2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga First Drive Review: A Good Family Car The all-new Ertiga has a refreshing new look and carries a panache that'll keep the design relevant for at least the next 5 years


THE MPV also known as people carrier is a popular segment in the Indian auto market. And one car that has made its mark in this category is the  Maruti Suzuki Ertiga which has finally got a much-needed upgrade.

Maruti Suzuki has launched the 2018 next generation Ertiga within a couple of months of Mahindra launching its shark-inspired Marrazo. Competitively priced, the car starts at Rs 7.44 lakh and can go all the way up to Rs 10.9 lakh, ex-showroom, for the ZDi+ diesel.

A lot has been changed when compared to the outgoing model. We had the chance to drive the all-new Ertiga and here’s our first drive review.

Ertiga 2

What’s New

For starters, the Rs 900 crore that Maruti Suzuki spent on developing the next generation Ertiga shows.

The car is longer, wider and has a bolder stance. There is a floating roof that seamlessly integrates with the overall proportions of the vehicle. The new Ertiga has been increased by 99mm which makes it easier for passengers to get in and out of the rear seat.

The rear door length has also been increased by 35mm which might seem like an insignificant increase, but it makes the door almost as big as the door on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class long wheelbase.

In terms of safety, Maruti-Suzuki has used their ‘Heartect’ platform on the Ertiga for safety and rigidity.

The front has also been enhanced and you get a raised hood with a very flashy all-chrome grille that seamlessly sits between the projector headlamps that are now standard on all variants.

The front fascia looks premium but more than that, it looks 2018-19 ready. The rear has also been souped up. The new LED tail lamp is reminiscent of the Volvo design language but has been done very tastefully by the Maruti Suzuki designers.

Ertiga 1

Overall, in terms of the exterior design, the all-new Ertiga has a refreshing new look and carries a panache that’ll keep the design relevant for at least the next 5 years.

There is also a new alloy-wheel design that looks balanced and comes fitted with 15-inch, 185/65 tyres. And most importantly, it does steer clear from the bread-box design that was seen on the Renault Lodgy.

Step inside and the first thing that strikes you is the space. To be honest, the older Ertiga was spacious enough for 7 passengers but the new one looks luxurious.

The beige upholstery blends well with the new cabin design and gives it is a roomy feel. The front dashboard has been redone and it now has chrome accents with a maple wood finish—a tasteful yet practical feature.

The maple wood-finish is non-reflective and has a matte touch to it making it durable and easy to maintain. The piano-black finish on the infotainment panel’s frame gives the front a balanced look.

Maruti Suzuki has intelligently fitted a flat-bottom steering wheel which comes in a maple wood-finish.

Ertiga 3

The car comes with automatic climate control with first-in-class air-cooled twin-cup holders in the front. Features like steering-mounted controls, middle row AC vents, flexible luggage space are ergonomically designed and can be easily reached. The third row can now be reclined and the boot space comes with a few secret compartments that you would appreciate.

The Engines

Maruti Suzuki has carried forward the SHVS DDiS 200 diesel engine from the last model, however, there is a new entrant in the form of the SHVS K15 petrol motor which was seen in the 2018 Ciaz.

The petrol hybrid motor develops 77Kw of power and 138Nm of torque. The petrol variant comes with a 10.67-inch TFT multi-information display that will let you keep track of your car’s performance in terms of fuel efficiency, power, torque, door open displays, etc.

The petrol motor is also available in a 5-speed manual as well as a 4-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine, however, is only available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Overall, there are 6 variants to choose from in petrol and 4 variants in the diesel motor. The one pain-point with the engines is that they are BSIV complaint.

How’s It To Drive?

The Ertiga is fairly indisputable in terms of practicality and fuel-efficiency.

We drove the manual diesel variant and found that the longer, wider and taller stance has not affected the overall driving dynamics of the car. The suspension has been tweaked making it a breeze to drive over bumps, on bad roads and to cruise with ease on highways.

The thing to remember though is balancing the tyre pressure with the number of passengers inside the car. A couple of PSIs of air pressure (pound-force per square inch) here and there can make all the difference to your drive experience.

In terms of pulling power, the 1248cc diesel motor with its 200Nm of torque will keep you quite happy, be it for city or highway driving. The ride experience is fairly comfortable, however, if you are more than 6-feet tall you might be a little cramped in the last row.

Ertiga 4

Who Should Buy It?

The new Ertiga by Maruti-Suzuki is an all-round MPV. Many would compare it to the Mahindra Marrazo and maybe even the Toyota Innova.

The Innova comparison is a bit unfair though as all the three cars offer different sizes, engines as well as equipment. The only common denominator between all three are the seven seats.

So, who should buy the all-new Ertiga?

This is a vehicle made for families that like to drive together, are concerned about fuel efficiency and want a well-built MPV for a budget. The Renault Lodgy is a close competitor but it is outdated and clearly inferior to this new Ertiga. Competitive pricing also makes it quite attractive.

So, if your needs tick all the boxes mentioned above, then the all-new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is a no-brainer.





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