Today went for a brief test drive of the new Ertiga diesel SHVS.
Here are my views and review points: FIRST IMPRESSION and INTERIORS:
1. The car looks decent, although the excess chrome could have been avoided.
2. Interior colors need a change, but sadly the lazy guys at Maruti have stuck with the same sea of Beige.
3. Material quality is the same as the original Ertiga.
4. The fabric pattern on the door-pads and seats are different, but sadly extremely bland and plain. I hate it.
5. Addition of touchscreen is welcome, but looks aftermarket. A black dashboard would have complemented it, but as mentioned before, lazy guys at Maruti.
6. Automatic Climate control is missing, but it's okay since even rivals don't provide them.
7. Seat comfort remain the same for first two rows. The last row seats provide a bit better support and side bolstering due to the new split seat mechanism.
8. Inclusion of Bluetooth and SAT-NAV along with second row charging point is welcome.
9. Sound quality of the Smart-play system is quite good, but the doors vibrate at higher volumes and needs damping.
10. The new SHVS instrument cluster looks cool and upmarket.
11. Rear camera and parking sensors are available only on the Z+ variants. They work well.
12. Key-less entry system and auto- folding wing mirrors work similar to the Swift.
13. New alloys look really nice and much better than the "Faux-alloys" ones of the Baleno and S-Cross.
14. The 50:50 split 3rd row is very useful and makes the car even more flexible than before.
15. Driver airbag standard on base L variants too while dual airbags and ABS
standard on all above variants. But, the removal of the rear bumper fog-lamp is not-so-nice. (The rotary switch of the rear fog lamp is removed from the control stalk as well) The Drive:
1. The Button start works well. First press will switch on the battery while the second press will start the engine. One long press will start the engine directly from off.
2. The noise insulation inside cabin has been improved and better than before. Engine is loud only after 3000rpm. Very silent at cruising speeds.
3. Clutch has become a bit lighter and the brakes were a bit too sharp. Probably because it was almost new car.
4. The SHVS battery system works quite well in masking up the turbo-lag below 1800rpm. The car felt peppier and easily drivable in the city compared to my 2012 Vdi.
5. The car pulls cleanly from 20kmph in 3th gear and from 50kmph in 5th gear.
6. This battery assist is cut-off during heavy acceleration. Moderate acceleration feels best.
7. Regenrative braking helps in charging the battery using the braking force. But braking at higher speeds is not sharp enough as the standard car's brakes.
8. The start-stop system works fine and is better to use it only on long signals (longer than 60 sec).
9. Suspension works fantastic as it is new car, but after sometime, the plushness reduces as in most cars.
10. 24.5 kmpl claimed efficiency. Should be ideal for highway cruising. Price and Verdict:
At a price of around 11.2L for the SHVS Zdi+ and 10.7L for the Zdi variants, the Ertiga is priced lower than the rivals by a lac rupees. It provides much better equipment, standard safety equipment and comfort as well. Although the looks invite mixed opinions, the Ertiga SHVS diesel is probably the best highway cruiser in it's segment and now does the job well in the city too. Other points:
1. Since the new alloys look great, I inquired the price of a set of 5. Each alloy costs around 5K and a set of 5 costs 20K roughly.
2. I was eager to have a go with the AT variant as well, but it seems as if the dealers in the South haven't received even a demo car. They will notify me when the get it.