• Artificial wood trim, Audi Q7-like air vents and a beige ...
    Artificial wood trim, Audi Q7-like air vents and a beige theme lend an upmarket look to the interiors.
  • Loading lip is low, the boot is well-shaped and more usab...
    Loading lip is low, the boot is well-shaped and more usable than before.
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Rating 9 9

2019 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga review, road test

27th Feb 2019 6:00 am

This second generation is also a versatile and a value-for-money package. But how much better is it than the previous Ertiga?

  • Make : Maruti Suzuki
  • Model : Ertiga
We Like
Plush ride
Seat comfort and space
Easy to drive
Value for money
We Don't Like
Noisy diesel engine
Some missing equipment
Petrol AT's fuel efficiency

For its sheer versatility and value for money, the first-gen Maruti Suzuki Ertiga set off to a flying start when it launched in 2012. Over the years, however, its sales witnessed a few troughs due to the shift in buyer preferences towards other segments like compact sedans, premium hatchbacks and SUVs. Despite that, this seven-seater from Maruti soldiered along with steady sales (a major contributor being the taxi market), and even towards the end of its life cycle it averaged over 3,500 units per month, which is quite respectable. But now, there’s an all-new, second-generation Ertiga, and if initial impressions are anything to go by, this one is far more desirable and a much better package than the one it replaces.

Gets projector halogens but no LED headlamps or DRLs.

Built on an all-new platform, the second-gen Ertiga is larger in every dimension, and, as a result, is more spacious than before. It comes with two engine options – an all-new 105hp, 1,462cc petrol, and the tried and tested 90hp, 1,248cc Fiat-sourced diesel. Both engines are mated to 5-speed manual transmissions, with the petrol also getting a 4-speed automatic in the form of a traditional torque converter. A petrol-CNG and an all-new in-house developed 95hp, 1,498cc diesel engine are likely to join the range soon.

15-inch multi-spoke alloys and 185/65 tyres same size as before.

The petrol Ertiga’s pricing is very aggressive at Rs 7.44-9.50 lakh for the manual and Rs 9.18-9.95 lakh for the automatic. And at this price point in the rather uncrowded MPV market, it doesn’t have any direct competitor. At Rs 8.84-10.90 lakh, the diesel-manual is a bit pricey, especially considering the Rs 1.40 lakh premium it commands over the petrol but it still undercuts its core rivals – Mahindra Marazzo (Rs 9.99-14.38 lakh) and Renault Lodgy (Rs 8.63-12.12 lakh) by a significant margin. So it is still a value-for-money proposition, but what’s improved from the first-gen model? We put it through our thorough test to find out.

Large glass area makes the third row bright and airy. Side armrests add to the comfort.

 

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Rs 8.49 lakh * on road price (New Delhi)

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This second-generation Ertiga is based on the same Heartect architecture as the new Swift, the Baleno, Dzire, Ignis and the new WagonR. Despite being lighter in weight, its structure is stronger than before to meet the tougher crash norms that come into effect this October. It also boasts better torsional rigidity, which has a positive impact on refinement and dynamics. And even though this car has grown significantly larger than its predecessor (by 130mm in length, 40mm in width, and 5mm in height), the overall kerb weight has gone down by 20kg across variants. At 2,740mm, its wheelbase remains identical to the older car, while the front and rear track have increased by 30mm.

Volvo-like rear tail-lights look upmarket and stand out. The rear styling bears an uncanny resemblance to the Ciaz.
 

While the outgoing car appeared like an elongated Swift with a rather bland, van-like side-profile, the new one looks far more handsome and desirable. Its headlamps bear an uncanny resemblance to the Toyota Innova’s, but in spite of that, the Ertiga has a distinct identity of its own. The chrome-studded grille looks tasteful and makes a great first impression, while the bonnet is more sculpted and has gained some muscle with sharper lines. The side profile too boasts a more prominent waistline but the wheel arches aren’t as pronounced as before and the 15-inch multi-spoke wheels look a bit ordinary. Its side profile also features a design element that’s now common on several modern Marutis, where the window line merges with the rear windscreen, resulting in a floating roof-like impression. The rear of the Ertiga is rather interesting, with ‘L-shaped’ tail-lamps reminiscent of the Volvo XC60. And the overall design of the concave tailgate, the chrome applique and the horizontal tail-lamp sections, appear identical to that of the Ciaz.

There are 12V sockets in each row; should have had USB slots too.

