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Old 18th December 2013, 11:48   #1
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Default Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update

The Story is not yet over!

Almost 8 Fantastic years of driving a Tall-boy crunching more than 210,000 Kms cutting across various sections of roads of our country including a stupendous GQ run last year, this car has been an absolute delight to own and drive with zero niggles or breakdowns reported till date. No hits and no claims – Touchwood!
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-wagonr_legend.jpg

My family welcomed our Daughter ~3.5 years back who became a new companion for the drives we undertook thereon. She sure had her share of fun sitting inside the Tallboy during every drive that lasted 1100 kms at stretch quite regularly during all those Bangalore-Pune-Aurangabad runs.

Why another car?

Time flew and she grew up and gave us all a hint that she needs her space! WagonR F10D was comfortable only for 4 Passengers including the driver and the 5th occupant even a kid would not be a happy one. Moreover, with an Infant Car Seat it was impossible to have the 3rd passenger at all.

Since I mostly drive with Parents, wife & daughter over all those long distance trips, it became evident that we would need to add another car in our Garage. A car that would give a comfortable space, Ride and peace of mind to all the passengers due to the super long trips that we normally undertake. We needed something that offered a Taller seating with least jolts to the passengers while cruising at typical highway speeds.

Wifey insisting on buying herself a car (that too just another hatch) prompted me to take a call on buying something Bigger, better and as reliable as what I own already.

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th December 2013 at 15:56.
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Old 18th December 2013, 11:52   #2
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Enthusiast Driver or an enthusiast car?
The Driver in me behaved like an enthusiast and confused me a lot before I concluded that if you love driving, you can make any drive a pleasurable one and any car a driver's car!! After all, It was not under pressure that I always drove the WagonR mostly on highways where the 2.15 Lacs kept coming in under 7.5 years.

Primary requirements as a Driver:
Tall seating, space above the head: I am 6'3" Tall. Perhaps I was pampered over the past 7.5 years of driving the WagonR with these 2 attributes so much that they converted into must haves for me in my second car. The shortest trip that I regularly undertake was Bangalore-Pune and no shoulder or back pain would mean I have no complaints about ergonomics of the seating position. I hate roofline almost swiping my head and makes me feel claustrophobic all the times.

What should I burn?
There was no confusion to opt between the 2 but my mind dillydallied between Petrol and Diesel depending on how I loved certain Petrols too. Since I drive a minimum of 64 kms each weekday, Diesel was the ultimate choice but Petrol was not knocked out from the competition and winning my heart. The usual premium you pay for a Diesel, the Break-even happening after X kms was all fine with me. So, let me just say that by now it was still not clear whether I will buy a Diesel or Petrol.

Space & comfort for the Passengers:
This was the most important deciding factor above the rest. For the reason that I mostly take up drives ranging 850-1000kms in a single shot with family:
  • An able highway cruiser that can manage & maintain highway speeds
  • Higher seating for the passengers
  • Roomy Interiors
  • Near Flat seating bench
  • Better Shoulder room
  • Easy accommodation of 3rd person in 2nd row
  • Reclining rear seats : Thank you WagonR, it was due the same feature we expressed the desire to have one in the next car.
Utility requirements:
  • Power windows this time please
  • Let me also have my own bottle holder too
  • How about a 3rd row that we can use when needed for some occasional small drives? (This was not a must have feature & hence we evaluated most of the 5 seaters as well)
  • Luggage space - Well, the F10D's boxy design ensured we never had issues with luggage but let us not compromise on boot space this time too
  • Fully loaded this time at least
Safety requirements:
This is our Second car, let us ensure we buy a fully loaded car with all the required Safety and other features : ABS, Airbags, better build than the current WagonR etc.

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th December 2013 at 15:51.
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Old 18th December 2013, 13:17   #3
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And then the shortlisting...

Sedan, Spacious Hatch, SUV, MUV – Whichever it is among these, it must drive and behave like a car is all I wanted. So quite easily, I ruled out the most popular Safari, Scorpio or the Xylo from my list. I was not going off roading that I craved for a typical SUV too. Anything other than this was either out of my Budget or I didn't like to even consider.

Here are the options that I thoroughly test drove (many along with family) before arriving at a decisive conclusion that ticked most of the boxes!

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-contenders.jpg

RENAULT DUSTER:

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One of my colleagues had recently picked up the fully loaded 110PS. So It was easy to test drive and make a lot of assessment before concluding if I had to buy this one or not.

