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Old 14th December 2014, 20:23   #1
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Default My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

The views expressed in the below post however misinformed, pointless, inane are entirely my own personal view and no offence is intended to anyone. Also my writing skills have a lot to be desired, so please excuse any shortcoming on this front. Thanks.

Goodbye old chum:

7 years and 95K kilometers. That was how long my existing ride- “electro” a blue Swift VXI had faithfully served me. Wifey and I bought electro one month after we were married in late 2006, our first big ticket investment as we embarked on our journey together. And boy, what a journey it has been! We have driven extensively all over south India with multiple forays into Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Goa and so forth. Electro never let us down, EVER. I still recall our drive to Goa once during the middle of a cyclone in 2007 when the route through Karwar and Ankola was flooded, I insisted on deviating through Belgaum (stupid decision in retrospect) to get to Vasco. What was planned to be a 12 hour drive took us close to 19 hours to complete. Electro chugged along nonstop in the pouring rain, through the treacherous Mollem ghat all the way to our final destination without complain.

We loved this car. However as our family grew, space and fuel costs were becoming a major constraint. We live in the BSK 3rd Stage Area of Bangalore and my office is located at EGL Koramangala.Electro was clocking 40kms per day on week-days and up to 500 kms every other week-end when we visited our farm near Sakaleshpur. With almost 2000+ kms running every month and petrol prices being what they were, we knew that we are fast approaching a decision point.

These pictures were clicked during his last days with us. He was 96K kms old on that day

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-1.jpg

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-car_modified_4.jpg


The Quest Begins:

My daily commute is about 40 kilometers from my home in BSK 3rd STG to my Office at EGL Koramangala. I hit peak hour traffic both ways and on average takes me about 3 hours to commute. This is my schedule Monday to Friday. On Friday evenings or Saturday early morning I drive to my farm at Sakaleshpur which is about 250kms away on a butter smooth tolled national highway.

My needs while looking to upgrade Electro were as below.

1. Fuel efficient Diesel with proven ability to munch miles.
2. Supreme reliability with good safety features (abs, airbags at minimum)
3. Comfortable cabin for 4 Adults + 1 Big Dog+ flexible space configurations for load carrying
4. Relative smaller dimensions for city use during peak hour traffic
5. Budget up to 12.5L

The Contenders:

We own a Xylo and Scorpio in the family but ruled both out as my son gets car sick fairly easily in both these. I briefly did consider the XUV and Storm but they were beyond my budget one and moreover I wanted something really tried and tested considering my usage pattern so gave both a miss.

The Innova-
Of the cars we test drove, we narrowed down on the Innova at first, the G variant I believe was slightly over our budget but we did give it a serious thought. I had almost made up my mind till I decided to take a final test drive at 5:45pm on a Friday evening. The drive from Ravindu Toyota at Victoria layout till M.G road and back was nothing short of a nightmare. I had on previous occasions test driven the Toyota on Sunday mornings with very light traffic and the difference in my experience was startling. While the Innova checks most of the right boxes, peak hour drive ability was definitely not one of them, at least not on a daily basis.

The Mobilio (disappointment):

I had been vigorously been following the development of the Mobilio since the time of its inception. I was convinced even before I saw the car in the flesh that this will be my next car. I have colleagues based in Indonesia and I pestered a couple of them to test drive the car at Jakarta when it was launched there. Their feedback regarding the interiors and built quality was disappointing but I was not dissuaded. When Honda did their mall displays at Bangalore, I drove down to Mantri Mall to have a look. Viewed in the “mall” setting, the car did look good from the outside but the interiors were a bitter disappointment. I was impressed with the amount of space and flexibility though. Wifey was out of the country on work during that time and I was getting the sense from online forums that there would be very long waiting periods for the Mobilio. We could not afford a long wait time like the Eco Sport or Ertiga during their Launch. The Magnum Honda guys at the mall display were taking spot bookings with a 100% refund if cancelled. I took the plunge and made a 50K down payment as a pre-booking. Things were on track…

And then GTO had to go and write his brilliant review of the Mobilio!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Honda Mobilio : Official Review)

I devoured every single word of the review, desperately clinging on to the positives like better engines etc. Mental justifications like “why do I care about how the dash looks? As long as it drives great? Etc. etc. Then came the pricing announcement, the Mobilio I-DTEC V was priced at an astronomical 12.8 L on-road Bangalore, I am not very price sensitive as long as I got 85-90% of what I wanted in a car and I was still mostly convinced that this would be my next car.

