By Sala Masindane
What options do large families with a limited budget have? Very few but the Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota Avanza, Honda BR-V, Volkswagen Caddy Crew Bus and the (recently launched) Toyota Rush have been servicing this space. Although SUVs are slowly coming for this segment there’s still a high demand for these vehicles. Suzuki have noticed this and have spared no time in introducing the second-generation Ertiga. We attended the launch of seven-seater in the warm and busy streets of Johannesburg to see if it still ticks the boxes of this competitive segment.
The Ertiga has retained the big car appeal in a small footprint but now it has more presence. This is courtesy of the growth in size. The Ertiga has been stretched by 130 mm, made wider by 40mm wider and its roof lifted by 5mm. That’s not all but the clever design of the new large and upright cut-cross chrome grille with the imposing Superman like Suzuki S-emblem and LED taillights will reinforce the idea of growth in size. The Ertiga’s new, daring LED taillights that reach towards the roof blend in with the design without being over the top.
The interior of the new Suzuki Ertiga is where the deal will be sealed for the new owners of the MPV. It is simple and straight forward. How you ask? Well, every seat row is reclining and has adjustable headrests. The last row will fit two-adults that are taller than normal, and passengers will also have benefits of air vents on the GL model. Overall the interior is also quite with the second and third row foldable to create more space when required. Suzuki has also done away with the beige cloth fabric seats with seats now coming in black.
Upfront you will be met by the new D-shaped shaped multifunctional steering wheel with height adjustment which will make it easier to get in and out for the driver. The steering wheel will come with controls on the GL model. New buyers will be glad to know that the new Ertiga has the upright Touch Panel infotainment system that has Bluetooth and USB connectivity installed in it. The driver also has the benefits of the new instrument cluster with a multi-information trip display.
Safety, Engine and drive
Key safety features include two airbags for the front passengers and ABS brakes with EBD. While for those that have kids, ISOFIX anchors for child seat are available, and parking will be made easier in the GL model as it gets reverse parking sensors. All models feature an immobiliser.
The Ertiga range will all feature Suzuki’s new K15B 1.5 litre petrol engine that replaces the K14B engine. It delivers power outputs of 77kW and 138Nm of torque. The efficient engine will be paired with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. The fuel consumption from for the automatic is at a claimed 6.0l/km and the manual at 5.5l/km
At the launch we drove the GL manual model (only one available currently) and the drive of the Ertiga is quite refined. Unfortunately, we only had two passengers at a go in the MPV and never felt how it performs when it is fully loaded with seven occupants in terms of the power transfer. The Ertiga will need some change down when needing to overtake at times as it does tend to labour when asked to overtake at high gears. We also noticed some bold roll at higher speeds something which drivers will have to take into account and give themselves ample time to stop if and when required to do so quickly. Notwithstanding this, the Ertiga is efficient, practical, appealing and a good family car.
There are three models on the line
- Ertiga 1.5 GA Manual – R214,900
- Ertiga 1.5 GL Manual – R239,900
- Ertiga 1.5 GL Automatic – R254,900
All the Suzuki Ertiga models will be sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200,000 km/five-year warranty and a four-year/ 60,000 service plan.
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