Performance – The Mahindra Marazzo gets an all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine that puts out 120 PS of power and 300 Nm of torque. The common rail diesel motor uses a Variable Geometry Turbocharger and comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. What is impressive right away is just how quiet the engine is. You will have a tough time believing it’s a diesel under the hood. It’s really as silent as a shark! Get going and the smoothness continues. The engine builds pace in a linear manner and it gathers speed gently. What is also striking is just how drivable it is. You can put the car in third and potter around all day. There is very little turbo lag and a gentle foot eliminates it when whatever little is present. The Marazzo literally feels like a car from a different brand when you drive it. Smooth, refined, easy to drive, Mahindra has made a gem of an engine.
The Maruti Ertiga is the only one here to get an automatic gearbox option
Where the engine is less impressive is in outright acceleration. Smash your foot down and the engine takes some time to wake up. Post 3500 RPM, the power tapers off abruptly. This car hates to be rushed and the lack of urgency with the engine can be frustrating while overtaking. We suspect this can be amplified when the car is fully loaded. We would’ve liked more punch from a 120 PS engine but still, it is hard not to praise it for its refinement and ease after a day of driving.
The 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine in the Ertiga feels Jurassic in comparison. The motor produces 90 PS and 200 Nm of torque. Figures that are far lower than the Marazzo. The engine is simply outdated (after all Fiat developed it last decade) and the way it drives on the road tells that. The motor is not even remotely close to the Marazzo when it comes to refinement and the power delivery is jerky. There is oodles of turbo-lag and as a result, you have to work the gears in the lower RPMs. It takes some time to get to the mid-range but once there, it cruises comfortably. There is also some power left in the mid-range so overtaking is not very difficult. But there are no two ways about it, this engine is well past its prime but Maruti will soon bring its own 1.5-litre diesel soon which produces 94 BHP and 225 Nm.
The Ertiga is significantly more fuel-efficient than the Marazzo
The Ertiga diesel shines when it comes to fuel economy figures. The oil burner is very efficient and Maruti also gives you a mild-hybrid system to boost it further. The ARAI rated figure is 25.5 km/l. The Marazzo takes a back seat with an ARAI rated fuel efficiency figure of 17.7 km/l. It is sufficient though and we guess you have to pay a small price for more performance.
Driving Dynamics – We loved how easy and light the previous Ertiga was to drive. The new Ertiga is based on the HEARTECT platform that also underpins the Swift and the Baleno. The monocoque construction has its obvious advantages. The Ertiga feels nice and easy to drive with the low dashboard and high seating position. Around the corners, the car feels decently responsive but there is quite a lot of body roll due to the soft suspension. The steering too doesn’t offer much feel or feedback although it is light at low speeds, helping in easy maneuverability in the city.
In day-to-day city usage, the Ertiga feels more car-like due to monocoque chassis
The ride quality is consistent and composed. It takes bad roads effortlessly and although there is an underlying softness when the car is empty, it goes away at higher speeds or when the car is full. The good ride quality ensures the Ertiga is very comfortable on most occasions.
The Marazzo is based on a ladder-frame construction. As a result, it appears tough from behind the wheel with a nice feeling of solidity while driving. Mahindra has also done a great job of not letting the car feel like a body-on-frame construction. In fact, this is probably the world’s only body-on-frame vehicle to feature a transverse mounted engine and front-wheel-drive. The front-wheel-drive makes it easy on its feet.
The Marazzo has a lot of body roll as compared to the lighter Ertiga
However, some of the characteristics are still there. The body roll is more pronounced than in the Ertiga and the car feels a bit heavy around corners. The ride quality is nice at higher speeds but there is that inevitable lumpiness at low speeds. Mahindra has tried hard to mask all of that but the Marazzo does not feel as car-like as the Ertiga.