November 24, 2016 @ 11:09 PM

Ertiga completes Proton’s transformation

Carmaker ends the year on a high with country’s first EEV-certified compact MPV

Proton’s quartet of launches has come full circle with the launch of its Ertiga compact MPV; the country’s first EEV-certified compact MPV.

The rebadged Suzuki will be available here in three guises that will be powered by a Suzuki-sourced drivetrain combination comprising a 1.4-litre inline-four engine that produces a modest 91bhp and 130Nm of torque to be paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

Justifying its energy efficient vehicle status are fuel consumption figures that clock in at 5.7-litres/100km for the manual and 6.0-litres/100km for the automatic.

Prices start at RM58,800 for the Executive Manual and climbs to RM61,800 for the Executive Auto before topping out at RM64,800 for the Executive Plus Auto. It is built on an extended Swift platform and is being assembled at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant with the CKD packs supplied by Suzuki’s plant in Indonesia and local content accounting for 15 per cent.

The cabin sits six, with the middle positioned as a two-seater although the space is deemed sufficient for three. This is due to the absence of a seatbelt for the middle occupant. Hence, the middle now accommodates a sizeable armrest. Rear occupants will appreciate the roof-mounted air-conditioning blower that directs air to the second and third rows.

As Proton was not given much wiggle room in performing and significant improvements to the Ertiga, the lack of electronic stability control; even in the flagship trim, is glaringly obvious and bucks the trend of Proton’s compact models being among the most affordable top-rated safety picks.

Suzuki did not design the car to accommodate this feature and the lack of free reign prevented Proton from integrating it into the MPV. The result is a four star Asean NCAP rating and a rather lacklustre safety list that goes against the tide Proton has been setting lately. Dual frontal airbags, ABS, EBD and Isofix anchorage points are standard across the range.

One of the prime differentiating factors is the equipment level. The Executive range is kitted out with halogen headlamps with level adjustment, beige fabric upholstery, 15-inch alloy wheels, 60:40 split middle row, reverse sensors, two 12V power sockets and a double-DIN head unit with CD, MP3, USB and iPhone connectivity.

Stepping up to the Executive Plus variant will get you a light increase that comprises a steering wheel with audio controls, power folding side-view mirrors with turn signals and seat adjustment for the driver’s side.

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