Maruti Suzuki is expected to discontinue the SX4 sedan by late 2014 and it will be replaced by a new executive car called the Ciaz. It was unveiled at the 2014 Auto Expo and is expected to be launched in the C segment during the festive season.
The Ciaz is based on the Suzuki Authentics concept that debuted at the 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 it won’t be as tall a car. The Ciaz concept reveals an equally aggressive rear end with lamps that runs into the tailgate that has multiple creases and needless to say, more chrome).
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’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, whereas the top-end will also get the option of AT. The diesel on the other hand is expected to be 1.3-litre Multijet unit that produces 90bhp and 200Nm of torque. Both engines will be offered with a five-speed manual, with the petrol also getting the option of the AMT from the Celerio.
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.
Maruti is expected to continue using the same nomenclature for the new sedan, the petrol variants should be – LXi, VXi and ZXi, while the diesel variants will mostly be named – LDi, VDi and ZDi. It will rival the Honda City, Nissan Sunny, Renault Scala, Fiat Linea as well as cars like the Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport.