Maruti had unveiled the Ciaz concept on February 5, at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. The production model of the Ciaz has been spotted testing around India and China and speculations doing rounds of the interweb suggest that the car will be launched around September. The Ciaz will slot in the C-Segment and will replace the SX4 which has been soldiering on in the segment since 2007.
The Ciaz concept shares the platform with the S-Cross crossover. The production-spec Ciaz will draw design inspiration from the concept and unlike the SX4, will be a global model for Suzuki. The car will feature a sporty design as opposed to the conservative design the SX4 has. Equipment levels will vary depending upon the market requirements. In India, we expect the car to be equipped on par with the competition, which means, climate control, a navigation system, rear A/C vents and an infotainment system among others. The quality of interiors will also be raised up a notch to give it a more premium feel.
Reports suggest that the car is being tested out with a few engines options, though we expect Maruti to retain the petrol engine and introduce a new diesel for the Ciaz. The 1.6-litre petrol unit produces 103bhp and 145Nm of torque, while the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel might be replaced by a newly developed 1.6-litre unit. The car will also get the automated manual transmission (AMT), which made its debut in the Celerio hatchback. Currently, Maruti imports the AMT gearbox but we expect the manufacture to be localised by next year.
Despite selling in decent numbers, the SX4 has grown long in the tooth and it is high time Maruti replaced it with a new car. Being a Maruti, we can expect the Ciaz to be priced competitively in the C-Segment against the likes of Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Ford Fiesta and the newly launched Honda City.