FORD ECOSPORT TDCI:

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Another colleague wanted to upgrade and hence I too got a chance to Test drive the Ecosport through Lathangi Ford. I loved the driveability aspects of the Ecosport but the space in the rear was a big let down for an otherwise able all rounder

MARUTI SUZUKI SX4:

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Have driven both the Petrol as well as the Diesel over at least 1500 kms. Bhpians 'ACS' and 'alokgungal' own a Diesel and a Petrol respectively. I always had a liking for the SX4 since it complements my height of 6'3" but the fact that the rear seat was not designed to accommodate 3 made be rethink on opting for this one.

VOLKSWAGEN VENTO TDI:

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My colleague and a BHPian 'Mighty_Lothar' was always there whenever I needed to take a TD. Have driven the Vento (before and after a remap) and always loved the dynamics of this car despite of the light steering. It is indeed one definite diesel performer and makes a lot of cars bite the dust when it comes to straight-line speeds. Space and Build quality also got a thumbs up from my side. However, the Ground clearance was a concern for the fact that my drives are usually unplanned and may have very bad roads too.

FIAT LINEA TJET:

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Yes, Indeed it was Petrol on my mind for a while too. Thanks to 'funkykar' and 'lloydofcochin' who ensured that I include this one as part of my shortlist. Having heard a lot about this punchy Petrol plus the super long drives I have taken up with the Palio and the Punto, I knew this can be a winner and it didn't let me down either. Power, Performance, Handling dynamics, Braking, Build Quality - Everything was just Excellent. Increased ground clearance meant I don't need to bother much about bad roads or humps.

It was the space on the rear bench (compromising for 3) along with the fact that I need to drive 64 Kms each day with the not to famous FE numbers of the TJET that made me think of other options. There was a straight discount of 1 Lac INR which was very lucrative for a fully loaded model.

NISSAN SUNNY Diesel:

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Well, I knew this will perfectly fit the bill when it comes to space management for passengers and the luggage as well. I didn't take a TD of this but merely visited Shahawar Nissan showroom for an inquiry. I was delighted about the VFM factor for all the Safety features one was getting in the base variants too.

MARUTI SUZUKI RITZ Diesel:

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This was a surprise entrant in the lot out of the blue. Thanks to the Tallboy seating in the WagonR, the Ritz Diesel with a better handling and a peppy and efficient diesel engine was so close to buying that we asked the dealer to visit home to see how it fits the parking place inside the compound.

It was the impractical Boot space that made me think away from this. Family also had a sigh of relief that I decided against this as they thought It would just be another small car and nothing really big or spacious too.

HONDA CITY iVTEC:

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Our extended family owns one and have driven it more than 5000kms over the highways including a Bangalore-Rajkot-Bangalore drive. A test drive was absolutely not necessary and so was the confirmation on how well it can seat 3 at the rear. The fuel efficiency too was something to cheer about being a Powerful Petrol.

I visited the Whitefield Honda Show room who offered me 67k Cash discount for a V(MT) while I was keen on S (MT). It was indeed a very close call. Was almost going to book one. The sales executive declined of any TD cars (the whole showroom was filled with Amaze) but before I walked out telling him I will take a firm decision in a day, I thought of sitting on the driver's seat for once.

There was a customer's car and I simply entered the cabin and the immediate feeling was:
  • If I am compromising on seating height and lower head room?
  • I Have driven this mostly on highway and a 64 kms B2B city driving may cause back-ache with frequent shifting?
  • Will my parents approve of the low seating when I knew that they complained of lower back pain when we drove the iVTEC to Pune in 2011?
  • Having known how soft the suspension is and how badly it scrapped even the road bankings on all hairpin curves in Ghats under full load worried me too.

And I found the winner that made everyone happy:

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Test Drive case 1:
  • Visited Surakshaa care and drove from their Bommanahalli Showroom via Silkboard towards Agara which had 2 flyovers to test
  • Very immediate impression was the laziness, slow progress with the car having 4 passengers and myself
  • Mind immediately rejected this terming it a very bad performer

Test Drive case 2:
  • Visited Bimal Auto near home on New Airport road
  • Took it for a spin along with wife and the sales person and a lady on the open stretch towards Airport
  • Instant impression with this Ertiga was in complete disagreement with my first test drive
  • The car did respond well, reached 3 digit speeds with ease, managed to cut lanes with confidence at 3 digit speeds, excellent turning radius and lot of bite with the brakes too
  • Wife who kept insisting Ritz was not a right choice looked at me and said lets but this now - Its got loads of space in the rear to sit plus a bonus 3rd row even though we may never use it or occasionally

(A sure possibility of the Test Drive car from Surakshaa not in the fittest condition though Odo readings were similar in both cases??)

The Dealership experience, pre-booking and delivery.....continued

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th December 2013 at 16:13.
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Old 18th December 2013, 16:56   #4
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3rd and the Final Test Drive (With complete family):

After I and wife took a TD on a Friday at Bimal, which subsequently inclined my decision towards the Ertiga, we decided to make a booking at the dealership.

