BUYER'S GUIDE: 2019 Suzuki Ertiga
To be brutally honest, the Suzuki Ertiga is a car that doesn’t really ring any bells for the average Juan. Quite simply, it doesn’t have the name recall commanded by its contemporaries such as the Toyota Innova, Isuzu Crosswind, and Mitsubishi Adventure. In fact, there are those that confuse it with Suzuki’s other people carrier, the APV. And that’s a shame, because the Ertiga is a decent and reliable performer. Its days living in the shadows may be over though, with the release of the all-new 2019 model.
Suzuki has been firing on all cylinders as of late, churning out one winner after the other with the successive all-new releases of the Dzire, Swift, and of course, the Jimny. With all that it has in store, the 2019 Suzuki Ertiga seeks to add to the Japanese carmaker's list of certified hits.
While the outgoing Ertiga is fitted with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder 95-hp powertrain, the new one comes with a slightly higher displacement, and more power. A 1.5-liter 4-cylinder K15B sits in the engine bay, capable of delivering 103 hp and 138 Nm of torque. Low trims have a five-speed manual, while upper specs come with a four-speed automatic. As for dimensions, the new Ertiga measures 4395 mm long, 1735 mm wide, and 1690 mm high across all trims. Wheelbase is at 2740mm, while minimum ground clearance is at 180 mm.
A lot has changed in the 2019 Ertiga as far as appearances are concerned, starting with the new front fascia, to the more aggressive side profile, and on to the sleeker rear features. The retooled grille, headlamps and taillamps--all made larger--complete the Ertiga's sharper looks. The roofline appears immediately taller at first glance, but more than the 5 mm addition to the height, it's the upward slope that makes it more obvious, as the older Ertiga sports a flatter top. Buyers get to choose from seven different color options: Snow White Pearl, Radiant Pearl Red, Burgundy Red Pearl, Magma Gray Metallic, Glorious Brown Pearl, Silky Silver Metallic, and Cool Black Pearl Metallic.
Inside is where it gets more interesting. The Ertiga has been feature-laden from the get-go, but interior design tends to lean on the bland side of things. The latest model aims to spice things up with more exciting design cues: the dashboard is given a three-tone look oozing with charisma; the D-shaped steering wheel comes with control buttons that allow the driver to control the 10-inch infotainment system with ease; and to top it all off, Suzuki also put in some faux wood grain accents here and there, giving the cabin an even more premium feel.
The Ertiga is a seven-seater with a 2-3-2 configuration. While the first two rows offer ample head and leg room, the same can’t be said about the cramped third row. Still, it must be said that the new Ertiga's third row space is longer compared to the claustrophobic conditions seen in the outgoing model. As long as it's kids or cargo that you keep back there, you'll be fine.
For a price range of PHP728,000 to PHP978,000, the level of safety equipment you get from the Ertiga is amazing. There’s the standard ABS with EBD, front SRS airbags, child seat anchorage, and reverse parking sensor. But most impressive of all is the body build imbued with Suzuki's advanced Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) that increases rigidity, lowers weight, and more efficiently absorbs and disperses impact energy in the event of a collision to decrease the risk of serious or fatal injury not only to the vehicle occupants, but to pedestrians as well.
Suzuki may not be as big as its fellow Japanese companies, but its cars are no slouch. That said, there's no denying that the 2019 Ertiga is impressive, especially given that it's priced well below P1 million. If you're looking for a reliable family hauler with an equally dependable after-sales service network, you're good to go with the 2019 Suzuki Ertiga.