Let's consider the Marazzo that gets a newly developed 1.5-litre, four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Churning out 121bhp and 300Nm of torque, this mill is considerably more powerful than the Ertiga's tried and tested Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre motor. The four-cylinder DDiS 200 diesel unit produces 88bhp and 200Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. On paper it clearly has an advantage, but at 1,680kg the Marazzo is more than 400kg heavier than the Ertiga.
To get it going, you just have to feed a little extra throttle to prevent it from stalling. And when it gets going, part throttle inputs are more than sufficient to keep going. Still, the additional power makes up for carrying around the bulk. It doesn't feel bogged down like the Ertiga and, in fact, its linear power delivery along with a broad torque spread helps it chug along nicely. The extra weight does hinder straight out acceleration and speeds are built in a relaxed manner. That said, the Ertiga also isn't quick as such and both take their sweet time especially when the cars are loaded. So while overtaking one will need to shift a cog and plan it correctly especially on a single-lane road. Otherwise in the city, both cars provide enough thrust to not require constant gear shifts.
Interestingly, the Marazzo's engine is quieter, feels more refined and the clutch is the lightest amongst the MPVs we've tested. This helps a lot when driving for long distances in traffic. Even the six-speed gearbox does have an advantage especially when cruising on the highway. However, the gear stick and its throw is long unlike the nice and short ones in the Ertiga. But then its steering is surprisingly light and doesn't feel over-assisted like in the Ertiga. Still, the Maruti is easy to maneuver and will squeeze into gaps in traffic or narrow roads where you will think twice before taking this Mahindra.
Even if the Marazzo is taller and yet easy to drive with a light steering, the Ertiga feels more car-like to drive and portrays well-contained body roll. Its suspension is well-tuned for our roads even if you can hear the thunk and thud over bad patches. The Marazzo, on the other hand, with a longer suspension travel and greater ground clearance takes sharper potholes, bigger bumps, broken roads etc. in its stride effortlessly. You can take it through a broken patch of road with confidence as it never bottoms out and manages to flatten out most of small obstacles that come in its way. The ride surely feels more absorbent than the Ertiga and this solid suspension remains one of its major USPs.