Just got my Ertiga VXi with ABS
Fire Brick Red color here in Bangalore last week and its been lovely so far.. Likes:
- Light on the hands; car does not feel heavy to drive despite being a 7-seater
- Nice interiors and looks including the instrument console
- Mileage is good for a 7-seater
- Power is good despite having full-load of people
- Lot of bottle holders Dislikes:
- If I need to fold-down the rear seat fully the mid-row legroom gets compromised a bit, which means no stretching in that case, so maybe split seats in the 3rd row might have been better
- Faster delivery - fairly long waiting time sadly which might result in customers going away to rivals Why Ertiga?
Just out of nowhere really I had thought in 2011 that its probably time to change my Esteem which is an LXi 2007 model and the reasons for that basically were that the brakes on my Esteem were just not good enough to give me any confidence to go out of town on highways very often as the brakes are poor. Even the low seating didnt help as the high beam headlamps from the opposite side at night would make me almost blind for those moments. I am not sure whether this is a particular issue with me or its a general complaint on highways.
So, the main reasons in favor of the Ertiga:
- Maruti Suzuki -- Have owned a new Zen, then a new Esteem and now Ertiga so am a Maruti loyalist you can say, but that was not the reason - its just trusting the brand
- 7-seater - different from the usual 5-seater but with the option of folding the 3rd row seats so that it can be made into a 5-seater
- Weight and Drive comfort -- Just feel that driving the Innova feels much strenuous so this feels like a car so another big factor in favor Car Selection:
So, a group of friends just were discussing cars and SUVs in particular and I was told that the Ertiga is being launched by Maruti. I looked at other SUVs as well, like the Duster, Ecosport, Evalia etc. some of which have already been launched and some are to be launched. After seeing all the pictures I thought the Duster was probably the most considerable among the new models to be launched, but then since Renault is not really established itself as yet I didnt have that level of comfort going in for it considering that the cost of spares/service and maintenance were important factors. Then there is the very popular Toyota Innova but whenever I have driven it, I have felt it very heavy. It seems like it takes a lot out of you. Also, it just seems bulky and feels like it would need a lot of space. Even the fuel efficiency is far lesser in the Innova, hence for all the above reasons ruled it out despite it having a much larger engine and maybe a little more space inside. My Dad also didnt want another car like the Esteem - 5-seater, sedan types but he wanted something like a 7-seater, more like an SUV but within a reasonable price. Considering all of the above and looks of the cars, the trust that Maruti brings in, fuel efficiency, cost of maintenance and spares and various other factors we decided on the Ertiga. Since our running was not much, less than 100 kms in a week, we decided to buy a Petrol Ertiga and since I had braking issues with my Esteem I just wanted all the possible help on making the brakes most effective which meant taking ABS
. So, I called various dealers, took test drives with a couple of them and while taking the Diesel test drive there was a genuine lag till 2000 rpm as we all know, so it felt very different to Petrol which I am used to driving. Variant Selection:
As we all know the Ertiga comes in 3 main variants in Petrol - LXi, VXi (with or without ABS
) and ZXi. We needed double vents for A/C and hence the LXi was ruled out. ZXi has Airbags and its definitely a good safety feature but we didnt opt for it. My personal opinion is that the Airbags are its primary feature and other features didn't appeal to me as much that I would pay almost 80K more, hence VXi seemed like the best option. Since I needed ABS
, I opted for that version. Dealer Selection:
Since my Esteem was on the verge of being sold, we needed a dealer who would give us the car at the earliest. I tried very hard to bargain with dealers in terms of accessories they offered and hardly any dealer gave any accessory free in addition to the ones already given by the car. Finally, decided on the dealer with whom we had taken most test drives and he was promising delivery in 1.5 months maximum, so went ahead with them. I must say that this policy of not giving any freebies as accessory is not the best thing from a customer standpoint.. Looks like Maruti is policing them a lot. After booking with this dealer and waiting for 1.5 months (his promised delivery period) the dealer still didn't have any updates on my car - constantly stating that I will do something everyday. I was fed up of this and finally just escalated the matter to his manager who responded saying that it will take another 4 months for the car to come and that he doesn't know why his executive promised a 1.5 month timeline..huh! terrible especially after waiting for so long without a car at home. I escalated this matter to Maruti as well and found out that another color car is in transit so I just needed to change dealers and I could go for it and I did that. Went in for the Fire Brick Red VXi with ABS
. I then took 100% refund of my booking amount of Rs. 10000 from the earlier dealer. Booking Process:
Its a simple process where I just needed to fill my details and gave the amount of Rs. 10000 towards booking amount and was told that it is in transit and would be available in 4-5 days. Accessories:
Since its boot is very limited in space we had already decided to go for the Luggage Carrier. In addition I have got the following accessories:
- Idol, Footmats, Mud Flaps, Car Care kit, Puncture Kit all came with the car (of course Maruti nowadays charges for these as well).
