Top Gear Philippines


Aside from subcompact SUVs, the other popular growing segment is that of the subcompact MPV. These affordable family haulers are basically the 21st century replacements of the rugged but crude AUVs. Most of them are derived from modern small car platforms, giving them an advantage in safety, interior packaging, and handling. The Ertiga you see in the photo is Suzuki’s entry into this segment.

While people may flock to trendier rivals, we still think the Ertiga is worth a look. Here are some its strong points:

1) Big interior, small exterior.

While it may not be able to rival the Tardis, the Ertiga has a roomy interior that can seat up to seven or five for comfort with extra room for luggage. Another plus is its exterior dimensions. It’s actually shorter and slightly narrower than its Ciaz subcompact sedan sibling, making it very much at home in a busy city.

2) Pleasant styling.

It looks like one of our favorite little hatchbacks, the Swift--only bigger with an MPV-shaped body. In this day of cars, vans, and SUVs all looking angry and aggressive, here’s a vehicle for the family that actually has a face that looks happy. Suzuki probably knew it when they came up with nickname “Life Utility Vehicle” so it can spell LUV.

3) What it has under its hood.

It’s motivated by a 1.4-liter DOHC inline-four gasoline with VVT, producing 95hp and 130Nm. Before you brush off these numbers as inadequate, you also have to remember that the Ertiga happens to be a light vehicle for its size. At 1,155kg to 1,185kg, it only weighs slightly more than a modern subcompact sedan. Based on our test, an Ertiga equipped with a four-speed automatic was able to achieve an average of 10.7km/L in mixed city and highway driving.

4) The right stuff.

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It’s well equipped, particularly our preferred variant, the range-topping GLX. It features dual airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, touchscreen infotainment system with Android OS, and a rear air-con. The Ertiga range tops out at P928,000. While we’re anticipating a price increase soon, expect it to still undercut its similarly equipped rivals.

Sometimes you have to look beyond a vehicle’s exterior styling. Who knows, maybe the vehicle you’ve been ignoring might be the right one for your needs.

Andrew Guerrero
Writer
Andrew has a passion for cars, both old and new. He prefers a good ol' manual transmission and feels sad when a new car model isn't released with one.
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