The nation’s biggest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India Limited has challenged the dominance of Toyota Innova with the introduction of their latest Maruti Ertiga. Within just five days from its launch, Ertiga had a massive booking of 11,000 units. The firm was targeting 5,000 units a month for its new car, but this kind of heavy positive response shows that the fans of Maruti Suzuki brand will not let them rest, for the demand seems to cross the target the firm has set for the Maruti Ertiga. Whereas Toyota Innova has been the much demanded multi utility vehicle for a long time in the Indian automobile market and it has also been used for commercial taxi services. This MUV has replaced its own Toyota Qualis. When Toyota was launched in the year 2005 in the nation it came both as a 7-seater and 8-seater vehicle. It is well appreciated for its design, safety, comfort and the innovative attributes it carries with itself.
But the question here is where does Toyota Innova stand when Maruti has launched its Ertiga last week with a record breaking booking of all times. A quick comparison should help us in deciding just that.
Maruti Ertiga has been made on the platform of the new Swift of Maruti. We can also call this MPV a lengthened Swift for our convenience. From the front Ertiga looks a lot similar like the Ritz where the bonnet and grille make the similarity more prominent. The broad bumpers, large air dam and fog lamp space give the Ertiga a proud and mature look. The 15-inch wheels with a thick wheel-arch give the Ertiga a proper muscular image while the sides have no complicated but only simple curves. The wing mirrors make the side profile complete. The roof line is a bit slanted towards the rear. The tail lamps too, are extended towards the side. The car gets a spoiler which is body clad and charms the roofing, the stop lamp, the small tail lamps and the badge of Ertiga to make it different from the crowd amidst the traffic.
Toyota Innova had its exteriors upgraded in 2012 that makes it look very stylish now. The signal lamps are protruding to enhance the dignified appearance of Innova while the more angular headlamps add to the charm. Fog lamps have turned oval with the grille more stylish with three slats of chrome and the badge of Toyota right in the centre of the top slate. With a large windshield the bonnet is more prominent V shape. The slanted A-pillar and D-pillar add to the elegance. Curvy design on the side profile goes on till the rear of the car. The tail-lights and alloy wheels get a new profile with chrome band placed nicely on the rear to give it premiumness. The ORVMs turn indicators add practicality to the exterior beauty. The aerodynamics is equipped with smooth character lining and wipers which are semi-concealed. This is a higher version compared to its previous models so it becomes a bump free ride.
Space and comfort
The entry and exit to the Maruti Ertiga is very convenient. The beige interiors of the cabin make it bright and give an airy feeling to the passenger while it makes the cabin look larger than it actually measures to. This beige colour makes the lower side of the dash board radiate. The door pads, steering wheel, centre console and the perfectly made beautiful seats are more supportive and wider if compared to the Swift. The dashboard may look very much similar to that of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire but its colour theme is absolutely different which makes the speedo cluster look very sleek. It feels a bit chunky to grip the compact steering wheel that can be easily adjusted manually for height. Yellow display adorns the instrument cluster. The audio controls are mounted in steering only in the Ertiga variants of Zxi and Zdi. There are no dead pedals in the Ertiga which is a bit painful as cars for highway cruise should have it as standard fitting.
The driver seat is adjustable in six different positions that make the view on the front absolutely clear and comfortable. The A-pillars are broad that makes the front sight a little difficult when manoeuvring on the sharp curves. Seating is very comfortable because of enough leg rooms in the front row while the rear sides of the front row seats are a little curved so the knee space in increased in the second row. The ability to slide up the second row seats up to 240mm with large rear doors makes the access to the third row comfortable enough. In the second row three passengers can be seated easily while in the third row two passengers can accommodate themselves without any discomfort. A huge 735 litre of boot space comes up when the second and third row seats are folded up. In upper variants like Zxi, Zdi and Vxi, Vdi the roof mounted AC vents are available for the passengers of second and third row.
Toyota Innova is a very spacious MPV in its segment as the firm claims. The multi-information display is one of the major factors of comfort in the cabin. This keeps the driver updated with he speed, fuel and the other relevant information which may be required. The four-spoke steering wheel wrapped in soft leather looks very deluxe and has the controls in accents of silver to operate the multi-information display with much ease. The best part right next to the steering wheel, the gear shift knob is also wrapped in leather that makes it very easy to hold. Equipped with illuminator control the Optitron Combimeter is much enhanced looking and gives a luxe feel. There is a huge boot space that can be increased by folding the last seat. Generally, we find that even a strong AC in the front is not able to completely cool the car and the passengers on the rear complaint about the heat they have to suffer. Toyota India has come up with a solution to it and fixed double AC with a switch for rear AC and the ceiling vents for the passengers of the second and third row. While all the seats are extremely comfortable and can very easily slide, the third row seat has the ability to recline by 14 degree. There are reverse cameras on the Innova that helps in parking on the blind corners.
Engine, Driving and Handling
Maruti Ertiga is packed with the latest K series, four-cylinder 1.4-liter VVT engine that is used in all the petrol variants. Ertiga is the first model to receive this petrol engine. It produces a huge power of 96 PS at 6000 rpm where a peak torque of 130 Nm at 4000 rpm pushes the car smoothly through traffic. When the vehicle is idle the K series engine makes very less noise which is the proof of the smoothest petrol engine one could ever see. Because of the petrol engine the car moves quickly through the busy traffic and gallops ahead on the highways. There is only one drawback from this engine that it displays a little bit of less mid-range power, but seeing its performance otherwise this is negligible.
