Maruti Suzuki Ertiga ZXi BS-IV - Performance Review
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Performance Review of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga ZXi BS-IV
Last Updated at 03:16 pm, May 20, 2013Rating :
The Ertiga is easy to drive and the small-capacity engines are more economical than most other MPVs. | Photography: Eshan Shetty.
The Ertiga is a MPV but with a small capacity engines - thanks to its dependency on the Swift platform. The diesel option comes in the form of the 1.3-litre DDiS engine. However, unlike the Swift, the Ertiga gets the variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) from the SX4 and therefore the oil burner puts out 90 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. The petrol variants of the Ertiga debut the 1.4-litre KB14 engine which churns out a decent 95 PS of power, but puny 130 Nm of torque.
The diesel engine has the characteristic clatter to it and can be heard inside the cabin as well. With a VGT bolted on, you don’t get the sudden turbo-kick like with the Swift and the engine does seem to struggle during uphill climbs with seven people onboard. On the highway though, the engine offers decent cruising speeds and with the turbocharger working in full-swing, overtaking isn’t too difficult either. Within the confines of the city environment too, the diesel Ertiga trots around well and will return a decent fuel economy of over 15 kmpl. Highway runs should return between 16-18 kmpl even with seven people onboard and the air-conditioning running at full blast.
The petrol engine is the new kid on the block and is naturally aspirated. Unsurprisingly then, you need to initially rev the engine quite a bit to get it up to decent cruising speeds. Being a K-series engine though, the 1.4-litre mill is eager to rev and provides the driver with a linear acceleration. The Ertiga petrol can happily cruise at highway speeds at a little over 2,500 rpm and that has a positive effect on the fuel economy. On the highway, our test car managed to extract a fuel economy close to 14 kmpl while in the city it dropped to 12 kmpl. Also, the city drivability of the petrol Ertiga is better than the diesel version since the petrol mill does not feel as sluggish as the oiler.
The steering on the petrol version is quite light and will welcome the newbie as well as the experienced driver. What was quite unusual during our testing was that the steering on the diesel Ertiga felt significantly heavier than its petrol counterpart even at city speeds. We believe that it could be a one-off case. The gear shifter on the petrol Ertiga is slick and has short throws. The diesel Ertiga’s stick feels a tad notchy though.
Since the Ertiga is expected to seat seven in comfort, the suspension is setup on the softer side. There is a fair amount of body-roll too but since you sit fairly lower than a typical MPV / SUV, the roll should not infuse too much motion sickness in any of the seats – unless you inherently suffer from it. The grip from the MRF ZVTVs isn’t all that great as we found out on the Swift and the Dzire and therefore, you should think twice before pushing this relatively long vehicle into corners.
The long dimensions of the Ertiga and the low seating make it slightly difficult to gauge the length of the vehicle in city traffic conditions and tight parking spots. Maruti Suzuki isn’t offering any parking aids even on the top end model. A Maruti Suzuki branded parking-sensor system will cost you an additional Rs 4,000 while a camera-aided system will set you back by Rs 10,000.
Overall, the Ertiga drives like a car even with its raised seating and lengthy dimensions, however it will need a little getting used to in order to avoid bumper replacements every now and then. The petrol Ertiga is what we prefer overall as compared to the diesel version.
An economical, frugal and easy to drive people carrier was absent until now in our market. Maruti Suzuki has understood that need and the Ertiga has come across as a package that perfectly fits the bill. In fact, MPV, MUV, LUV, HATE, no matter what you call it, there is absolutely no point comparing the Ertiga to any other vehicle – for at the price point at which it is launched, the Ertiga has carved out a segment of its own. Therefore if you are looking for a vehicle that offers more space than a sedan while being priced as much as one – then the Ertiga is the car for you.
First Published on 07:53 pm, June 08, 2012