The Test Drive(s):

2 Weeks Later- Wifey and I drove down to Magnum Honda on Kanakpura road the day after the official launch. We drive in and park and as we walk towards the entrance, I see a line of Mobilio’s parked straight ahead facing us. “Hey, there it is” I say, Wifey “No, that’s the Amaze” I “Err, no that’s the Mobilio”, “Really??!”
We walk in and the rep that we were dealing with was generous with his time but it appeared they were already on the defensive post the pricing announcement. “Sir, it is 1L more than the Ertiga but you get the space and power of the Innova” was the highlight of his pitch. We sat inside and all the ergonomically faults and cost cutting that GTO had pointed out in his review were apparent immediately. I was secretly hoping that the cars that GTO and the rest of the media had tested were a test run of production and Honda would have sorted out these issues on production models. Boy was I disappointed.

We took the car on a longish test drive on Kanakpura road all the way past the Art of Living center. The car drives very well, very little lag and very responsive engine. However the interiors were a real let down. Adding to this we began to question the comfort of the 2nd row. We honestly felt that the 2nd row on the mobilio was less comfortable than the one that we were used to on the swift. The icing on the cake was when I realized that the V version does not come with the central locking manual switch. Now I was really upset, close to 13L on-road and there is something as basic as central locking missing! The audacity!


The drive back home was rather muted. We were willing to make some compromises on the criterion that we had set for our next car, but was this pushing it too much?

The Dark Horse:
We did not drive home straight that day. “Do we reconsider the Ertiga ( we had test driven it a year ago and rejected saying interiors were too similar to the swift)?” I say to break the silence, “hmm, ok would not hurt to take a look”. We drive a little beyond my residence to Maruti’s Kalyani Motors on Mysore road.
They have a blueish green Ertiga Anniversary edition on display. While I am filling out the visitor details at the reception, Wifey has already walked over to the display model. I join her, “Wow, this car has so much more presence, and look at the Dash”! The anniversary edition was a VXI model with the dual colored dash. By this time we are joined by the sales rep, he respectfully gives us our space as we both get into the various seats, try out the different configurations and so on. We were particular on the boot space with the 3rd row down as we need to accommodate loads of luggage and our pet. I don’t know if it was due to the fact that we had just checked out the mobilio, but the Ertiga’s interiors looked down right luxurious in comparison! The dash though similar to the one on Electro was functional and stylish. Seats were perceptibly more comfortable than in the Mobilio especially the middle row. Space was slightly more tight but considering the overall package, it was not too great a compromise.


We asked for a test drive, which was quickly arranged. Wifey took the wheel first as I settled down in the middle row. The test drive model was a ZDI with over 70K on the Odo. It looked and felt to be in reasonably shape despite the abuse that gets thrown at it day in and day out. We eased out into traffic on Mysore road, the car felt slightly sluggish at low speeds in the bumper to bumper traffic compared to the Mobilio. We crossed the Rajarajeshwari Arch signal and then opened out. Not used to a turbo charged diesel, the boost post 2K rpm caught us completely off guard. Wow! The car could surely move! We had no trouble maintaining a “healthy” speed. The car was equally maneuverable and we could easily weave in and out of traffic. We were 3 adults in the car during this test drive. I took over the wheel at the NICE road junction and floored it all the way back to the showroom along with a nice detour into the University Campus. We were very happy with how the car drove.
Back at the showroom we are seated with the sales rep who have got out the brochures collateral to close the deal. What is the on road price of the ZDI I ask, he quickly consults his charts and quips, “10.48L sir factoring in your corporate discount and the Maruti offer of 30K applicable for this month”, we were “what!!!, that is a cool 2.3 L saving over the Mobilio!”
“I need a day to think about it, also I need you to get the car home tomorrow as I want to check how it fits in my parking slot” I say and head back home.

We spend the entire afternoon pouring through the Ertiga reviews on T-BHP. A BIG shout out to Vid for the super official review, Rajain for his superlative narration skills and comprehensive review (Dude- I believe you work at EGL as well, have seen your car parked in the organization across the road from where I work) and Paragsachania whose comparo on the Mobilio vs Eartiga thread sealed the deal for me.

