When it comes to things automotive, form and function often clash in the endless duel between designers and marketers – with the new Suzuki Ertiga, however, these two opposite ends of the scale have come together rather neatly.
The second-generation Suzuki Ertiga is wide, taller and longer than its first-generation predecessor, which was launched globally in 2010.
“Our engineers and designers have worked hard to create an MPV that truly delivers on its paper promises. There is more space and even adults can comfortably use the third row of seats. There is also more power from the new 1,5-litre engine and it sports a higher specification level throughout the range,” says André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki South Africa.
Viewed directly from the front, it has a large upright and cross-cut grille with Suzuki S-emblem and large new headlights in clear housings and individually packaged driving and high-beam lights.
The lower air intake is also significantly larger than before and the sheet metal is significantly more sculpted than before.
At the rear of the Ertiga, the designers have mimicked the upright front grille with a slightly slanted upright section on the rear tailgate, directly above the number plate holder. The rear lights reach towards the roof and contain LED combination brake- and driving lights.
Suzuki has stretched the Ertiga by 130 mm to 4 395 mm, while lifting the roof by 5 mm to give the vehicle a total height of 1 690 mm. The Ertiga is also 40 mm wider, which translates almost directly into more shoulder room for passengers in all three rows of seats.
Despite the extra length and width, Suzuki has kept the wheelbase unchanged at 2 740 mm.
The dark cloth seats are both more supportive – thanks to a new seat spring design – roomier and the second (60/40) and third row (50/50) of seats can fold flat to create flat storage of up to 2,820 metres with the front passenger seat also folded flat.
With the seats up, the luggage compartment offers 199 litres of storage space, with a load floor that can adjust to two different heights. With the seats down, the load space is more hard wearing and sturdier than before, thanks to metal plates in all the folding seatbacks.
“We believe a true seven-seater has to comfortably accommodate adult passengers in the third row. With the deep floor, more hip space and larger shoulder room, an adult passenger of up to 1,75 m will be seated comfortably, even on longer journeys,” says Venter.
The middle row has been redesigned to tilt and slide further forward to allow for easy ingress to and egress from the rearmost two seats and on the GL model there is a new roof-mounted second air-conditioning unit for improved airflow to rear passengers.
Most notable, however, is the fact the interior is now black dash and fascia.
The steering wheel on GL models also features chrome highlights and steering controls, while all models benefit from the D-shaped steering wheel with height adjustment that allows for ease of getting in and out.
The instrument cluster is housed in an upright dashboard with integrated radio, with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. There is also a unique money bin for notes and coins and a special mobile phone tray to store connected or charging phones.
In the lower section of the centre console, Suzuki has added two air-conditioned cup holders and a 12V charging socket, with a second charging socket located behind the front seats for the middle row of passengers.
All Ertiga models are equipped with two crash bags for front passengers and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD). Suzuki has also added ISOFIX-approved seat anchors for child seats and a reverse parking sensor system for the GL model.
The new K15B 1,5-litre engine delivers more power and torque than the K14B engine it replaces, delivering 77 kW at 6 000 r/min and 138 Nm at 4 400 r/min.
The new engine is mated to an five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic gearbox. Both shift options feature a more refined shifting pattern with new shift knobs that are both easier to grip and to operate.
Three versions of the Suzuki Ertiga will be available from launch. All three models are sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200 000 km / five-year mechanical warranty and a four-year / 60 000 km service plan.
The models that are available at launch are:
• Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GA MT
• Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL MT
• Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL AT