Motoring / Motoring News

Glen Hill
3 minute read
18 Jun 2014
6:00 pm

Suzuki’s Ertiga – a sexy people mover

Glen Hill

Suzuki's new Ertiga is bringing a breath of fresh air into an important, if unexciting segment of the market – that of the small MPV.

It is not easy to make a compact seven-seater that is also affordable, but Suzuki have done remarkably well given the constraints introducing a range that starts at just R159 900.

Essentially an extended version of the Swift compact hatchback, the Ertiga is a well-engineered people carrier that offers a surprisingly high level of ride comfrort and performance from its modest 1,4-litre fuel-injected engine.

The K14B four-cylinder engine is the only option with a choice of either 5-speed manual or, in GL and GLX versions, a four-speed automatic gearbox. The engine produces 70 kW and 130 Nm, making for excellent driveavability given its modest proportions and the Ertiga’s generous ones. The fuel consumption, according to the onboard computer, was only marginally above 7l/100km at freeway speeds on the manual versions.

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The core feature of the Ertiga however is its seven-seat capacity. All of these are surprisingly comfortable and it was easy for two adults to access, and remain seated in, the third row. These are provided with full three-point seatbelts which means the Ertiga is a genuine seven-seater.

Safety is further enhanced by dual front airbags for all three specification levels. Head restraints for the front seats are standard on GA models, while GL and GLX versions get head restraints for all seven seating positions. Essentially, ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) are also standard across the range.

With all three seating rows in position, the luggage compartment offers 135 litres of loading space, probably just enough for the children’s schoolbags. This increases to 482 litres when the third seating row is folded flat, while also folding down the second seat row increases cargo carrying capacity to 736 litres.

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The cargo area dimensions are a generous 1 180 x 1 840 x 860mm. At the rear, a low loading height of 706 mm, and a generous loading aperture measuring 860 mm high and 1 180 mm wide, which makes loading and unloading of cargo straightforward.

A key trait is the flat loading floor, created by folding the seating rows down, which eases loading of long items, and the fact that the second row seat bench is split 60:40, allowing an even more versatile combination of seating and cargo space. There’s even a hidden 22-litre storage space under the cargo floor in the case of GL and GLX models.

The second seat row can slide fore and aft across a range of 240 mm, increasing leg room in the process as required. The sliding function also eases access to the third seating row.

The Ertiga also offers ample cup holders and storage binnacles, including a glove compartment, a dashboard rack, door pockets, seat back pockets and bottle holders. The exact combination of storage options varies between GA, GL and GLX models.

Despite its extended body and a fairly generous ground clearance the Ertiga proved to be very stable at high speeds, even in a howling coastal wind. It is extremely easy to drive and the suspension, although on the soft side for comfort, dealt with a mediocre road surface very well.

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Even the entry model GA provides standard features such as a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, electric power steering, a digital trip computer offering an odometer, trip meter, a digital clock, instantaneous fuel consumption display, and a range indicator. Air-conditioning is standard, too.

The GL model benefits, among other things, from an integrated audio system combining an FM/AM CD tuner compatible with MP3 and WMA music files. The four-speaker system incorporates a USB port, allowing compatible music files to be played from memory sticks and devices such as iPhones and iPods.

It also gets electric windows front and rear and remote central locking. The air-conditioning system offers both front and rear controls and a large overhead feed to keep the third row passengers comfortable.

Apart from its all-beige interior the Ertiga appears to be a really decent package and is probably the nicest compact “mom’s taxi” on the market offering the best value.

All five models in the Suzuki Ertiga range are supported a three-year/100 000km warranty, a four-year/60 000km service plan, and a one-year roadside assistance package. Services are at 15 000km intervals.

 

Pricing

  • 1.4 GA Manual – R159 900
  • 1.4 GL Manual – R179 900
  • 1.4 GL Auto – R194 900
  • 1.4 GLX Manual – 192 900
  • 1.4 GLX Auto – R207 900