The second-generation Suzuki Ertiga is now on sale in Thailand. The three-row seven-seater MPV is imported from Indonesia, where it has been available since April 2018.

In its home market of Indonesia, the Ertiga competes in the Low MPV segment alongside the Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia, Mitsubishi Xpander and Honda Mobilio. The original Ertiga surfaced in 2012 and the facelifted first-gen was rebadged by Proton and sold in Malaysia from late 2016.

This second-gen Ertiga has been redesigned from the ground up – it rides on the new Heartect platform introduced on the latest Suzuki Swift, and is powered by a new engine. The K15B 1.5 litre unit is an enlarged version of the outgoing 1.4L, making 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. The VVT naturally-aspirated petrol motor is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

Measuring 4,395 mm long, 1,735 mm wide and 1,690 mm tall, the new model is 130 mm longer, 40 mm wider and 5 mm taller than its predecessor, but the 2,740 mm wheelbase is unchanged. Boot space is 153 litres (up 18 litres) with all seats up, expandable to 550 litres (up 50 litres) with the third-row seats folded and 803 litres (up 68 litres) with all rear seats down.

Compared to the streamlined original, the new Ertiga features a more angular design that incorporates trapezoidal projector headlights and a new six-point grille. The front bumper sports more complex sculpting and C-shaped borders that frame the triple air intakes. As on the Swift, blacked-out D-pillars give it a “floating roof” look, emphasised by Volvo-like L-shaped tail lights.

Inside, the latest Ertiga gets a dashboard with horizontal lines and a floating infotainment system. The flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel is carried over from the Swift, which is of course an eco car in Thailand.

According to the Bangkok Post, the new Ertiga – which is lighter thanks to the new platform – produces less than 150 g/km of CO2 and is eligible for a 5% reduction in Thai excise tax. However, retail prices have been maintained as the new car is better equipped. The base GL variant is priced at 655,000 baht (RM84,773) while the GX costs 695,000 baht (RM89,964).

Opting for the GX nets Thais leather and audio buttons on the steering, keyless entry and push start, driver’s seat height adjuster, cabin wood trim, chrome inside/outside door handles, front fog lamps, LED rear light signatures and electrically foldable wing mirrors with turn signals.

The Proton Ertiga never really caught on here, and while this latest model is an improvement, it would face an uphill battle against SUV-styled budget seven-seaters such as the Honda BR-V and Perodua Aruz, if sold in Malaysia.

GALLERY: Suzuki Ertiga in Indonesia