Maruti’s all new approach to the MPV segment offers both premise and promise. Christened an LUV (life utility vehicle) by Maruti, the car strives to merge the compactness of a saloon car with the spaciousness of an SUV.
Appearance and Design of Ertiga
At first glance, the Ertiga seems a fair bit shorter and low-slung compared to a typical SUV on the roads. This is however by no means a drawback- if anything it makes the Ertiga look slick and sporty. This is even more striking when you consider that the car can seat seven, in three rows. The exterior design in part is a reminder of Maruti’s previous cars, with design elements borrowed from the Swift and the Ritz being most conspicuous. The overall look of the car is pleasing, and though not a show-stopper, it does catch the eye. The interiors of the car also do a good job of looking neat, albeit a little shy. The view though the windscreen is nice, but negotiating the city’s countless crossroads may be hampered slightly by the car’s thick A-pillars. The seats are roomy and comfortable, but the last row needs some squeezing into. But given the fact that these seats are used so rarely, the compact-looking car is rendered deceptively spacious, more so when the last and middle rows of seats are folded.
The Ertiga is available with both petrol and diesel engines- a choice that is not usually offered on all SUVs. Both engines pack a decent enough punch- the maximum power of each being specified as 95 bhp @6000 rpm. The mileage as claimed by Maruti stands at 16 km per liter for the petrol car and 20.77 km per liter for the diesel variant. The engine is decently suited for both city and highway driving, though pickup seems a touch slow in the mid to high ranges. That apart, the drive is very good. Handling is precise, and maneuverability is a joy to behold.
Accessories and Features
In the name of gadgetry, the Ertiga offers plenty of cool features- the base model comes with power steering, remote trunk and fuel tank openers, low fuel warning, accessory power outlet, trunk light, vanity mirror and rear reading lamp. The highest variant has all the features you would expect in a high-end car, including ABS and front airbags.
The Ertiga’s petrol version is priced at Rs. 5.89 lac (base model) and goes up to Rs. 7.3 lac. The diesel car starts at Rs. 7.3 lac and rises up till Rs. 8.45 lac.
Maruti’s efforts in creating an accessible, drivable and budget-friendly utility vehicle are indeed laudable. It may be outsized by the big boys of the SUV segment, but it is an attractive choice for those looking for something less daunting and more within reach, especially when tackling the numerous challenges of the city streets.
-by Abhishek Neeli