However, I still wanted to do a dry run over a considerable distance with my complete family (Parents, Wife & Daughter) to take a final call on the variant, color or even the Ertiga as the next car itself!

Next day we all drove to Surakshaa Car Care's Bommanahalli Showroom and I had intimated Mr Lokesh the previous day that I need another TD Ertiga since I wasn't happy with the previous TD vehicle last time.

He had a chat with the MD of the dealership who agreed to leave his Ertiga at the dealership so that I can take a thorough test drive.

The car was ready to be tested and it was a fully loaded Zdi Variant.

The following configuration was used to assess the space and comfort over a distance of almost 45 kms.

Configuration 1: One Adult in 3rd row

Row 1: Myself + My Father
Row 2: Wife + Mother + Daugher (3.5 Years)
Row 3: Lokesh Aradhya from the Dealership


Configuration 2: Adult and a Kid in 3rd Row

Row 1: Myself + My Mother
Row 2: Lokesh + Father
Row 3: Wife + Daughter


Configuration 3: All 3 Adults in second row

Row 1: Myself + Lokesh
Row 2: Father + Mother + Wife
Row 3: Daughter


Route pattern:
Mix of elevated expressway, bylanes of Jigani Industrial area and a few kilometers of 6 lane highway with a lot of truck traffic in all lanes.

Quick Driving review:
This Ertiga had run about 27,000 kms on the ODO but responded much better than the TD car. On a Saturday afternoon, the 9 kms Stretch was devoid of traffic towards Hosur and I tried a few bursts of 100-120 Kmph. I tried gaining momentum in 5th gear at 90-100kmph as it was most necessary to ascertain overtaking abilities under full load on a typical highway.

With a long body, the car felt planted and behaved exactly as per inputs during those quick lane changes as well without jolting the passengers inside.

NVH levels I felt were adequate till 110KMPH which otherwise is almost like wooosh sound below the 100kmph mark hardly letting you know if its a Diesel under the hood.

Driving on some very bad patches in the vicinity of Jigani industrial area helped me assess the way Ertiga can take on bad patches that we occasionally encounter anywhere we drive. The suspension was neither too soft nor too hard but It managed to take on the bad patches pretty well.

By the time we reached back the dealership, Parents who sat in the Ertiga for the first time were definitely convinced. This was critical for me for a reason that they have always been my driving companions for all those Pune/Mumbai/Gujarat runs and they ought to feel comfortable.


The variant selection:
I had gone through the complete brochure to understand the feature differences between the Vdi and the Zdi. The Zdi was the only choice that we had in our mind till we inquired about the color and the waiting period.

While a Vdi in the color of our choice (Granite Grey) was readily available, Zdi we learnt would take at least a month to get delivered.

I was not interested in checking out at any other dealership regarding the availability due to the relationship that I have with the management of this dealership who happen to be from my place Belur.

Now, It was time to think more than twice before we booked the Vdi variant:
  • No Aribags
  • No Rear Defogger
  • No Rear Wiper
  • No Seat Height Adjustment
  • No Alloy wheels
  • No Music system with Speed sensitive Volume
  • No Steering mounted Audio Controls
  • No Outside Temp in Instrument Panel

More than anything else, it was the absence of Airbags in the Vdi variant that troubled us a lot to take a decision. Owning and driving a WagonR with no ABS or Airbags for over 2 Lac Kms on highways safely didn't mean we wont need this vital safety feature in our next car.

After a lot of evaluation, dilly dallying, with no further ado, we made a booking of the Ertiga VDi Granite Grey to be able to take the delivery on my wife's Birthday which was in 2 weeks from the date of booking.

In the end the Airbags was given a miss, deliberately or not, I am not sure but this thought will time and again come back to me. ABS with EBD was a default feature in all variants of Diesel Ertiga

Once the booking was made, I visited the stockyard to check the vehicle and note the VIN number to find out the manufacturing Month/Year which was Aug '13.

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-1374743_10151699367989998_957922228_n.jpg

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th December 2013 at 09:07.
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Old 18th December 2013, 20:02   #5
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Dealership experience: Surakshaa Car Care

Surakshaa car care was just about 2 years since they became a full fledged dealership in Bangalore. However, I have been a regular visitor servicing my WagonR since a little over 2 years.

The Sales representative was always helpful even when I was dilly dallying my decision between the SX4-Ritz-Ertiga. All help was offered when it came to test driving these vehicles any time of the week/weekend.

I also wanted to finance the vehicle from my preferred SBI Branch for which they agreed rather than pushing me with their own tie-ups.

I didn't ask for any freebies - Neither was I offered any. It was a fail deal. Personally, I would hate to ask for freebies. I even paid for the basic accessories kit that came with Prefume, Idol, Rubber Mats, Car care kit etc.

