Family Car of the Year: Maruti Ertiga
Maruti’s first proper ‘non-van’ people-mover wins hands down simply because it’s created a new segment – the compact MPV
When the first pictures of the Ertiga came out, you could hear the silence over at Toyota and Mahindra. The shock refused to wear off and the questions flew thick and fast. How did Maruti, essentially a small-car maker, pull off something like this? How did it manage to package it all in? Is that really the Swift platform they used?
Maruti’s rivals were worried, and not without reason. It was a Maruti, after all. And this one had created an all-new segment, the compact MPV.
The Ertiga might not be as roomy as its natural rival, the Innova, but it does confront the car buyer with a question or two. Such as: Do I really need that big MPV when I can get the Ertiga for Rs 2-3 lakh less? Buyers in Maruti showrooms asked if they could add another Rs 1 lakh and book the Ertiga instead of the DZire, the convenience of two extra seats making it a strong buy.
Yes, it does have its small follies. The all-beige cabin can get dirty real quick, and the last row of seats really isn’t meant for anything larger than two five-year-olds. But can you imagine travelling with your loved ones in any other MPV without spending upwards of Rs 10 lakh and having to drive yourself in the city? No, neither can we. In the end, it’s the Ertiga’s compact dimensions, light controls and fuel efficient and adequately powered engines that endear it to the family-focused buyer.
Even though the Ertiga is completely different from anything that has ever come out of Maruti, it remains true to Maruti’s core values. It’s relatively easy on the wallet, comes with a great set of diesel and petrol engines and most importantly, carries the reassurance of Maruti’s extensive service network. That’s why it’s a superhit already and our Family Car of the Year.