To me, this picture represents the main reason why the Ertiga has been such a huge hit in India, crossing over 12000 bookings in two months since its launch. After the Ertiga has been launched in India in April 2012, people have finally realized that they were being taken for a royal ride all these years, by cars which occupy costly real estate, often as expensive as downtown real estate, without any real utility of space at all.
The Ertiga cleverly utilizes every inch of space it occupies, to easily fit 5 adults and two or more kids in exactly the same space that a small sedan occupies on the road.
Just look at the third row of seats in the Ertiga, and the kids reclining there royally! Imagine this same space in the typical middle class Indian aspirational model, the ‘Sedan with a boot’. The ‘dicky’ is a total waste of space, if you ask me, 99% of the time.
People have realized that they were being taken for royal ride, or rather being given the boot without any use, by car manufacturers eager to pander to their so-called ego’s.
Indians have woken up to the fact that if they are buying a car, they might as well buy one that gives them the maximum utilization of that most precious commodity, space!
They have realized that a car with just a boot, is practically of no value at all in real life, but being sold in India because Indians have not matured enough to realize that cars with boots are being sold only in markets like India.
Take for example the Toyota Corolla. It is being sold as a hatch back in most developed countries. Why? Because people out there also buy cars for what they really need them for, not to show off to neighbors. But in India, Toyota has not yet done so. They want to sell their overpriced, environmentally more hazardous sedan’s rather than market the more practical hatchback version, because for them profit is more important than the environment.
Maruti Suzuki has been spot on in designing the Ertiga. In the space that would have been otherwise wasted in a boot, they have literally worked magic and created a third row of seats that can seat 2 adults or three kids if needed, or folded down flat to hold luggage. Maximum space in minimum space.
The Ertiga is not only practical but also quite luxuriously appointed too for the price. There are a few comforts, like height adjustable seat belts for the front, and a rear AC for the second and third row combined in the roof.
All in all, the Ertiga is a winner, and just goes to show that the Indian market is maturing. High time other car manufacturers woke up and put customers first, not their profits.