Accessories:


Before the Delivery, I had to finalize on the accessories which I don't think was much of a headache to decide since there was nothing that I could think for the Ertiga. I am not a reverse camera or a sensor man. My reversing is old school as I turn myself to look back from inside. I am so used to this by now. In future if I need such an accessory I would fit that myself through a DIY.

I had installed aftermarket alloys for the WagonR after owing it for 4 year & driving more than 1.19 lac kms. I always had a liking for the alloy wheels and thought I will go for it later over the next few months. However, the offer for OE Zdi alloys from Surakshaa was satisfying and I could buy only 4 alloys from instead instead of a set of 5. The design of the Stock alloys that come on Zdi was interesting and neat, added a character for a darker shade of the car's color.

Finally, these were the accessories that I bought from the dealership:

  • Alloy wheels - Set of 4
  • Door bidding
  • Bumper Protector moulding
  • Scuff Plates
  • Door Visors

Vehicle Registration: Is there a chance I can get the same number as WagonR?
It was in the month of October that an advertisement in the newspaper by the Regional Transport office mentioned that one can register his vehicle in any RTO in Bangalore irrespective of the address the owner belongs to. This bought a cheer on my face mainly for the reason that I don't have to be apprehensive about the fact that the car will be driven all the way from Electronics city to Yelahanka and back (Distance of almost 80 kms) for registration. I have seen the abusive way most of the dealership representatives drive new cars for registration and hence was wary about this.

This new rule meant, I could register the Ertiga in Electronics City RTO itself (Distance of 9 kms from Stockyard). Upon asking Lokesh casually on how much would it cost me to get a same number (last 4 numerals) as the WagonR, he said he can pull a few strings and get it for me without a fuss.

The Delivery was to happen on Oct 16th. The current series was around 300 numbers closer to the number that I wanted (5728). On the day of delivery, my file was passed in the RTO, Road tax receipt paid against the Engine & Chassis number and was registered at least 8 days later to delivery and I managed to get the same number as the WagonR. There were a couple of Government holidays in these 8 days that delayed the final registration.

The D-Day:


Everything happened as planned. We were at Surakshaa's E-city show room by 0930 Hours, finished all the paperwork and I went to see the vehicle decked up for the final delivery.

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131016_103018.jpg

The day of delivery was special. It was my better half's Birthday. The dealership was aware of this as I had delayed the delivery to this specific date for the same reason.
Little did I know that they would go the extra mile to arrange for a cake-cutting in presence of the complete staff of the E-city unit.

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131016_105442.jpg

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-cimg2027.jpg

Another surprise was the presence of Bhpians 'Mighty_Lothar' and 'crazyfordriving' at the delivery area which was a delightful gesture. Thank you guys!!
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131016_112617.jpg

With all that was part of the delivery process complete, It was time for us to drive back home in our Brand new Ertiga. A Senior companion was waiting to welcome you at home to wish you many more mile crunching.
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131016_132743.jpg
(The angle at which the Photo is captured makes the Ertiga look smaller, shorter than the WagonR but in reality, as per specs, the Ertiga is at least 25mm taller than the WagonR)
Here are the 2 buddies with identical marks!!
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Overall, a very satisfying dealership experience buying a new car from Surakshaa which was only a service workshop for me for the WagonR till then.
Not just me but I have referred 4 friends (2 Bhpians) who too share similar thoughts. They are just 2 years as dealers but have ensured process in place for buying new cars that gives a hassle free buying experience.

Last edited by paragsachania : 20th December 2013 at 09:16.
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Old 18th December 2013, 20:15   #6
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Before I get onto the real ownership review of the Ertiga which has now run ~4000 kms with only 2 long drives to Belur & back(500 kms), its doing the usual duty of office errands in B2B traffic munching at least 64 kms in a day, Let some photos do the talking. Thanks a lot 'Lukeskywalker' for these excellent pics through your DSLR & 'PAVANKADAM' for the time spent on this day! I managed to process a few to experiment and I hope the results are acceptable!

It's time to introduce a photologue to showcase the Ertiga:

Let me take a U-Turn and return-
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_0382.jpg

Here I arrive to start burning the tarmac like the WagonR did-
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_0383.jpg

So near, yet a little far-
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_0384.jpg

Twisted metal-
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_0386.jpg

To the moon and back-
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_03872.jpg

A few more mandatory poses now:
Attached Thumbnails
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_03912.jpg  

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_0393.jpg  

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-img_03942.jpg  


Last edited by paragsachania : 20th December 2013 at 09:04.
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Old 18th December 2013, 20:52   #7
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In comparison to the WagonR, this was indeed bigger, Taller and Longer and spacious from all aspects.

