Maruti Suzuki Ertiga : Road Test
People movers or MPVs not only have a huge following here in India but also do big numbers. Maruti initiated this segment way back in the Eighties with the ubiquitous Omni and followed it up with the not so successful Versa, the recent Eeco and now the Ertiga. We loaded it up to tell you how it was!
Talking about numbers, the Ertiga lighted up its front tyres (yes, this one’s a front wheel drive) and launched its way to a 100km/h in 14.09 seconds which is mighty impressive for an 1800-plus kg vehicle. But it’s never about outright acceleration when it comes to MPVs. Slotting the gear lever in 3rd, this big momma did the 40-80 km/h stint in a scant 6.02 seconds. Considering our traffic conditions barely let you get into 4th or any other higher gears, the Ertiga can just laze around in 3rd all day. Just for the record, the Ertiga also managed a true top speed of 164 km/h, which means it can cruise at 120 km/h all day without breaking into a sweat.
Retardation was pretty good too. Our test vehicle came with ABS with Brake Assist & EBD and did a great job when the anchors were dropped. Standing on the brakes at 60 km/h, the Ertiga managed to show zero on the speedo in 2.63 seconds over a distance of 21.86 metres and quite steadily, too, while from a 100, it took 3.81 seconds and all of 52.10 metres to come to a halt.
And the best part is that the Ertiga does all this feeling just like any other sedan. The ride is a tad bit on the stiff side, which is filtered inside the cabin only when the roads are really bad, but other than that, the Ertiga feels pretty well damped under a full load. Handling is more than acceptable too. It’s not exactly a fun experience with the higher centre of gravity but the big van can pretty much hold its own when the competition is brought into the picture.
Small displacement, Big efficiency!
It’s easy to see why Maruti decided to stick with the DDiS unit. While the power is acceptable, the efficiency is brilliant. And in our “Kitna deti hai” obsessed market, the Ertiga will win itself a whole load of admirers. Trundling around in town, the Ertiga ran 11.4 km to the litre while on the highway the figure rose to an amazing 18.6 kmpl. Combine those figures and you get an overall mileage of 13.2 kmpl which is fantastic for a big vehicle like the Ertiga.
The perfect family car then?
Well, almost. Maruti Suzuki understands the pulse of the Indian market extremely well and as a result churns out just what the people need. The Ertiga then comes across as another feather in the cap for Maruti. Offering loads of space, a refined fuel efficient engine and all this in a good looking compact package, the Ertiga is just right for the big Indian family. With the price ranging from Rs. 7.30 – 8.60 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, for the diesel variants, it's pretty well priced too.
But there are a few chinks in the Ertiga’s armour, too. Besides the slight lack of power, there is the buying process. A 6-week waiting for the petrol variant and an unbelievable 40 weeks waiting for the diesel variant in Delhi is not something you want to hear when you want to buy your Ertiga. While this waiting is only for the top-end variant and you might get the lower variants quicker, Maruti Suzuki needs to attend to the demand quickly especially when competition like the Nissan Evalia and the new Chevrolet MPV are just around the corner. But until then, the Ertiga has the more the merrier mantra well and truly covered!
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