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The Suzuki Ertiga Hybrid is an affordable, electrifying entry in the MPV segment

The first of its kind in the class

You're looking at the first hybrid compact seven-seater MPV in the market. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

The compact seven-seater MPV segment has boomed in the last year, with a plethora of offerings having been launched in rapid succession—a few more coming in the days ahead.

With such an extremely saturated market, automakers must find a way to differentiate their offerings—whether in appearance, luxurious features, tech, or in the powertrain department, which is what Suzuki Philippines has focused on with the release of its Ertiga Hybrid, which was previewed at last year’s Philippine International Motor Show.

Suzuki's SHVS mild-hybrid system is the star of the show here. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

As its name implies, the vehicle is a hybrid. But unlike other hybrids where the car can run off the electric motor alone, this is a mild hybrid, where an electric motor and a battery help power the engine for improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.

In this case, the Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS) system mates an integrated starter generator and a 12V lithium-ion battery to a 1.5-liter gasoline engine with a power output of 103hp and torque of 138Nm, paired with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.

The electric motor aids in acceleration and in recharging the battery via regenerative braking. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The ISG acts as an electric motor that can either provide additional power during acceleration or recuperate kinetic energy via regenerative braking (or deceleration) to recharge the battery.

Combined with an engine start-stop system that keeps accessories like the air-conditioning and the radio running without interruption, you’ve got a car that can potentially deliver impressive fuel efficiency figures (up to 12.54km/L in the city, according to Suzuki).

There are a few changes here and there to give the MPV a slightly sportier appearance. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

It’s not a complete overhaul of the current model, so you’ll see mostly familiar elements, save for a new front grille, redesigned 15-inch alloy wheels, and new tailgate garnishing.

It lacks the optional bodykit that the special model presented at PIMS had, but we hope the automaker offers this as an option down the line.

Small but meaningful updates elevate the experience in the Ertiga's cabin. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The cabin also receives minor updates, like a D-shaped steering wheel with cruise control, push-start ignition, a newly redesigned instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch multi-information display, a 10-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, and automatic climate controls with ventilated cupholders.

Safety-wise, the Ertiga gains electronic stability program to aid during cornering on loose or slippery road surfaces, aside from the ABS, the airbags, the safety and stability-enhancing Heartect platform, and the reversing camera with parking sensors.

It's a simple but roomy cabin that can seat seven. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

You also get seven seats finished in two-tone fabric upholstery, and a faux wood trim across the dashboard. The rear luggage area is capable of carrying up to 199L of cargo with all three rows up, and there is extra space underneath the 50:50 split luggage board, which can be used to hide small valuables or removed for taller items.

You won't get any space or cargo penalties unlike with other hybrid vehicles because the battery is found under the driver's seat. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The MPV will come in three variants (with two transmission choices): GA, GL, and GLX. Here are their prices:

  • Ertiga Hybrid 1.5 GA MT – P954,000
  • Ertiga Hybrid 1.5 GL MT – P1,068,000
  • Ertiga Hybrid 1.5 GL AT – P1,103,000
  • Ertiga Hybrid 1.5 GLX AT – P1,153,000

Color choices include Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver Metallic, Cool Black Pearl, Metallic Magma Gray 2, Burgundy Red Pearl, and Brave Khaki Pearl.

This vehicle is exempt from number-coding thanks to EVIDA benefits. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

One of the biggest benefits that this vehicle is touting is that it complies with Republic Act No. 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act. While the ruling is a bit hazy on whether mild-hybrid vehicles are to be included in the benefits, owners of the Ertiga Hybrid can enjoy exemption from number-coding, a 15% discount on vehicle registration, and priority for vehicle and franchise registration.

Being the first electrified compact MPV on the market, the Ertiga should be an easy pick for many looking to upgrade their family haulers.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.