The Tall roofline right from the B Pillar all the way till the tail ensured a roomy feeling for passengers in all the rows:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_161510.jpg
It is evident that the Ertiga's nose was as short and almost like the Ritz while both the doors, especially the rear were lengthy:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_161535.jpg
The sweeping tail lamp did add a bit of character to an otherwise blank area below rear quarter panel glass:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_161615.jpg
Check out how the nose is so disproportionate if you have to compare that to the rest of the body. The door bidding was also added as part of accessory so that the side of the car doesn't look too plain:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_161626.jpg
The bloated headlight on sides is what distinguishes from a Ritz whenever you spot this in the IRVM:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_161638.jpg
A closer look at the tail lamp cluster:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_161657.jpg
Tried taking a couple of more snaps under the sun. I felt the design of the stock alloys do a clean job in improving the aesthetics of the Ertiga:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_162632.jpg
Normally, you would be fooled whenever you see the Ertiga from the front as its not too wide (Perhaps as wide as the Swift), its only when it passes by you is when you realize its length. In the below picture, It looks almost like a Ritz:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_162743.jpg
The rear doors are long, really long and open wide too. Something that was clearly mentioned in official review too:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131216_163214.jpg
Closer look at the monograms -
MARUTI SUZUKI ERTIGA VDI
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131217_163307.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131217_163320.jpg
Tire profile of 186-65-R15 with Goodyear Duraplus & the alloys:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131217_163644.jpg
One long lasting shot now:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-20131217_163716.jpg

(All the snaps taken from my Galaxy S4 Camera)

Coming up : Detailed ownership review on Utility aspects, Space, Interiors, Driving manners in city and Highway and Fuel efficiency..........

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th December 2013 at 09:21.
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Old 19th December 2013, 13:05   #8
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The Dashboard:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-dash.jpg
Its anyone's guess that it looks almost like the Swift with more of beige. Overall, the fit and finish is definitely better and almost looks car like.The long channel above the glovebox and a small one below the right hand side AC Vent are the 2 places where you get to keep small little things "exposed" all the times.

Instrument cluster:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-instrument-panel.jpg
The Instrument cluster as we all know is a straight fit from the Swift. All gauges are analog and I am glad they retained this instead of the Bar like LCD meter for the fuel display also.

The MID displays the following information:
  • Outside Temperature (available only in Zdi)
  • 2 Trip Meters (A & B)
  • Odometer
  • Instantaneous Fuel consumption - capped to 30kmpl!
  • Average Fuel consumption
  • Distance to Empty (Range displayed till fuel Warning light comes on)
  • Time in 12 Hour Format

Air Conditioning Controls & Accessory Socket:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-ac-controls.jpg
Typical Maruti style, 4 Speed blower. The Accessory socket below the controls has area to keep your wallet and other small items. The Black cap on the right side of the socket is where you get USB & Aux ports in the Zdi Variant. Bottle Holder width can accommodate a typical 1 Liter water bottle.

ICE Controls:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-ice-controls.jpg
Its again plain and simple. USB and AUX ports on either corners.

Glovebox:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-glovebox.jpg
Reasonably sized glove box to keep basic stuff.

Gear Knob

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-gear-knob.jpg
The Gear Knob gets a silvery touch on top in the Vdi variant too. Looking at how they fade in many cars I am only going to wait and watch over the next few months daily of driving.

AC Vents:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-center-vent.jpg
The Center AC vents cannot be fully shut while both the side vents can be completely shut
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-side-vent-open.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-side-vent-closed.jpg
The roof mounted vents on the second row comes with 3 speed blower (and Turn Off option) and 4 vents which can only change the direction of wind but not completely shut.
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-roof-vent.jpg

The Master control console:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-mirror-control.jpg
Driver side window gets one touch auto down. Typical Maruti style layout otherwise. Door lock button is used to lock and unlock all the 5 doors (Including the boot). Boot door doesn't have a Key hole in Vdi and above.

Individual Power window Switch & Door open lever:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-pw-button.jpg

Headlamp Leveler Switch and the Alarm:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-hl-leveller.jpg
The Pedals:

The A-B-C Pedals are placed appropriately. Haven't encountered issues driving with shoes equipped with a wider sole. Notice the dead Pedal area not very generous but does its job quite well.
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-pedals.jpg
The Indicator and Wiper Stalks:

The Indicator stalk is again a typical Maruti in terms of operation. Didn't find them cheap in terms of quality personally. The ring like button on stalk is used to turn the rear fog lamp on.
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-stalk_01.jpg
The wiper stalk has a 3 speed operation along with spray:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-stalk_02.jpg

The Minimum and Maximum adjustment for the front row seat belts:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-belt-down.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-belt-up.jpg

Seating, Practicality, Utility, Driveability....continues

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th December 2013 at 13:06.
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Old 19th December 2013, 16:25   #9
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Default re: Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi, 20000 kms report

Hi Paragsachania,

Excellent thread and I loved the tables. Thanks for the wonderful thread once again

Last edited by GTO : 20th December 2013 at 13:29. Reason: Already moved out
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Old 19th December 2013, 17:04   #10
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Default Seating

Taller seating and passenger space was the most important criteria. I would have hated to learn from my parents or wife after that 1000 kms of drive that they felt uncomfortable, sat too low or felt claustrophobic.

