ARE MPVs still relevant in the South African market- one may ask?
Well with the introduction of Suzuki Ertiga 7- seater in 2019, the answer should be not far-fetched- simply put -yes.
We took it for a whirl amid the stormy weather this weekend and it stood its ground.
Longer, wider, taller and lighter the Ertiga model features a new, more powerful, naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine that offers 77 kW and 138 Nm of torque with a 5-speed manual transmission.
Auspicious leg room, that makes it a lot more comfortable than you would expect in terms of seating, and it’s upholstered seats are rather durable.
Seating positions are comfy too, even in the third row of seats, it’s not too crammed and you could fit four kids right at the back-like my colleague Mdu did with his kids-so did my Gran, she enjoyed climbing on it as opposed to other high ground cars.
Family car or to be used as buddies lift- why not?
The only snag and be warned, it has NO rear-cameras as most of the latest brands have, that means you have to rely on your rear mirrors all the TIME…
Usual suspects it is loaded with an array of new features such as USB and Bluetooth connectivity, steering controls (on GL) two air-conditioned, cup holders and a 12V charging socket. Safety has not been compromised in any way, equipped with two airbags for front passengers and ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD).
The 1.5-litre engine, code-named K15B, is good for 77kW and 138Nm.
Build quality is up a notch and the plastics feel upgraded too.
Despite its compact size, there are loads of storage compartments and even cup holders in all three rows of seats. Suzuki has genuinely utilised every hook and crannie in the Ertiga. It even has air vents in the rear too so that everyone can benefit from the air con on a hot, or cold, day.
Though we did not travel out of Gauteng, this gave us a glimpse on petrol usage.
We clogged 50/60km/p on 8.9litres/100km from Midrand to Braamfie and Alex to East Rand and still managed to pop in at some media events with just a half tank, despite fuel having gone down recently.
The smooth gears change that comes with 5-speed manual gearbox was absolute pleasure but it felt sluggish on the heels, although it claimed 178km/h on a flat surface. Is it because it comes with 15″ wheels, that made it better on the road and the wheel arches look a bit more filled in too?
“Ertiga” name is an adaptation of “R-Tiga” where “Tiga” means “three” in Indonesian.
Are we going for a three as Golfer’s would utter- you may wonder?
All Ertiga models are sold with Suzuki’s 200 000 km / five-year mechanical warranty and a four-year / 60 000 km service plan.
Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GA MT – R214 900
Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL MT – R239 900
Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL AT – R254 900
Performance 1-10 (5)
Fuel 1-10 (6)
Image SLM (The 7-seater Suzuki Ertiga is meant for a family treat, period).