NEW SUZUKI ERTIGA
- When space and versatility meet sleek style
- winning global life utility vehicle (LUV) adds space and versatility tos compact vehicle family
- Three seating rows provide ample space and comfort
- Versatile seating and cargo arrangements ensure exceptional practicality
- Proven 1,4-litre engine and front-wheel drive link class-leading fuel efficiency to performance
- Adapted Swift platform delivers agile handling and smooth ride comfort
- Feel-good interior offers tactile quality and extensive standard features
Suzuki is extending its passenger car offering for South Africa with the spacious, versatile and attractive Ertiga, a compact life utility vehicle (LUV) that links the response and maneuverability of a compact car to the space, flexibility and practicality of an MPV.
With its three seating rows, the Ertiga can accommodate up to seven occupants, while the LUV’s front-engined, front-wheel drive layout allows a surprisingly generous interior, despite the vehicle’s compact footprint and wieldy character.
Based on the same platform as the highly regarded Swift compact hatchback, the Ertiga brings high standards of interior accommodation and cargo space to the small LUV segment, while maintaining the high standards of engineering, design and quality the Suzuki brand has become renowned for.
The Ertiga is powered by Suzuki’s latest-generation, fuel-efficient K14B four- cylinder engine. The fuel-injected 1,4-litre power unit already enjoys a strong reputation for performance and economy, ensuring that the Ertiga can also count lively responses and class-leading fuel consumption among its many talents.
The Ertiga model range comprises five models, spanning a choice of three specification levels – GA, GL, and GLX – and either a five-speed manual or a four- speed automatic gearbox.
“The arrival of the Ertiga breaks new ground for Suzuki in South Africa,” says Francois van Eeden, Suzuki Auto SA’s national marketing manager. “The brand’s reputation for producing exceptional compact cars is already well established, and the Ertiga extends those virtues to the LUV segment for the first time. “
Van Eeden says the new life-utility vehicle links space, versatility and practicality to the zip, thrift and style that Suzuki’s established compacts, such as the Swift hatchback, have already become renowned for.
“Sleek aerodynamics, space-efficient front-wheel drive and handsome, car-like proportions all equate to a life utility vehicle that appeals on all levels, while keen pricing also adds value to its list of attributes,” Van Eeden concluded.
CONCEPT AND DESIGN
With the Ertiga, Suzuki set out to design a spacious and versatile vehicle that would provide seven seats and ample cargo space, while retaining the agility, response and efficiency of a compact hatchback.
Based on the same platform as the highly regarded Swift compact hatchback, the Ertiga combines a comparatively long wheelbase, and wide front and rear tracks, with short overhangs and a wind-cheating silhouette to create a compact LUV with car-like proportions. The result is a vehicle that looks sleek and feels agile.
Efficient space utilisation is a further strong theme of the Ertiga design, with the need for a three-row seating configuration and ample space for seven occupants identified as a core requirement from the outset.
Vitally, the third seating row is not just an emergency seat, but has been engineered to provide sufficient space for two adults through intelligent packaging, including careful positioning of the fuel tank, and the efficient configuration of the floor area and the seats.
The result is ample space and comfort for all seven occupants, augmented by a high level of standard safety, and car-like ergonomics that ensure ease of access, and ease of use.
That ease of use extends to the agility and manoeuvrability of the Ertiga, achieved through a compact turning circle, responsive steering, and the inherent zest of its
1,4-litre K14B four-cylinder engine. Vitally, these traits underscore the car-like character of the new Suzuki, in turn ensuring driving pleasure.
The result is a truly multipurpose vehicle that combines the best attributes of a compact car and a utility vehicle to establish a brand new life utility vehicle category.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
The new Suzuki’s Ertiga’s compact form factor and low-slung, car-like proportions belie its considerable interior space, seven-seater capacity and generous cargo area.
At just 4 265 mm long, 1 695 mm wide and 1 685 mm high, the Ertiga looks the sleek and streamlined part, emphasised by short overhangs that position the wheels at each corner, thereby maximising interior space.
Also assisting the efficient packaging of the newcomer is the front-engined, front- wheel drive layout, which places all the bulky mechanicals at the front of the car, away from the passenger compartment, while also minimising drivetrain losses.
The interior dimensions of the cabin are impressive, with an interior length of
2 665 mm, an interior width of 1 415 mm and an interior height of 1 310 mm.
The three seating rows can be varied and configured to offer the optimum combination of accommodation and cargo space for different needs: from maximum seating space for seven, to a conventional split of two seating rows and a generous luggage compartment, or even both second and third seating rows folded down to create a cavernous cargo area.
With all three seating rows in position, the luggage compartment offers 135 litres of loading space. 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 a mammoth 736 litres. The cargo area dimensions are a generous
1 180 x 1 840 x 860 mm.
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.
In addition, 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.
On the subject of access, the Ertiga’s rear doors open wide in the interests of easy passenger entry and exit, as well for easier loading and unloading of bulkier items. At the rear, a low loading height of 706 mm, and a generous loading aperture measuring 860 mm high and 1 180 mm wide, makes loading and unloading of cargo a cinch.
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.
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
All five Suzuki Ertiga models are powered by the same, latest-generation K14B engine. The 1 373 cc four-cylinder engine features weight and friction-reducing technologies, together with electronic fuel injection and variable intake valve timing, to achieve an optimum combination of performance and efficiency.
