Maruti Suzuki is on a mission to reinvent itself and has set its course to success with a whole load of new models of which the first was the Celerio hatchback. It will soon be followed by the Ciaz sedan which is expected to launch sometime next month and will replace the SX4 sedan which has been on sale in India since 2006
The Ciaz is believed to be based on the Ertiga platform, which in turn borrows from the Swift hatchback. This means Maruti will have the option of component sharing to cut cost and bring in economies of scale.
The Ciaz is based on the Suzuki Authentics concept that debuted at the 2014 Shanghai Motor Show in April and then shown in production form as the China- spec Alivio sedan. The new car gets an aggressive front fascia, with trapezoidal front grille. It has ample amount of chrome with the headlamps being angular and stretched out. The overall dimensions of the new sedan are a bit bigger than the outgoing SX4 but in terms of overall dimensions, it will not be too far away from the older car.
The side profile reveals a rather conservative design but one that should work for Maruti Suzuki. It includes softly flared wheel arches, chrome door handles and really strong shoulder line which works well with the forward leaning stance of the car.
The rear gets the now segment standard wrap around tail lamps which gives the car a premium look. The rear bumper is pretty large and includes integrated reflectors. Maruti Suzuki has also included a lip spoiler and chrome badges across all variants.
The Ciaz’s interiors are similar to that of the Ertiga with the all-beige treatment. The drop trims and other inserts will be premium as this will slot it in the segment above the Ertiga. The SX4 has always been a spacious car and the same will be the case with the YL1. The cabin will be ergonomic and designed to comfortably seat three adults on the rear bench.
The features on the new car will include a factory-fitted music system with Bluetooth and multimedia functions. The AC with climate control will feature on the mid and top-end variants along with rear vents. Steering mounted audio control, cooled glove box, door pockets at the back are few other features that will be available with the new car. Maruti might also offer a premium package with leather seats as an optional extra. The safety features in the new car will include ABS-EBD and two airbags as standard for the top- end variants.
Engine and Gearbox
The petrol version of the Ciaz will be powered by the 1.4-litre K-Series engine from the Ertiga producing 93bhp and 130Nm of torque. The base variants will be available with a five-speed manual transmission. The diesel on the other hand is expected to be a 1.3-litre Multijet unit that produces 90bhp and 200Nm of torque. Both engines will be offered with a five-speed manual, while the petrol may also get the option of the AMT from the Celerio.
Spy pictures reveal that the Ciaz will be offered in six variants-three and diesel of which a new variant is the VXi+/VDi+ which is the new mid-level variant.
Price and competition
This being a Maruti product, the pricing strategy is expected to be very aggressive with an entry tag of around Rs 7.25 lakh and the top version will be priced under Rs 10.5 lakh. Depending upon the response to the new car, Maruti will make plans to introduce a CNG variant, since it is already available with the 1.4 litre Ertiga petrol.
It will rival the Honda City, Nissan Sunny, Renault Scala, Fiat Linea as well as cars like the Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport.