Maruti was always losing out in one segment, until they launched the Ciaz. This is the mid-size sedan segment. The SX4 did well for the company in the beginning but lost out to competition later. Coming to the Ciaz, it has recorded decent sales numbers and goes head to head against the City and the Verna. There were times where this sedan even beat the other two segment leaders when it comes to sales.
The diesel variant of the Ciaz got equipped with hybrid tech previously, but now, in its most recent update, it’s the petrol that got the hybrid tech and a mild facelift.
On the outside
The styling of the Ciaz has always been simple and likeable by most. The same can be said about the facelifted model, it has received a small update but it has been designed to look more expensive. This works well for the Ciaz, and the update suits it thanks the sedan styling.
The front grille is now wider and meets the two headlights. The top and lower portion of the grille is outlined by chrome strips that give it a premium appearance. The car has all-LED lighting in the front, the DRLs, headlights and the foglights are LED.
When looked at from the side, you will notice that the Ciaz now has redesigned alloy wheels which 16 inches. At the rear, the car remains unchanged, for the most part, aside from the LED bits in the taillights.
On the inside
The Ciaz is a large car, the biggest in the segment. This nicely translates to good interior room. The car also has decent legroom at the rear. The lithium-ion battery in the car sits under the front passenger seat. It can only be felt if you really stretch out your legs all the way. The car, however, doesn’t have the best headroom. As for luggage room, the car has a decent 510 litres.
On the dashboard, the car has new birchwood trim that looks premium and ties in well with the silver accenting inside. The steering has remained unchanged, but the car has received a new cruise control system and a button for the same. The instrumentation is also new and the screen in the centre shows you information regarding the hybrid system.
How does it drive?
Before the arrival of this car, the Ciaz only got the hybrid tech with the diesel engine. The new car gets with the 1.5 litre petrol engine. The petrol-hybrid car has dual batteries and charges quicker. The engine in the car makes 105hp and 138Nm of torque. The claimed fuel efficiency has also increased to 21.56kpl for the manual and 20.28 for the automatic.
When we drove the car we found the engine to be refined and smooth and power came in from 1,800rpm. The gearbox in the car was nice as well and the manual required shifts easily. The four-speed auto however, felt a bit slow.
The steering feels easy and light, which is great for parking, but not so much while taking turns at higher speeds. Like the previous generation model, the ride quality is amazing and the Ciaz had no trouble handling potholes. Speed breakers were also taken care of easily
The car also had a speed warning system which beeps twice every 60 seconds above 80kph and then non-stop above 120kph. This cannot be turned off and has been installed in anticipation of an upcoming government rule.
Should I buy one?
Firstly, the biggest change is the new petrol motor. The car makes more power and the engine is still refined with decent grunt. While the hybrid tech is a welcome addition, you can’t really feel the difference on the move.
The facelift has also made the Ciaz a bit more appealing; however, the design does continue to feel a bit simple. This car is not as aggressively styled as the Verna or the City.
If that’s what you are looking for, the Ciaz does make for a good purchase. The large size and the impressive interior room are nice. While it isn’t a segment leader when it comes to features, they are decent. The car also has a really nice ride. Finally, there’s the price between Rs 8.19 lakh and Rs 10.97 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The carmaker has upheld its tradition of offering a well-priced product.