The Ciaz measures almost 4.5 metres in length. And it sits on a wheelbase that’s almost 2.7 metres long. To bring things in perspective, the Hyundai Verna measures 50mm less on both counts. Not surprisingly, it is the most spacious sedan in its class, especially for the rear passengers.
There’s enough and more knee and legroom, there’s good shoulder room to seat three, and the headroom isn’t half bad either. The boot - at 510 litres - is pretty big too!
2. Features -
The Ciaz 1.5 diesel comes with a decent set of features. There’s multifunctional steering, a single zone climate control, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, cruise control, auto headlamp, rear AC vents, and many cup and bottle holders.
It has a comprehensive driver information system too. It throws up info on distance travelled, fuel efficiency, range, as well as details about how you are harnessing the engine output. One can alter the settings for lights and door locks via the system.
As is mandatory on all cars today, yes, the Ciaz too gets a touchscreen multimedia system. And it has the basics sorted, of course - AUX, USB, Bluetooth telephony, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto - are all there. But in terms of looks and appeal, it looks dated and isn’t visually very appealing either.
3. Ease of driving -
The Ciaz is an easy car to drive. And that begins with good visibility. It might be a sedan, but it has relatively high seating. Pair it with slim A-pillars and a low set dashboard and the visibility is very good in this car. Even the rear side windows are big and the outside rearview mirrors do a good job of showing what’s behind.
Add the light clutch effort, the precise and easy to slot in gear shifts, and the light steering to this visibility, and the Ciaz makes for a fantastically easy car to drive, particularly in the city.
4. Drivetrain -
The Ciaz we have here is powered by a 1.5-litre diesel. And compared to the older 1.3 Multijet, this one is quiet, refined and far less granular in its sound and feel in comparison to the older engine. There’s less turbo-lag too. And the 1.5-litre engine doesn’t play dead under 1500rpm as the older 1.3-litre did. It doesn’t feel slow or lethargic, and it is completely up to the task of dealing with stop and go traffic as well as slow city commuting.
It’s more tractable too. So, with the turbo completely spooled up, the driveability, even in higher gears is pretty good. It won’t blow your mind with its accelerating abilities, but chances are you won’t even demand more go from the car.
And did we mention it is fuel efficient? Well, so much so that efficiency itself is a reason enough to buy the car. It returned 18.5kmpl in our test run, and that too in the city!
5. Brand power -
The Ciaz is a MARUTI. And though that doesn’t scream luxury or premium as yet, it does say value for money, hassle-free ownership, and fantastic resale. Plus, being a mainstream Maruti also means easy availability of spare parts, and good service experience. So, if you are averse to taking risks, and want to make a safe choice, well you can’t do a lot better than a Maruti.