Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL.

SUZUKI ERTIGA mainYes, yes, I know it’s a car but it is a Suzuki and we all adore their motorcycle range, so why not try out one of their new cars? Well, the main reason was my brother Tim came over from the UK with his girlfriend Chrissy, to experience the holiday delights South Africa has to offer. The other reason is that my Seat Cupra is way too small for such touring antics, so enter the new Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL kindly lent, for a couple of weeks, from Suzuki SA.

Now my first impressions were the Ertiga does look a bit ‘family-like’, if you know what I mean? A long car with seven seats in a maroon type colour, which is more for taking ‘oldies’ to play bowls than an exciting form of transport for hardcore motorcyclists, or so I thought. As I left Suzuki SA and drove down the highway I thought it handled a bit strange, as in soft and a bit vague steering-wise. This can’t be right I thought so, with a quick stop at the garage, I discovered the tyre pressures were way too low, so I pumped them up and it felt like a new chassis, problem cured. Otherwise my first impressions were it has a very high quality interior with a formidable stereo and generally what a nice place to be.SUZUKI ERTIGA GROUP01This was also the same response from the UK residents as we left the airport with a boot full of luggage and room to spare. I say that because once the four seats, in two rows, were pushed forward the Ertiga instantly becomes a very versatile van. In fact the interior is magically more cavernous than the exterior portrays, very well engineered to say the least.SUZUKI ERTIGA GROUP02So off we all went to do the Kruger thing with Natalie (ex SuperBike editor), coming along for the party and resident music DJ selector. The two in the rear couldn’t believe, or us, how much room there is on the rear seats behind the driver. As much room as business class, with armrest, reclining seats, and personal roof air-con to add to the airline effect. In the front I enjoyed the ‘iPad’ type thing on the dash, equally supportive seating and the effortless steering. We cruised at the legal speed, mostly, which was again impressive from the small VVT 1.4 litre feisty engine. Only five gears though so anything above 140km/h got a bit ‘revvy’ and a sixth gear would have been nice there. Still, it always returned around 6.5 litres per 100km, no matter how aggressively I drove it.SUZUKI ERTIGA GROUP03The Ertiga really became a family favourite during the trip, especially whilst viewing various wildlife through the spacious windows and the rear seats are slightly raised as well. It seemed everyone’s choice of seating were the rear ones, when normally the front options are fought over after an African breakfast. Once fed and smiling we ventured onto the corrugated dirt roads that shook the Ertiga like it was in a mini earthquake, to the point where I felt a little sorry for the poor thing in case it was getting damaged. I also took the wrong turn at one point and ended up on a 4x4 specific track (wasn’t paying attention for various reasons from the UK contingent), and the rear passengers were thrown around like they were inside a washing machine. Highly comical but the Ertiga came through without any issues at all and still felt new and taut once back onto the tarmac. A true tribute to its superb build quality in an environment it wasn’t really designed for.SUZUKI ERTIGA GROUP04Eventually our tour came to an end and my brother and (now fiancé, bless), flew back to UK. He was so impressed with the Ertiga he’s thinking of buying one in the UK. Yes, it is a little boring, dare I say, in the performance aspect but the rest of the car is faultless and highly recommended an all counts, especially if you own tons of kids. You could also pick up Oscar Pistorius (when let out), in the seven-seat section because there is no legroom when the rear seats are in business class mode, either way this is a fun car for so many reasons.SUZUKI ERTIGA GROUP05However, I saved the best ‘till last; the price. During the whole trip I kept telling people the Suzuki Ertiga is amazing value at around R310,000, wrong! I then found out it’s only R216,900, with an even better version with more fancy parts for only R241,900. Therefore it has to be one of the best value for money cars I have ever come across, and then some. It’s gone back now and I actually miss having it around, which says a lot from a ‘hardened’ motorcyclist who didn’t anticipate how good The Magnificent Seven Seater would be…

Go to  www.SuzukiAuto.co.za  to book a very highly recommended test drive, and don’t forget to bring six others with you.SUZUKI ERTIGA LASTIMAGEend bike test

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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