A HUGE Thanks from my family to all other ownership reviews and comments from owners on this forum, You made our decision that much easier! Thank you.


The car showed up the next evening, I quickly checked out the fit in my parking slot, all good so far. I then gathered my parents a couple of neighbors, wifey and son. We asked the driver to stay behind. I got behind the wheel with the SA in the front passenger side. My parents and wifey got into the middle row and my 2 neighbors and son squeezed into the 3rd row. So we had a total of 7 adults and 1 child in the car. The car pulled neatly and I did not feel that the engine straining at any point. The only hairy moment was I was going up a steep slope (45 degrees- I would guess, the climb from Chennamana kere up Bana-Giri nagar to MegaMart/Deve Gowda bunk to those familiar with the area) when I had a Nano dart out of an intersection forcing me to stall. I had to really rev the engine, engage the parking break, slot it in first and keep the rev's high to pull myself out. Apart from this slight mishap, overall it was a good drive and all passengers gave us the thumbs-up.

We got back home and the decision was made, the Ertiga it is, Our Dark Horse was coming home! We told the SA that we would like to make a booking, I was asked to pay Rs 2000 for the booking (You gotta love Maruti) and the deed was done.

I called up the sales rep at Magnum Honda and told him that I wished to cancel my pre-booking. All he said was "Ok Sir, we will refund you in 5 days" strangely I was not asked for a reason or any attempt made to retain me. He was more concerned on my availability the following week for them to hand-over the cheque. I got a call from Honda probably a month later when I was out of the country on work to check on my decision I suspect. I asked them to call me back after a specified date when I was back but I am yet to get this call. Very surprising indeed.

So my friends, this is how I got around to booking my "Dark Horse".

The Buying Experience-

Once the decision was made, the process was fairly straight forward and simple. I heavily leveraged the “how to buy a new car in India thread”- http://www.team-bhp.com/advice/how-buy-new-car-india-0. One interesting observation was that I consistently got the same quote and standard accessories discounts across 3 Maruti dealerships that I enquired at. Chose to go with Kalyani due to the proximity to my residence. My booking made during the 3rd week of Aug, the SA checked with the Maruti stockyard at Bangalore and they had 2 Jul manufactured Granite Grey ZDIs in stock. I was also told that there was another batch of Aug manufactured Ertiga’s enroute to Bangalore which would reach in a weeks’ time if I chose to wait. I chose to wait as I was on work related travel till the end of Aug anyway so might as well get the freshly baked batch. My experience with the SA and the Sales folks at Kalyani was professional, efficient and friendly, no complaints.

Seeing him for the first time-
The call that I was eagerly waiting for finally came, my car was dispatched from the main Maruti stockyard to the Kalyani motors stockyard on Mysore road. As I had already informed the SA that I would be doing a PDI, I was asked to come over before 5:30pm to inspect the car. After a day spent in anticipation, got done with work by 3:30pm and got to Kalyani by 4:30. It was another 30 minute drive from their showroom to their stockyard beyond RV College on Mysore road. The weather was overcast and had started to drizzle but nothing could curb my enthusiasm today. We got to the yard and while the SA was filling out the paperwork at the guard post, I walked in and gravitated to the row of Ertiga’s neatly parked here. I moved up the line to the solitary granite- grey ZDI parked at the end of the lot, and then Wow!

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-firstview.jpg


The Accessories-
We drove back to the showroom to finalize the accessories. I chose to not take the “standard” accessories pack as it just contains some flimsy rubber mats, car care kit and so forth. As the ZDI is the fully loaded package, I just chose reverse parking sensors, window rain visors, side rubber beading, window auto up circuitry and a body cover. The parking sensor and body cover was thrown in for free and I paid for the rest. I had purchased the “star mats” from Sai Mag wheels when I was at Delhi recently on work. So my mats were sorted. I plan to get some “faux” leather seat covers installed sometime in the future but for now making do with the standard covers. The car was ready for delivery the next evening, we could reach the showroom only by 9:00pm due to prior commitments, kudos to the dealer and Maruti for ensuring that we got the full delivery experience even at this hour. The service folks walked us through the basics and we were back home in about 30 minutes.


