Can the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga beat the Toyota Innova?

Is the fully loaded Maruti Suzuki Ertiga ZDI priced at Rs.8.50 lakh a better MPV than the similarly priced Toyota Innova E that costs Rs. 9.14 lakh? Let’s find out!

ertiga vs Innova

Maruti Suzuki has just launched its 7-seater, Ertiga targeting urban buyers looking for a compact MPV. The Ertiga looks more like an elongated small car than an MPV, thanks to its sporty styling and small dimensions compared to full sized family MPVs such as the Innova.

The Innova has so far been the first choice among MPV buyers who are concerned about reliability and maintenance costs. One of the USPs of the Innova is its car like drivability and long term reliability. Bu the Ertiga could shake things up. Read our Maruti Suzuki Ertiga road test here.

For a buyer with a budget of Rs. 9 lakh the newly launched Ertiga ZDI and the Innova E are both fair game. But which MPV offers you the best value for your hard earned money? Read on to find an answer.

Performance and handling

Being a compact MPV, does the Ertiga feels less powerful than the bigger Innova? Not actually, for the Ertiga’s 1.3-litre diesel motor (same as in SX4 diesel) puts out 89 bhp which although a hefty 12 bhp lesser than the Toyota Innova’s 2.5-litre engine produces the same 200 Nm of torque. Hence, despite slightly less power, the Ertiga which weighs 440 kg less than the Innova, will accelerate faster and will be more fuel efficient as well.

Handling wise, the Ertiga has an edge for it is built on a monocoque chassis. Therefore, body roll is non existent when compared to the bigger Innova. Even when you push it to its limits the Ertiga is under control for the most part. The Ertiga ZDI also has ABS which makes it safe during hard and panic braking. The Innova exhibits minimal body roll, but when compared to the Ertiga, it falls a bit short in terms of handling.

The Ertiga has an edge over the Innova in terms of drivability as well as handling.

ertiga interior third row seat
Photo: For its size the Ertiga has ample space but compared to the Innova it's rather cramped.

Space and comfort

The Innova is 65 mm wider, 75 mm taller and has 10 mm longer wheelbase than the Ertiga. Hence, in terms of shoulder room and headroom, the Innova offers more space than the Ertiga. It is important to note that the Ertiga is only as wide as the Swift (1,695 mm) and hence, it offers less shoulder room than the Innova.

While the front row seats in both the Innova and the Ertiga offer excellent all-round support, things turn out differently when we compare the second and third row of these MPVs. For instance, the second row in the Innova can actually seat three passengers more comfortably than in the Ertiga.

The third row in the Ertiga has just adequate legroom but lacks the level of shoulder room and head room offered in the Innova’s third row. But both the MPVs don’t offer proper under thigh support in the third row, making it uneasy for tall passengers during long journey. That said, the Innova is spacious and the second and third row passengers will feel more comfortable sitting in the Innova than in the Ertiga.

Comfort wise, the Ertiga offers plush seats on all rows while the seats in the Innova could do with a bit more cushioning. The adjustable middle row seats can be slid back to create more leg space. Besides, the middle row seats, just like the front row seats, can be reclined backwards to a comfortable position.

Like the Innova, the Ertiga too offers a 60:40 split in the middle row and both the second and third row can be folded flat to free up a cavernous boot space of 735 litres. If the third row alone is folded, the boot space available is 480 litres.

Summing up, the Innova is more spacious than the Ertiga but the Ertiga feels a bit more comfortable than the Innova.

ertiga front right
Photo: In terms of looks the Ertiga is a good looking MPV, but the Innova with its recent face lift too looks good

Looks

Looks of MPVs are generally dull but the Ertiga and Innova are exceptions for they are easy on our eyes. The Ertiga has a front face with a sporty grille and peeled out headlamps as in the new Swift. At certain angles, it looks like a Ritz front on steroids. The side profile has a sporty appeal, thanks to the chunky wheel arches and the slightly raised shoulder line. The rear of the Ertiga is not as attractive as its front due to the bland boot door design.

innova front
Photo: The new Innova with its redesigned headlamps and grille does look fresher and younger

The 2012 Innova has refreshed headlamps and a new radiator grille with thick horizontal chrome slats that give it a premium feel. The side profile remains plain while at the rear, the windscreen is wide offering good rear visibility for the driver. The tail lamp cluster gets a new clear lens treatment, but we feel the old model had good looking tail lamp cluster than the new one.

While the Ertiga has good front looks, the Innova stands out with its elegant rear design, so it’s a tie in the looks department.

ertiga interior dashboard
Photo: In terms of features the top of the line Ertiga wins hands down against the Innova E.

Features

The Ertiga ZDI gets ABS and dual front airbags that are not offered in the Innova E variant. Similarly, the Ertiga ZDi comes with power adjustable outside mirrors with turn indicators, integrated audio system features USB and aux-in and steering mounted audio controls and rear roof-mounted AC blower with independent controls for rear seat passengers. These features are not offered in the Innova E variant as it comes with minimal features such as power steering with tilt adjust and manual AC. Read more about the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga’s features here.

Therefore, features-wise, the Ertiga ZDI simply wins over the Innova E hands down.

Price, mileage and VFM

The Ertiga ZDI is priced at Rs. 8.50 lakh which is Rs. 64,000 cheaper than the Innova E variant. Mileage-wise, the Ertiga diesel offers 20.77 kmpl (ARAI-certified mileage) while the Innova diesel offers 13 kmpl only.

Overall, the Ertiga does have an edge over the Innova when it comes to price and mileage even though the Ertiga is smaller than the Innova.

Pros and Cons

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Verdict

The Ertiga ZDI has an edge over the Innova E in terms of price, drivability, handling, safety & comfort features as well as mileage. Hence, if the rear seat space is not a major factor in your buying decision, the Ertiga ZDI is definitely a better package than the Innova E.