The result is a maximum output of 70 kW at 6 000 r/min, coupled to a torque peak of 130 Nm at 4 000 r/min. The variable valve timing allows the engine to prioritise torque at lower engine speeds, and power at higher engine speeds, thus ensuring brisk responses and sustained cruising speeds under all driving conditions.
While the entry-level Ertiga GA model is available with a five-speed manual gearbox only, the GL and GLX versions also offer the optional convenience of a four-speed manual transmission. Drive is to the front wheels in all instances, further enhancing drivetrain efficiency.
The value-for-money character of this newcomer to the Suzuki family is underscored by class-leading fuel consumption of only 6,6 litres/100 km in the combined cycle.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
The Ertiga platform is based on the lightweight, rigid chassis of the latest- generation Swift compact hatchback, which has received high praise for its combination of stiffness, damping and agility. Unsurprisingly, those traits have been carried over to the Ertiga’s interpretation of the platform.
The front suspension comprises an independent system employing MacPherson struts, coil springs and an anti-roll bar. The suspension has been specifically tuned to suit the Ertiga’s greater emphasis on utility by providing optimised damping while limiting body roll.
The compact torsion beam with coil springs at the rear is another example of the Ertiga’s space and weight-saving design, while also coping admirably with heavier loads.
Also contributing to the Ertiga’s commendable, car-like road manners is an ultra- rigid, ultra-stiff body structure. Strategic use of high-tensile steel allowed the Ertiga design team to reduce weight without compromising torsional stiffness, which not only reduced the centre of gravity, but also improved body integrity and overall handling.
The Ertiga is equipped with energy-saving electric power assistance for its rack- and-pinion steering system, which allows effortless steering and control, even with a full complement of passengers and cargo on board. While the comparatively long wheelbase ensures stability, a tight turning circle of just 10,4 metres contributes direct steering response and overall agility.
A particular focus on the reduction of noise, vibration and harshness has contributed to a refined cabin ambience. The bonnet, roof, floor panels, firewall and rear three-quarter structure all underwent specific enhancement to reduce noise and vibration, reducing interior noise levels in the process.
In addition, wind noise sources were identified and addressed during extensive testing, contributing to overall cabin refinement.
The Ertiga offers a high degree of active and passive safety measures across the entire model range. Dual front airbags are provided for all three specification levels, together with three-point seat belts for the front, centre side and rear seating positions, and a two-point lap belt for the second-row centre seat. Head restraints for the front seats are standard on GA models, while GL and GLX versions get head restraints for all seven seating positions.
The strategic use of high-tensile steels for selected body panels, including the main frame of the passenger safety cell, the framework members and parts of the main floor, assists in body shell integrity in the case of a collision, while the front and rear doors are equipped with side impact protection beams.
ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) are another range-wide standard feature, ensuring the retention of vehicle and steering control, even under hard emergency braking.
THE ERTIGA RANGE
The five-model Suzuki Ertiga range kicks off with the Ertiga GA as its most affordable member. Available as a manual transmission model only, the GA’s focus is on utility and value, whilst still offering an impressive array of standard features.
The GA runs on 15-inch steel wheels with centre caps, with the door handles and
C-pillars finished in black. Front and rear mud flaps are standard, while the exterior mirrors are manually adjustable.
Inside, the list of standard equipment includes 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.
There are cup holders in the dashboard and the centre console, as well as bottle holders in the front and rear door side pockets, as well as in the three-quarter panels adjacent to the third seating row. The front and rear doors also feature storage pockets, and a lidded glove compartment is also included.
A 12V auxiliary power socket is provided in the centre console area, while there is a remote fuel filler flap opener. The second-row bench seat is split 60:40 and features a one-touch walk-in system, as well as sliding adjustment, while the seatback can be reclined.
One step up form the GA, the Ertiga GL features everything the GA offers, but adds to the list with distinguishing features such as full wheel covers for the 15-inch steel wheels, colour-coded door handles and exterior mirrors, the latter with integrated turn indicators, and colour-coded mud flaps.
Inside, the uprated interior boasts smarter upholstery, silver accents for the door trims and gear shift knob, and chrome interior door releases. The more comprehensive instrument binnacle has dual analogue dials for speed and rev count respectively, together with the same digital trip computer.
In addition, this model benefits 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.
The GL model gets a rear screen demister and wiper/wash system, while electric windows are standard front and rear. Also included is remote central locking, while the air-conditioning system offers both front and rear controls.
All seating positions are equipped with head restraints, while the integrated immobiliser is joined by an alarm system for added security. As mentioned, the GL can be ordered with either a five-speed manual, or a four-speed automatic gearbox.
Topping the range is the Ertiga GLX model. It includes all the standard features of the GL, but gains additional lustre from an even more extensive equipment list. Instantly obvious is the fitment of handsome, spoked 15-inch alloy wheels, while the front design incorporates integrated fog lamps.
Inside, the steering wheel is equipped with controls for the audio system, while the digital trip computer is augmented with an outside temperature display. The upgraded audio system adds a pair of tweeters to the speaker complement, bringing the total to six.
The Ertiga GLX offers further improved ergonomics via height adjustment for the driver’s seat, while there is an additional seat pocket behind the driver’s seat. As is the case with the GL models, the GLX is offered in both manual and automatic transmission versions.
SERVICE AND WARRANTY
All five models in the Suzuki Ertiga range are supported a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a four-year/60 000 km service plan, and a one-year roadside assistance package. Services are at 15 000 km intervals.