The Headlamp Upgrades-
As I drive extensively on highways, I got the bulbs upgraded to 90/100 with the wiring harness pre-delivery. I got some Jazz from the service folks saying that a bulb upgrade was not advisable on diesels as the battery rating was high or something of that sort but I was insistent. I knew that this is very important for the safety of my family and they relented. Maybe the good folk at TBHP can comment if there is any truth in this. I have run a similar setup on electro for 50K+ k’s without any issues.



New Shoes-
I took him to the Sai Iyengar place on JC road for a shoe upgrade the first thing the next day. I had already negotiated a decent buy back on the Good Years that the car came show with to be replaced with Yoko A Drives in the 195 profile. Chose the A’s as my driving consists of smooth tarmac and broken farm tracks and I felt this tyre offered the best compromise. I also considered the Earth1’s but the upsize that was available was beyond the 3% tolerance limits. I was keen on going for the 205 profile in the A Drives but due to the rare profile size, the stock available had dates of manufacture ranging from 8months to 11 months. So stuck with the 195 as they were manufactured 2 months previously. I did not use the Good Years long enough to compare the two. Having completed close to 9k kms so far, I am super happy with how the Yoko’s are performing both during high speed highway runs as well as on broken village roads.

The Yokos

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-tyre2.jpg


My Experience so far- 12000+ Kms in 4 months!(Yes you read right)

Folks, I have completed over 12.3K Kms so far and the best part of this is that I was out of the country for 3 weeks during this time so in affect have managed to clock most of these Kms in just over 3 months! I have quickly tried to capture what has stood out for me so far, good and bad below

1.First Service within 6 days!

I clocked 921 kms during 6 days of ownership and most of these kms were clocked within the first 3 days! Let me explain how it all unfolded…I got the car on a Thursday evening,

Day 1 Friday:
BSK(Home) to JC Road (Tire upgrade) to Koramangala (Work) (20 kms)
Koramangala to Sakaleshpur (Farm) (250 kms)


Day 2: Saturday
Farm to Home (250 kms)

The boot makes for a nice lunch table

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-truck-laybye.jpg

Day 3: Sunday
Bangalore- Mysore-Bangalore (Visit the in-laws) 240 kms

Day 6: Wednesday (921 kms)
Post the week-end sojourns the car settled into the daily routine of ferrying me to office and back and by Wednesday had clocked close to 900+ kms. I decided to take it in for service as I had another visit planned to the farm the coming week end.

First Service-
I took the car down to Green Cars at Koramangala. I had told the SA there who I know about my purchase the previous week. When I rolled in to Green Cars on Wednesday, he came over to check if there was a problem with the car. I grinned and said “1st Service-please” and the expression on his face was priceless!

Nothing major gets done in the 1st Service. They tighten nuts and bolts and the car gets a good wash. I waited in their lounge, connected to their WiFi and got some work done in the 2 hours that it took. Total cost of service was a princely Rs 15!


My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-odo.jpg



Even though the Ertiga and Swift share a common platform with a lot of parts sharing, the interior of the Ertiga still looks bright and Airy. This is largely due to the sea of beige and humongous windows.

The Cockpit:

Being used to the Swift, no major surprises here. Everything is ergonomic and functional. I like the dual tone color scheme but would have loved it even more if I was able to get the black dual tone being offered in the V-Trim of the anniversary edition. However, having owned a car with no safety features save seat belts for the last 7 years, I was not going to compromise on the Airbags, Abs etc. which is offered only in the Z variant. The Beige color scheme especially on parts where there is constant human contact like the steering wheel, A/C controls, and Gear shift is mindboggling. It is an absolute PAIN to maintain!

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-dashboard1.jpg

The dash though not very exciting is fairly well put together with no rattles so far. However, the Ertiga dash looks outright premium compared to what is on offer with the Mobilio. I could live with the plain-Jane looks of the Mobilio dash but the sheer lack of build quality like the panel gaps in the glove box, Airbag cover not seated flush, cheap looking wire for the USB input were deal breakers. The Ertiga wins hands down here.I like the layout of the dash and especially appreciate the nooks cut out where I can store odds and ends.
My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-dashboard_nook.jpg
My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-dashboard_nook1.jpg

Interestingly, the rear view mirror adjustor was busted on all 3 test drive cars at 3 different dealerships. The little know is very flimsy to hold and I don't think it will last the distance.

