Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City: Petrol Comparison Review

The Maruti Ciaz is here and equipped to take on the Honda City. Can the fantastic package that the Ciaz is, negate its shortcomings on the performance front? Read on to find out

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City front static

The Maruti Ciaz is more than just a car for India’s largest carmaker. It is the company’s first proper attempt at stepping up the price band after multiple weakly placed jabs at a space that has eluded them. India just hasn’t accepted an expensive Maruti Suzuki till now and if we do so this time round, it opens up the stage for a wider model portfolio for the company. Maruti’s network will ensure the future of cars C-segment and higher make their presence felt and the carmaker’s dependence on small hatchbacks with low margins will reduce. This makes the Ciaz a significant car, but to achieve the big picture, Maruti has to fight a tough battle with established rivals in its segment, and there’s none better at knowing this class of customers that the Ciaz is targeting than Honda. 

The Honda City has been by far the biggest launch of this year. Its success has baffled the best of pundits in the industry and that’s mainly got to do with the diesel engine that the City gets. But it’s the petrol 1.5-litre i-VTEC motor that has been Honda’s mainstay for years and in that time, has established its credibility as a smooth, fast and reliable operator. For a buyer looking for a petrol sedan, it’s almost a given to give the Honda City their first glance. The battle will be a hard fought one to oust the City. Can the Maruti Ciaz win this fight? Read on

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City side static

Exterior Styling/Design

It was critical for Maruti to get the design of the Ciaz right. And by right, we mean a matured looking offering with an upmarket air about it. For someone in this price bracket, the car is a bit of a statement and the Ciaz does make a good one. Projector lights upfront, a large chrome grille and sculpted bumpers make the Ciaz look like an expensive car. Smart multispoke alloys on 16 inch wheels on the top trim Ciaz in these pictures add to its image while the strong waistline and neatly tapering C-pillar accentuate the length of the car. Till here it’s all good. Move towards the rear and you’d be surprised at how similar the taillamps of the Ciaz are to those of the City’s. The rear bumper is styled well though for a well rounded rear.

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City rear half static

The Honda City is clearly an evolution of the well accepted previous generation car. You can’t miss the large chrome grille and sharper lines all round on the new City, right from the bumpers to its side profile to the rear of the car. The City doesn’t have projector headlights which the Ciaz does and the smaller 15 inch wheels do look undersized but besides that the City gets its segment’s demands addressed of a well proportioned premium styled sedan. On the whole, the Ciaz to my eyes gets the vote in the exterior styling department despite its ‘inspired’ tail lamps. Design is subjective though.

Rating – 

Maruti Ciaz: 4/5

Honda City: 3.5/5

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City interior

Interior and Space

While Maruti has pretty much aced it on the exterior front, it’s not going to be easy to trounce the City as you step in. Maruti has done a good job with the Ciaz in the interior department as well to make a good first impression though. The two-tone dashboard with the beige overalls looks decidedly upmarket. Even the quality of plastics and their texture feel better than the City. The Honda City dashboard on the other hand with its choice of colours and large piano black inserts looks like one that will feel fresh over a longer period of ownership. Fit and finish especially of the top dashboard panel of the City isn’t good and it flexes every time you go over a set of rumblers. 

Maruti Ciaz rear seat space

While the City starts off on the wrong foot against the Ciaz, every other step is in the right direction, especially when you dig into the details. The instrument cluster for instance feels rich in the City with its three bold pods and a modern digital display. The Ciaz design here is too simple. The steering wheel too is better sculpted and looks sportier in the City. Then there’s the seats. The Ciaz is good in its own right with large seats front and rear. The rear offers better legroom due to the 50mm longer wheelbase, but that’s an excessive extra you will not miss in the City. The Honda City is just that extra bit comfortable with the right amount of cushioning and soft, better quality perforated leather upholstery. Even the quality of floor mats adds to the sense of plushness in the City. 

The rear seats of the Ciaz are a bit short on under-thigh support and both cars don’t get adjustable headrests. Boot space in both is an identical 510 litres. Overall, the City feels like a more premium car on the inside and space is on par between the two.

Rating – 

Maruti Ciaz: 4/5

Honda City: 4.5/5

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City features

Honda City/Maruti Ciaz

Features and Equipment

Be it the Maruti Ciaz or the Honda City, both are now the cars to beat on the features front, even for the well kitted Hyundai Verna. You get climate control, leather seats, keyless entry and push-button start/stop, multifunction steering wheel with Bluetooth telephony and audio controls, rear view parking camera and rear AC vents in both cars. The Ciaz offers rear parking sensors, a sun blind for the rear windscreen and a touchscreen entertainment system with satellite navigation over the Honda City. The system is slow and has its share of bugs but is still a better crisper display than that on the City. The City on the other hand offers a sunroof as standard fitment on the top variant, which the Ciaz doesn’t. 

