Auto Expo 2012 - Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
Maruti Suzuki has so far been associated with the small car segment in the Indian market but with the unveiling of the Ertiga at the 2012 Auto Expo they have announced their intent to diversify their brand. The Ertiga will be India's first three-row MPV and will be powered by the K-14 VVT range of engines which also made its debut at the Expo. It will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. The petrol variant will have a 1.4-litre engine that produces a maximum power of 94PS at 6000rpm and a peak torque of 130Nm at 4000rpm. The diesel variant, which is what will rake in the numbers, will be powered by Fiat's 1.3-litre DDiS super turbo engine which will produce a maximum power of 88PS and a peak torque of 200Nm at 4000rpm. One of the crucial factors for the success of the Ertiga will be its fuel efficiency and Maruti are claiming a mileage figure of 16kmpl for the petrol and 20kmpl for the diesel. While the actual figures will be much lesser these are still commendable figures for a vehicle of its size considering that the Toyota Innova, its biggest competitor has a mileage of around 11kmpl, this will be a trump card for Maruti. But we will wait till the actual figures are out before we declare a winner on the mileage front.
In terms of design and styling the front of the Ertiga resembles the Ritz while the rear is a distinct design which hasn't been seen on any of Maruti's products yet though it has the distinct stop light on the top spoiler like on the Swift and the Ritz. The interiors are very much like in the Swift but instead of the black the Ertiga sports a beige tone. This seven seater MPV will have three rows of seats but the last row is only suitable for children. There is hardly any leg room and doesn't look comfortable for adults even on short journeys. It will come with an option of 2, 3/4, 5 and 7 seats.
To challenge the supremacy of the Innova the biggest factor will be the pricing and we expect Maruti to price it around Rs 6-8 lakh, ex-showroom. This means it will still be cheaper than the base model of the new Innova which costs Rs 9.4 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. It will also compete with the Mahindra Xylo which starts at Rs 7.24 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Maruti have announced that they will launch the Ertiga by the end of March 2012 or early April. Knowing Maruti's penchant for producing vehicles which appeal to the masses, expect the Ertiga to be a game changer.