When first, Maruti launched their compact MPV (or LUV what Maruti likes to call it) Ertiga in our market, it was enjoying complete monopoly here. There was no actual competitor of this MPV in India and its easy handling and driving manners like any other sedan had made it quite popular in our market and thats probably the reason why it has always been selling in good numbers. Seeking potential in this segment, Honda and Nissans budget brand Datsun have launched their respective cars Mobilio and Go+ to challenge the undisputed champion, Ertiga.
In this article, we try to figure out how these cars stand against the Maruti Ertiga.
Design and Styling
When launched, Ertiga surely had better looks than any other MPV in our country. The new age styling of Ertiga including its face was quite similar to Maruti’s hatchbacks, Ritz and Swift giving it a contemporary look with balanced front and rear overhangs. The big windows and 15 inch wheels helped it to gain the proposition of a proper MPV.
The new contenders, Mobilio and Go+ are based on their hatch siblings and that’s quite visible when you see these cars from front and sideways. From front to end, Mobilio and Go+ share their body panels with their younger siblings. Apart from few changes like front grille, side arches and bigger wheels, Mobilio can easily be mistaken as Brio or Amaze at first glance.
Whereas Go+ has a pronounced rear overhang which clearly indicates towards the effort made by Datsun to turn a hatch in to seven -seater MPV but like the GO the pleasant styling will appeal to many whereas the Mobilio is a touch more radical looking.
As a result of cost cutting, Mobilio and Go+ share their dashboard and interior styling with their hatch versions which surely looks quite basic but their smart packaging means they do well on space/practicality but the Ertiga holds an advantage over the interior ambience.
Similar to Ertiga, Mobilio also comes with roof fitted A.C for its second and third row passengers and as expected from Honda, the interior packaging of Mobilio offers you more space and legroom than Ertiga despite having shorter wheelbase. However the seats themselves offer more comfort in the Ertiga. While Mobilio and Ertiga will carry 7 passengers in relative comfort in the GO+ the third row is best left folded for luggage space or at best used by children only. The GO+ just like the hatch has a basic looking interior and lacks the premium feeling but it is filled with practical touches .
Ertiga is available in two engines, one each of petrol and diesel and similarly Honda will also launch Mobilio with two engines. Where Ertigas 1.4L K-series petrol engine churns out a power output of 94bhp, Honda meanwhile has stuffed their 1.5L petrol engine in Mobilio with a power output of 118bhp.
Even the 1.5L diesel engine of Mobilio is more powerful than Ertigas 1.3L engine producing a power output of 89bhp. Hondas I-dtec engine churns out a power close to 100bhp which surely offers better drive ability than Ertigas Multijet engine plus just like the Honda City, Amaze expect fantastic efficiency figures.
Unlike Ertiga and Mobilio, Go+ will only be available with a small 1.2L petrol engine with a power production of around 67bhp similar to its hatch version. Yet the light GO+ feels quick and is quite agile. The Mobilio clearly wins the driving test with its superior engines and excellent performance. However the Ertiga wins back with better refinement and ride than both the Mobilio and GO+
As one can notice, Go+ is more like an economical option and is our first true compact MPV (under 4m). It is likely to attract those who want to get an affordable, efficient seven seater car and with a starting price of Rs 3.7 lakh, without doubt it is the cheapest of all here which means it would present a more value for money choice.
For many that would be enough but if you want more space, features and a premium interior you will have to look at the Ertiga and Mobilio. The Mobilio base petrol starts at Rs 6.5 lakh while the Ertiga base petrol is priced at Rs 6 lakh. The Mobilio looks better and drives better than the Ertiga but when you factor in that the Ertiga is cheaper and has a better interior plus is more comfortable, you can see the Ertiga making a better choice.