How does the recently launched compact MPV, the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga stand up against the Nissan Sunny diesel? We find the answer.
What made us compare an MPV like the Ertiga with a three-box saloon like the Sunny is because the Ertiga targets the same price segment the Sunny diesel targets. When you look at the price range of both the vehicles, you will find the similarity in price.
Further, the present day buyers are often confused about whether they should go for a premium hatchback or a sedan. And now, you will also witness a lot of compact MPVs like the Ertiga and the upcoming Chevrolet Enjoy and Mahindra Mini Xylo in the coming months. Also read: Should you buy a premium small car or go for an entry level sedan?
We take into account, the top-end Ertiga diesel ZDi variant and compare it with the top-end diesel Sunny XV variant.
Performance and handling
The engine specifications of both the cars are a close match though Ertiga engine churns out more power (89 bhp) as against the Sunny engine (85 bhp) but the torque is same 200 Nm in both the cars. The Sunny diesel can be expected to perform slightly better than the Ertiga because the Sunny diesel weighs 138 kg less than the Ertiga diesel which means the power-to-weight ratio is higher and acceleration of the Nissan sedan is better than the Maruti MPV.
With regard to handling, the Sunny is at its best when driven at sedate manner but gives a planted feel at all speeds, thanks to its long wheelbase. The Ertiga feels great to drive and handles almost like a car with controlled vertical movements and body roll. This makes the Ertiga as comfortable to drive as the Sunny.
Summing up, the Sunny does have an edge over the Ertiga in terms of performance, while in the handling department, there is no winner.
Space and comfort
The Sunny is 160 mm longer and has the same width (1,695) as the Ertiga. However, the Ertiga is 180 mm taller than the Sunny. This essentially translates to more headroom available in the Ertiga than in the Sunny. The Ertiga can be used as an occasional seven seater while the Sunny is a strict five seater sedan.
However, the Sunny being longer than the Ertiga offers rear seat legroom (at 636 mm) which is best-in-class and much better than the middle row legroom offered in the Ertiga. With the third row folded, Ertiga offers 480 litres of luggage space, which is pretty close to the 490 litres luggage space offered in the Sunny.
Comfort-wise the Ertiga has an edge over the Sunny, especially in terms of plush feel and under-thigh support. In the Ertiga, the front row passengers get commanding view of the road ahead and even the middle row passengers are seated higher than in the Sunny, providing good under thigh support. The Sunny, on the contrary, has low set seats, especially at the rear offering less under thigh support. Besides, the more-than-adequate legroom in the rear seat may not be that useful even for tall passengers, during daily commutes. Also read: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga bookings cross the 10,000 mark!
In terms of space for five passengers, the Sunny wins (phenomenal legroom) but in terms of overall comfort, the Ertiga wins over the Sunny.
The Ertiga is based on the Swift platform and also carries design cues from the Swift. The headlamps and front grille design are typical Suzuki trade mark and mimics the Ritz at certain angles. The side profile has a slightly raised shoulder line and the chunky wheel arches give it a sporty appeal. The rear looks bland though the side swept tail lamp cluster breaks its monotony.
The Sunny is nothing like the Micra though both the cars share the same V-platform, hence will please buyers who look for exclusivity. The coupe-like rear styling is the highlight that distinguishes the Sunny from its sedan rivals. At certain angles, the Sunny’s contours give an asymmetric look.
If you already like cab-forward, tall boy designs like the Honda Jazz and Maruti Wagon R, you will find the Ertiga to be more attractive than the Sunny. Otherwise, the Sunny looks more elegant than the Ertiga. Also see our Nissan Sunny diesel: Video review
The Sunny XV comes with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, music system, alloy wheels, fog lamps, steering mounted audio controls which are also offered in the Ertiga ZDI.
The Sunny XV has automatic climate control, intelligent key with push button start and electric folding mirrors which are not offered in the Ertiga ZDI. The Ertiga ZDi, on the other hand, gets rear washer and wiper, not offered in the Sunny XV. Overall, the Sunny XV has a little advantage over the Ertiga ZDI in terms of comfort features.
Price, mileage and VFM
The Ertiga ZDI is priced at Rs. 8.45 lakh which is Rs. 48,000 cheaper than the Sunny XV (Rs. 8.93 lakh). Though priced less, the Ertiga ZDI has additional third row and hence can carry seven people while the Sunny is limited to five seats.
With regard to mileage, the Sunny diesel has ARAI-certified fuel economy of 21.6 kmpl while that of the Ertiga is 20.77 kmpl. Hence, the Sunny has an edge over the Ertiga in terms of fuel economy.
Summing up, the Ertiga is a clear winner when it comes to ‘value for money’ proposition. The Ertiga ZDI is not only cheaper than the Sunny XV, but can also carry more people and has the versatility to carry more luggage than the Sunny XV when the third and second row seats are folded down.
Pros and Cons
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The Sunny diesel, as a car is a great package, for it comes with phenomenal legroom, gets lot of comfort features and has a commendable luggage space. But, the Ertiga impresses with its ability to carry seven passengers, handles like a car, and has a claimed mileage, that is only a km less than the Sunny diesel. This versatile nature of Ertiga makes it a winner in this comparison.