Up until a few years ago, when you would think Maruti Suzuki, chances
are that a hatchback would come to mind. Something, that clearly
stresses a lot on fuel efficiency and tries to be as cost efficient as
possible. Clearly, that formula has worked wonders and the company has
been unbeatable in the hatchback segment in the country. So, it was
time to look at the higher segment – Sedan.
It started with the Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the company, in that
segment, is currently represented by the Ciaz. Interestingly, the Ciaz
also has a clever hybrid system variant that promises to deliver fuel
efficiency unlike any other offering in the segment, making it
probably one of the best value for money sedan in the country. There’s
also an ‘RS’ variant which looks way sportier than other models. So,
we got our hands on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz SHVS ZDi variant to find
out how it fares
The design of the Ciaz is based on the Suzuki Authentics concept which
was showcased first at the 2014 Shanghai Motor Show in April and then
shown in production form as the China-spec Alivio sedan. It gets an
aggressive front fascia with a trapezoidal front grille that features
ample amount of chrome. The sweptback headlights and the elongated
hood further enhance its street presence. The side profile is a rather
conservative affair but one that works for Maruti Suzuki. It features
delicately flared wheel arches, chrome door handles and a strong
shoulder line which works well with the forward leaning stance of the
At the rear, the Ciaz gets the standard wrap around tail lamps which
lend the car a premium look. The rear bumper is large and includes
integrated reflectors. There’s also a lip spoiler and chrome badges
across all variants.
The Ciaz’s wide-opening doors lead to a cabin that is the most
spacious in its class. From the driver’s seat, the uncluttered,
European-inspired dashboard looks elegant and important controls are
within easy access. Also, the wooden trim, metallic highlights around
select knobs makes the cabin look premium and the general finish and
quality of switchgear is good too. Sure, some plastic bits feel a bit
scratchy but overall, they don’t hurt the ambience much. That said,
the Ciaz carries over bits like the steering wheel and window switches
from smaller (read cheaper) Marutis and that’s an association the
sedan could have done without.
We’d have also liked to see a touchscreen interface for the
infotainment system on our top-spec Ciaz ZXi(O) test car.
Interestingly, Maruti has such a system in the works that will be
introduced on the ‘ZXi +’ version due in some months. For now, the
simple black-and-white unit is all you get. It’s functional, easy to
use and pairing our phones with it via Bluetooth was a breeze. This
apart, there’s a fair bit of other equipment as well. The top-spec ZXi
(O) gets front airbags, ABS, climate control, a reverse parking
camera, keyless entry and push button start, a rear sun blind, rear
air-con vents and leather seats as standard.
Speaking of the seats, the driver’s seat is fairly comfortable but
even in its lowest setting, feels a touch too high. Taller drivers may
have to fiddle around a bit to find a comfy driving position. The
Ciaz’s strength, however, lies in its spacious rear bench; something
that the chauffeured lot will appreciate the most. There’s almost as
much legroom here as in some cars a class above and even with the
front seat pushed all the way back, most people won’t have to worry
about their knees touching the front seatback. Headroom isn’t great
but what hurts comfort is that the rear seat itself isn’t very
generous – the smallish seat squab is largely to blame here and feels
a bit stingy on thigh support. It’s not that the seats are
uncomfortable, it’s just that in this airy and spacious cabin, the
seats could have been plusher.
Everyday practicality hasn’t been overlooked though. All four doors
get a 1-litre bottle holder and there are lots of cubbyholes for small
items as well. The boot is large too, but the wheel wells do eat into
space and make it less useable than its 510-litre capacity would
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz gets a choice of two engines one each of petrol and diesel.
The petrol engine is the K14 VVT mill that is already available in the
Ertiga and in almost the same state of tune. But, Maruti engineers say
that there has been considerable amount of weight reduction work that
has been done to the engine. The Ciaz itself also features an
increased use of lighter weight, high tensile steel that keeps the
kerb weight of the petrol version to just above one tonne (1,010 kgs).
The 1,372cc petrol engine delivers a peak power of 92.5PS at 6,000 rpm
and a peak torque of 130Nm at 4,000 rpm. The engine, as we all know by
now, is a refined unit that is inherently quiet and of low vibration.
During our test drive of the Ciaz, the most likeable aspect of this
engine was the amount of low-end torque available. During slow speeds,
below the 20-30 kmph levels, the engine almost behaves like a diesel.
The diesel engine is the more familiar DDiS engine that is originally
the multijet from Fiat. This is the 1,248cc diesel burner that is
available across many models from Maruti and even Tata and Fiat
models. This engine felt familiar during our test drive too and
continues to surprise with its remarkably refined performance even in
the Ciaz. The mill delivers 90PS of power at 4,000 rpm and 200Nm of
torque at a low 1,750 rpm.
There is a bit of turbolag initially just like it is in other models
with this engine, but there is enough pulling power just past 1,200
rpm. Both the engines are paired with a 5-speed gearbox. The petrol
engine version also gets a 4-speed automatic, which was available for
a test drive. What is missing in the smooth shifting manual
transmission is a bit more shift feel. The cabin is quiet in both the
petrol and diesel versions, with extensive use of sound deadening and
noise dampening aids.
The improvements to the engines and the weight reduction measures
manage to make the Ciaz one of the most fuel-efficient sedans with a
claimed mileage of 20.73 kmpl for the petrol and 26.21 kmpl for the
diesel (ARAI rated).
RIDE AND HANDLING
Now if you like driving, the Ciaz might not be the car for you. It has
a precise steering and you eventually learn how much steering input to
dial in but it isn’t great on feedback. It just isn’t in the same
league as the Volkswagens and the Skodas. But, if you are looking for
a comfortable long distance cruiser, you will like the Ciaz’s easy
nature. Good straight line stability and potent braking, is of course
an added plus.
The Maruti Ciaz rides well too. It has been setup for comfort over all
else and it’s evident in the way the car rides. It’s softly sprung, so
at slow speeds and over broken roads, it remains comfortable. However,
at higher speeds and particularly over undulating roads and with load,
the Maruti Ciaz does tend to wallow.
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz was launched with high hopes and it manages to
live up to it. This car doesn’t try to be everything, it is aimed at
comfort and delivers that in good measure. Yes, it’s not a handler and
the looks aren’t going to make you stop and take notice either.
However, for most buyers in this segment who want a well specced car
with acres of room, fantastic ride quality and frugal engines, the
Maruti Ciaz is difficult to beat. When you factor in the pricing,
which is a good Rs. 1 lakh plus cheaper for certain variants over the
segment leader Honda City, you realise that the tradeoff in brand
image might be worth the money saved for some. The Maruti Ciaz doesn’t
come across as exciting but is certainly a very practical choice in
the overcrowded C-segment.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 7,72,582/- (Ciaz Sigma Petrol) to 10,52,396/- (Ciaz Alpha Automatic Petrol) .Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has 11 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz comes in 7 colours, namely Nexa Blue,Pearl Midnight Black,Pearl Metallic Dignity Brown,Pearl Snow White,Pearl Sangria Red,Metallic Silky Silver,Metallic Glistening Grey.