engine size||1.5 (P)/1.3 (D)|
|Power||104hp/90hp at 4000rpm|