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Out of town with the all-new Ertiga

Small family car with big improvements

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With the all-new Suzuki Ertiga launched recently, the carmaker wasted no time in introducing the vehicle to the media with an out of town drive to Tagaytay last week.

The second-generation Ertiga takes the reigns from its predecessor, which was launched five years ago. Despite being a new player in the segment, the earlier Ertiga already captured the hearts of many families.

With this new iteration, it hopes to improve upon that by winning over buyers from established competitors. That won’t be too difficult with a new look that already steals hearts.

The new Ertiga features a brand new façade, doing away with the upswept lights and modest grill of its predecessor with a more masculine look. It now features broader headlights, a larger grill, and massive side intakes. These help give it a more SUV-like look as opposed to its predecessor. Over on the side, the car features an upswept character line and a notch on the rearmost pillar to give the roof a floating look. Behind, it employs L-shaped LED tail lamps that stretch across the tailgate. The rear‘s design seems somewhat inspired by a popular German brand.

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Inside is a much more upscale interior to match its new look. The Ertiga retains the beige interior tone, but mixes it up with the use of wood trim and brown to create a warmer interior. The driver gets two large dial and a tall multi-info display.

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Over in the center is the massive 10-inch entertainment system (GLX only) with text display large enough for passengers in the third row to read. It comes with plenty of features like navigation, smartphone Mirrorlink, Bluetooth, USB, Aux, and AM/FM radio. GL models still get a relatively large eight-iunch display.

Air con vents are cleverly disguised by the dashboard’s design. You can also make use of the cold air for your drinks with built-in vents in the front cupholders.

Getting into the car is easy with very wide opening doors, a second row with ample legroom, and a folding and sliding bench to get to the third row seats. The greatest improvement is to the third row that has increased legroom. Cargo capacity has also been addressed (even with the third row up) to now fit 199 liters, thanks to a collapsible cargo floor.

The increase in cargo capacity is complemented by improvements to the engine too. What was once a 1.4-liter engine in the predecessor is now a 1.5-liter in the new model. It’s brought to life with a new engine start button, and now produces 103 Ps of power and 138 Nm of torque. It’s paired to a four-speed automatic, which may not sound very impressive, but based on our drive, easily returns 10 km/L in the city and up to 16 km/L in the highway.

The Ertiga will also tick all the boxes when it comes to safety, being fitted with anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, dual front airbags, ISOFIX anchors for child seats, side impact door beams and an immobilizer. The top-of-the-line GLX features extras like a reverse camera and rear parking sensors.

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During our drive up to Tagaytay highlands, the Ertiga took on the uphill segments (with overdrive off), and muted much of the roads bumps. This was done with a load of three passengers and their luggage. The more restless drivers seemed to be delighted by the better handling and less body roll, too. In fact, it was quite enjoyable thanks to the quieter interior.

With a price range starting from a budget-friendly P728,000 for the GL all the way to a fully-equipped P978,000 GLX A/T, the new Ertiga is definitely worth considering. As for the competition, they should be very nervous.

Text and photos by Iñigo S. Roces

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