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Maruti Suzuki Ciaz : Detailed Review


The Maruti Ciaz, its maker believes, has what it takes to upset the likes of the new Honda City. We drive it to find out if it lives up to the hype

 

Maruti Ciaz front action

 

 

The new Maruti Ciaz is a big deal. Is it revolutionary, unique or even game changing? Maybe not so much in the segment it operates in wherein you already have the likes of the new Honda City and the Hyundai Verna but for Maruti Suzuki, the Ciaz is all this and more... Here's why?

 

Now, this isn't a new segment for Maruti; it has had the SX4 in the past. But, even with its large wheels and ground clearance, roomy interior and a big boot, the SX4 struggled. The reason: perception. No one wanted a full-fledged C-Segment car from a maker of small, affordable hatchbacks and compact sedans. But now with the Maruti Ciaz, Maruti finally has a product to draw you and me away from the Honda Citys and Hyundai Vernas of the world. This should be interesting.

 

 

Maruti Ciaz front static

 

 

Exterior Styling / Design

This perception change can only happen with upmarket, elegant exterior styling. The good news for Maruti fans is, the Ciaz most certainly looks like an expensive car. The large head lamps, the in-your-face chrome grille and the stylised bumper give the Maruti Ciaz an air of richness. The profile dominated by the strong shoulder line that runs from the front fender all the way into the tail lamp along with those nice looking 16 inch wheels lend the Maruti Ciaz an elegant but youthful stance. The blacked out B-pillar helps, as does the stretched feel for the panels.

 

 

Maruti Ciaz rear static

 

 

At the rear, the tail lamps are clearly inspired by the new Honda City, but the Maruti still manages to look more rounded. The rear bumper, like the one at the front, is well styled and lends the Ciaz a hint of aggression. The chrome strip on the boot lid further enhances the sedan's appeal.

Rating: 4/5

 

 

 

Maruti Ciaz interior

 

 

Interior & space

Having good exterior styling is important but if the interior fails to convey the same upmarket aura, it's a lost battle. Maruti has got this one right as well; if not entirely, surely in parts. The design for the dashboard is simple and clean and resembles the one on the Swift. But, it's the texture of the plastic, the choice of colours and the embellishments in the form of the dark wood like strips and chrome highlights that give the Maruti Ciaz a much needed air of plushness. Having lighter colour for the seats help too. The fit and finish and the attention to detail in the Ciaz's cabin is praiseworthy as well.

 

 

Maruti Ciaz rear passenger space

 

 

Then there's the space; actually there's acres of it for the rear passengers. The Maruti Ciaz has the longest wheelbase in class and it is the widest car as well. This has translated into whole lot of kneeroom for the rear passengers. The scooped out front seats further enhance the space available. The shoulder and head room, though not as expansive as the kneeroom, are pretty decent nonetheless. What adds to the Ciaz's rear seating is the air of roominess and comfortable seats. These aren't the best when it comes to thigh support but are large and comfortable enough even on long journeys.

Rating: 4/5

 

 

Maruti Ciaz touchscreen display

 

 

Features & Equipment

Besides styling, lack of features was also one of the reasons the SX4 failed to bring in good numbers. The Maruti Ciaz address this, and how! It has nearly every feature in the book pertaining to this class of cars. From alloy wheels, steering mounted controls, climate control system and  ABS and front two airbags to a high-end touchscreen audio system, navigation, electric ORVMs with auto fold, reversing camera and a retractable blind for the rear windscreen, the Maruti Ciaz in this Z+ trim has it all. It also gets rear AC vents, keyless entry and start, central rear armrest with cup holders and crucially, Bluetooth telephony. What we did miss are adjustable rear head rests and reach adjust for the steering.

Rating: 4/5

 

 

Maruti Ciaz front action

 

 

Engine & Performance

The Maruti Ciaz comes with two engine options - 1.4-litre petrol with 92PS and mated to a 5-speed manual and a 1.3-litre diesel which again develops 90PS of peak power and comes with a 5-speed manual as well. Both engines are the same as on the Maruti Ertiga, but company engineers say revisions have been to made to the ECU and throttle mapping to enhance the performance feel of these engines. There's also been an improvement in fuel economy figures. The petrol comes with an ARAI FE rating of 20.7kmpl while the diesel with 26.2kmpl is now the most fuel efficient car in the country. The Maruti Ciaz being the lightest car in its class courtesy use of high tensile steel has helped in a big way to achieve these economy figures.

 

 

Maruti Ciaz 1.3-litre diesel

 

 

We are driving the diesel and though there seems to an improvement in NVH, there's still a bit of diesel clatter at idle and it only gets louder as revs rise. The driving feel, nonetheless, has improved. The turbo lag still exists but the power delivery is more linear now and once the pull starts to build up it stays up to 4,000rpm and thereabouts giving the Ciaz a heathy 2,000rpm-wide usable power band. The throttle response is much improved as well and the Ciaz if anything, doesn't feel underpowered. It's not the most refined package though and vibration can be felt via the gear shifter, pedals and the steering especially when trying to build up speed from lower revs. The gear shifts meanwhile have a short throw but do require some effort.

Rating: 3/5

 

 

Maruti Ciaz rear action

 

 

Ride & Ease of driving

Now if you like driving, the Ciaz might not be the car for you. It has a precise steering and you eventually learn how much steering input to dial in but it isn't great on feedback. It just isn't in the same league as the Volkswagens and the Skodas. But, if you are looking for a comfortable long distance cruiser, you will like the Ciaz's easy nature. Good straight line stability and potent braking, is of course an added plus.

 

The Maruti Ciaz rides well too. It has been setup for comfort over all else and it's evident in the way the car rides. It's softly sprung, so at slow speeds and over broken roads, it remains comfortable. However, at higher speeds and particularly over undulating roads and with load, the Maruti Ciaz does tend to wallow.

Rating: 4/5

 

Maruti Ciaz side static

 

 

Price & Fuel Efficiency

The Maruti Ciaz might be positioned as a premium offering in Maruti's line up, but it will still undercut the Honda City in terms of pricing, and by a significant amount at that. We expect the range to start at Rs 7 lakh for the VXI trim and going up to Rs 10 lakh for the ZDI+. Both prices ex-showroom in Delhi. As far as fuel efficiency goes, given the ARAI figures of both cars, expect real world efficiency to be best in class as well.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

 

Maruti Ciaz wallpaper

 

 

Verdict

So, should the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna be worried about this new kid? And should you, the prospect C-segment sedan buyer, be re-looking your purchase decision? We would think so for finally in the Maruti Ciaz, Maruti has a car that not only matches segment leaders step for step be it styling, equipment or premiumness, it has some aces up its sleeve as well. Network, interior space, fuel economy and a tempting price to name a few...

Rating: 4/5

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