Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift Review & First Drive

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Overview

The Ciaz brought Maruti Suzuki back into the reckoning in the sedan segment. After the relatively gawky SX4, the Ciaz was a refreshing change and represented the car-maker’s more evolved design capabilities. It debuted in 2014, but the Ciaz was moved from Maruti’s Arena sales channel to the premium Nexa dealership network only in April 2017. The Ciaz trailed behind competitors such as the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the relatively new Toyota Yaris in the perceived quality of its cabin. The Ciaz’s attractiveness was also blunted when the Government withdrew the FAME scheme incentives for mild hybrids. So, a refresh and repositioning of the Ciaz was overdue.

Earlier this week, Maruti unveiled a face-lift with its 2018 model and it is noteworthy that despite the change in policy, instead of discontinuing the mild hybrid system, has decided to go ahead and make it more capable. Company officials say that they want to use the experience of developing the new smart hybrid system to hone their skills for launching electrics within the next few years.View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Look

There is no doubt in the fact that Ciaz is already a good looking sedan so do not expect any significant cosmetic updates to the exterior. However, to keep things fresh it will receive minor updates in the form of a new restyled grille with lots of chrome on it while you can also expect some chrome garnish to be present on the front bumpers as well. There won’t be any changes made to the side profile though, but you can expect the sedan to sport new set of alloy wheels while the door handles might also get a dash of chrome. Towards the rear profile, the car won’t receive much of a change either expects few updates here and there. Like the pre-facelift variant, the Ciaz will get fewer badges towards the rear because it is now being sold through their Nexa dealerships.

To sum up, Maruti will try every trick in their book to make their flagship sedan look premium and upmarket. The addition of chrome bits and less sticker work on the exterior will further help the Ciaz sedan feel more upmarket.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Comfort

While there are no changes to the layout of the dashboard, the door pads or the seats, it’s the little updates to the trim that catch your attention. First up there’s the new dull wood grain accents plastered across the dashboard and the door pads, which actually do look good – they go well with the coherent ambience of this cabin. However, we aren’t fans of the satin chrome highlights (on the centre console and door trim) as they look too plasticky. Speaking of which, there are hard plastics throughout the cabin (including door armrests) though to be fair they do not feel cheap. It would be nice, however, to have soft-touch materials on the top half of dash and elbow touch points on the doors.

What will immediately catch your attention as you start driving is the new 4.2-inch multi information display between the dials. Similar to what you get in the Baleno, the display incudes a host of driving-related read outs. What’s new in here though is the light bar at the top which changes colour depending on how easy or hard you are with the throttle. That brings us to a new safety precaution that’s bound to raise eyebrows among many potential buyers – the 2018 Ciaz gets high speed warning alert which comes in at certain speeds. In fact, it will let out one beep each at 80kmph and 100kmph, however, once you cross 120kmph the car will constantly beep at you. Other safety features include driver and passenger seatbelt alert, ISOFIX mounts for child seat, dual airbags, ABS and EBD. You even get ESP and hill hold function for the automatic version.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Gearbox

Maruti had organised a test drive of the 2018 Ciaz and the only powertrain made available was the new 1.5-litre K15 petrol engine paired with the five-speed manual and the four-speed automatic. I didn’t get to drive the 1.3-litre DSiS diesel engine, which doesn’t see any change in its performance parameters, except the addition of the torque assist function.

The new K15 petrol engine is essentially the same basic platform of the previous model’s K14, but now gets a larger bore and stroke (74 mm x 85 mm) to offer a 1,462 cc capacity. This engine combined with the smart hybrid system delivers 77 kW of peak power and 138 Nm of peak torque, both of which are up 13 per cent and six per cent respectively over the predecessor.

The K15 engine feels peppy and free-revving in the manual gearbox variant, with the smart hybrid motor’s torque assist probably helping in marginally improving acceleration from slow speeds. But, the four-speed automatic does feel more laboured and louder before expected levels of acceleration can be experienced. There is no manual, sport or triptronic mode in the auto gearbox, but there are two low gear ‘L’ and ‘2’ modes, both of which are expected to help handle high-rev, high torque demand such as during a hill climb, and the transmission stays in the first gear and second gear respectively.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Rideing

The 4-speed torque converter simply feels dated even for sedate driving. Although the upshifts and downshifts are quite smooth, the gearbox itself is slow to kick down and overall, is nowhere as immediate as any other automatic sedan in the same price range. There is no doubt the 5-speed manual is more engaging and fun option even if it doesn’t offer the slickest shift quality. All in all, the automatic version is ideal for crawling through the city but it’s the manual you would have if you enjoy driving.

In terms of ride quality, the Ciaz’s bump absorption is on the cushy side, with the suspension soaking up ruts and bumps without any major body movements, however, it is a little clunky over sharp-edged joints and big bumps. As for the NVH, the cabin isn’t as quiet as the Verna at highway speeds though it’s noticeably quieter than the City. On the flipside, the steering feels too vague, with no on-centre feel whatsoever.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Safety

Along with dual airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, the all-new Maruti Ciaz 2018 now comes with an Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Hill Hold Function, while co-passenger seatbelt reminder, speed alert system and reverse parking sensors are offered across the range.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Cost in Hyderabad

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 8,03,589/- (Ciaz Sigma Petrol) to 12,01,399/- (Ciaz S Diesel). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Ciaz from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Ciaz price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Conclusion

The new Ciaz is a substantial improvement over its predecessor. The ride quality was never a sore point and it continues to be good in the 2018 model. The steering is over-assisted and expectedly light, tuned for the city. With assistance from the smart hybrid system, the powertrains are also rated to deliver a mileage of 21.56 kmpl and 28.09 kmpl for the manual diesel and petrol variants respectively.

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