Face Off: Datsun Go+ vs Maruti Ertiga

The MPV segment is fast becoming one of the most heavily populated segments of the Indian market. The incredibly successful Toyota Innova has slowly moved up the price bracket and as a result, manufacturers are swooping in with compact, inexpensive compact MPVs to fill the void. The latest to join the fray is the new all new Datsun Go+. The Japanese MPV will go toe to toe with much bigger names such as Honda, Maruti and Chevrolet. We pit the Go+ with the popular Ertiga and see how the new kid on the block fares.

Design:

Datsun Go+:

The Go+ is an extended version of the Go hatch. The front end sports a large honeycomb grille surrounded on either side by well designed headlights. The rear features well integrated tail lamps and a neat, uncluttered bumper design. The boot sports an interesting design element where the Datsun logo sits atop a crest. Although Nissan/Datsun has done an above average job with the Go+’s styling, the manufacturer has not made any attempts at covering up its cost cutting methods. Things such as the numerous panel gaps, loosely connected exhaust pipe showcase the extreme levels of compromise the Go+ had to be put through to keep its prices as low as possible.

 

datsun go plus front three quarter
The Datsun Go Plus

All in all, the Go+ is a good looking albeit unexceptional looking thing. The MPV will not stand out in a crowd.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

Maruti Suzuki has always had issues with porting designs from one body style to another (Think first generation DZire). This time however, the manufacturer has done a good job with the design transplant. Although the Ertiga sports similar elements to the Swift, the design has adapted to better suit the MPV body style. The compact MPV sports a cutesy front end with no distinguishing traits. The rear features well integrated tail lights that sport a wrap-around effect. The Ertiga’s exterior too is very plain jane in character.

2014 maruti suzuki ertiga
Front view of the Suzuki Ertiga

Despite the very neutral styling of the both the Ertiga and Datsun Go+, cost cutting is blatantly evident in the latter giving the Ertiga an edge over the Japanese MPV.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Interior:

Datsun Go+:

The cost cutting continues on the inside as well with the Go+ completely missing panels in some places altogether. The lidless glovebox, lack of a proper music system and cheap plastics all hint at the primary goal of the Go+: to be a budget offering. However, for a driver, the Go+ is rather well equipped. Apart from the good engine, the Go+ comes with a digital tachometer as well as a distance to empty, average and current fuel consumption readouts. Extremely useful features lacking in its competition. The speedometer also has useful though crude markings for optimal gear shifts.

datsun go plus interior
The interior of the Go+

Datsun has made maximum use of the cabin’s space with a multitude of cubby holes for miscellaneous items. The front row seats feature the controversial single unit seats that allow for a child to sit between the driver and front passenger. Although Datsun maintains that this is a USP, in reality, this poses a major safety issue as there is no protection during the event of a crash.

The combination of cheap plastics and beige and gray colour scheme leaves much to be desired, However, when one keeps in mind that the Datsun GO+ has been designed to keep costs low, many of its shortcomings can be forgiven. Despite this, the lack of airbags, ABS or any other safety mechanism on any variant is a disappointment and only serves to strengthen the belief that manufacturers care more about market share than the safety of its customers.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

The Ertiga is a slightly more premium offering than the Datsun. Like the Go+, the Ertiga borrows heavily from the hatchback it is based on. The Maruti MPV’s cabin is a mixture of beige and grey. Unlike the Go+, the Ertiga comes with a fully loaded infotainment system complete with steering mounted controls for the driver. The MPV also features electrically adjustable ORVMs, power windows, and a conventional glove box.

Interior suzuki ertiga
Interior suzuki ertiga

The Ertiga offers a lot more than the pocket friendly Go+.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Under the Hood:

Datsun Go+:

The Go Plus is powered by a 1.2 L petrol engine that produces 67 bhp @ 5000 RPM and 104 Nm @ 4000 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual. Despite its large size, the Go Plus’ low weight allows the 1.2 L mill to deliver more than enough power for easy driving. The small engine and light frame means that the Go+ delivers an impressive 20.62 kmpl (ARAI).

Datsun does not currently offer the Go+ in diesel.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

Suzuki offers the Ertiga in petrol as well as diesel. The petrol powered variant houses a 1.4 L engine that produces 94 bhp @ 6000 RPM and 130 Nm @ 4000 RPM while the Fiat sourced 1.3 L diesel engine churns out 89 hp @4000 RPM and 200 Nm of torque @ 1750 RPM. Maruti Suzuki offers a CNG variant as well.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Verdict

The Datsun Go Plus is a budget offering. As a result, the MPV makes severe compromises on various fronts. Though the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is unquestionably the better car, the Ertiga is a better choice for more than just its features and design. The philosophy behind the Datsun Go+ is that of “cheap and best”, a philosophy widely followed by the Indian society. Citing lack of interest, the Japanese automaker has completely omitted basic safety features such as airbags and ABS. The former now being adopted as standard by a growing number of brands in India. Despite what many buyers believe, a car’s safety level is one of its prime aspects. Especially in our country. The recent NCAP tests and its horrifying results have showcased the kind of deathtraps our cars can be. While the apathetic nature of manufacturers and poor government regulations are mainly at fault, our outlook towards the entire situation is partly to blame as well.