Rating – 

Maruti Ciaz: 4/5

Honda City: 4/5

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City

Ride, handling and ease of driving

The Maruti Ciaz petrol like every Maruti is an easy city runabout. Light steering and soft clutch make it effortless in the city and you get fantastic visibility out of the driver’s seat. The Honda City too shares the same traits, except for the higher set dashboard, that requires a bit of getting used to. On the move, the Ciaz impresses with its low speed ride, soaking in and leveling out bad roads remarkably well. It feels marginally more pliant than the City when you are ambling around. As speeds rise, the City’s steering weighs up better giving you more confidence making it more fun to drive. While the Ciaz has better ride, the City is a better handler. The Ciaz offers better grip though in tighter corners with its larger 195 section tyres where the City’s 175s begin to squeal sooner. The Ciaz is a better commuter and the City is more of an enthusiast’s pick overall.

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City

The Maruti Ciaz has good grip and brakes well too with progressive feel. The City tends to understeer in tighter corners when you run in a bit faster than you should for the levels of grip the tyres offer but otherwise it is confident under heavy braking. There’s good bite to slow down the lightweight City, which as a matter of fact is about 50kg heavier than the nimble footed Ciaz.

Rating – 

Maruti Ciaz: 4/5

Honda City: 4/5

Maruti Ciaz engine

Engine and performance

It’s in the engines department where the City begins to pull away from the Ciaz, literally and figuratively. Honda’s 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine is in a class of its own. It develops 119PS, a massive 27PS more than that of the 1.4-litre K-series petrol Ciaz’s engine. The City petrol is also the freer revving unit till you reach a high 5000rpm when it begins to get coarse. The Ciaz on the other hand feels gruff above 2000rpm and short on legs in comparison. Even in gears, especially the higher ones, the City has considerably more punch, making overtaking and short bursts in power more enjoyable. In town lower down the rev band, both are easy to drive and it’s where the Ciaz doesn’t keep you wanting for more, but get on the open road at triple digit speeds and the Honda City is definitely the better pick. The City also has a slicker shifting gearbox too. There’s nothing wrong with the Ciaz’s with their short throws and smooth shifts but the City slots crisper shifts. 

Honda City petrol engine

The 1.6-litre engine from the SX4 was very thirsty and so found very few takers. So Maruti picked the other option they had, the 1.4-litre from the Ertiga, but they knew that the Ciaz will fall short on performance. And so Maruti engineers have changed the tweaked the ECU and changed the throttle mapping to eke out more out of this mill. It still can’t match up to the City.

Rating – 

Maruti Ciaz: 3/5

Honda City: 4/5 

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City petrol comparison

Price and Fuel economy

Prices of the base Maruti Ciaz petrol start at Rs 6.99 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, about Rs 20,000 cheaper than the City. As you move up the variants, the price gap between the two increases and right up in top spec trim, which is the cars you see in these pictures, Maruti has done a stellar job of pricing the Ciaz a whole Rs 1.32 lakh cheaper than the City. The Ciaz costs Rs 8.64 lakh while the top trim City costs Rs 9.91 lakh.

Since the Maruti Ciaz is considerably low of power, you’d expect it to be the more efficient among the two, and it is by a large margin. ARAI figures state 20.7kmpl for the Ciaz and 17.8kmpl for the City. In the real world, expect in the ball park of 12kmpl for the City and 14kmpl for the Ciaz but that’s totally dependent on how you drive. 

Rating – 

Maruti Ciaz: 4/5

Honda City: 3/5

Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City tracking shot


It’s extremely hard to ignore the Maruti Ciaz, especially at this price. It comes with kitted all the bells and whistles and Maruti has done a fine job with its design, inside and out. The Ciaz is also very efficient and offers fantastic ride quality. It doesn’t however impress with its engine. When you are paying close to a million rupees, you don’t want your petrol car to do just one thing well, which is being a good city commuter. Here, the Honda City makes its case. It is acceptably efficient if you don’t ask much from the engine and quick when you want to close that gap or munch those miles. It also handles better and pampers its occupants more. Maruti has a good package in the Ciaz but the Honda City is still overall the better deal.

Rating – 

Maruti Ciaz: 3.5/5

Honda City: 4/5 


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