Who Takes The Honours In The MPV Battle?

Comparison Technology March 2019 MPV Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Honda BR-V
Who Takes The Honours In The MPV Battle?

Maruti Suzuki launched the second generation Ertiga in India a few months back. Based on the fifth-generation HEARTECT platform, the new Ertiga is bigger, broader and lighter. Besides the new platform, Maruti Suzuki has also introduced the Ertiga with a new 1.5 l K-Series petrol engine. The motor now boasts of triple digit horse power figures and generates adequate torque. While the Ertiga comes packed with many features and stands tall for class-leading specifications, we bring it alongside the reliable and robust Honda BR-V to stack up the performance of the Ertiga on multiple fronts. In this comparison test, we pitch the Ertiga with the new 1.5 l, naturally aspirated, four cylinder petrol engine against the 1.5 l, naturally aspirated, four cylinder, i-VTEC petrol engine on the BR-V.

While both MPVs are powered by 1.5 l engines, the i-VTEC motor on the BR-V produces 14 hp more than the engine on the Ertiga

POWERTRAIN PERFORMANCE & PLATFORM

Both the Ertiga as well as the BR-V with the 1.5 l petrol-powered motors were mated to automatic transmissions. However, while the BR-V gets a CVT, the Ertiga features a four-speed torque converter. Taking a closer look at the performance figures of these petrol engines, we observed that the motor in the Honda BR-V is significantly more powerful than that of the Ertiga. The 1.5 l i-VTEC motor churns out 117 hp at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm. The Ertiga, on the other hand, produces 103 hp at 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm.

While the power and torque outputs of both engines are an important factor, weight too, has a role to play here. It is therefore interesting to note that the Ertiga, on the fifth generation HEARTECT platform is lighter than the BR-V, built on the extended Brio and Amaze platform. The kerb weight of the BR-V stands at 1,238 kg, while that of the Ertiga stands at 1,135 kg, thus making the Ertiga a whole 103 kg lighter than the BR-V.

The Honda BR-V was fractionally quicker to a 100 km/h, but the Ertiga was quicker off the line

During our tests we noted that both Ertiga as well as the BR-V were quick to a 100 km/ph, but both MPVs took over 10 s to get there. Being the lighter of the two, the Ertiga was quicker off the line. The Ertiga was also quicker to 60 km/h in contrast with the Honda BR-V. While the Ertiga breached the 60 km/h mark in 5.59 s, the BR-V crossed this mark in 6.28 s. It is also interesting to note that post the 60 km/h mark, the difference in time elapsed between the BR-V and the Ertiga diminishes. And the BR-V rapidly gains momentum to become quicker than the Ertiga to 80 km/h and then to 100 km/h. While the Ertiga touched 80 km/h in 9.42 s, the BR-V crossed the mark in 9.27 s. In the 0-100 km/h sprint, the BR-V won by crossing the mark in 12.72 s, against the Ertiga’s 13.1 s.

While testing the acceleration of both MPVs we also conducted braking tests. The results indicated that the Honda BR-V boasts of a better brake time in contrast to the Ertiga. While the BR-V came down from a 100 km/h to standstill in 5.57 s, the Ertiga came to a halt from the triple digit mark in 6.20 s. Both MPVs feature a disc and drum combination to facilitate braking. They also have features such as ABS with EBD that facilitate safe braking.

We found the CVT transmission on the BR-V to be smoother. Honda is also offering paddle shifters to shift gears manually

COOLING PERFORMANCE

One of the other parameters we compared the two MPVs was the air-conditioning unit’s cooling performance. For this test we used an HTC MT 04 laser guided infrared thermometer to measure surface temperatures of six seating zones in the cabin. Since the total seating capacity of both MPVs stands at seven, cooling in all three rows is necessary. To validate this test, we undertook the exercise mid-day to get the highest possible cabin temperatures. Before the air-conditioners were turned on to the maximum blower speeds, we took temperature readings from all six zones of the cabin. The average temperature recorded in the cabin of the Ertiga stood at 26.6 °C, while that of the BR-V stood at 27.7 °C. Within two minutes of the air-conditioning being turned on, there was a temperature drop of almost 3.5 °C in the cabin of the Ertiga and 4 °C in that of the BR-V.

However, this was not uniformly distributed. In the Ertiga, temperature in the first row fell by 6.5 °C within the first two minutes, while in the BR-V it fell by 6.9 °C. In the second row of the Ertiga, the average surface temperature fell by 2.5 °C in the first two minutes, while that of the BR-V fell by 3.05 °C. In the third row of the Ertiga, the average surface temperature dropped by 1.5 °C, and the corresponding figure in the BR-V stood at 1.95 °C. After two minutes, it was noted that the average surface temperature from all six zones stood at 23.1 °C in the Ertiga and 23.7 °C in the BR-V.

Cooling performance on both the BR-V as well as the Ertiga is more or less similar, the BR-V features uniform cooling across the cabin

Within four mintues of the air-conditioning being on, the average surface temperature in the Ertiga fell to 20.8 °C, while the corresponding figure in the BR-V stood at 21.4 °C. Average surface temperatures in both the Ertiga and the BR-V fell below 20 °C within six minutes and after eight minutes had elapsed, the average surface temperature in the six seating zones of the Ertiga stood at 18.3 °C, and the BR-V’s was 18.06 °C.

By the end of our 10 min test, average temperatures in the cabins of both MPVs were more or less similar. The average surface temperature in the Ertiga stood at 17.3 °C, while that of the BR-V stood at 17.4 °C. The average surface temperature in the first row of the Ertiga & the BR-V fell by 0.8 °C after 10 min. In the second row of the Ertiga the temperature came down by one degree over the temperature recorded after eight minutes. For the BR-V, this figure stood at 0.5 °C. Temperatures in the third row of the Ertiga fell by 1.1 °C while that of the BR-V fell by 0.7 °C over the previously recorded temperatures. The cooling performance in both MPVs was similar after a total of 10 min had passed.

NVH performance was noted to be marginally better on the Ertiga, while in the BR-V we recorded a higher dB range on a larger frequency bandwidth

NVH LEVELS

We also tested the Ertiga and BR-V for NVH performance. Here the Ertiga fared better than the BR-V. In the BR-V, the highest sound level recorded stood at 71 dB(A), while in the Ertiga the figure did not exceed 70.4 dB(A). We also conducted a FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) vs Time and in this test too, it was noted that a little more noise seeps into the cabin of the BR-V as compared to the Ertiga. In the BR-V, we recorded sound levels ranging from 20-55 dB below 2.51 kHz. However, in the Ertiga we noted that the sound levels ranged from 25-55 dB at lower frequency.

ROUND-UP

It is safe to conclude that both Ertiga and BR-V are equally competitive offerings. In terms of performance the BR-V is quicker. We also felt that shifts on BR-V were a little smoother than the Ertiga, thanks to the CVT transmission. The cooling and NVH performance of the Ertiga are a shade better than the BR-V. The Ertiga being newer does come in with some features that Honda is not offering on the BR-V. It is also more spacious and has a longer wheelbase. We found headroom and shoulder room to be more in the Ertiga as compared to the BR-V.

TEXT: Joshua David Luther

PHOTO: Bharat Bhushan Upadhyay