First things first. This can't be a straight comparison. Though the two vehicles subscribe to the MUV segment, the Innova is bigger and powerful and the Ertiga is trying to create a segment on its own. But those are technical details that can easily get brushed under the carpet when the requirement is just a seven-seater.
In terms of looks, both the Innova and the Ertiga have minimalistic designs with neither of them looking to stand out. The refresh Innova got early this year has helped it keep up with the times. But step inside and the age begins to show. The Swift-derived interiors in the Ertiga give it a much more polished look as compared to the dated design of the Innova.
Under the hood, the Ertiga has a 1.3-litre engine which produces 90PS and 200Nm while the 2.5-litre unit in the Toyota produces 102PS and a similar 200Nm of torque. Though the Innova is more powerful, the 445kg extra weight translates into 4.4kmpl less fuel efficiency than the Ertiga. As for the ride and handling, the smaller Ertiga exhibits strong car-like characteristics which help it perform in the city as well as on the highway with ease. The ladder frame construction of the Innova makes it a better bet over bad roads but the Ertiga doesn't do too badly either.
So has the country's favourite people mover finally met its match? It's all about space isn't it. You will be able to seat seven people comfortably in the Innova but that becomes a bit of a squeeze in the Ertiga. The Innova also offers a boot space of 300 litres with all the seats folded as compared to the 135 litres in the Ertiga. But the third row of the Ertiga folds flat which is not the case in the Innova. The Maruti's middle row also slides more to liberate more space for the boot or legroom as per your requirement. Another crucial thing that swings it in favour of the Ertiga is that despite being a less powerful engine, with a full complement of passengers, the Ertiga will perform as good as the Innova because of the similar torque output. That is clever engine design by Maruti.
The Maruti gives you an all-in-one package - a vehicle which you can use daily and also for the weekend trips.
And most importantly it does it at a much, much lower cost - Rs 4.74 lakh the difference to be precise (between the top-end variants. All prices ex-Delhi). And that makes it more for less something's that's a sure winner in our country.