 

The older Ertiga’s interiors were functional and rather drab, but the new one takes a huge leap forward in terms of design and quality. There are Audi-like air vents running the breadth of the dashboard, along with the artificial wood trim – both of which feel like imitations – but these somehow seem to up the cabin’s upmarket quotient. Even the free-standing touchscreen and the flat-bottom steering blend in nicely with the other design elements. Plastics in the cabin are hard but quality for the most part is a big step up. A lot of switchgear is shared with modern Marutis and they feel nice, but many bits like the power window switches, cabin lamp and the flimsy bonnet opener have been carried forward from decade-old models.

Large front seats are extremely comfortable. Seat cushioning is spot on.
 

The new Ertiga is very user-friendly when it comes to ingress-egress, with a tall stance and wide-opening doors, so passengers can simply walk into the car, without the need to crouch or climb in. The front seats are broad, supportive and the cushioning is spot on – full marks to Maruti when it comes to seat comfort. Even the seating position is very car-like, albeit a tall car, so drivers get a good view of the road ahead due to the high seating position and large expanses of glass all around. Storage areas are aplenty, and the air vents in the front cupholders are unique – these channel cool air from the air con directly to the beverages placed here. However, some areas like the glovebox and the armrest console are a bit too small.

Middle row reclines and slides. Massive windows flood the cabin with light.
 

Those seated in the middle can enjoy the view outside via the massive windows, which also flood the cabin with light. However, a sun-blind (like in the Marazzo) would have been a nice addition. The seat itself is very comfortable and supportive, and room here is huge with the seat slid all the way back. Headroom here isn’t a concern either and the seat even reclines to a very comfortable angle in a 40:60 ratio. The occasional third passenger here will be quite comfortable now thanks to an almost flat floor and a bit more shoulder room, which is a result of the car’s wider dimensions. To keep the passengers seated here cool, there’s a roof-mounted blower; and there’s also a 12V power socket in each row, however there should have been the more modern USB charging slots.

Third row space limited but surprisingly comfortable for an MPV of this size.
 

Getting into the third row isn’t as easy as in the other two rows, as the (kerb-side) middle-row seat slides ahead with the tug of a lever but doesn’t tumble forward, freeing up just enough room to duck-walk your way into this space. What’s surprising is that room here is adequate, much more than the car’s exterior dimensions suggest. The large windows and beige all around further accentuate its airiness. And then, the seats, although a bit low-set, are comfy, with a good amount of head and shoulder room on offer for two adults. Kneeroom too, is adequate, and the seat even reclines to a comfy angle; so adults can sit here on long drives without losing circulation in their legs. However, in the reclined position, their heads will brush against the roof. Conveniences for the last row include a large side armrest, bottle holders and one charging socket. At 209 litres, the boot is larger and more practical now, and it also gets a nifty storage area beneath the boot floor that can easily swallow a few laptop bags. Folding the last row gets you 550 litres, and folding the last two rows gives you 803 litres of cargo volume.

Only the kerb-side middle row seats tilt and slide forward with one touch, for access to the third row.

 

The new petrol engine is very similar in character to the older 1,373cc unit that it replaces. Throttle responses are sharp, and the gear ratios are so well judged that the motor builds speed cleanly from lower down the rev range. The ease with which the Ertiga petrol pulls on an incline from 20kph in third gear with a full load of passengers is quite impressive. As long as you aren’t in a hurry, the motor does the job smoothly and silently. Dab the accelerator by 10 or 20 percent, or even under high load, an animation on the MID screen shows the battery providing some additional power to the petrol engine – this is done to improve its responsiveness. While this electric boost from the secondary Lithium-ion battery isn’t pronounced, a crisper throttle response surely is. Performance in the mid-range is flat and lacklustre, although beyond 4,000rpm, there’s a small bump in performance that remains strong until the redline. With the needle swinging to the far side of the tachometer, the engine is quite vocal, which is a contrast to its otherwise silent and refined character. The added 13hp and 8Nm of torque result in superior acceleration timings. 0-100kph is dispatched 1.46sec quicker than the older 1.4-litre petrol, and even within gears, the new 1.5-litre is quicker from 20-80kph and 40-100kph in third and fourth gear by 1.14sec and 1sec, respectively.

Battery provides a shot of electric power to assist engine under load.
 

