India is Suzuki’s biggest market and it’s not surprising that new models make their first appearance there. At the Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi, its Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki (which began life in 1981 as a government-linked carmaker but was entirely sold to Suzuki in 2007) unveiled a new small MPV called the Ertiga. This is India’s first compact MPV and marks the entry of the country’s leading carmaker in the utility vehicle segment.

4625 mm long and 1695 mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2740 mm, it is 420 mm longer than a Perodua Alza but has the same width and almost the same wheelbase. The platform is said to be adapted from the well-engineered one used for the Swift.

Much of the development work for the Ertiga was done in India which is expected to quickly dominate the MPV market that has seen accelerated growth in recent years. Thus it is described as offering ‘an interesting mobility solution for young dynamic confident Indian who wants to retain individuality yet retain Indian custom of togetherness’.

The 3-row/7-seater Ertiga will be available with a 1.4-litre K-series 4-cylinder VVT petrol engine (95 bhp/130 Nm) and a Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre turbodiesel with direct injection (89 bhp/200 Nm). Maruti Suzuki-supplied consumption figures are 16.02 kms/litre for the petrol engine and 20.77 kms/litre for the turbodiesel using an Indian standard test cycle. Manual and automatic transmission options are available. 
A premium feel has been given to the Ertiga’s cabin which has features like a tilt-adjustable steering column, electric power steering, twin air-conditioning system, audio system with USB port, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, central door locking and keyless entry, multi- information display, power windows and electrically-adjustable door mirrors. Flexi-seating options for 7 passengers (2x3x2) allow a range of layouts to suit different requirements at different times.

The Ertiga is intended to be a global model and will be built in Indonesia as well, where it should be a replacement for the APV. Being produced in Indonesia would mean that the Ertiga would eventually be offered in Malaysia as it can be imported import duty-free under AFTA provisions.

As for the name of the model, it seems that there was Indonesian influence as one explanation makes reference of it meaning ‘three rows’ (tiga) in that language. Conincidentally, Proton also has a prototype of a lightweight Satria Neo which it calls ‘Artiga’ (R-Tiga… get it?).


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