Except me, the tallest in my family would be just about 5'6" and with a medium built. So, the Ertiga fared very well in the Leg, Head and Shoulder room department for all of us in the family when we took the test drive.

Here are a few pictures that would pictorially talk more about how it fares on seating space:

The front row seats are bigger & wider but I found them too soft than most of the cars. I am not sure how they will fare over a real long distance run. However, I got the art leather seats done though my good old fella who does a door service for a very reasonable price and quality workmanship.

The Driver and the co-passenger seats:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-first-row.jpg


Second row seats split have the following features:
  • 60:40 Split
  • Slide range of almost one foot
  • Recline considerably like the front seats
  • Arm rest integrated into the wider (60 split) seat

Second Row seats, with the armrest in place:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-second-row.jpg
Second Row seats, with the armrest in usable position
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-second-row_02.jpg

To make the head restraints for the 2nd row more ergonomic, it makes sense to recline the back to an angle for an otherwise upright position of the seat. For the 3rd row, its not too comfortable since the limited leg room will force you to sit at a very straight position.

Mighty_Lothar trying to assess the co-passenger's seat:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-copassenger.jpg

Third Row:

We kidnapped one of our colleagues busy with work to accompany us for this photoshoot so that we can take pictures that can help the readers ascertain the space for an adult who measures 5'8" tall.

Have a look at the limited underthigh support with the second row pulled back to accommodate another passenger who is 5'10":
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-row-3-underthigh.jpg


3rd row leg room for everybody's reference with second row pulled back for a 5'10" passenger:Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-row-3leg-room.jpg

How good is the Second row if you ignore the 3rd row:
The following pictures will give you the impression on the legroom in the second room with myself (6'3") In my usual driving position:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-second-row_pass1.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-second-row_pass2.jpg

My usual driving position:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-driving_position.jpg

Underthigh support for the driver's seat:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-underthigh_driver.jpg

The best part about the second row is that its nearly flat and hence was comfortable for someone as tall as this gentleman - 6' ft and well built. Head room is generous as well!!
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-under-thigh_taller.jpg

A closer look at the legroom & underthigh support for a 5'8" tall passenger:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-under-thigh2nd-row.jpg

Last edited by paragsachania : 19th December 2013 at 17:06.
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Old 19th December 2013, 17:32   #11
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More on Boot space & utilities:


MSIL has ensured to take care of most of the basic needs of a passenger. With each door having a Bottle holder, the third row also gets a pair of bottle holder with space to keep small items like your cellphones. Door pockets are also good enough to hold various small items, newspapers & more.

The 3rd Row cup holder where you can also notice smaller holes just behind the seat belt that can easily hold your cellphones:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-3rd-row-cup-holder.jpg


Door pocket and the bottle holder for each door is a thoughtful:
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-door_pocket_bottle_holder.jpg

With the 3rd row upright, this is how "BIG" is the boot
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-boot_01.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-boot_02.jpg


Something that I really loved in the Ertiga. It can easily swallow a lot of travel items: Foot Pump, Jopasu Duster etc:Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-additional_boot.jpg

With the headrests removed & 3rd row folded, this is what you get as a loading area:Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-full-boot.jpg


There have been lot of talks on how you cannot fold the 3rd row if you adjust the second row for a generous leg room. Well, this is true but then with the 3rd row in upright position, you can very well arrange the luggage on the seats itself.

You get Electric mirrors from VDi onward and they fold both ways just to help you save a few bucks when a 2 wheeler brushes by you swiping the mirrors!
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-mirror-fold_01.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-mirror-fold_02.jpg


Rear fog lamp is integrated into the bumper:Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-rear-fog-light.jpg


The Tailgate opens really tall, so much that a 6 footer can stand right below that:Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-tailgate-height.jpg


The toolkit is on the right hand side behind the 3rd row seats:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-tool-kit_01.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-tool-kit_02.jpg

In case you need something colder than room temperature!!Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-chill_01.jpgTallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-chill_02.jpg

Last edited by paragsachania : 20th December 2013 at 09:07.
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Old 19th December 2013, 18:36   #12
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Air-conditioning

The AC is not too quick in terms of chilling, thanks to the huge volume inside the cabin plus the presence of a large glass area all over, it does take time to ensure that the complete cabin is cooler. This is evident when you try to feel the temperature at the vents which is indeed chilling while the cabin is not at least for a while. But I am totally satisfied with the job it does. Usually under hot Sun at noons you may need to use the blower speed of 2 for about 5 minutes and reduce that to 1 later with the Cool-Hot knob 30% towards Hot position.

