Maruti Ertiga: When Small Becomes Compact
Image: Amit Verma
hinzo Nakanishi, the managing director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki, began the launch event of the Ertiga with a lot of humility. He expressed his gratitude to Maruti customers for their support. He added that the Ertiga is a very big step for the company. That’s true. A compact multi-purpose vehicle is not a very obvious segment in India. It’s a fairly new and uncharted territory. “As India gears to be amongst the largest global automobile markets by 2020, with the foray into UV [utility vehicle] segment, Maruti Suzuki will strengthen its leadership position in the industry,” he said.
So what’s Maruti’s logic for launching the Ertiga? The company believes that India is changing. Families are getting nuclear. But young people have a lifestyle so they do things like go out for a long drive over the weekend. They also sometimes want to take their families out. So they want a sporty, stress free vehicle for city driving, which can also carry a lot of people. So the desire is to buy a versatile car. That’s how Ertiga came into being. Nakanishi said he was confident that the Ertiga will “define mobility”.
It is a possibility. But nowhere in the near future. In the more short term horizon, the car should do well with families and more importantly, as taxis. That’s because the Ertiga is a true Maruti in terms of fuel efficiency. So kitna degi? The vehicle will be powered by a petrol K 14B VVT engine which the company claims will give a fuel efficiency (FE) of 16 km to the liter. There is a diesel version too. Ertiga will be powered by a DBA VGT diesel engine, which the company claims will give a FE of 20 km. That’s some serious FE for a vehicle which can seat seven people. Toyota, better watch out!
Now how does the Ertiga look and what are its features? It looks good, at least from the side profile. The back is pretty boxy but then Ertiga is no Xylo in the looks department. The vehicle is compact, with overall length of 4,265 mm. The 15-inch alloy wheels help. The vehicle has safety features like anti-lock braking (ABS) and air bag for diver and front-seat passenger. It is not an off-road vehicle. It is a comfortable people mover.
When will the car be launched? Nakanishi said it could be either March end or early April. What will be the price? You will get to know that closer to launch. The company says Ertiga will be competitively priced.