Maruti Suzuki Ertiga MPV bookings have crossed the 10,000 mark within five days of its launch. The booking numbers are overwhelming for a compact MPV because even cars such as the Toyota Etios and the fluidic Hyundai Verna took nearly 10 days to achieve the 10,000 mark.
The booking numbers of the Ertiga can be attributed to the aggressive ad campaign, tempting price range and the trust Maruti Suzuki commands as a brand in India.
What makes the Ertiga so appealing?
Price: The first reason is that the Ertiga is a seven seater that is available at the price of a decent sized sedan. Most of the sedans are priced in the Rs. 6 lakh – 9 lakh range such as the Nissan Sunny (Rs. 5.93 lakh – 8.93 lakh) and Maruti Suzuki SX4 (Rs. 7.11 lakh – 9.40 lakh) and the Ertiga too, is priced in the same territory (Rs. 5.89 lakh – 8.45 lakh). Hence, potential buyers who would otherwise have to settle with 5-seater sedans may go for the Ertiga.
Space and comfort: What makes the Ertiga more appealing is its versatility. The Ertiga can carry seven people when the third row is used up, or it can be made to comfortably carry five passengers and 480 litres of luggage by folding the third row. To carry even more luggage, the second seat can also be folded flat to free up a cavernous 735 litres for luggage.
Fuel efficiency: Secondly, the Ertiga is as fuel efficient as entry-level sedans and hence, running costs will be low unlike big MPVs. For instance, the claimed mileage of Ertiga petrol is 16 kmpl and that of the diesel is 20.77 kmpl which is at par with a sub-10 lakh sedan such as the Maruti Suzuki SX4 (15.5 kmpl for petrol and 21.5 kmpl for diesel).
Compact dimensions: Thirdly, the Ertiga offers more space on the inside, but is quite compact on the outside. Dimensionally, the Toyota Innova is 65 mm wider, 75 mm taller and has 10 mm longer wheelbase than the Ertiga. That makes the Ertiga, a little more practical MPV in metros and over populated cities where driving through traffic congestions and parking in tight spaces have become a daily chore.
Brand image: Maruti Suzuki cars are known for their affordable maintenance costs, resale value and mileage. The Ertiga ticks all the right boxes that a potential buyer would look for in a car at this price point.
Sporty looks: The Ertiga, despite borrowing design cues from the Swift and the Ritz, manages to have its unique identity. The pronounced wheel arches, attractive headlamp and tail lamp cluster makes the Ertiga look more like an extended hatchback rather than a bland MPV.
The tremendous response of Ertiga shows that Maruti Suzuki has a winner in its hands. But it will be interesting to see if the Ertiga can hold its value even after the launch of upcoming MPVs such as the Chevrolet Enjoy, Mahindra mini Xylo and the Nissan Evalia which are expected to hit the market during the second half of 2012.