When it comes to the world of sedans, Maruti Suzuki
gets a stage fright just before a launch. Old memories begun to haunt it and
the country’s No. 1 leader in automobiles begins to sweat. The Kizashi was a
beautiful car that just did not find takers in India. The Baleno just could not
manage a respectable share in the sedan segment, despite its several good
features. The SX4 is a big sedan that really should have done better. The
Esteem has only left behind fond memories. Now with the Ciaz, Maruti Suzuki has
redrawn its mid-size sedan segment strategy. The car will be taking on some hot
shots like Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the likes. And mind you, by the look
and feel of it, it can in all probability become the leader in the pack!
Maruti will be launching its new mid-size car, the Ciaz
by the middle of October 2014. While it will be a Diwali splash for the
company, it could well be the perfect Diwali gift for the people. The car will
be offered in both petrol (K14VVT engine 1372cc) as well as diesel (DDis 200
engine 1248cc) versions. Pricing is expected to be in the range of Sub 7 lakh
to Sub 12 lakh. The car comes with a host of great features as well as great
The car will come in four trim levels each in petrol
and diesel: V, V+, Z and Z+. The car will be offered in seven colours including
new ones like ‘Sangria Red’, ‘Dignity Brown’ and ‘Pearl Snow’. The petrol car
will be available in both 5-speed manual transmission as well as 4 speed
Automatic Transmission. The diesel car will be available only in 5 speed manual
The Ciaz will be the longest and widest saloon in its
segment with a length of 4490mm and a width of 1730mm. The car will have a
height of 1485mm with a wheelbase of 2650mm. It will have a ground clearance of
170mm and a boot space of 510 litres. SO does that make the Ciaz the real Caar?
Yes, if you were to compare it with the Nissan Sunny which has a length of
4425mm, a width of 1695mm, a height of 1505mm and a wheelbase of 2600mm.
Lengthwise, the Ciaz is longer than the
City, the Hyundai Verna, the Ford Fiesta
and even the Volkswagen Vento.
With regards to fuel efficiency, it will offer 20.73
kmpl for the petrol version and 26.21kmpl for the diesel version, again the
segment best. The petrol car engine will deliver a power of 91.18bhp @6000rpm
while the diesel will generate as much as 88.76bhp @ 4000 rpm. Torque for the
petrol and diesel variants would be around 130Nm@4000rpm and 200Nm@1750rpm
The car now comes with a host of smart features like
SmartPlay in car infotainment system, auto day/night IRVM, projector headlamps,
glass integrated antenna, reverse parking sensors, reverse parking camera,
electric trunk lid opening and intelligent key (push start/stop).
The premium black and beige interior theme, with
luxurious wooden garnish looks elegant and upmarket. The car has loads of cubby
holes and smart storage spaces such as sunglass holder, illuminated front
console box, etc. The central armrest in the front seats has a neatly concealed
console box. To make things more comfortable for rear passengers, the car also
comes with rear AC vents, rear accessory socket, rear sunshade, rear centre
armrest with cup holders and twin personal reading lamps. To add to all this
are auto AC, foot well lamps and plush leather upholstery.
On the move, the car has quiet cabin space, thanks to
the adequate use of noise dampeners at the right places.
What I liked about the car when I drove the car on a
rainy day in Jaipur was the fact that it is really spacious, sporty to drive
and even has feel-rich interiors. Not many would know, CIAZ stands for
Comfortable, Intelligent, Attitude and Zing. I simply think the car has great
pizzazz. Even though the car comes in four variants, even the base variants
have the rear AC vents (A first in the segment) and a ditto looking front
console with all it chic sliding covers. Wood garnishing on the dashboard
remain in the base model too. The front stylish grill also remains same for all
the variants. Except for things like air bags, alloy wheels and a bit of
aluminium here and there, the smart features of the car are fairly distributed
among all the four variants.
While driving at high speeds on a rugged track off the
national highway, I noticed the car’s suspension was perfectly tuned to provide
the right comfort as also a sporty experience. Though between the petrol and
the diesel, my preference would be for the diesel with its extremely torque
With the Ciaz, Maruti Suzuki has definitely raised the
bar, not just for the mid-size segment as a whole, but also for itself too. The
team at Maruti Suzuki has been able to put together the finer elements of
performance, design, styling, comfort and performance in perfect sync. It’s
bound to change the way Indians feel about a mid-size car. To begin with, they
will be a lot happier!
1372cc K14 VVT petrol engine
Manual / 4AT
1248cc DDiS 200 diesel engine
88.76bhp @ 4000 rpm
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