Practical, but could have been better
I had the opportunity to test drive maruti ertiga zxi petrol variant recently. This is not ownership experience, just test drive and impressions thereof. Zxi costs 870000 on road in calicut, Kerala. It comes with ABS, EBD, air bags for driver and front passenger, and stereo etc, apart from tilt steering (not telescopic), driver seat height adjust.
What I liked:
Standing still: It looks like a stretched swift, so doesn't look too large. In Calicut, the roads are narrow and smaller sizes are a big advantage in tight corners.
Getting in and out doesn't need climbing for me (5'8"). Ladies may have to do it, but not very cumbersome.
Front seat space is good because of well designed central console. The knees dont keep hitting the console or the front dash. The dash looks nice, and plastics are quite ok. Could have been better for the price though. Well placed USB and 12v charger point. square bottle holder, so dont know what size bottle it will hold. Door has good sized bottle holders (all doors), so you will definitely not be thirsty. Passenger gets a retractable nice cup holder. One glove box, medium sized. adequate for the job, that all.
Middle seat slides forward and is 60:40 split. flexible. If it slides all the way back, no one can sit in last seat. But you can sit comfortably in middle seat and have two small sized adults sit reasonably comfortably in 3rd row as well. Enough space for all. Dont compare with innova or tavera class, this is a smaller vehicle, but its got its advantages over the big MUVs.
Nice ac vents in mid seat roof. Powerful enough.
High driver seating position with good view of road.
Good boot space if there are 5 passengers. (nil otherwise)
Driving: The petrol engine is 1.4 litres, I think 104PS. Its silent, smooth and very responsive. Terrific acceleration. The steering is light at idle and slow speeds and beautifully becomes heavy as speed increases, giving good confidence at high speeds. Touched 120kmph without any jitteriness(unlike linea). Straight line stability is good, braking predictable, and good. I dont like steering mounted audio control because steering has to be rotated, moving the switch position, but many people appreciate these things, so its there for them. NVH levels are low, very well insulated cabin(unlike etios, linea).
What I didn't like:
Body roll in middle seat is considerable, due to higher seat position overall. Thats compared to cars only. Compared to MUVs, its lesser. If you need to go for long distance travel with luggage, even a single bag, the 3rd row has to be kept flat. That means seating for 5 only. Even considering the large boot space, I think for all practical purpose, the car will cater to 5 adults 80% of the time. The only time 7 adults can be seated is when you go for short trips for attending functions etc, without any luggage.
I think its this car's biggest drawback. If one has to buy a car for 5 adults practchandru021y, petrol, with this space, there are plenty of options, including sedans and hatchbacks, at much cheaper price. The most expensive hatchback, and probably the best overall, is honda jazz, which with similar psecs, is 2 lac rupees cheaper, and has better driving dynamics, despite a slower engine. I think this flaw in the car will make people think twice befroe going for ertiga.
I recommend this car only as a 5 seater with good overall package, but should have been 1 lakh cheaper than it is priced today.
Dr Durga Prasan