The second row blower does its job very effectively and brings a relief on the face of rear seat passengers with a fan speed of 1 only during peak afternoon soon after the car is taken for a drive after parking under the sun to bake.

Engine Noise and NVH Levels:

The NVH levels are controlled brilliantly in the Ertiga. This is the impression anyone would get not only at Idle RPMs but all the way till you reach the 100kmph mark. There is a pleasant wooosh heard inside as you are gliding on the highway with usual cruising speeds. The distinct clatter is heard after the 120Kmph mark which too is not unpleasant but definitely evident. So, if you are doing speeds above 120Kmph, it means that the vigilant rear passengers may start curiously looking at the speedometer even if the ride doesn't give them a hint about the speeds.

There is no unwanted wobble or vibrations passed on to the Accelerator Pedal even while clocking some really fast speeds with RPM hovering around 4000. The refinement levels are very much acceptable and nothing to complain about.

Turbo, Lag, Power, Torque, Gearing & Acceleration:

Much has been talked about the infamous Turbo lag in the Ertiga in comparison to Swift & the Ritz. In fact even the SX4 is not so infamous when it comes to Turbo lag that the Ertiga demonstrates. Having driven the SX4 Diesel of my colleague and Bhpian ACS for over 1500 kms, we both were equivocal that the Turbo in the SX4 kicks in earlier to that of Ertiga by at least 250-300 RPM.

The Turbo lag shows up its might if you are in a particular gear, release the throttle and again depress generously (& quite quickly) to move ahead. There is a brief period (less than a second) where you may not actually experience any results for that throttle input.

Typical Scenario in city driving:
Let us say that you are in 2nd gear and have to brake abruptly as someone ahead stopped but made a move almost instantly too. You have now lost the momentum and are almost at 0kmph with the clutch depressed & upon realizing you can move ahead, you release the clutch and press the throttle - This is exactly where typically a lag comes in.

Over the last 2 months of driving in B2B traffic, it took a couple of days to learn the trick. Instead of pressing the throttle soon after releasing the clutch, I ensure the vehicle lugs forward in Idle RPM for a second (say about 3-4 meters) and then press the throttle. With this, you would almost drive like there is no Turbo Lag. I am totally used to this now and find no issues driving everyday to work.

It was easy for me to adapt and learn about this behavior due to my daily drives to work in B2B traffic in Bangalore spanning 64 kms in total. The trick to move in B2B traffic was to lug the engine in idle RPM and play with clutch as the torque was good enough to move forward rather than downshifting. In fact, when driving alone, I have mostly taken speedbreakers in 2nd gear only without any judderring!

It is only after reaching the 2100 mark that you will experience the Turbo kick in pushing you back onto your seat. However, this kick is not so "heavy" like the Swift and hence leaves you with an impression of an almost seamless & linear acceleration too.


Gearbox:
The Gears are short, so much that it will force the driver to upshift almost like a Petrol at least till 3rd gear. I found it too harsh to upshift at a higher RPM to move ahead from Stand still.

The Turbo kicks in only around 2100 and above and till then the progress is very linear and perhaps lazy if you are driving under full load.

If you want to remain in league in city traffic, you better upshift around 2500RPM, else wait for the car to progress a bit late but with a punch!


Chassis, Suspension and Handling:

The extension of a Swift Platform is clearly evident when you drive the Ertiga. With a taller seating than the Swift and a Ground clearance of 185mm, the Ertiga does behave very well to driver's inputs during all kinds of maneuvers and at good speeds.

With full load, there is certainly a bit of bounce that is passed whenever driving over undulations. Its not something that the passengers will complain for sure and it also means that the ride quality for each and every passenger is taken care and pleasant.

The Steering is light. Its in fact effortless to drive in tight corners inside the city or even do those quick lane changes on the highway. Turning Radius is the USP when it comes to taking those tight U-Turns.

Of course, the feedback is not something that we can compare with the Fords or the FIATs but its definitely is not dead at high speeds too and responds to inputs quite well.

Is the power good enough?

For usual highway cruising speeds between 110-120kmph, the answer is a definite YES even under full load. You may complain about the progress it makes initially but the fun is once the Turbo does its job after 2100 RPM. It is indeed an effortless cruiser on the highways. A comfortable one at that too, with behavior and manners almost car-like which will help you remain in good control through out.

