Booked Ertiga: What are my 7 seater options if I don't want to buy it?

Did not consider 5 seater SUVs as sedans seem to offer a lot more boot space and better ride quality, at a lower cost and waiting period.

BHPian Manudon recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Yes, you read that right.

With a growing family (2 adults, 2kids, occasionally pets + grandparents), the need to move to a larger vehicle has become quite apparent. The plan is to replace the 12 year old Punto (as flawless as the day I bought it) with an appropriate larger vehicle. The primary usecase for a larger vehicle is 2 adults + 2 kids + lots of luggage, so the choice is between a large sedan or a 7 seater. Given that a 7 seater can be more versatile than a sedan (extra space can be used for luggage, pets or people), I am leaning towards a 7 seater. Did not consider 5 seater SUVs as sedans seem to offer a lot more boot space and better ride quality, at a lower cost and waiting period.

Now here in comes the dilemma. I tend to buy vehicles and keep them forever. Also, all of my earlier purchases were primarily based on heart (Std 350, Duke 390, Punto, Tata Nano (extremely practical second car for city)), and I did not really mind the frequent visits to service centers as my usage justified the effort.

However my driving and riding has reduced significantly in the last 5 years, and is now primarily limited from home to office and the occasional 2-3 long drives with family (5-7K per year). This also means no more driving above certain speed limits, and no going off on impromptu trails to explore during the long drives. Given the low anticipated usage, I want to keep visits to the service center strictly minimum. We also have an automatic Baleno which will be used for most of the city runs wherever possible.

Wife also prefers something that she can drive around, so the next car will have to be an automatic. Given all the above factors and after going through numerous threads, here is what the elimination matrix looks like:

  • All Tatas - dropped due to niggles and complaints which always accompany their cars.
  • Hyundai - Did not like the looks of the Alcazar, luggage capacity also seems limited.
  • XUV700 - Liked the engine, space and the 5 star rating, but the ownership threads seems to suggest that visits to service centers will not be infrequent.
  • Kia Carens - Low safety rating (even with 6 airbags), can see issues cropping up across various ownership threads.
  • MG - Not sure how they will hold up for 10+ years.
  • Toyota Hycross - This one seems to be a safe choice, other than the huge size (manageable), significantly premium for what's on offer (which I hate given the low usage) and 2 airbags only. Variant which makes most sense to me is GX given my low usage.
  • Maruti Ertiga - I have never been a fan of Maruti's build quality, or bland engines, or total disregard for safety; but right now given the low usage and focus on reliability and ease of driving, Ertiga seems like a pretty decent option with the lowest TCO. The engine is meh, but should be able to manage with the 100-110 range that we drive in and the occasional hill run. With it's previous generation tech, the chances of anything failing in next 10 years are low. Safety seems to be the weakest link, but Ertiga has scored a decent 3 star with 2 airbags and I can put off my purchase till later half of the year when 6 airbags are expected to be mandatory.

In a nutshell, the mind says Ertiga with 6 airbags would be the best choice for the anticipated usage. What am I not considering (other than the fact that the 6 airbag rule may again get pushed out)? What other options would you recommend that I consider seriously? I intend to buy the vehicle in 2023 and have already paid the booking amount for the Hycross as well as the Ertiga.

Here's what BHPian Raghu M had to say on the matter:

I will not buy the Ertiga just because of the safety. 6 airbags or 8, it's an MSIL. Just a wild thought, why don't you look at a used Marazzo. The safety is good (4 star), has an amazing engine, has loads of space and is pretty reliable. The only downside would be the resale value. But I wouldn't worry about it if you plan to use it for at least 5 years. All other options like 7OO is a little expensive and will take at least a year or two to sort out all the niggles. The Carens is pretty poor on safety, I would not look at it. While TATAs are good, I don't see any good 7 seater. Practical option would also be a used Innova which will be the best choice if you have the budget. Try out Spinny and other companies, you might find a good Marazzo (only if you like it though!).

Here's what BHPian arnav17 had to say on the matter:

One of the rare Indian Buyers who wants a safe car and not just "Kitna deti hai"!

Considering your requirements, according to me the Hycross fits the bill. If you are open to used cars, do also check out a Used XUV500 AT (forgive me if I missed a detail in your post where you mentioned about avoiding cars like this).

Inspite of receiving a 3 star rating, the build of the Ertiga is not great. We have one in our family circle and there are evident signs of cost cutting, also adding that the metal quality feels flimsy. I do not mean to offend any owners of the Ertiga, It is a spacious and comfortable car but this is just my personal view.

Here's what BHPian Doonite had to say on the matter:

Our Ertiga petrol is in its 9th year of usage with ODO somewhere around 60,XXX kilometres.

There is only 1 minor rattle from the overhead rear AC area which the service centre despite opening the rear AC compartment haven't been able to get rid of. Other than this, the car is absolutely trouble free and seen all kinds of usage that a 2WD vehicle can see.

The only sore point of the ownership is tiredness on long drives as the car is neither "that" comfy nor powerful. Plus, the NVH is not good especially after 80kmph. (Although, Conti UC6 tyres did make a difference*)
So, as a sole driver over long distances, my body used to get tired everytime.

In conclusion,

IF you have strict budget, go with a new XL6 automatic. ( i find Ertiga's AC lacking a lot in hot weather)

IF you are open to used cars, look for an used Innova Crysta if you live outside NCR.

Unless you're in a hurry, you will be able to find pretty good Innova Crysta examples in due time.

IF you want a trouble free and reliable car to own for a long time and kids don't mind the lack of features, go with a new Innova Crysta. Your wife might have some trouble driving it but i believe it's manageable.

Best of luck!

Here's what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

Coming from Punto, you will find XL6 extremely tinny and underwhelming. Also, the safety concerns you raise regarding Carens, they are equally applicable to XL6, if not more.

If you plan on occasionally using the third row, you can discount XUV700, Scorpio and Hector Plus, all of them have terrible third rows.

Alcazar is a very good choice. It has the unique ability to accommodate 6 adults over short trips in decent comfort, with some cooperation between the second and third rows. It has a much bigger boot with third row up than the bigger cars from Tata, Mahindra and MG, and can actually accommodate weekend luggage.

Carens is essentially the same car, with a more comfortable third row and a less premium cabin. Do give both cars a hard look.

Otherwise, by elimination, you are left with the HyCross GX. Now there is nothing great about this car apart from space, utility and reliability. It will last you long without trouble, that’s it. Compared to others, it feels cheap inside out, is badly under-equipped and is not going be anywhere near as involving to drive. Also, taxi connotations are going to crop up sooner or later.

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