- Luggage Carrier - Need this as luggage space is limited in case more than 5 people sit in the car, so got this for Rs. 4800 (Delux brand) (Not MGA but from the market) - Removable with the rotation of 4 screws especially for city usage
- Reverse Parking Camera + Sensor - As I wanted the version which lets me see in the rear view mirror; I got it from the market for Rs. 6200 (Worldtech)
- Body Side Moulding - Just did something from a looks standpoint and maybe it will help protect the doors - Rs. 1400 (MGA)
- Bumper Corner Protector - Helps cover up from the two-wheelers who keep coming very close - Rs. 650 (MGA)
- Bumper Protector Rear - Just got this fitted as I thought that this would protect the rear bumper especially since visibility is low in that area - Rs. 4800 (Delux Brand, looks similar to Hiker)
- Seat Covers - Basic art leather covers including steering covers - nothing fancy for Rs. 5800 (MGA also has seat covers for the same price but they didn't have samples to show me hence I didn't opt for MGA)
- Remote Locking - Provided by the car thankfully
- Electronics Car Charger (Plug Point) - Bought this one unit as it would let me charge any phone, laptop or any other electronic gadget while on the move (Rs. 1850) (Belkin)
- Headlamps upgrade - Got myself a Philips Diamond Vision headlights (55/60W 5000K) bulbs for Rs. 1000 as my experience with my earlier car headlights was poor. Didn't opt for the 100/90W with relay kit as I was a little concerned on the warranty part, so once that is clear then maybe I will upgrade further Delivery:
I was promised delivery last week and I was just following up with the dealer constantly out of anxiety and curiosity and got it delivered last week. The registration of my car has not been done so its on Temp registration as of now. Will get the registration done this week. I didn't take insurance for Maruti and opted to go for Royal Sundaram (although Bharti Axa seemed cheaper) but there was no resistance from Maruti regarding this decision. After doing the mandatory checks on the car we took delivery and with the 5L of complimentary fuel we headed to the temple near our house to get the pooja done. All-in-all a very pleasant drive back home. As the last minute cleaning was on I noticed that the hands of the guys touched many parts of the roof of the interiors and this being beige in color left nice black marks and I had to ask them to remove all of these marks out which was done promptly. I then found a paint ripped off from the left-side mirror and I asked them to replace this which was done immediately. Driving experience:
The driving has been very pleasant so far. The car does not feel heavy and is very light on the hands to maneuver around in city traffic. I am more careful to drive it now because its new and even a small scratch is visible due to the color. The reverse camera and sensor help in judgement while reversing else its a bit difficult to see things on the back side. When we went on a long-drive we were 8 adults and managed to fit in but the best part was that there were no issues on the load of the car and the pick-up did not suffer one bit and the drive was super smooth. Similarly the A/C was absolutely fine and we didn't have to go beyond number 2 for the entire day journey despite the load and the heat. Since my concern was around the brakes with my Esteem this area was of specific importance and so far it has performed quite well and gives me the confidence of braking a little later. Presence of ABS
surely does help this cause. I was driving the Ritz (without ABS
) in the middle and although the Ertiga's braking is good, it somehow felt like the Ritz's was better but maybe I will give it some more time and then the brakes might just get better with some more KMS under it. Night-driving was another area which was important and I do feel like the bulb change has surely helped especially in high beam. The low beam of the Diamond Vision almost seems similar without much difference actually to the stock bulbs somehow. Driving constantly in high beam is not something which is a good idea especially when there is oncoming traffic so let's see how this experience goes. Fuel Efficiency:
Initially during the first 2-3 days the mileage was around 11.5-12 as per the display unit but immediately we then left for Mysore (nice highway road) and the fuel efficiency gauge is showing 14.5 on an average. It had gone up to 14.7 as the highest in the middle. Let's see how it performs in the city now and will update the thread.
Guess, that's it from me as of now.. Loving every moment of the car and this is a sureshot winner from Maruti Suzuki!!
Note: I do not have many pictures as yet, will upload in a bit