Cars

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz First Drive: A Tastefully Done Sedan The new Ciaz is a family sedan that offers fuel-efficiency, safety, is a hybrid, offers a plush ride, and all that at a very competitive price

@SidnChips

SEDANS in India are usually their owner’s joy and neighbour’s envy. One such sedan that has been in India for quite some time now just got a mid-life facelift. Meet the all new Maruti Suzuki Ciaz that is now available across all NEXA showrooms in India.

Unlike many manufacturers, India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India has not just made cosmetic changes to the car. The Ciaz gets a new heart too: a new hybrid petrol engine.

We had a chance to drive the car in Bengaluru and we get you our first drive review of the all-new Ciaz.

Looks and Design

The overall silhouette of the new Ciaz is similar to the outgoing model, the cosmetic changes are in the details.

There is a new front grille that we like but may not be very popular with others.

There is very little chrome on the new Ciaz and the bumper appears to be slicker than the one we saw earlier.

The Ciaz gets LED projector headlamps with DRLs (Day-Time Running Lights), setting a trend for future cars. The car also has LED fog lamps and a very upmarket LED taillamp cluster.

The top-end Alpha variant that we drove has new 16-inch precision cut alloy wheels that make the Ciaz look more grounded and muscular.

It’s a car that inspires elegance and gives you a peek into what the future of Maruti Suzuki cars in terms of design.

The new Ciaz is based on Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) body concept for better safety standards as the chassis of the car uses high-tensile steel for major parts. This makes the vehicle light, strong and safe.

The front of the vehicle also comes with a pedestrian protection compliance, dual-front airbags and ABS with EBD for safety. There is also ISOFIX child seat anchorage in the back seat.

Interiors

The interiors are quite similar to the outgoing model of the Ciaz in terms of bigger details but you do get a Birch Blonde wooden finish line on the dashboard which is quite upmarket and tastefully done.

The satin chrome accents on the dashboard have been pragmatically designed, keeping wear and tear in mind.  If you maintain the car well, it will look practically brand new even after five years.

The new Ciaz is also big on technology and comes with the Suzuki Connect, Maruti’s telematics system.

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There is a large infotainment display in the centre that also doubles up as a viewfinder for the rear camera of the car.

For connectivity, you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that works seamlessly with the vehicle. However, there is room for improvement when it comes to the touch experience.

In addition to the large infotainment display, Maruti Suzuki has also made changes to the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.

There is a new multi-information display that measures at 4.2-inches and is a TFT panel that displays the car’s vital information.

You get things like distance to empty, energy flow (we’ll get to it later), driving range, gear shift indicator for manual transmission and much more.

Maruti Suzuki has also included cruise control which is placed right on the steering wheel and can be activated over speeds of 40 km/h. The back can easily seat three people and there are rear AC vents for additional comfort.

You can see the silver accents wrapped all around the cabin, and for privacy, it has rear window blinds that can be manually operated. The legroom at the back is generous and even the seating position is better than its competition.

Engine and Drivability

Now for the most part, if you want to buy the diesel Ciaz, the engine is pretty much the same D13 model that comes with Maruti Suzuki’s SmartHybrid technology.

But for petrolheads, the company will be offering the new Ciaz with an all-new K15 petrol engine that offers SHVS technology— a progressive smart hybrid technology.

There is a Lithium-ion and lead-acid dual-battery setup that’s mated with the new engine. This offers better pickup with torque-assist function and saves on fuel.

The smart hybrid technology also uses brake energy regeneration technology. This means whenever you brake, the system charges the high-capacity batteries that assist in the idle start-stop function and also torque assist.

The energy stored in the battery due to braking also assists in the acceleration of the vehicle for better performance.

So what’s the best part about all this? Well, the smart hybrid system works like a well-oiled machine, no pun intended.

Remember the energy flow information that’s on the multi-information display of the instrument cluster? That’s where you’ll see all the magic happen in real-time as you drive.

So, how’s the drive?

Well, the new K15 petrol engine is a bigger petrol motor than what was on the Ciaz.

It has a displacement of 1462cc that makes it one of the bigger petrol engine that Maruti Suzuki will now offer and will hopefully come with the smart hybrid technology.

You might just see the new Ertiga with it. The engine produces 77Kw of power ample for city and highway driving and comes with 138 Nm of torque.

This is where you start to see the magic of an intelligent and hybrid engine. It can make a car feel a lot more powerful than it is. The hybrid engine is a smart move by the company as it allows for greater power without compromising on fuel efficiency.

The car comes with both a 5-speed manual transmission and a 4-speed automatic transmission (AT). The automatic transmission also offers features like the electronic stability program and hill hold assist.

The AT also offers 2 and L modes, good for uphill driving.

Both the manual and automatic transmission are quite smooth to drive if you are looking for comfort. Sadly, the engine noise inside the cabin is on the higher side especially if you go over 2,500 rpm.

But that should be the least of your concerns. As part of the government’s proposed safety compliance, the car beeps once every minute if you go over 80km/h and continuously keeps beeping if you drive over 120 km/h.

This is a feature that will soon be mandatory for new cars and the Ciaz has it already. So, many parents now may be ever so inclined to give their Ciaz to their kids for the beep will annoy them to a point that they will have to drive safe.

But, these are not even the best parts of the driving dynamics of this vehicle.

Maruti Suzuki does not talk about it much, but in order to accommodate a bigger engine inside the body shell of the new Ciaz, they tweaked the suspension of the car. And they’ve done a fantastic job with it.

That was the highlight of the car for us. The ride is plusher and is tuned towards comfort. The front wheel travel also seems to be reduced when you go over large potholes.

The road roughness does not translate into the cabin or the ride comfort of the new Ciaz and people who love chauffeur driven sedans would definitely love the experience.

You get all this with the promise of amazing fuel efficiency. This goes without saying since it’s a Maruti Suzuki vehicle.

The Ciaz claims a fuel efficiency a little north of 19km/l for both the manual and automatic transmission. But it never gave us more than 22km/l and less than 16km/l for both the manual and automatic transmission.

This obviously depended on the way we drove the new Ciaz. So depending on your driving style, it will offer you good fuel efficiency.

Who Should Buy the new Ciaz?

It’s a family sedan that offers fuel-efficiency, safety, is a hybrid, a plush ride, comes with connected technology and all that at a very competitive price.

It’s a car long drives as well as office commutes, a car that will be enjoyed both by the young as well as the old.

The Ciaz’s competition is the Verna, Toyota Yaris and the Honda City, but it’s the hybrid that can carve out a segment of its own.

We would highly recommend the new Ciaz for people looking for these parameters:

1. Hybrid Technology
2. Telematics
3. Fuel-Efficiency
4. Connected Technologies
5. Leg Space and Comfort
6. Price
7. Modern Looks
8. Automatic Transmission
9. Comfort Driving Experience
10. Safety

Ciaz Prices (Ex-Showroom)

Petrol Smart Hybrid Manual

Sigma – Rs 8.19 Lakh

Delta – Rs 8.80 Lakh

Zeta – Rs 9.57 Lakh

Alpha – Rs 9.97 Lakh

Petrol Smart Hybrid Automatic

Delta – Rs 9.80 Lakh

Zeta – Rs 10.57 Lakh

Alpha – Rs 10.97 Lakh

Diesel Smart Hybrid Manual

Sigma – Rs 9.19 Lakh

Delta – Rs 9.80 Lakh

Zeta – Rs 10.57 lakh

Alpha – Rs 10.97 Lakh

Watch this space for the full review of the new Ciaz.

~ENDS~

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