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-central_locking.jpg

Storage-


The car comes with a total of 8 cup/bottle holders. 1 in the center console, 1 under the front passenger A/C vent, 4 in each of the doors and 2 on the 3rd row armrest. The 3rd row accommodates 2 liter bottles and I normally carry 2 hot flasks here. One full of hot tea and the other milk when we do our long drives. Door pockets are deep enough and able to hold a lot of nick knacks.
The only opportunity area is the space behind/around the parking brake. Maruti could have optimized some kind of storage area here which could have doubled up as an arm rest.

1 Liter bottle storage in the front doors:

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-front_door_bottle_holder.jpg

Half liter bottle storage in the mid-row

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-middle_row_bottle_holder.jpg

2 Liter storage on the 3rd row armrests

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-3rd-row_flask.jpg


Glove box is reasonably deep and easily accommodates my phablet, cellphones and other essentials.

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-glovebox1.jpg

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-glovebox2.jpg

Maruti could have provided some additional storage here.

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-center_console.jpg


OEM Music System:

The ZDI comes with the standard OEM music system with the addition of 2 Dash mounted tweeters. I am no audiophile and while the quality of music is nothing to write home about, it meets my audio requirements which consists mostly of listening to audio books/ podcasts quite well.

I use a JABRA hand-free kit that syncs with my smartphone. It also has a broadcast function and I use this to create my own personal FM channel in the car. Streaming podcasts like the “TED Talks” series while stuck in Bangalore traffic is a favorite pastime.


The Driving position:

Driving position is spot on. The Z versions offer the driver height adjust which has a wide range, so finding your perfect position is a breeze. The Ertiga clearly scores over the Mobilio here especially the lumbar support and the cushioning of the seats in general. I like to sit tall with the steering wheel adjusted to the lower setting. This gives me good visibility but the wheel is more car-like to hold and drive. I have done in excess of 500 kms on a single day on multiple occasions without being fatigued. The only peeve that I have is the absence of a driver arm-rest. This small addition could have led to an even more comfortable experience. I am evaluating aftermarket options here but am not too keen on drilling holes in my car. Open to suggestions from the experts on this.

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-front_seat.jpg


The middle row:

With its reclining back rest, arm rest and the fact the fact that there is a minimal transmission hump and the wide range of travel of the seat ensures that you have a near perfect experience in the middle row. The rear A/C vents complete the experience. I have had 3 adults seated here over a 4 hour journey in relative comfort.

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-exterior_middle_row.jpg

The knee room in the middle row behind the driver seat set up for my relaxed driving position.

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-middle_row_knee_room.jpg

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The 3rd row

It have often been written that the 3rd row is only for kids but I have had an adult and one child in this space over a 250 kms journey in relative comfort. The arm rests as well as the nifty pockets to hold your cell phone and water bottles are neat touches. A 3 point seat belt even in the 3rd row is a great move. It is reassuring to know that even during the one off times when we have people in the 3rd row, their safety is not compromised. The 3rd row has decent head room despite the falling roofline and the windows here albeit fixed contribute to the feeling of airiness. The roof mounted A/C does a good job of keeping even the 3rd row passengers nice and comfortable. The only thing that I have begun to miss is the need for a charge point in the 3rd row and am considering getting one installed like some of our members have done.


I drive around with my 3rd row folded down 90% of the time and my biggest crib here is the way in which the inefficient design of the 3rd row headrests eats up a good 3-4 inches of the middle-row leg room. I am forced to remove and store the head rests when I have the 3rd row folded over which frees up about 2-3 inches for the second row. A minor inconvenience but something that Maruti could have easily anticipated and fixed. When compared with the Mobilio, the Ertiga comes ahead on the seating position and comfort of the bench itself. However the Mobilio scores better in terms of leg room and the flexibility that the 3 row offers. Also getting into the 3rd row in the Ertiga is definitely a pain compared to the ease of access in the Mobilio.

