REVIEW: Here's why the Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL is such a great people-mover


SUVs and compact crossovers are all the rage in the South African market, and, they seem to be the only segments constantly growing. That and bakkies of course.

And while MPVs had its days of glory, it's still relatively important here at home. Small businesses need company cars to move employees, and families need cars that can seat more than three children. There'll always be place in the market for this kind of requirement.

Enter the Suzuki Ertiga.

The automaker has recently upgraded its Toyota Avanza-rival and it has become a whole lot more appealing in the process. First launched globally in 2010, and with a face-lift in 2016, Suzuki has launched the second-generation in SA earlier in 2019.

suzuki ertiga

                                                                 Images: Motorpress

We recently had the 1.5-litre GL model on test, and it ticked so many boxes to make a great daily drive for any family. It is priced at R239 900.

It's a lot more comfortable than you would expect in terms of seating, and it's upholstered seats are rather durable - great when you have toddlers clambering around with all their stuff. Seating positions are comfy too, even in the third row of seats, it's not too crammed and you could fit two adults right at the back too. 

Build quality is up a notch and the plastics feel upgraded too.

suzuki ertiga

Despite its compact size, there are loads of storage compartments and even cup holders in all three rows of seats. The automaker has genuinely utilised every hook and crannie in the Ertiga. It even has air vents in the rear too so that everyone can benefit from the air con on a hot, or cold, day. 

While you can fit seven people in the car, I think it's biggest feat is the fact that both rows of rear seats can fold absolutely flat. This turns the people-mover into a practical little van to move items when moving, or even for events, or to load it up for a charity event with merchandise or groceries for a soup kitchen.

The third row of seats is easy to access, and you just lift a lever to drop the seats, and use the pull tag at the back to get them back up.

Generally, the more people you're going to seat in a vehicle, the more you're going to pay. Not here. The Ertiga, even at its top-of-the-range model will still only cost you under R255 000.

suzuki ertiga

But how does it drive you might wonder? 

So it doesn't go like a Ferrari, but it holds its own on the road. The 1.5-litre engine, code-named K15B, is good for 77kW and 138Nm. 

It also might not look like Kendell Jenner of the motoring world either, but it sure looks much better than its predecessor with sharper lines and edgy styling, making it look more uniformed with the rest of its siblings in the Suzuki range. 

Fuel consumption is a boon. We averaged about 7.9-litres/100km. In our stint with the car we drove from Somerset West to Paarl, to Hout Bay, and a full week of daily commute to the office and back and still had just under half a tank of fuel left. With today's fuel prices, that's extremely important too.

suzuki ertiga

I was surprised at how smooth the gear changes are with its 5-speed manual gearbox, and it chugs along with ease in traffic or whether you're taking a leisurely coastal drive. Suzuki says the Ertiga's top speed is claimed to be 175km/h - not that you would ever even need to go that fast in this vehicle anyway. 

Because the car now sits on 15" wheels, it also feels a lot better on the road and the wheel arches look a bit more filled in too. Body roll is less than before, but you might still have to hold on tight to the rack and pinion steering on a very windy day.

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