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July 23, 2019

Review: 2019 Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GLX

There are some vehicles that were made to be more functional than stylish; utilitarian more than fashionable. The 2019 Suzuki Ertiga is one such car. Taking it at face value, its shape and size is designed to hold and move cargo, whether it be goods or people. While it won’t win any awards at being fashion-forward, it does make a dent in the utility department. Oh, and it gives you a surprisingly easy driving experience to boot. It’s a silent, efficient worker that does its thing with no frills and light thrills.

The Ertiga’s not breaking any ground in terms of styling, but for the second-generation model, it’s gone through a Hollywood sequelizer: it doesn’t stray far from its predecessor’s formula, while managing to polish off some of the rough edges. In short, it’s everything you’d expect from an Ertiga, and nothing more.

Inside, the interior remains simple and straightforward, with just the right amounts of modernity to keep things interesting. That said, the bright beige tone is pleasing enough to the eye. The consistent colorway results in a homier feel—just don’t be opening any bags of Cheetos. Kudos also to introducing dark wood graining paneling and black trim in an entry-level MPV—it’s different and offers a niece contrast to the strong beige tone.

Styling may not be its strong suit, but functionality is. This begins with offering ample space, not only for cargo, but also for passengers. The front row comfortably seats two plus-sized adults, but it does so without sacrificing any room for those in the second row. On its own, the second-row seats three average-sized Filipinos, though the third row is best left for those with petite frames.

Now, while the driver’ seat height is adjustable, the seats themselves could use better comfort. As it stands, it lacks lumbar support and given that the suspension can get quite bouncy at times, this may prove to be uncomfortable with people with sensitive backs.

Despite the less-than-stellar seats, the Ertiga shines with its level of flexibility. Its cargo hold didn’t disappoint—fold down the third row, and there’s space for two full-sized lechons side-by-side. If you’re not buying roasted pig anytime soon, it can carry a week’s worth of grocery for a household of seven.

Apart from that, the second row can also be folded down increasing its ability to swallow cargo even more. The best part? The seats are portioned in a 50/50 (third row) and 60/40 (second row) split, making it even more flexible if there’s a requirement to transport extra-long items.

With Suzuki’s small car expertise, the Ertiga i, unsurprisingly, one easy drive. Barring the challenge to finding a comfortable seating position, the car’s 1.5-liter engine is capable enough to handle day-to-day traffic. The steering too is light, making it easy to maneuver around.

One thing that Suzuki engineers could look at would be the suspension set-up. As it is, going through speed humps and uneven road works can jar the interior, turning it into an uncomfortable experience, especially when unladen. Oh, and the brakes can feel jumpy at times.

Positioned as a family-oriented MPV, the Ertiga at least gets safety right. Not only is it equipped with dual SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, but it’s got reverse parking sensors, too. Even without them, it’s fairly easy to drive around and park, but because it’s become a staple nowadays, it’s a welcome addition.

In the end, the Suzuki Ertiga is a surprisingly good MPV. While one would expect an experience that’s closer to that of a utilitarian vehicle, it can cater to families too. Of course, the more discerning set may say it needs a bit more style and more pizzazz to gain attention, but look beyond that and it scores very high as a practical hauler.

Suzuki’s always found success as a maker of no nonsense, great value cars, and the Ertiga’s no different. It’ll score among the sensible set, but for those who put a price on styling as well, they may be a bit more hesitant in parting with their hard-earned money. The Ertiga shouts, “practical, but boring” from across the parking lot; that’s great for some, but it could also be a turn off for others.

Words and Photos by Gen Tiu.

2019 Suzuki Ertiga GLX
Ownership 2019 Suzuki Ertiga GLX
Year Introduced 2018
Vehicle Classification Compact MPV
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door MPV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders 4
BHP @ rpm 103 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 138 @ 4,400
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 4 AT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed  9.3 km/L @ 13 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,395
Width (mm) 1,735
Height (mm) 1,690
Wheelbase (mm) 2,740
Curb Weight (kg) 1,135
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Bridgestone Ecopia EP150 185/65 R 15 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 2, 2-pt lapbelt x 1(2nd row)
3-pt ELR x 2 (3rd row)
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features No
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes
Auto Lights No
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Manual, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40 (2nd row);
50/50 (3rd row)
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Manual (front), Manual (rear)
Audio System Stereo
# of Speakers 4
Steering Controls Yes

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