The petrol-automatic uses a 4-speed torque converter, with the first three gears being driving gears and the fourth being an overdrive gear. It is very smooth, the shift-logic is quite sorted and, for the most part, it does the job just fine. It’ll also shift to the highest gear at the earliest to aid fuel economy. Be gentle on the accelerator and it won’t downshift easily, and will try and build speed in the existing gear. Ask for more power though, and it’ll drop down a gear (or two) to get a move on, but with an increase in revs (from as early as 3,000rpm), the engine gets rather louder and louder as you pile on the revs. While driving in a hurry, there’s an ‘overdrive off’ function that ensures the gearbox will remain only in the first three gears, thus keeping the engine on the boil. There’s no manual mode but there’s a Low mode that locks the lowest possible gear, which is useful for uphill sections of road and/or to control the engine speed while going downhill, and also gives drivers the option to remain in second gear. Also, because the gear lever gate is straight, it’s very easy to slot into second gear or even ‘L’ rather than ‘D’ accidentally (especially while parking), and this requires some attention, while starting off from a standstill.

Engine start-stop system is very seamless. One of the best around.
 

The Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre diesel engine remains unchanged, on paper at least. Get behind the wheel, however, and it feels a bit easier to drive and lighter on its feet compared to before. Turbo lag below 2,000rpm isn’t as significant and even when the boost comes in, it does so in a more linear manner. The meat of the powerband remains between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm, although the older car felt stronger until 4,000rpm before the power began to taper. The diesel is still an able highway cruiser, and as long as you’re driving within the powerband, overtaking feels effortless. Fall below 2,000rpm though and it still warrants a downshift to make rapid progress or make a quick overtake, and bigger speed-breakers still need to be taken in first gear only. While acceleration timings remain near-identical to the outgoing car, 40-100kph in fourth is now a significant 1.3sec slower, although it’s interesting to note that the fourth gear ratio is identical to the older car. What really let’s this motor down, however, is the hoarse engine note at idle. The engine clatter smoothens out once on the move, so when driving around at city or cruising speeds it feels fine, spin it harder, though, and the gravelly note gets louder and sounds unrefined as the revs build.

The petrol’s clutch is lighter than the diesel’s and the 5-speed manual transmission mated to both the engines is slick-shifting with short and precise throws.

One of the stand-out features of the new Ertiga is its ride quality. It’s so good and well behaved, it smoothens out potholes and broken roads like a much more expensive car. There’s no rocking or side-by-side motion over broken patches either. At high speeds, it rides flat with some vertical movement from the rear, but it’s never excessive. With a full load of passengers, however, there’s noticeably more pitching, and the softer rear suspension takes a couple of rebounds before regaining composure when going over humps or wavy surfaces.

Steering is much nicer than other Marutis; it is well weighted, direct and has a good feel.
 

The new Ertiga’s wider track and tauter chassis give it a lot more composure and poise while taking corners. Push it hard and even though body roll is present, it’s not more that a tall hatchback. It turns into corners sharply and while it is not as nimble as a Swift in the way it changes direction, it still is a confident handler. Further adding to driver confidence is its steering, which is unlike any Maruti based on the same Heartect platform – it has a nice heft to it, it feels connected to the road and returns to the centre without any effort. The Ertiga’s steering is the best yet on a new Maruti and that’s saying a lot when you consider it’s an MPV!

The Ertiga petrol-manual’s auto start-stop feature works so quickly and so seamlessly that, on cooler days especially, one wouldn’t mind extracting the benefits of this feature (saving fuel while stationary) by leaving it on. In the city, this motor returned merely 9.5kpl, which is 0.7kpl lesser than the 1.4-litre unit. On the highway, however, it managed a healthy 16.8kpl, an improvement of 4kpl, due to a taller fifth gear.

Lithium-ion battery is neatly tucked beneath the front passenger seat.
 

With a city efficiency of merely 7kpl, the petrol-automatic isn’t for the fuel efficiency-conscious. But having a very tall fourth gear helps while cruising on the highway where it returned a respectable 15kpl; still far from its claimed 18.69kpl though.

Bonnet opener is crude and tends to break off from its mounting point.
 

The diesel’s gear ratios remain identical to the outgoing car, however, some engine tweaks have resulted in 15.2kpl in the city and 19.4kpl on the highway, an improvement of 0.4kpl and 2.6kpl, respectively.

 

The 7.0-inch SmartPlay infotainment system is equipped with SD card-based navigation, Mirrorlink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This system is easy to use, and the display is crisp with sharp contrasts. The system’s software lags at times and its slow responses can get annoying while on the move. While the menu buttons on the sides are touch-operated too, the volume rocker isn’t the most convenient to use. Voice commands are available, and are quite accurate most of the time. Sound quality from the 6-speaker setup (four speakers and two front tweeters) is quite decent. The camera engages with a small delay, when the car’s put in reverse.

