Shootout: Maruti Ertiga vs Mahindra Marazzo
Shootout No. 208
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 8.71 - 13.14 lakhs (Maruti Ertiga), Rs. 11.83 - 16.67 lakhs (Mahindra Marazzo)
The Maruti Ertiga offers tremendous value while the Mahindra Marazzo offers more practicality, space and performance
Despite the ever-growing SUV fanbase, MPVs still remain a popular choice amongst people who want a practical car to carry their family and luggage comfortably. Still dominated by the Toyota Innova, the MPV segment has seen quite a few new launches in recent years. After the lukewarm response to the Xylo, Mahindra has decided to re-enter this segment with the Marazzo. The company is betting big with this MPV. From style to refinement, Mahindra claims to have gotten it all right with the Marazzo.
On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki, which was a relatively late entrant into the MPV segment, saw great success with the Ertiga. More than 4 million units have been sold and Maruti, quick to update its products has launched the all-new second-generation Ertiga. Maruti says it is bigger, better, more fuel efficient and more premium than before. The question is can the radical new Marazzo finally be a worthy challenger to the Ertiga and can the Ertiga continue its success story with the Marazzo in the way? It is going to be a close battle!
Motor Quest: While the Maruti Ertiga has been on sale since 2012 with the second generation model being launched in 2018, the Mahindra Marazzo is in its first generation and is the spiritual successor of the Xylo which was launched in 2009.
Exteriors - Mahindra designs have been a subject of criticism in recent times. Whether it's their boxy TUV or the over-styled KUV, their vehicles have failed to garner any praise on the design front. But the Marazzo is a car that is going to make people sit back and take notice. The new Mahindra MPV has a strong and impactful design which is sure to get you noticed. The car carries a cab-forward design and it looks really good how the body subtly rises from the front to the rear. We love the toothed grille but we think a different grille design would've made it look even more unique.
The headlights of the Marazzo are sharp yet elegant and the pronounced fog-lights with the DRLs on them look really cool. The side is characterised by dominant lines and creases which appear at all the right places and merge beautifully into the body. The chrome line near below the windows and at the bottom make it look upmarket. The wheels have a different design and being 17-inch (on the top-spec M8), they look fit on the tall profile. The chrome door handle also looks nice. The rear features more chrome but it never feels too flashy. The tail-lights are also very dominant and we would've actually preferred them in a smaller size.
The Marazzo is much bigger than the Ertiga, both inside and outside
Mahindra says the design is inspired by a shark and we will take that. The road presence is immense and this car looks tough like all Mahindra models. But unlike many Mahindra SUVs, the Marazzo does not end up looking utilitarian. The design feels urbane and sophisticated and it is so refreshing to see a Mahindra with an upmarket design. We will go so far in saying that this is probably the best Mahindra we've ever seen. This is because Mahindra took inputs from the Italian design house Pininfarina while styling the Marazzo. However, it is weird to see that despite its shark-themed design, the Marazzo misses out on a shark-fin antenna!
The Maruti Ertiga looks less macho and more car-like in comparison. That is not to say that it looks bad. The new Ertiga looks quite grown up and certainly more premium than the older one. The front looks quite nice with angular headlights that merge into the grille and the detailed, almost triangular housing for the fog-lights. The new Ertiga, however, misses out on a pair of LED DRLs. The side looks plain and timid in comparison to the Marazzo with only a few sharp lines flowing across the body. The larger rear door looks a bit awkward and the 15-inch wheels look a tad too small on the Ertiga. The rear is the best angle with the Honda CR-V/Volvo XC60 like 'L' shaped tail-lights and the neat spoiler like crease on the hatch. The Ertiga won't turn heads but it is a genuine improvement over the older car and we are sure many people prefer a toned down more car-like design.
Interiors - The interior of the Maruti Ertiga looks and feels premium with the beige theme. The light colour makes it airier too. The interior of the previous Ertiga was a cut-copy-paste job of the Swift while the new one shares its elements with the Swift, the layout is welcomingly different. The faux wood finish that flows across the dash looks neat and the panel above it gives you a feeling that the AC runs across the dash, reminding you of some Audis.
