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Suzuki Ertiga GLX A/T 2016 Review




The market for family movers in the Philippines has always been a tough nut to crack. Minus going for the usual AUV offerings some discerning consumers still look for the comfortable characteristics of their beloved sedans. That expectation usually also includes higher ground clearance, more space for people and gear, and still get good fuel consumption – that’s where the modern MPV segment comes into play. Suzuki’s bet in this high stakes game is the Ertiga (which means Swift with three rows). We spent a good week with the 2016 GLX AT to see whether they’ve done enough to up the ante against its rivals.

Looks – 7/10

Exterior

The Ertiga’s exterior is definitely an acquired taste. Like what it’s name suggests it emulates the Swift’s looks but in a bigger body. In order for it to obtain it’s more utility-centric guise, it had to lose some of its smaller brethren’s sleekness. This means that it isn’t as sexy but it isn’t too much of an eyesore either.

While form may not have necessarily been the main consideration when it was conceived, you can tell that it definitely leans more towards practicality – doors and rear hatch open wide and is easily accessed.

Interior

This is where the Ertiga definitely has a leg up compared to it’s competition. You can tell that Suzuki did their homework on the layout and finish of the dashboard and auxillary controls. It’s not pretentious – flat gray panels over a cream interior that works. It still attracts more dirt than the normal dark gray or black interiors but not as bad as the lighter beige ones I have been in.

The “bigger Swift” objective? This is where it is clearly evident. The second row seats can comfortably accommodate bigger passengers in relative comfort and ease. The third row should be reserved for kids or smaller passengers since the leg room can be quite the squeeze if there are hefty occupants in the middle row. But if you’re not going to use that area to haul more folks, folded down it does provide a considerable amount of real estate for other paraphernalia.

The only qualm I have are the missing arm rest and extra center cup holders for the front rows. Other than that it is a good, albeit vanilla, place to be in.

Driving Experience – 6/10

The Ertiga’s sitting position is an interesting proposition. It’s biased towards a more upright orientation to combat sitting fatigue during long drives (or even longer bouts in traffic). While this is a more ergonomically positive position, it does leave you with a sense of feeling that you’re on the car rather than being in it.


It also does not like to cruise above 80kph on the expressway. Going beyond this speed penalizes your Fuel Consumption greatly. And with the added heft at the midsection and rear it does not make for great aerodynamics either as evidenced by an immediate decrease on your cruising speed when you take your foot off the accelerator.

Sharing the same 1.4L engine and transmission from the Ciaz, you can definitely feel the engine’s efforts to lug the Ertiga around. While it doesn’t necessarily struggle it does consume a bit more fuel than its lighter stable mate. Its official DOE numbers clocked in at 22.03 km/L but it’s real world performance was, sadly, considerably less. The best realistic economy figures we got was 9.57 km/L – this was from a mix of traversing Metro Manila’s infamous traffic and our day trip to Subic up north.

Technology – 8/10

ertiga-2016_8-576x768

Suzuki is definitely on a roll with their new android system. Spend a few minutes with it and you can immediately sync your phone to receive calls and play your favorite songs on Spotify. The unit tested also did not have much lag even if I purposely tried to get it confused by aggressively switching from one app to another.

The FOB integration which activates the nicely executed and placed Start/Stop button and exterior unlock buttons on the front driver/passenger doors and rear hatch definitely saves its users precious seconds whenever you try to gain access to it. This is very practical especially when you are opening doors with either a bag of groceries or your dog in one hand.

Cost – 6/10

The GLX model we tested came with all of Suzuki’s bells and whistles. Being top spec means that it isn’t the cheapest of the Ertiga line up. Costing Php 918,000 it is quite a jump from it’s more affordable siblings.

GA Manual – Php665,000
GL Manual – Php759,000
GL Automatic – Php799,000
GLX Automatic – Php918,000

The only notable difference the GLX has from the GL is the extra exterior trim pieces, steering wheel mounted controls, and the start/stop button. Is it worth the extra Php119,000? Depends on who you ask, but I want to get a bit more with that extra cost.

Conclusion and Recommendation

The Ertiga is a solid family MPV for driving around the city, visiting nearby areas, and going on the occasional grocery run. It’s folding third row seat can definitely accommodate a multitude of uses from carrying a load of your precious cargo or more precious, smaller, passengers. The 1.4L engine mated to the available 4 speed automatic is more than sufficient to handle these daily tasks – just make sure that you understand what it can and cannot do since pushing it to its limits can start becoming a costly fuel exercise.

We enjoyed our time with the Ertiga and we suggest it as a strong contender for your MPV needs. Unfortunately the GLX variant only got a rating of 2 out of 5 jacks with a score of 66% because of the driving experience and as tested cost. I expected the bigger iteration of the Swift to have been a bit livelier during our drive up north and to have a more bang for the buck type of feel which it did not.

With the stiff competition from Honda and Toyota trying to lure in prospective buyers in the top tier MPV segment Suzuki could have added something more for way less. The variant that we highly recommend though is the lower spec GL automatic. We found that it is the best compromise of all the offerings and it comes considerably equipped (minus the above mentioned GLX bits) for the price.



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13 Responses

  1. nice review. hope you can compare it with other MPV’s available in the market.

  2. Anjdroid says:

    Nc review :) a very personal feel type of words :)

  3. LEONARDO MIADO says:

    I drive GL AT and I am very contented of the features. This is our first family car/servicecar/work car/school car/kids’ playground car/market car/country car/everyday car. Wow!That’s ertiga!
    it gives me the right speed i need.
    had wonderful listening to music played. the aircon cools the best. the luggage spaces are very generous, the wet goods have their space/containers at the back. I drive almost everyday and it feels wow driving everytime. thanks to ertiga. i love my family. i love ertiga.

  4. LEONARDO MIADO says:

    thanks to your review. it feels proud that my wife and i were right in choosing it.

  5. eugene says:

    I agree that Gl variant is the wisest choice!!! Last DEC. 8, I got mine. painted the fog lamp brow with chrome as well as the brake drums And it looks great. As I compute the kpl. Its 16.3 kpl on long drive. Well mmla? Considering the xmas rush, 10. 4kpl. Not bad for a an engine still at break in proccess

    • Geb says:

      Sir, nice feedback po. Just want to ask po given your experience since you bought yours. Has the the fuel consumption fuel changed? TIA. I’m planning to buy mine this week po.

  6. ryan says:

    hi… would like to get some feedback or tech guide… i just bought suzuki ertiga GL AT… experiencing “air rustling while cruising at 80-100km/h or passin tru wind…” anyone experience it too? please help me solve it… thank you so much

  7. yer says:

    Hi and Ertiga users as well, thanks for the review and your feedbacks,
    just had the GL automatic and for pick up by mid this week.. considering all that Is written/reviewed,
    – ever tried on a long drive such as manila-vigan yet? any share on the ride experience?
    and,, what’s the maximum speed you ever registered on the highway, or specifically ideal max speed (w/o considering the 100kph speed limit on the expressways). just want to know, thanks, nevile

  8. Yana De Luna says:

    hi, is this better than avanza?

  9. Leo says:

    GL does NOT have an anti brake lock system. Only GLX have it.

  10. Kat says:

    We have made a reservation a week ago for ertiga GL MT. Hoping we did the right and best decision. Thanks for the good review. Any tips for newbies in driving? ????

  11. Ging says:

    GL has no anti lock brake system and driver’s seat is not adjustable in terms if height. For peace of mind it is worth purchasing the GLX for extra security features.

    • Ging says:

      If the price difference is that much vis a vis the GL it is because of added safety feature like an ABS.

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