V and Z-spec variants get a basic audio system with touch-enabled controls; isn’t very intuitive.

 

Maruti’s covered all the essentials with the Ertiga. So it gets ABS with EBD, dual airbags, speed-sensing door locks, child seat mounts (middle row), and rear parking sensors right from the base variant, and even projector headlamps, 50:50 split recline third row and a 60:40 split middle row, power windows and central locking are standard across the range. As you go higher up, it gets kit like electric-folding mirrors, 15-inch alloys, steering-mounted controls, rear wiper and washer and automatic climate control, among others. The top spec gets a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a reversing camera. The petrol-automatic isn’t available in the top-spec, but what it gets is ESP and hill-hold assist.

Beverage placed in this area stays cool due to the vents which direct cold air from the air con.
 

The Ertiga could have done with some more kit like cruise control, LED DRLs, larger wheels and wider tyres, rain-sensing wipers and rear sun-blinds, all of which its direct competitor, the Marazzo, gets. However, factor in its aggressive price tag and Maruti can be excused for the missing kit.

Tiny armrest storage can’t even accommodate a regular-sized wallet.

 

Maruti has nailed it with the new Ertiga’s clever packaging. Despite being a seven-seater, it is still compact in dimensions, and its light controls and good all-round visibility make it very user-friendly and easy to drive. The interiors are more spacious and feel plusher, and the well-cushioned seats take cabin comfort up a few notches. What’s more is that the larger cabin and the backrest recline function has made the third row far more usable now. The new petrol engine is smooth, refined and performance is adequate, and paired to the manual, it’s our pick from the range; the automatic is heavy sipper in the city, while the 1.3-litre diesel, although easier to drive (than before) and very efficient, feels a bit crude. The Ertiga does miss some features but its pricing is so aggressive, you just can’t argue with its value proposition. At the end of the day, this isn’t an exciting car that’ll tug at your heartstrings, but it is one that’s very practical and delivers all that’s expected of it and rather competently. So when it comes to fitness for purpose, the Ertiga passes with flying colours, and it’s for this very reason it was our Car of the Year 2019.

