Maruti Suzuki has rekindled the C-segment war with the introduction of the new Ciaz. The City and Verna were alwaysys the arch-nemesesis to the Ciaz, but the German contenders – the Vento and Rapid – are a rational alternative to the Indo-Japanese sedan. Let us find out how these two sedans fare against the new Ciaz on paper.
The Ciaz received a comprehensive cosmetic update in terms of a revised fascia. The new grille makes the Maruti look more upmarket while the revised bumper and headlamps lend it an aggressive stance. At the rear, the differences are limited to an updated bumper and revised taillight signature. But the stylish new alloy wheels add a much-needed flair to the overall design of the Ciaz.
Compared to the Ciaz, the Vento’s design looks dated. It retains the typical Volkswagen design cues with neatly designed front/rear end, taut shoulder lines and a compact profile. There are sharp creases all around with a new nose, restyled bumpers, chrome inserts and LED headlights. The Rapid is the more stylish of the two Germans with Skoda’s moustache grille, rectangular headlamps, edgy design and tasteful alloys.
The cabin of the Ciaz doesn’t get a radical change in thitse layout, but the added standard features make it a much better place to be in. The top-spec trim has wooden inserts on the dash and the centre mounted touchscreen is retained. There is leather upholstery as well while both the rows get armrests as standard. The rear passenger row gets AC vents and a 12V socket as well. The Ciaz offers the largest boot space in its segment –510litres. With the accessories package, customers can even get an enhanced music system with rear seat entertainment in the Ciaz.
Volkswagen has added a subtle updates to the cabin of the Vento with new colour themes and an updated equipment list. The Vento comes loaded with a cooled glove box which the Ciaz misses out. The simple interior layout is seen in the Rapid as well. The Skoda gets Climatronic climate control system with dust and pollen filters. Both theses sedans are loaded to the brim. However, all the three cars miss out on features such as sunroof, ventilated seats and additional airbags (Rapid gets four airbags while there just two airbags in the Ciaz and Vento).
The updated Ciaz debuts a new 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine which generates 103bhp at 6,000rpm and 138Nm at 4,400rpm. The four-cylinder motor is mated to a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission. The diesel, on the other hand, is the tried and tested 1.3-litre DDiS churning out 89bhp and 200Nm. Except for the base, the rest of the variants are available in optional automatic petrol variant, while the five-speed manual is standard.
Under the hood of the Vento is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 103bhp of power and 250Nm. The petrol powered models, on the other hand, come with either the 1.6-litre MPI or the 1.2-litre turbocharged TSI engine. The latter produces 105bhp and 175Nm, while the 1.6 MPI engine produces 105bhp and 153Nm. Volkswagen is offering a five-speed manual and seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox,. The Rapid is powered by the same engine options and in the same state of tunes.
The new Ciaz available across 11 trims and is priced at Rs 8.19 lakhs while the top-spec diesel tops out at Rs 10.97 lakhs. The Skoda can be had in the 14 trims in the price bracket of Rs 8.48 – 13.93 lakhs. The Vento, meanwhile, is sold in 14 trims with a price range of Rs 8.37 – 13.81 lakhs. All prices are ex-showroom.