If we as a community begin to understand the importance of safety and demand for better manufactured products, then the industry will slowly change its ways. Hopefully the automotive industry gains enough empathy to improve its own standards before our passive government finally wakes up.

Faceoff: Honda Mobilio Vs Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

honda mobilio

MPVs are a class of car that are slowly gaining acceptance in India. On the other hand, Indonesia has always been a market with a strong affinity for seven-seaters, but the trend has taken a while to reach Indian shores. Manufacturers have now realized the importance of MPVs in the Indian market and many are planning to launch them in India soon. Honda’s most awaited and anticipated car of the year, the Honda Mobilio, is finally out. It serves as Honda’s first Multi Purpose Vehicle in the country. But it will have to compete with the current segment favourite- the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. To gain a better understanding about these MPVs and allay your doubts,  here is a head to head between the Ertiga and Mobilio.

Honda mobilio compare

EXTERIOR

Both the Honda Mobilio and Maruti Ertiga come with above average looks. But of the two the one that has the ability to elicit a second look is the Honda Mobilio. Some of the noticeable features of the Mobilio are the chrome lining on its grille, headlights, drawn out rear end and power antenna, which unifies higher level of mechanical security. Maruti’s Ertiga returns serve with adjustable headlights, but differs in the well-engineered fog lamp, finely designed tail lamp, alloy wheels and ORVM. The Ertiga is slightly wider and taller than the Mobilio. But, the Japanese designed Mobilio, despite being a tad smaller in terms of dimensions, makes up as it offers more space and comfort for occupants. This brings us to the interiors.

This round score:

Honda Mobilio: 4.5

Maruti Ertiga: 3.5

Maruti Ertiga interiors

INTERIORS

Both the cars comprise of seven seats and they almost share similar inner facilities such as the incorporated air conditioner in their cabins, adjustable steering columns, heater, and fabric upholstery. The very compact dash of the Mobilio has been carried over from the Brio and Amaze to cut down costs and the Mobilio gets the same slim front seats with the fixed headrests as well. The Honda MPV is also integrated with few additional features such as digital odometer and tachometer.

This round score:

Honda Mobilio: 4           

Maruti Ertiga: 3.5

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The Honda Mobilio is designed with dual engine options both for petrol and diesel. The Mobilio petrol houses a 1.5 litre iVTEC which manufactures  maximum power of 117 bhp and 146 Nm of peak torque. The diesel powered edition houses a 1.5 litre lDTEC which produces the maximum output of 98 bhp and torque of 200 Nm at 1750 rpm. The Maruti Ertiga also comes with dual engine variants. The 1.4 litre K series aboard the petrol version gives the highest power of 95 bhp with peak torque of 132 Nm. The Ertiga MPV in its diesel form offers 1.3 litre Ddis and creates the max output of 90 bhp with 204 Nm of torque at 200 rpm. Both engines give manual type gearboxes. The Indonesian version of the Mobilio is propelled with a version of the 1.5-litre i-VTEC mill from the City, which belts out 116bhp and a torque of 14.6kgm. These numbers reveal that the Mobilio gains an edge over the Maruti Ertiga in terms of power.

Of the two MPVs in this race, it is the Mobilio that offers the more enjoyable drive. This is owed to the fact that the car handles amazingly well and feels more stable when pushed a bit. The Ertiga does well for its size but simply doesn’t offer the pleasing drive the Mobilio does.

This round score:

Honda Mobilio: 4.5        

Maruti Ertiga: 4

Maruti Ertiga blue

MILEAGE

Before buying an MPV, mileage in one of the important factors kept in to considerations, so that an entire family or group of members can travel together in less fuel. The Honda Mobilio’s petrol engine offers a mileage of 13.38kmpl in normal condition, and 17.3kmpl on highway. The diesel engine produces minimum mileage of 15-17kmpl in traffic conditions and a superb fuel efficiency of 22-24kmpl in  highway conditions. The Maruti Ertiga’s petrol version renders a mileage of 12.1kmpl in the city whereas an energetic mileage of16kmpl on highway. On the other hand, the diesel version gives an average mileage of 19-21kmpl.

This round score:

Honda Mobilio: 4

Maruti Ertiga: 4

honda mobilio engine

PRICE

The Honda Mobilio range starts from Rs 6.5 lakhs for the base petrol variant and the diesel variants are priced starting at at INR 7.89 Lakhs. The Maruti Ertiga variants retail for a starting price of Rs 5.80 to 7.35 lakhs for the base LXi petrol while the top diesel ZDi variant is priced at Rs. 7.2 to 8.24 lakhs.

This round score:

Honda Mobilio:  4

Maruti Ertiga: 3.5

VERDICT:

Honda’s excellent package with aggressive styling, excellent characterstics, and a number of great features powered by an economical diesel engine might give some sleepless nights to Maruti’s Ertiga. The Mobilio is under-girded by the same platform as the Brio and Amaze and is available at a very reasonable cost when compared with the Ertiga. Honda Mobilio may be lacking in size when viewed externally, but with class-defining performance,  eye-catching exteriors and three rows of seats, it certainly has the chops to take the fight to the best of its competition.