The diesel Ertiga comes in super turbo DDIS 1.3-liter engine that sits beneath the bonnet of the Maruti Suzuki SX4 Diesel as well. This VGT engine produces a humble power of 90 PS at 4000 rpm with a peak torque of smooth 200 Nm at 1750 rpm. Although it is silent when it’s idle but some noise is drifted into the cabin of this diesel engine at high speed. The five-speed manual transmission which is very common in the cars of Maruti Suzuki has been used in Ertiga as well. According to the nature of the car the gear ratio has been settled in order to make it more drivable at all the speed levels. The super soft clutch pedal increases the comfort level when one shifts the gear as well as it makes the gear shifting more accurate and smooth.
The Mc Pherson strut for the front while the Torsion beam on the rear for the suspension results in the ride handling much more efficient. To keep the body roll to the minimum, the suspension has been tuned in a fine manner in accordance to the weight and size of Ertiga. The reason Ertiga drives like a sedan is its chassis built on a mono cock construction mode whereas other competing MPVs have utilized the chassis of ladder frame. Thus drifting and body roll does not happen at low speed because of this kind of chassis set up.
With ABS the Maruti Ertiga is a very fine performer at all level of speeds where you can drive it around sharp corners and curves mainly because of its attributes like underpinnings. Overall it gives a very accurate and soft steering experience for a comfortable drive.
Toyota Innova is available in two different engine capacities that give different level of performance due to its difference in power. The first engine runs on petrol while the other runs on diesel. The three petrol engine variants of Innova are equipped with a 1TR-FE, 198cc, four-inline cylinder, 2.0-liter engine with electronic fuel injection (EFI). With a capacity to produce a handsome 132 PS of top power at 5600 rpm along with a peak torque of 181 Nm at 4000 rpm so that the car does not ever vibrates even when it hits a high speed of 120 kmph because of the high level of engine performance.
The second type is a diesel engine that delivers good fuel efficiency when compared to its petrol variant at a low running cost. The turbocharger, 2KD-FTV, four-inline cylinder with common-rail direct injection fuel supply system, 2494cc, 2.5-liter diesel engine pumps out 102 PS of maximum kick at 3600 rpm with a super torque of 200 Nm at 1400-3400 rpm that is complimented by a very fine engine performance in the most possible low noise vibration and harshness (NVH) manner.
The front suspension of Innova is packed with huge Ventilated Disc Brakes whence the rear wheels have Leading-Trailing Drum Brakes which de-accelerate the vehicle immediately. With the antilock brake system complimented with electronic brake-force distribution that makes sure the vehicle do not skid ever in case of a sudden hard braking on a slippery and wet road. The front suspension of Toyota Innova is equipped with the stabilizer type double wishbone whereas the rear suspension of the vehicle has coil spring type with four link. With this advanced suspension system the jerk of rough road is minimized and handling of Innova becomes more convenient.
Value for Money, Mileage and Price
The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is built by one of the most trusted car manufacturers of the world. In India Maruti Suzuki has been for more than three decades now with a benchmark standard in after sales service. The Maruti Ertiga MPV has every comfort of a sedan is suppose to have yet it has a huge boot space of 735 litres after folding the rear seats. The very booking of more than 10,000 units within five days of its launch makes it a class apart. The MPV doesn’t only posses the comforts of a sedan but it also drives like on. The construction quality is superb and the comfort level is undoubtedly high for this kind of segment. The Toyota Innova may offer the same with more sophisticated AC technology which cools its whole cabin but at the same time it doesn’t have the mammoth boot space as the Ertiga. The exterior of Innova is comparatively more attractive than Ertiga which makes it look very different and unique in its segment. The braking technology and safety features are almost the same in both while the mileage and price differs.
The petrol model of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga gives 16.02 kmpl on an average while the petrol version of Toyota Innova gives 8.3 kmpl in the city and 12.4 kmpl on the highway. The diesel version of Ertiga scores 20.77 kmpl on an overall mileage whereas the Innova gives 10.2 kmpl in the city and 12.0 kmpl on the highway. All of this is in accordance to the ARAI test figures.
Like the mileage there is a huge difference in the price of both the MPVs as well. The Maruti Ertiga is available in seven options of colour to choose from while there are L, V and Z petrol and diesel variants to pick from. The price starts at Rs 5.89 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base model LXi petrol Ertiga and the base model LDi Ertiga comes for Rs.7.30 lakh. The Toyota Innova stars at a base price of Rs.8.89 lakh and goes up to Rs.13.58 lakh.
With a base price of Rs.5.89 lakh and excellent mileage of up to 20.77 kmpl in diesel model, with a boot space of 735 litres backed up by the excellent service of the three decade old firm in Indian subcontinent. Maruti Ertiga gives a very tough competition to the Toyota Innova which stand nowhere close to the facilities that Ertiga is providing in terms of value for money, mileage and price. No doubt Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is on a winning stance in this brawl of MPVs.