The equipment levels are strong too with a touch-screen infotainment system, steering mounted audio controls, climate control, cooled cupholders, etc. The dials in the instrument cluster are legible and the colour MID display looks neat and gives you loads of info. You also get keyless entry and go. The downside is that the build quality isn't very good. The cabin materials feel light and don't feel well screwed together. Some plastics could've been better too.
The Marazzo's cabin feels more premium and well-built as compared to the Ertiga
The interior of the Marazzo is a massive step up from anything we have seen from Mahindra in the past. There is a nice fusion of new textures and traditional elements. The dashboard looks clean and minimalistic. You get generous equipment in the Marazzo but the car misses out on the stop/start button. Nonetheless, you do get a touch-screen with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control and leather-wrapped steering wheel. But what seals the deal is how solid this cabin feels. All the materials feel durable and the doors shut with an assuring thud. Overall, the cabin of the Marazzo feels more premium and has better quality than the Ertiga's.
The negatives do come in the form of ergonomics. The jet-lever like handbrake looks cool but is fiddly to operate and the armrests at the front are not well positioned. We would've liked a faster response from the touch-screen and the instrument cluster does not feel as bright as the Ertiga's.
The Marazzo is much bigger than the Ertiga. The Mahindra is 190 mm longer, 131 mm wider, 84 mm taller and has a 20 mm longer wheelbase than the Maruti. This means the Marazzo has more interior room than the Ertiga.
It is especially evident in the second row, with the option of captain seats. The Marazzo is the only car here to offer captain seats and the well-bolstered seats coupled with excellent space makes it a very comfortable place to be in for long drives. The seats can be reclined and adjusted to suit your needs and you also get sun blinds. All this just heightens the back-seat experience in the Marazzo. The third row too has good space but more under-thigh support would've made it great for adults.
The Marazzo is more spacious and comfortable than the Ertiga
The front seats of the Marazzo offer superb cushioning and fantastic lateral support. We also love how effective the air-con design is in the Marazzo. It cools the cabin in no time. Getting in and out is not very challenging either.
The Ertiga, being more compact does not liberate as much interior space as the Marazzo. The second row does not give you the option of captain seats. Although fairly comfortable, the bench layout lacks the last degree of relaxation offered by the captain seats. The seats too lack the thick bolstering of the Mahindra making them a little less comfortable. The space in the second row is very good on its own but is overshadowed by that offered in the Marazzo. The third row is best left for kids as space is tight. But you can recline the seats in the third row to make room for your head. The AC is simply not as effective as the Marazzo's. But ingress and egress is effortless in the Ertiga as it is relatively low slung. What is great to see is that both the cars offer ISOFIX mounts for the little ones.
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.
Safety and After Sales Service - It is very good to see that both the manufacturers are upping their safety game by offering ABS and dual airbags as standard even on the base variants. The Marazzo has been recently awarded a commendable four-star Global NCAP safety rating. The car's good build quality could be the primary reason for it. While the Ertiga hasn't been tested, Maruti claims that the car is compatible with the upcoming crash test norms. But we will reserve our word till the car is crash tested.
The Marazzo got a 4-star safety rating in Global NCAP, the Ertiga is yet to be tested
Maruti wins it hands down when it comes to after-sales. The company, as we all know is in a class of its own when it comes to reliability and after sales. Mahindra may not be quite there but with a slew of products in the pipeline, we are sure Mahindra will work on this department. Both the brands have upped their sales experience by upgrading their dealerships.
Verdict – Before we jump on the verdict, let us look at the prices. The Maruti Ertiga costs Rs. 13.83 lakhs for the top-spec diesel variant while the Mahindra Marazzo costs Rs. 16.43 lakhs for the top spec M8 variant. The Ertiga might have not stood out anywhere in the comparison but it offers an unbeatable value proposition and that could be it's greatest plus point.
But people wanting a proper MPV do spend more if they know that they are getting their premium's worth. We have seen it with the Innova Crysta. Despite being significantly more expensive than the older car, the more premium features have made it just as successful as the older one. The Marazzo is Rs. 3 lakhs more than the Ertiga but also offers more. It is more refined, has better interiors and better refinement and build quality. Thus if you have the budget to stretch to the Marazzo, it is well worth doing so but if you want the most value for money MPV, the Ertiga is still the more practical choice.
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