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Launched in November last year, the all-new Ertiga comes across as a much-improved package across all parameters. Improvements have been made in terms of design, cabin, features and the comfort factor. We decided to bring in the diesel model in our long-term fleet for 3 months and live with this MPV as a typical customer would do. Here is our initial impression after two weeks and over 1400km!
We all like driving and the Ertiga was immediately taken for a quick two-day road trip from New Delhi to Punjab and back. Though it continues to use the good old 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine, performance has improved slightly and highway manners remain impeccable for what is a family mover. We not only got an overall economy of 23 kmpl on the 500km trip, the diesel motor impressed us with its mid-range punch that came handy during overtaking runs. Yes, there is a hint of turbo lag but once in the meat of the torque band, the Ertiga behaves like a more powerful MPV.
The new Ertiga has made leaps and bounds in terms of passenger space and comfort. It continues to seat 7 passengers but space in the last tow has improved and so has the boot space. We found this out on the road trip and further, the flexibility of sliding the 2nd row seats independently (60:40 split) along with recline feature deserves a special mention. Even the last row seats can be reclined independently and these little changes go a long way in addition to the comfort factor during longer drives.
We even made use the flexible 2nd row to convert the Ertiga into our office on wheels at one occasion. The co-driver’s seat can also be reclined completely which allows you to literally relax as you would do in a first-class section of a business airline! And despite a small engine (for an MPV), the Ertiga’s air conditioning gets top marks from us. Summers are fast approaching and we are happy this one cools down the massive cabin quickly.
There are other things we love - the cooled cup holders up front for example. You can allow the air-con’s air to circulate in the cup holders, thereby ensuring your drinks retain their temperature on the move. The short gearing is a boon for city runs and this MPV feels better suited to traffic conditions as compared its sedan sibling, the Ciaz. Why? Shorter gearing means the vehicle feels torquier and you can pull away in a higher gear from lower speeds. We could even start from standstill in the 2nd gear, much like the Innova!
We aim to cover a total of 7500-8000km during the 3-month tenure with the Maruti Ertiga diesel. A couple of long trips are planned and it will also be used for daily commute runs inside Delhi NCR.
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