Kuala Lumpur : It has been a busy year for Proton. With turnaround plan involving the introduction of four models in the span of less than six months – Perdana, Persona, Saga and Ertiga in June, August, September and November respectively - the carmaker is really trying to gain traction in sales
Proton recently broke cover on the new Ertiga, a rebadged Suzuki Ertiga. Yes, Proton retained the model name and this makes it an even bigger mystery why it took so long to launch a rebadged model when there wasn’t much re-engineering, with knock down kits coming from Suzuki Indonesia, the regional production hub for this model.
Originally designed as a seven-seater MPV, the Ertiga, however, is classified as a six-seater people-mover in Malaysia to comply with safety regulations.
It definitely won’t cannibalise the Exora which is a C-segment MPV while the Ertiga is a B-segment fighter against the Perodua Alza. Three trims will be available, Executive MT, Executive AT and Executive Plus AT.
Powering the Ertiga is a 1.4-litre K14B unit with DOHC making 91 hp at 6,000 rpm and 130 Nm at 4,000 rpm, the same unit that’s found under the hood of the 2nd generation Swift. The timing chain unit is also the first of its kind to be offered in Proton’s line-up.
As for the transmission option, we have a five-speed manual or an Aisin-sourced four-speed torque converter automatic. The century sprint is done in 11.8 seconds for the MT and 13.9 seconds for the AT version. The Ertiga is also Proton’s first vehicle to qualify for EEV (energy-efficient vehicle) status, thanks to its 5.7 l/100km and 6.0 l/100km fuel consumption figures for the MT and AT respectively, calculated at a constant 90km/h cruise.
Built on an extended Suzuki Swift platform, the Ertiga is measured at 4,265mm long, 1,695mm wide and 1,685mm tall, with 2,740mm of wheelbase. Compared to the Perodua Alza, the MPV it is rivalling with, the Ertiga is taller by 65mm but it is 5mm shorter in overall length.
To include other competitors’ length, the Ertiga is 30mm longer than the Toyota Sienta, 70mm longer than the Toyota Avanza and is 220mm shorter than Nissan’s Grand Livina.
Proton made subtle changes to the Ertiga’s exterior. I mean very, very subtle. The only change made is the chrome bar connecting the two tail lights, in which the Suzuki Ertiga’s chrome bar gets ‘Suzuki’ lettering on it.
Featured on the Ertiga are halogen reflector-type headlights, front and rear fog lights as standard, electric power mirrors, rear parking sensor and 15-inch wheels with 185/65 tyres. Four colours are available for the Ertiga, namely Cotton White, Ruby Red, Carnelian Brown (new to Persona) and Metal Grey (new to Saga).
Proton’s bigger MPV, the Exora might be bigger and can carry more people, but the Ertiga’s cabin is backed by an extra edge of practicality. For example, the second-row seats are slideable with 240mm range, improving the flexibility of second and third-row legroom. It is also fitted with one-touch toggle access to the third-row seats.
The whole cabin of the Ertiga is upholstered with two-tone (light grey and beige) combination, said to improve the impression of spaciousness. The second-row seats are capable of 60:40 split-folding while the third-row seats split-fold at 50:50.
Elsewhere, the Ertiga is equipped with ceiling-mounted rear air-con (with blower control) and 12V power sockets for the passengers’ gadgets. Infotainment is served by an integrated CD/USB player with four speakers.
The Ertiga gains a four-star ASEAN NCAP rating with two front airbags with pre-tensioners, side impact beams, ABS with EBD and two ISOFIX anchors, standard on all variants. In comparison with its rivals, the Perodua Alza and Nissan Grand Livina are both also fitted with dual front airbags, ABS and EBD, but these latter two MPVs get Brake Assist as the additional feature.
The Toyota Sienta, on the other hand, is much more equipped, loaded with active safety features like Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) in addition to ABS, EBD and Brake Assist.
The range-topping Ertiga Executive Plus AT is differentiated by both bling and useful features. There’s chrome garnish on the front fog light housings, electrically-powered wing mirrors and LED turn signals. As for the cabin, the top spec MPV gets steering-mounted audio controls, driver’s seat height adjuster, chrome trims inside door panels and pockets in the back of front seats. There’s also an additional two dashboard tweeters, making it six speakers in total for the Executive Plus.
The new Ertiga is retailed at RM58,800 for the base Executive MT, RM61,800 for the Executive AT and RM64,800 for the Executive Plus AT. The Malaysia’s first EEV compact MPV is now available for test drive and bookings at all Proton Edar outlets nationwide.