The curved 3rd row head rest which fowls with the middle row leg-room

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-rear_headrest_updated.jpg

The Boot

Looks non-existent with all rows up but can still get quite a lot stuffed in if one gets creative. The little recess/compartment in the boot is a very nifty idea and takes in a lot of stuff. I carry my survival gear here, “doomsday prepper” style!. Stuff which I permanently carry here and elsewhere in the car include

1. My tent (we like to pitch it at the farm)
2. foldable stools (3)
3. Toiletries
4. small folding umbrellas (2)
5. Flashlight
6. Pocket knife
7. First aid kit
8. water bottles (5)
9. A few packets of biscuits/dry snacks
10. A couple of jackets and a change of clothes for my kid
11. Cell phone power banks (2)

I particularly like the small storage area in the boot, we like to keep our tent and other camping stuff there. Fits nicely


My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-tent_2.jpg

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-boot1.jpg



With the 3rd row completely folded, there is literally a ton of space in the boot. I once carried close to 300 kgs in 4 gunny bags. Had a tarp laid out to protect the interiors. The car did not do too badly with this load + 4 adults and 1 kid in the car. I bought this car with the utility element in mind and it is nicely serving me so far!

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-boot.jpg

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-boot2.jpg


The Exteriors-

It is not a “looker” by any means but it does grow on you. When viewed head on it almost looks like another Maruti Hatch. I like the fact that Maruti have given it a slightly different face when compared to its sibling the swift and the most noticeable feature is the bulbous headlamps. The car looks best in the side profile and I like the conventional looks compared to the multiple creases and other design elements on the Mobilio, the same conventional approach is applied to the rear which makes for a rather boring backside. But the interesting thing is after owning him for 3 months, his looks have really grown on me and I actually caught myself many times turning back to take a second look after I have parked!

A few of my favorite profiles for your viewing pleasure

The mug shot-

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-exterior_face.jpg

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-exterior_rear.jpg

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-exterior_side_rear.jpg

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-exterior_side_rear1.jpg


The Engine and Drivability-
This car had the tiniest engine among all the cars that I considered and I was initially worried if this would satisfy my requirements. Now having owned this for 12K + Kms, I can safely say that the DDIS motor on the Ertiga is on of its highlights. I drive to office pretty much in 3rd gear all the time in the city like an auto-box and have experienced the dreaded turbo-lag on 2 times so far and both times due to my inexperience with turbo diesels

The oodles of torque makes it a pleasure to drive on the highway and this is where the Ertiga comes onto its own. I am able to cruise at triple digit speeds with 6 adults on board with enough power on tap for overtaking maneuvers without having to downshift.

Fuel Efficiency- The MID shows an average of about 15.7-16.0. Please remember that this is after running at triple digit speeds for hours on end. I am yet to check the tankful to tankful method but would assumed that it may be in lines with what shows on the MID.

Steering- Very car like and just right for the city. I feel it could weigh up just a tad more on the highways but no complaints. I squeeze in and out of Bangalore traffic like I would in a hatch

Handling- I just love the way that it handles both in the city and highways. It is a perfect compromise between a full blown MUV and a sedan. I drive it hard and tend to thrown it around a bit but it has never let me down. Very slight body roll and none of the bounciness and erratic cornering that one tends to experience in MUV/SUV type vehicles,extremely car like is what I can conclude

Gear Changes: Very carlike is all I can say, the throw of the lever and notchiness of the gearbox is just right. The only thing I miss here is an arm rest. I potter about all day in the city on the 3rd and in 5th for hours on end on the highway

Braking- Absolutely top notch and is able to stop on a dime. I have had one instance so far where the ABS kicked in due to heavy braking and the car stayed true.

Driving/Passenger Comfort:

The car feels absolutely planted at high-speeds and there is no perceptible body roll.The stretched wheelbase ensures that passengers especially in the 1st and 2nd rows have a very comfortable ride even on uneven surfaces. The best part for me personally is the lack of fatigue, the fact that I feel energetic/patient enough to take wifey shoe shopping post a day of hard driving speaks volumes on the driving comfort of this vehicle.

The roads where he does duty on the week-ends

My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-highway1.jpg


On these roads I am able to cruise at triple digit speeds while the passengers relax is superb comfort. The little fellow below has puked almost every time we have taken him in the Zylo/Scorpio, 50% of the times in Electro but none so far in the dark horse! For us this is a good measure of success.
My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-moosh_car.jpg

Thank you so very much for reading my super long post! I have a lot more updates to come including how our Dark Horse took us to Hong Kong! Stay tuned...

