Yes, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has been on sale forever. And yes, this particular facelift is a year old as well. But, the heart of this diesel-powered Ciaz is new. It is now powered by a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel that makes 225Nm of torque and a power output of 94bhp.
Here are the five reasons why one should buy the Ciaz diesel and two reasons why one shouldn’t.
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.
1. Ride Quality -
The ride quality on the Ciaz won’t win it any fans. It isn’t jarring and it doesn’t crash into every pothole it finds, but it is noisy and unsettled. One can hear everything that’s happening underneath and feel some of it as well. And that just takes away from the overall comfort feel.
2. Lacks emotion -
The Ciaz doesn’t pull at your heartstrings. It’s not a great design. It’s palatable, yes, but it doesn’t make you go wow! Interiors are practical, functional and well thought out but the design doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Then there’s the drive. It has a light but lifeless steering. It has an engine that’s tractable and efficient, but it lacks the character that will put a smile on your face. And the handling is safe, secure, and planted, but it's not involving at all.
The strengths that have helped the Ciaz hold its own against more flamboyant rivals like the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna, are still very much part of this Ciaz 1.5 litre diesel package. The car is still practical and functional. It is still spacious and decently well specced. And there’s the vast Maruti service network to consider, of course.
But the 1.5-litre diesel has now added refinement, quietness, and more torque to the diesel package. And that too without affecting its tremendous fuel efficiency. As we see it, the 1.5 diesel has only added to the Ciaz’s value proposition, especially when you consider the fact that it is significantly cheaper than both the City and the Verna.
Pictures by - Kapil Angane