20180501

The new Ertiga is bigger, looks sleeker and goes quicker. Are we looking at Maruti-Suzuki's next big-seller?

Would you believe if we tell you that Maruti-Suzuki, a force to reckon with in the Indian automotive industry, was a fringe player in MPVs and Utility Vehicles as recent as 2012? Yes, that's right and it was the Ertiga that changed the status quo. Based on the R3 Concept that debuted as a design study at the 2010 Auto Expo, Maruti-Suzuki launched the Ertiga in 2012 to a fantastic response in the market. As many as 11,000 of these were booked in India within the first five days of launch.

After a successful 6-year run that saw the Ertiga being the only successful MPV in India apart from the all-conquering Toyota Innova, it's time for an all-new model to take over. The second-generation Ertiga recently made its debut at the 2018 Jakarta Motor Show in Indonesia, another country where Suzuki's monocoque MPV is quite popular. While Maruti-Suzuki has not unveiled the new Ertiga in India yet, it is expected to be launched here before the end of the year. 


Unlike the current Ertiga whose sweptback headlamps and sloping hood are clear references to its origins from the Swift, the new Ertiga takes a distinct approach and looks mature. The more upright hood, the horizontal headlights that connect to the slender grille and the wide contours in the bumper are a clear departure from what we have seen in the new Swift and makes the Ertiga look more upmarket. The profile is characterized by a prominent shoulder line that runs fender to fender housing the door handles and the floating roof design effect aft of the C-pillar. At the rear, Suzuki's designers seem to have drawn inspiration from Volvo while sketching the taillights. It looks so close that it could make the Swedish car-maker's fans frown. That said, the new Ertiga's derriere looks far more appealing than the existing model.

Based on the 'Heartect' platform that also underpins the Baleno, Dzire and the new Swift, the Ertiga benefits from the safer and lighter monocoque. Measuring 99 mm longer, 40 mm wider and 5 mm taller, the new Ertiga is bigger in every dimension compared to the current model. While the wheelbase remains same at 2,740 mm, interior passenger space and luggage space appear to have improved considerably. Expect the third row to be more usable in the upcoming Ertiga! 

The interiors have been completely revamped with a dashboard that mixes retro styling touches with modern-day amenities and conveniences. The wooden pattern running across the width of the dashboard in the higher variants are from an era gone by while the flat-bottom steering wheel and tablet-like touchscreen in the center console are popular trends these days. Feature list is expected to be strengthened as well, given how well-kitted the new launches from Maruti-Suzuki are.

A scan of the new Ertiga's brochure detailing the complete specifications and feature list for the Indonesian market is shown below. 


Considering the all-round improvement, it would be great if Maruti-Suzuki refrains from carrying over the existing 1.4-liter K-series petrol and the 1.3-liter MultiJet-derived diesel engines in the new Ertiga. The car deserves and needs (with all three rows occupied and the boot loaded to the hilt!) more power. This is where the K15B 1.5-liter petrol engine under the hood of the Indonesian Ertiga could help. Developing 103 horsepower and 138 Nmof torque, this mill could suit Ertiga's requirements better. 

So, all said and done, the upcoming new Ertiga is bigger, looks sleeker and possibly goes quicker. Are we looking at Maruti-Suzuki's next big-seller? We've no doubts on that given Toyota has positioned the Innova Crysta far higher in the chain and the competition is pretty much dead.

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