ON THE ROAD: SUZUKI ERTIGA GL

Busy segment

Fairly so. It never was the case. In the recent past only one Japanese manufacturer played in this space, but today that number has tripled. Suzuki may not see itself as a big player but they are certainly getting there with their recent big sales numbers. The Ertiga is playing in a growing space and only physical restraints like stock availability and dealership footprint limits will curtail its rise.

A car in the right space then

Glad you said space, because the Ertiga has that in buckets. The car comes with 7 seats as standard, and you can sit children or adults in on them, it does not matter. That is its main selling card. And that is why it has also become quite popular with the tour operators and the local taxi industry. The rear seats can be folded in order to expand loading space. In fact, you can configure them in several different ways to suit whatever load you are carrying. In case you are wondering, one can fit a full mountain bike in there, as well as a surfboard or mid-sized stepladder. The wheelbase of 2.7 metres ensures good legroom for all occupants.

What technologies are inside?

Suzuki says the expectation is that people will be carried on full loads quite regularly in the Ertiga. After all, that is what it’s for. And so comfort has been vital in its making. Added for this are items like USB ports for music, an instrument cluster located on the dashboard with easy access for radio, Bluetooth connectivity and others. The flat-bottomed steering wheel features satellite controls for sound and Bluetooth phone, and it is adjustable for height but does not move telescopically. For the upcoming summer Suzuki has included two air-conditioned cup holders.

How is the performance?

The 1.5-litre engine is naturally aspirated, which means there is no turbocharger fitted. In Gauteng where we drove the car it lost about 16% of its 77kW due to that, and so performance was not impressive at all. Our concern is not that this is a performance car. Our concern is that under full load it did tend to suffer, especially when attempting to overtake or take steep heels at speed. However, for short trips it is quite ideal and feels very comfortable for all occupants.

In conclusion

The Suzuki Ertiga has taken on a mammoth task and seems to be doing well at it. Sales have been sitting at well over 100 units per month, giving the vehicle a percentage share of over 10% of all Suzuki cars sold in Mzansi. If a 7-seater with useful everyday comforts at a reasonable price is what you seek, look no further.

QUICK STATS

SUZUKI ERTIGA GL

ENGINE: 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol

POWER: 77kW / 105 PS at 6 000rpm; 

TORQUE: 138Nm at 4 400rpm

0 – 100KM/H: 12.2 seconds

GEARBOX: 5-speed manual

DRIVE: front-wheel-drive

TOP SPEED: 175km/h

FUEL AVERAGE:  8.2 l/100km

CO2 e: 146 g/km

PRICE STANDARD: R241 900

NATURAL RIVALS: Honda BR-V, Toyota Avanza

*PRICE RIVALS: Haval H6 1.5T, JMC Vigus 2.4 TDCi, Kia Rio hatch 1.2 LS, Nissan Almera 1.5 Accenta

BABE-MAGNETIC FACTOR: Low

*A price rival falls within R30 000 or so of the subject’s price on either side of its price spectrum for cars over R350 000, R20 000 for cars of between R250 000 and R350 000 and R10 000 for cars below R250 000.

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