By: IOL Motoring Staff

Johannesburg - Suzuki's hoping you'll fall in “LUV” with its new Ertiga, which it refers to as a Life Utility Vehicle. The new model basically offers seven-seat practicality for the price of a compact hatch. In fact it's a lot like the Toyota Avanza in concept, except the Suzuki is front-wheel driven, being based on an adapted version of the Swift platform.

While that gives it a relatively compact footprint - the Ertiga measures just 4265mm in length - its van-like cab-forward design stretches out a huge interior that measures 2665mm in length and 1310mm in height.

SPACE FOR SEVEN

As mentioned, the new Suzuki offers seating for seven occupants and legroom can be varied by the second-row sliding mechanism that allows fore and aft movement across a range of 240mm.

There isn't much luggage space available when all seven seats are in place, just 135 litres, but fold down the third row and you have 482 litres of luggage capacity at your disposal; fold the middle row (it also folds flat) and you have 736 litres.

Of course, this Suzuki is more about space than pace - what would you expect at the price? - and there is just one engine available. This comes in the form of Suzuki's familiar 1.4-litre normally aspirated 16-valve petrol unit with variable valve timing, rated at 70kW and 130Nm. Suzuki claims a combined fuel consumption of 6.6 litres per 100km.

THE RANGE

Three model grades are on offer: GA, GL and GLX. All come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, and the two upper grades can be ordered with a four-speed automatic 'box.

The base GA model looks to be a bit on the bare side - it doesn't even have wheel covers or headrests on the middle and back row seats - but it does offer a lot of space for under R160 000. As mentioned there are two more luxurious model grades, see below for details, and all but the flagship auto come in below the R200K mark. Prices include a four-year/60 000km service plan.

PRICES AND FEATURES

1.4 GA - R159 900

Standard: air conditioning, power steering, trip computer, height-adjustable steering, dual front airbags, ABS brakes.

1.4 GL - R179 900

1.4 GL AT - R194 900

GL Adds: MP3/CD/USB four-speaker audio system, electric windows, remote central locking, rear aircon controls, wheel covers, colour coded door handles and exterior mirrors, upgraded upholstery, silver cabin accents, rear screen demister.

1.4 GLX - R192 900

1.4 GLX AT - R207 900

GLX Adds: 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, audio controls on steering wheel, six speakers, outside temperature display, height-adjustable driver's seat.