An MPV for a no-nonsense MVP (Maka-Van na Papa)


This father—and the author—value function over form.

My father is about to hit 80, but can still drive like a 40-year-old. Our neighbors call him Mang Tony, and they know he’s up and about whenever his beat-up, 21-year-old van clunks in or out of our garage.

My old man and his old van are, shall we say, inseparable, their bond galvanized by time and ‘talyer’.

You know how “seasoned” men are: It’s hard to make them trust someone or something, but when they do, they do so wholeheartedly, to a fault.

So, despite that van giving him more problems than pleasure, my trusting Dad continues to drive a vehicle that should have long been retired, its scrap metal recycled.

He hasn’t heard the end of our nagging, and he retorts every time we urge him to buy a new car that he hasn’t found “a worthy replacement.”

Not that I haven’t shown him enough choices already.

Considering the dozens of new cars I’ve brought in for him to have a look and a test ride, all that he had to say about these new cars were either “it’s too expensive” or “it’s too big/small.”

There is one car, however, that has caught his fancy, and that’s the Suzuki Ertiga multipurpose vehicle.

The first thing that impressed him about it was its easy ingress/egress, which for him was a primary consideration, given his age.

The senior-friendly Ertiga (specifically the GLX variant that I brought home for the weekend) was also easy to maneuver, perfect for maneuvering around narrow village streets.

The dashboard controls are likewise uncomplicated.

The Ertiga intrigued my dad that much that he read up on Suzuki and its heritage for building compact cars. He liked the Japanese carmaker’s no-nonsense approach to the brand.

The logo’s three strokes, he pointed out with quiet fascination, formed a simple capital S.

Did the Ertiga’s millennial-oriented multimedia center console intimidate my dad? Not a bit.

He uses his own tablet and smartphone, makes video calls with them, and is active on Facebook.

For him, the Android touchscreen, Bluetooth, WiFi, and USB connectivity with hands-free function of the Ertiga is just right up his alley, and so were the audio and hands-free switches on the steering wheel.

My father also liked the no-nonsense, “nothing-fancy” exterior design, mumbling that he wasn’t anymore an eager-beaver bachelor trying to impress the girls.

As for the interior, he commended the maker for using elegant-looking fabric in cream and light beige, and heaved a sigh of relief that no animal skin was used in the interior (“Otherwise, it would have upset my favorite daughter,” he quipped, whereupon I replied, “Papa, I am your only daughter!”).

Yup, my dad is that kind of man who, at such a stage in his life, values function over form, a spotless history one can easily trust, and a stable future.

He saw all of it in the Ertiga. Still, he’s sticking with his old, beat-up van.

Stubborn old man.

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