The power on Tap is sufficient and good enough for a 1.3L, 90BHP Engine. You are at 110Kmph cruising happily and you tap the throttle a bit and it easily gains momentum without much ado all the way to 140Kmph. Something that should help you assess its abilities for those overtaking maneuvers. Have never tried flooring the throttle to see the speeds it can do for obvious reasons.

With 2 drives on typical highway, I have found 110-120Kmph speeds the most sensible in terms of NVH Levels, Efficiency, Control and comfort. The Ertiga doesn't run out of breath at least till 140kmph that I have tried a couple of times for a brief period on some clean stretches.

I am yet to test the Ertiga over those climbs through the ghats but I have read here though many owners that it fares pretty well at that too. A drive to Gujarat is in the offing sometime in January which will be the actual test for my ride.

Fuel Efficiency:
The car as on date has run ~3800 kms of which the initial 1000 kms followed a rigorous running in rules. We set out to Belur the very weekend after delivery maintaining speeds between 80-90Kmph and occasional 100Kmph without stressing the Engine much and often varying the speeds below this mark.

With a load of 4 Adults and a Kid and AC doing duty all the times, the MID displayed 20.3KMPL.
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-slow.jpg
2 weeks back when we drove back to Belur again, I wanted to test the FE for typical cruising speeds. I mostly maintained 120Kmph all the times during onward and return journey under same load and AC and the MID showed 18.4KMPL
Onward Journey after resetting the Avg FE for 220kms
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-belur_01.jpg

Return Journey after resetting the Avg FE for 220 kmsTallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-belur_02.jpg

So, barring 500Kms of highway drive on 2 occasions, Its only my usual office errands of 64 kms otherwise so far. The MID numbers hover between 16.5-17.5Kmpl. Let me also tell you that I get 18Kms of non stop stretch on the Elevated highway in all of those 64 kms.

Hence, I can safely conclude that the city mileage would be anything between 15-16Kmpl for now even if I reduce the MID figure by 0.7-0.8KMPL through the Auto-cut off - Auto cut-off method I have used to calculate actual figures.

Experiencing the ownership till date:

The Ertiga perhaps was the best choice for my needs is what I have realized after dillydallying between so many options during the buying process.
It fits my bill, has everything that I looked for and came as a product that offered better space, FE and Dynamics and above all it ensured that I became the owner of yet another Maruti! It has ensured to satisfy all my family members too who never bothered whether I buy a Maruti or anything else.

Barring 2 days of driving to work, soon after learning the trick to move in B2B traffic ( have otherwise driven the SX4, Palio & Punto to work on many occasions apart from my humble WagonR), I started to love the Ertiga day after the other. Daily I get my share of B2B driving of 23Kms and 10Kms of highway like cruising on the BETL.

Here are the snaps captured when it clocked the first milestone of 1000 and added a couple of thousands more:

Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-1000.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-2000.jpg
Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi - 115,000 kms update-instrument-panel.jpg

I have already got the first Free service done that came in around a month since I bought the car which was a little late by my standards since I had gone on a Anti clockwise Golden Quadrilateral drive in a Palio and was a little hesitant driving the Ertiga to work without a valid registration that I was waiting for for a week after delivery.

Will keep you all updated by including more details about the ownership in days to come....

Last edited by paragsachania : 20th December 2013 at 08:52.
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Old 20th December 2013, 10:16   #13
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Default re: Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi, 20000 kms report

Great review Parag, I had never sat in an Ertiga till we went for that short ride the other day, it left me quite impressed, that and now your detailed review is making an Ertiga a strong contender for the next car buy in my house.
Thanks for a lovely and detailed review, really very helpful.
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Old 20th December 2013, 10:21   #14
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Default re: Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi, 20000 kms report

Parag Sachania, hearty congratulations on the Ertiga! Surely an excellent choice you made. Happy to see my Palio with your Waggy on the very first pic

This is a very comprehensive and detailed review of the Ertiga. Until you showed me many practical features and how roomy it was, I too just assumed Ertiga as just another MUV.

This one is definitely FVFM. Also, your choice of choosing a it as MJD variant means your LUV will buy itself back and becomes a gift to you in say 3 years, keeping in mind your usage patterns.

My impression after driving your Ertiga was wow! Felt so much like a car and I felt the steering wasnt soft like in many common cars.
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Old 20th December 2013, 11:03   #15
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Default re: Tallboy welcomes longer companion: Maruti Ertiga VDi, 20000 kms report

Congratulations Parag for the new family member- The Ertiga. Thanks for the grand review too. It was never hard to guess that which manufacturer you would have preferred for the next car.
Wish you lacs of kms...and reward us with nice updates of your car on the forum.

Regards,
Saket
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