Maruti Ertiga – Family Car of the Year

The multi-purpose vehicle sector has gained tremendous popularity in recent years in India. With average families counting six or seven members, cars that can carry the entire family are the practical choice. While sedans drive well, they may not be the ideal car to squeeze in a large family.  Thus the ideal family car in India would have to be one that drives as well as a sedan and accommodates all members of the family comfortably. The recently launched Maruti Ertigo ticks all the boxes.
 
The sleek Japanese design of the Maruti Ertiga creates enough space for 5 to 7 passengers while occupying less space on the road as compared to its competitors such as the immensely popular Toyota Innova. A compact and flexible design allowing for ample adjustments makes room for both people as well as luggage. While families in India require a spacious car to accommodate every member, it is not a requirement for every day travel. Therefore, the Maruti Ertiga can be driven around the city during the weekdays similarly to a sedan and convert to a multipurpose vehicle during the weekends or for longer trips.
 
Comfortable for driver and passenger, the Maruti Ertiga is available in both petrol and diesel. Procuring the diesel versions of the Maruti Ertiga may pose certain difficulties owing to the large numbers ordered and delays in delivery as well as the large difference in price as compared to the petrol version. However, the diesel engine of the Maruti Ertiga offers excellent mileage and fuel economy. Available at a price range between 5.89 lacs – 8.45 lacs INR (approx 11,000 USD – 15,000 USD), the Maruti Ertiga proves to be good value for money.
 
The Maruti Ertiga is not the company's first venture into the multipurpose utility vehicle sector. The Maruti Omni, Versa and the Eeco have been some of the models launched by Maruti designed to be able to carry people in both urban and rural settings. While the Omni and Eeco saw moderate to good success, the Versa failed to capture customers’ imaginations. However, with Maruti Ertiga the company seems to have hit the jackpot as the sales figures suggest.
 
Despite the lockdown and labour problems faced by Maruti in one of its premier manufacturing units, the sales of the Maruti Ertiga helped the company gain substantial market share in this sector. According to reports, Maruti sold 62,643 units in 2012 in comparison to 5500 units in 2011 in the multipurpose utility vehicle sector. Since its launch in April 2012, Maruti Ertiga has catapulted the company into third place in the utility vehicles sector, with a market share of 12.2 percent.
 

Although the Maruti Ertiga is a hit in the Indian market, there are certain features such as air conditioning that are highly desirable, but missing. While the competition remains stiff in all car segments in India, the Maruti Ertiga has been successful in creating a niche for itself as the ideal family car.