One thing about demo cars, they are usually dispatched brand new, give or take a few kilometers. Automotive media people are very lucky to test-drive these units, usually top of the line models and with a full tank of gas. A few days with these beauties give you a glimpse of its potential. Suzuki Philippines gladly lent us one of their bestsellers, the Ertiga 7-seater MPV.
StreetalkPh usually requests the same unit again after a year, particularly to gauge and compare previous figures against the current ones. The vehicle reveals more, now that it accumulated thousands of kilometers during the 12 months since it was released. Believe me, 20k kilometers uncovers a lot.
This particular Ertiga unit now has 22k kilometers on the odometer. This is an ideal test vehicle mileage now that it accumulated usage, ostensibly by a myriad of drivers. Different driving styles may take their toll on the vehicle, even if properly maintained by the manufacturer. The true status of the car is apparent by this time.
This Silver unit with Beige interior is broken-in to say the least, but it does not show aesthetically. The interior is immaculate, a refreshing change from the usual drab dark interior, and with no window tint, everything seems brighter. After putting in our personal front rubber mats and plugging in our gadget charger (this unit has 2 outlets!), away we go!
The 1.4-litre engine seems to have settled down. It’s now more responsive, particularly on the upper 2000rpm to 3,000rpm. It’s no rocket with only 95 hp and 130 Nm of torque, but it gets the job done. You can tell that the engine was broken-in properly. No hesitation, especially during climbs. The transmission shifts impeccably still. The dated shifter also takes getting used too; no gate, no paddle shift, just the simple slide down. There were a few times I absentmindedly shifted straight to “2” instead of drive.
Measuring the fuel economy was next to impossible. The Ertiga’s stay with us was the week where it rained almost everyday. Traffic was everywhere. The Saturday 52km trip to Tagaytay took us 3 hours, with the first hour and a half wasted from the first 8km. However, it was a breeze after Skyway, with Eaton to Silang taking only 40 minutes. The 4-person trip was very comfortable; the AC was superbly cold and the suspension play was soft. Did I mention that the 4-speaker audio system was surprisingly good? Bass was crisp and solid.
We decided to forego fuel efficiency report as a result. Besides, the 45-liter capacity of the gas tank is a tad to little for us with that kind of gridlock.
The Ertiga seats 4 persons comfortably. More than 5 passengers necessitates the use of the third row seat. Here it gets you to be creative. The 2nd row seat adjusts forward, to give ample leg room for the third row occupants. A little bit of compromise is needed to fit 6 passengers but it can be done.
This MPV is best for a family of 6 that needs an urban commuter. Its also ideal for the adventurous individual with outdoor activities. The size of the Ertiga is best for city trips to the office or mall or adventure trips. And because of the low rear gate height, groceries, a folding bicycle and other equipment can be loaded and unloaded with ease. With a commanding view from the driver’s seat, manoeuvring thru traffic is made easy. Parking also is also a cinch.
Long trips however, need more patience. The limited legroom will surely takes it toll on plus- size passengers. Uphill trips can also be a struggle for the small displacement powerplant but it’ll get you there albeit a little longer. By the way, once the third row is up, cargo space is very limited.
For its Php965,000 price, the Ertiga is totally worth it. Save for some undesirable features, such as less power and too much interior plastic, the Ertiga serves its purpose and serves it well; a compact MPV that’s ready for the family.
- Classification: 7-passenger MPV
- 1.4-litre petrol engine
- Power: 95 hp, 130 Nm of torque,
- 4-speed automatic transmission with Overdrive
- Wheelbase: 2,740mm Width: 1,695 mm
- Luggage area: 736L
- Price as Tested: Php965,000
Manufacturer Reported Fuel Economy
- Highway: 11.6 km/l
- City: 8.9 km/l
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