Last edited by GTO : 9th February 2015 at 13:20. Reason: Taking live, thanks :)
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Old 9th February 2015, 13:18   #2
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th February 2015, 13:48   #3
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

A very well compiled review. The details you have provided us with will be very helpful. The Ertiga does what it does very well. Its' a perfect family wagon. Do keep this thread updated. And yes, your Swift looks very well maintained.
BTW, a facelifted Ertiga is around the corner. Does it bother you very much?
Looking forward to thr Hong Kong story!!
Cheers,
Neel

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 9th February 2015 at 13:51.
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Old 9th February 2015, 16:24   #4
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Many many congratulations to you Caadmara on your new possession. Enjoyed every bit of your well-balanced review. Just curious to know whether the headlamp upgrade would void your warranty? I hope it does not but you never know the tantrums of dealers.
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Old 9th February 2015, 19:11   #5
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

A very nice review Caadmara !

The 9k km have come pretty quickly and wish you many more miles in your Dark Horse !

I was never really a big fan of the Ertiga but one Chandigarh-Shimla trip has totally changed my perception! I strongly feel that the Ertiga is a mini-innova in all respects . Every time the turbo kicked in, the surge nailed me back into my seat! Long distance travel is effortless and decent space on the 1st and 2nd row. Congratulations once again on a very capable and potent vehicle!
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Old 9th February 2015, 19:32   #6
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

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Originally Posted by Caadmara View Post
Also my writing skills have a lot to be desired, so please excuse any shortcoming on this front. Thanks.
First up, No - your writing skills are not shortcoming nor leave anything more to desire. Absolutely fabulous review!! Just covered the trials and tribulations of a new car buyer in a breeze. It was one great and informative read.

And congratulations on your latest acquisition. Also electro, even after 95K Kms looks in pristine condition. Hope your Dark Horse serves you well as electro.

I for one, have been a firm supporter of the Ertiga in comparison to the Mobilio and definitely agree with your views. For me it simply does not make sense to shell out a premium of 2.5L on the Mobilio, for what is on offer. Maybe if the interiors and quality were similar to the previous gen City, it would have commanded that premium.

Once again congrats and wishing you many more blissful and safe miles on your Dark Horse!!

PS: Looking forward to your chapter on Hong Kong. Please don't make us wait!!
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Old 9th February 2015, 20:39   #7
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Exclamation Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Hi Caadmara,

Congratulations on year new HORSE!!!!!!....I liked your review. Only thing I wanted to comment is that If I were in your position, I would consider a Child seat for the kid. The picture posted by you depicts the seat belt to be very close to his neck. In an event of sudden braking, the seat belt might result in strangulation to some extent (momentarily). @Seniors of this forum, please add your valuable inputs here and enlighten me & Caadmara.
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Old 10th February 2015, 11:45   #8
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caadmara;3602563
The Headlamp Upgrades-
[/B
As I drive extensively on highways, I got the bulbs upgraded to 90/100 with the wiring harness pre-delivery. I got some Jazz from the service folks saying that a bulb upgrade was not advisable on diesels as the battery rating was high or something of that sort but I was insistent. I knew that this is very important for the safety of my family and they relented. Maybe the good folk at TBHP can comment if there is any truth in this. I have run a similar setup on electro for 50K+ kís without any issues.
HEarty congratulations for the Dark horse.Regarding the headlamp,good that you had upgraded. I have a 2010 swift VDi. The bulbs were upgraded to 100/90 with relay right before the delivery at the dealer it self. After that added a pair of Hella comet 500 aux lights. Till date I didn't face any issues (touchwood). Though I had to replace the battery (Exide) as one of the cells was having a problem. Replaced it with an Amaron 72 din battery. It was nothing to do with the lighting. I frequently travel between Mumbai and Pune and mostly drive at night and this combo is the best I could get. In fact Diesels have a stronger and powerful battery than the petrol cars,thats one plus point we get, so the headlamp upgrade shouldn't be a problem at all.
Attached Thumbnails
My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting-swift.jpg  


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Old 10th February 2015, 16:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
A very well compiled review. The details you have provided us with will be very helpful. The Ertiga does what it does very well. Its' a perfect family wagon. Do keep this thread updated. And yes, your Swift looks very well maintained.
BTW, a facelifted Ertiga is around the corner. Does it bother you very much?
Looking forward to thr Hong Kong story!!
Cheers,
Neel
Thank you for your comments Neel, much appreciated! I was unaware that a facelift was imminent when I took the plunge but now in hindsight I don't think it would have mattered much. I had waited long enough already for the mobilio launch and could not afford to wait any longer. Also I hear that the facelift is mostly cosmetic, I would have been really upset if Maruti had decided to offer a bigger engine or cruise control or something on those lines, so no regrets for now. Cheers

Thank you rambler! I got the headlamps upgraded at the time of delivery at the showroom itself. And they used a cut-out and wiring harness and so on without touching any of the original wiring, so I'm hoping I should be ok.

