Eight months after its debut as a concept vehicle at the 2014 Auto Expo, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has been introduced in the Indian market. Based on a new platform designed to maximise performance and efficiency, the new Ciaz represents Maruti in the hotly contested C-segment sedan market. It replaces the SX4 sedan which has been on sale since 2006.
The design of the Ciaz is based on the Suzuki Authentics concept which was showcased first at the 2014 Shanghai Motor Show in April and then shown in production form as the China- spec Alivio sedan. It gets an aggressive front fascia, with trapezoidal front grille that features ample amount of chrome. The sweptback headlights and the elongated hood further enhance its street presence. The side profile is a rather conservative affair but one that should work for Maruti Suzuki. It features delicately flared wheel arches, chrome door handles and a strong shoulder line which works well with the forward leaning stance of the car.
At the rear, the Ciaz gets the now segment-standard wrap around tail lamps which lend the car a premium look. The rear bumper is large and includes integrated reflectors. There’s also a lip spoiler and chrome badges across all variants.
The Ciaz is longer than its immediate competitors, the new Honda City and the Hyundai Verna. Measuring 4,545 mm in length, the Ciaz is expected to offer a better rear seat experience than its predecessor – the SX4.
Inside, the Ciaz gets a simple and clutter-free design. The dashboard design is reminiscent of other Maruti models including the Ertiga and the Swift Dzire with its all-beige treatment. The company has played it safe here like in the styling department. The car gets keyless entry and start, Aux-in, USB, Bluetooth streaming with telephony, automatic retract for the ORVMs, reversing camera and navigation system. It also gets a sunshade for the rear windscreen, which will be appreciated by occupants at the rear.
The integrated audio system is a touch screen unit – a segment first. The steering gets controls for the audio system and telephony controls on the left unlike the competition that has buttons spread on either sides. The faux-wood and aluminium inserts, light colour of the upholstery and plastics lend a bright and airy feel to the interior.
The SX4 has always been a spacious car and the same will be the case with the Ciaz. The cabin is ergonomically designed and comfortable enough to accommodate up to five adults.
Engine and Gearbox
Maruti Suzuki is continuing with the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel and the 1.4-litre K-Series petrol engine that is currently sold in a few of its existing models. While the diesel unit is found in quite a few models, the 1.4-litre petrol is only featured in the Ertiga MPV. The latter engine makes 92bhp of power and 130Nm of torque. The diesel engine, on the other hand, produces 90bhp of power and 200Nm of torque.
As for the gearbox options, the Ciaz can be had with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox. While the manual is available in both petrol and diesel variant, the 4-speed auto is limited to a select petrol variant. Considering these specifications, there is no denying the fact that the Ciaz is the least powerful car in the class, however, it is still potent enough for most occasions.
Price and competition
Being a Maruti, the Ciaz puts up a strong case for itself when it comes to value for money. It competes with other C-segment vehicles such as the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento and the likes. It also competes with similarly priced crossovers like the Ford EcoSport and to some extent, the Renault Duster as well.