PRICE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Ex-showroom - Delhi Rs 9.50 lakh Rs 9.95 lakh Rs 10.90 lakh -
Warranty 2 years/40,000 km 2 years/40,000 km 2 years/40,000 km -
ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Fuel Type / Propulsion Petrol Petrol (AT) Diesel -
Engine Installation Front, transverse Front, transverse Front, transverse -
Type 4 cyls, Petrol 4 cyls, Petrol 4 cyls, Turbo-diesel -
Cubic Capacity (cc) 1462cc 1462cc 1248cc -
Bore/Stroke (mm) 74/85mm 74/85mm 69.6/82mm -
Compression Ratio 10.5:1 10.5:1 17.6:1 -
Valve Train 4 valves per cyl, DOHC 4 valves per cyl, DOHC 4 valves per cyl, DOHC -
Max Power (hp @ rpm) 105hp at 6000rpm 105hp at 6000rpm 90hp at 4000rpm -
Max Torque (Nm @ rpm) 138Nm at 4000rpm 138Nm at 4000rpm 200Nm at 1750rpm -
Power to Weight Ratio (hp/tonne) 90.5hp per tonne 89.7hp per tonne 72.2hp per tonne -
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/tonne) 118.9Nm per tonne 117.9Nm per tonne 160.6Nm per tonne -
Specific Output (hp/litre) 71.8hp per litre 71.8hp per litre 72.1 hp per litre -
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Drive Layout Front-wheel drive Front-wheel drive Front-wheel drive -
Gearbox Type Manual Automatic Manual -
No of Gears 5 4 5 -
1st Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 3.909/6.67 2.875/9.03 3.545/7.26 -
2nd Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 2.043/12.77 1.568/16.56 2.043/12.61 -
3rd Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 1.407/18.55 1.000/25.97 1.31/19.66 -
4th Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 1.065/24.51 0.697/37.26 0.912/28.24 -
5th Ratio/kph per 1000 rpm 0.769/33.94 0.659/39.093 -
Final Drive Ratio 4.353:1 4.375:1 4.411:1 -
BRAKING Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
80 - 0 kph (mts, sec) 28.73m, 2.54s 28.73m, 2.54s 28.73m, 2.54s -
EFFICIENCY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
City (kpl) 9.5kpl 7kpl 15.2kpl -
Highway (kpl) 16.8kpl 15kpl 19.4kpl -
Tank size (lts) 45 litres 45 litres 45 litres -
ACCELERATION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
0 - 10 kph (sec) 00.62s 00.59s 00.56s -
0 - 20 kph (sec) 01.23s 01.42s 01.26s -
0 - 30 kph (sec) 02.03s 02.43s 02.02s -
0 - 40 kph (sec) 02.85s 03.44s 03.02s -
0 - 50 kph (sec) 04.15s 04.50s 04.42s -
0 - 60 kph (sec) 05.36s 06.01s 06.12s -
0 - 70 kph (sec) 06.68s 07.70s 07.72s -
0 - 80 kph (sec) 08.20s 09.44s 09.38s -
0 - 90 kph (sec) 10.11s 11.35s 11.62s -
0 - 100 kph (sec) 12.10s 13.95s 14.35s -
0 - 110 kph (sec) 14.36s 17.22s 17.17s -
0 - 120 kph (sec) 17.52s 20.82s 20.53s -
0 - 130 kph (sec) 21.03s 24.68s 25.92s -
0 - 140 kph (sec) 25.01s 29.26s 31.26s -
1/4 mile (sec) 18.05s 19.02s 18.97s -
20-80kph (sec) 11.44s 7.87s 11.02s -
40-100kph (sec) 15.53s 10.59s 14.03s -
MAX SPEED IN GEAR Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
1st (kph @rpm) 42kph at 6300rpm 56kph at 5800rpm 38kph at 5300rpm -
2nd (kph @rpm) 81kph at 6300rpm 92kph at 6000rpm 67kph at 5300rpm -
3rd (kph @rpm) 117kph at 6300rpm 158kph at 6000rpm 104kph at 5300rpm -
4th (kph @rpm) 155kph at 6300rpm 161kph at 4300rpm 147kph at 5200rpm -
5th (kph @rpm) 175kph at 5100rpm NA 168kph at 4300rpm -
NOISE LEVEL Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Idle (dB) 42.9dB 41.7dB 46.7dB -
Idle with AC blower at half (dB) 54.8dB 55.2dB 55.3dB -
Full Revs, AC off (dB) 72.5dB 74.8dB 73.1dB -
50 kph AC off (dB) 63.3dB 63.8dB 63.5dB -
80 kph AC off (dB) 68.5dB 68.5dB 68.2dB -
BODY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Construction Five-door MPV, monocoque Five-door MPV, monocoque Five-door MPV, monocoque -
Weight (kg) 1160kg 1170kg 1245kg -
Front Tyre 185/65 R15 185/65 R15 185/65 R15 -
Rear Tyre 185/65 R15 185/65 R15 185/65 R15 -
Spare Tyre 185/65 R15 185/65 R15 185/65 R15 -
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs -
Rear Non-independent, torsion beam, coil springs Non-independent, torsion beam, coil springs Non-independent, torsion beam, coil springs -
STEERING Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Type Rack and pinion Rack and pinion Rack and pinion -
Type of power assist Electric Electric Electric -
Turning Circle Diameter (mts) 10.4m 10.4m 10.4m -
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Discs Discs Discs -
Rear Drums Drums Drums -
Dimensions Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Length 4395mm 4395mm 4395mm -
Width (mm) 1735mm 1735mm 1735mm -
Height 1690mm 1690mm 1690mm -
Wheel base 2740mm 2740mm 2740mm -
Front Track (mm) 1510mm 1510mm 1510mm -
Rear Track (mm) 1520mm 1520mm 1520mm -
Rear Interior Width (mm) 1370mm 1370mm 1370mm -
Ground Clearance (mm) 180mm 180mm 180mm -
Boot Capacity (Lts) 209-803 litres 209-803 litres 209-803 litres -
INTERIOR Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
HVAC type Automatic climate control Automatic climate control Automatic climate control -
Rear AC vents Blower only Blower only Blower only -
Touchscreen 7.0-inch 7.0-inch 7.0-inch -
EXTERIOR Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Daytime running lamps No No No -
Headlamp type Projector headlamps Projector headlamps Projector headlamps -
Rear wiper and washer Yes Yes Yes -
Rear parking sensors Yes Yes Yes -
Parking camera Yes Yes Yes -
SAFETY FEATURES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Airbags 2 2 2 -
ABS Yes Yes Yes -
2019 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga review, road test
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