Thank you dreamliner17! I concur with you observations also, I've completed 12.5K kms so far and no complaints so far (touch wood)

Thank you Mahesh Prasad for your kind words! Yes I agree with your observations on the Mobilio, just does not make sense...wonder what Honda was thinking. I just went through the Sales thread for Jan and looks like it is loosing steam already.

PS- I am putting together a travelogue on HK, will try and get it up ASAP.

Thank you for your feedback and comments GV Krishna. My son is 7 years old and it is my understanding that he should now be able to use a regular seatbelt. He did use a car seat till he was about 4. Would appreciate inputs from the experts on this. Thanks.

Thank you Rakesh. Your comments are very timely as I am considering HELLA's for my car as well. I still need to get some research done on the best place to get them installed in Bangalore. Love the picture of your car and the background, drive safe mate. Cheers

Last edited by Vid6639 : 10th February 2015 at 22:16. Reason: merging posts. Please use the edit option if posting within 30mins on same thread.
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Old 11th February 2015, 04:56   #10
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Congratulations on your new acquisition and wish you many more miles with your Dark Horse.

Speaking about the storage they have provided plenty of room for it and has great legroom in the second and third seats, liked the way you utilized the small storage area in the boot.

Why to worry for the miles when you have the most trusted MARUTI tag on it. Happy cruising .
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Old 11th February 2015, 19:44   #11
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Congrats on the latest acquisistion Caadmara! I have got a ZDi in the same shade as you and I have just covered 20.9k kms in 7 months. Boy arent we pushing our ertigas? :P It just covers the kms so effortlessly. Ours is keeping the whole family happy.
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Old 11th February 2015, 20:29   #12
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
A very well compiled review. The details you have provided us with will be very helpful. The Ertiga does what it does very well. Its' a perfect family wagon. Do keep this thread updated. And yes, your Swift looks very well maintained.
BTW, a facelifted Ertiga is around the corner. Does it bother you very much?
Looking forward to thr Hong Kong story!!
Cheers,
Neel
Quote:
Originally Posted by kisharchit View Post
Congrats on the latest acquisistion Caadmara! I have got a ZDi in the same shade as you and I have just covered 20.9k kms in 7 months. Boy arent we pushing our ertigas? :P It just covers the kms so effortlessly. Ours is keeping the whole family happy.
Thank you Kisharchit! Completely agree, this car is built to munch miles and my family is very happy with our decision. Good to hear that you are enjoying your Ertiga to the fullest! Have fun and drive safe!
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Old 12th February 2015, 03:39   #13
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Congrats on the Ertiga. I like the grey colour for the Ertiga as it does stand out in darker colours.

It is truly a fantastic mile muncher and I hope Maruti gives it the 1.5 diesel as well soon. That would take the game to a whole new level against the Mobilio. I also wish they had an AT option on the petrol- as I would have picked it up then as against the Xcent AT which we purchased. Would have been an ideal choice for us.

PS- I work out of EGL campus as well.
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Old 12th February 2015, 15:48   #14
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Congratulations bro! LUV is a mighty companion in all sense, specially for buyers upgrading their MSIL hatches. I am too proud owner of Ertiga ZDI from last 1.3 years, but have not churned many miles like you , and yes I upgraded from a Maruti hatch-WagonR.

Regarding driver arm rest, there'r many available in the market, but most of them have plastic base/fixture, thus don't lasts long. Mine was broken in a month only. I'm wondering if Ciaz's arm rest can be retrofitted to LUV somehow!

Last edited by Aficionados : 12th February 2015 at 15:49.
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Old 12th February 2015, 23:14   #15
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Default Re: My Dark Horse: Maruti Ertiga ZDi. 9000 kms in 3 months & counting

Congratulations on the Ertiga. I also upgraded from a Swift VXI to Ertiga ZXI (same color) last June.

Also I would like to suggest you to get a booster seat for your kid, in the photo if you look the seat belt is over the neck and not the shoulder which is pretty dangerous.
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