That it’s a long-ish vehicle was my first impression of Ertiga, what may well be Suzuki’s take on Chevrolet Spin or Toyota Innova or Toyota Avanza or Honda Mobilio (among others), people-carrier multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) that ALMOST look like extended hatchbacks (and in some ways are “packaged” as such). And I suppose in many ways this is the very appeal of Ertiga – i.e. that it “looks” like a family (or at least a big group) car without looking staid (say, like a van).
On the outside, the Ertiga reminded me of Suzuki’s own Swift – albeit this one seemed extended (in the middle). Both the front and the back of Ertiga has Swift’s pretty sexy contours (i.e. not boxy), so that it appears like the hatchback’s bigger brother/sister (particularly notable when looking at Ertiga from the side).
Though using 15″ alloy wheels, Ertiga isn’t at all tall, particularly when placed beside Innova, Avanza, Mobilio, et cetera. And this is even if it is in the same league as the others length-wise.
Inside, the Ertiga was repeatedly described to me as “like a hotel”. Perhaps because, to begin with, the seats look lounge-y. With the fabric upholstery of the seats, the inside of the Ertiga actually also reminded me of an airline, so that being inside this car was somewhat akin to being inside a plane.
But while the inside appears somewhat classy, I’m sorta critical of the fabric used – i.e. dirt COULD stick on them easily. Entering the car after swimming in a beach in Laiya, Batangas, all I could think of was, “Stains! Stains!” Don’t get me started with having kids come onboard…
There are must-mention features inside Ertiga, i.e.: keyless push start system, electronically adjustable side mirrors and audio unit running on Android OS with mirror link capability (similar to Ciaz), reverse parking sensors (no video; just that loud and consistent BEEP-BEEPing), large windows (NOT as large as Jimny’s, but still big enough), dual airbags, and rear airconditioning.
The latter (i.e. airconditioning) is worth mentioning because, for a somewhat big car, the A/C works extremely well on this one.
As mentioned, this is a big group car (Because if not, then what’re the seven seats for?), and as such, it means frequent utilizing for out-of-town trips. And so the Ertiga unit received was tested on: Las Piñas to Lucban (via Nagcarlan to Lucban, then via Pansol to Las Piñas); and Lobo, Batangas (specifically Malabrigo Lighthouse), then Laiya, Batangas before heading back to Las Piñas.
On the road, Ertiga is somewhat malikot (moves a lot). This is particularly true when there are only two or three people in the car. BUT – this is just as important to highlight – when there are more than five people in the car, it gets steady, even if it also sorts of drag, like it’s nahihirapan (having a hard time). This is not to mention two related issues:
- If you use the third row for the 6th and 7th sets, you’d have less space for luggage; and
- Those who are at the back (6th and 7th passengers) complain that being there was like being in a roller-coaster ride; maalon ang feeling (it feels wavy).
For me, sticking with five passengers (driver included) hits the right spot with Ertiga. But that’s just me…
Sticking with five people inside also makes more sense power-wise and trunk-wise. On the former, this car only has a 1.4 liter, 4 cylinder VVT engine capable of 95hp and 130Nm of torque. On the latter, this is because Ertiga doesn’t have a lot of luggage space; the third row with the 6th and 7th seats may be used as seats, or folded as trunk space. Meaning, you’d have to forego one over the other…
I can’t fault the other “spaces” – i.e. legroom and headspace – as there was enough room for everyone to move (friends can even do Madonna’s “Vogue” – LOL!).
This car is also “brave”. For instance, it can climb steep roads – e.g. on the way to Malabrigo Lighthouse, right before the factory of Fortune Cement, there is a one way “road” (if it can be called that at all) that leads to a one-way bridge, and then the end of that bridge forces one to immediately make a steep climb uphill via a WINDING/CURVED road. I must say that the Ertiga didn’t choke. I thought that the car wasn’t gonna make it; but then it revved up, and… zoomed.
Curves were handled well (again, particularly when the car has more load). For instance, and again while heading to Malabrigo, it is “normal” to encounter roads shaped like “S” and double “S”, and “J” and “U” and other weird permutations. Bituka ng manok (Chicken intestines) is an apt description here; and the Ertiga was able to handle these well…
Fuel consumption was… acceptable. Two full tanks had me cover 835 kms for approx. 20.5 km/L.
Particularly on the outside, the Ertiga is by no means a showstopper. But – get this – this provides a cross between a HB (for city driving, since the car may appear long, but it was still able to squeeze in tight spots while city driving) and a (somewhat) big group vehicle. If this is what’s being considered, then this car is definitely worth checking out (not only because of its under-P1 million price tag, but also because of the somewhat classy inside).
Selling for P918,000, Ertiga is available in Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver Metallic, Graphite Grey Pearl Metallic, Cool Black Pearl Metallic, Radiant Red Pearl and Burgundy Red Pearl.