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The Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid is the new MPV model from the Japanese brand in the Philippines. It stands as Suzuki’s best foot forward in the market for the segment, and it makes good with a few key upgrades that keep things worthwhile for many buyers.
However, there are a few things that we have to cover and clarify with the model after spending some time with it. Let’s go over five things that we have to clear up and explain.
It’s not a true hybrid, it’s a mild hybrid
At first, we thought that Suzuki would be fielding a parallel hybrid system. The marketing material and the name of the model itself pinned it as such. It stands to reason that the name “Suzuki Ertiga Mild-Hybrid” doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid, but to stamp out any confusion, yes the Ertiga now is a mild-hybrid and not a parallel hybrid.
In other words, hybrids can come in many different configurations and the electric motor can carry a lot of responsibility when propelling the car, or just some of it. In the Ertiga Hybrid’s case, the electric motor only does some of the work, providing assistance to the gasoline motor to propel the car. The Ertiga Hybrid is a mild hybrid car, meaning that you won’t be able to run the electric motor on its own as a parallel hybrid can. Instead, we’re able to see better fuel economy figures, better and smoother acceleration, and enhanced engine braking. The Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki is a lightweight system that doesn’t take away the traditional feel of a gasoline motor, and neither does it add a ton of power into the mix. What we get is a more efficient and a smoother-accelerating car compared to what we’ve experienced before.
Don’t let that deter you, however, as the fuel efficiency of the already fuel-efficient Ertiga goes up a notch. Adding to that the smooth power delivery, and you have yourself a recipe for success.
No more gasoline-only Ertigas
Suzuki made it clear that it will be selling only the Ertiga Hybrid from now on. No, there will be no more “normal” Ertiga in the lineup, as the Ertiga Hybrid will be the “new normal” for Suzuki. The model marks a new chapter in the brand’s history, and the Ertiga, being one of the most popular models in the lineup, will usher in a new beginning.
Suzuki is aiming toward a greener future, and it’s likely that other models moving forward will be powered by Suzuki’s hybrid technology.
Hybrid car, but for a not-a-hybrid price
The most affordable model in the lineup actually goes for just P954,000 and you get a manual transmission with the all-new powertrain from Suzuki. Yeah, that’s right. For under a million, you could be rowing through the gears of a mild-hybrid powertrain. Other hybrids are mighty expensive and will cost you an arm and a leg, but the Ertiga Hybrid is a break from the early-adopter price tag that many other hybrid models have been going with as of late. Suzuki may not list it in the Ertiga Hybrid’s spec sheet, but affordability is definitely a feature of the model.
With the top-end model going for just P1,153,000, we can expect a lot of these models on the road soon enough, but that leads us to our next point.
Doesn’t look like a hybrid
While other cars really look like hybrids with their extra techy styling and their blue-hued badging, the Ertiga doesn’t look too out there in that regard. It flies under the radar. Save for a badge on the rear, a new grille, and some new wheels, it can be quite hard to notice a new Ertiga Hybrid on the road.
The Ertiga Hybrid doesn’t look like a hybrid. Even if you open the hood, Suzuki has done almost nothing to indicate that it is what it is. From the outside, it might as well be a non-hybrid Ertiga so the misconception there is that people won’t necessarily notice that you have the latest model from the Japanese brand even if you look under the hood. It’s only when you turn it on that the gauge cluster reminds you that you have an electric motor.
One thing that we’ve noted going from a gasoline-only to a hybrid model is the difference between how the model operates. Parallel hybrids like the Toyota Corolla Cross start-up without the engine being awakened. That leads to some confusion sometimes.
Whether it’s a good or a bad thing, the Ertiga Hybrid is still reliant on its gasoline engine for most of its propulsion. If anything, the electric motor cannot be used on its own and it’s literally married to the motor.
Now, that means that you won’t have to get used to anything with the new Ertiga Hybrid, you just have to gas up and go. The engine braking is only marginally stronger thanks to the regenerative braking system, but that’s pretty much it. Everything is as simple as can be with the Ertiga. We can’t stress how well it already fits in with most people’s lives, and the fact is that Suzuki puts guarantees on the mild-hybrid system. It’s all the benefit without the added ceremony or fluff.
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