The Ciaz is a handsome car with a large footprint & good road presence.
Familiar Maruti-Suzuki face. You won't mistake it for any other brand.
The Ciaz feels more substantial than the SX4 and has clearly gone upmarket. It's bigger than the direct competitors, and the sheer size lends it presence. The car is built on a new platform with body panels utilising lightweight high-tensile steel (related article). With a kerb weight of 1010 (petrol) & 1105 (diesel), the Ciaz is significantly lighter than the SX4. In fact, the Ciaz petrol is lighter than the Dzire diesel!
Where the SX4 was tall & quirky, the Ciaz is low slung & wears neutral clothes. It has none of the SX4's mini-SUV stance. The styling is clean & proportionate, but perhaps, too understated. This safe styling might work for conservative Maruti loyalists, although some customers will find it boring compared to the City's busy styling & Verna's fluidic design. The Ciaz runs the risk of ageing quickly as well.
Clean, inoffensive styling. Clean design is a welcome change from the 'Fluidic' influence, although many of you might find the Ciaz boring. Rear bumper houses a pair of reflectors. Striking projector headlamps are standard across all trim levels. Horn is placed low in the bumper...visible through the foglamp housing.
There's plenty of storage in the Ciaz's cabin. The glovebox is medium sized. At the bottom of the waterfall console is a cubicle with a plastic lid that can be opened via a push & click action. Here lies a 12V power outlet, USB / Aux-in ports and two cup holders. This area is illuminated with a red light which comes on with the parking lights. Neat touch! All 4 doors get storage pockets and can hold water bottles. There is a sunglass holder for the driver, and a centre armrest with a storage bin underneath. What's unique is the small pocket sewn onto the front seat where one can park a smartphone or the odd item.
The dashboard layout is straightforward, yet contemporary enough. Importantly, it is user-friendly. The design is a lot more cohesive than that of the Honda City. The 3-spoke steering wheel is similar (but not identical) to the Dzire's unit. It feels nice to hold and has integrated buttons for audio & telephony. That said, the horn pad isn't very wide and you have to stretch your thumbs to honk.
Also, the steering only offers tilt adjustment. Reach adjustment would have been nice to have. The wiper & light stalks are easy to reach and operate. As with most Japanese cars, the Ciaz has sorted ergonomics.
There are 3 ways of opening the boot; pull the conventional boot release lever, hit the button on the key fob and, if the smart key is within 15 cm of the boot, press the little release button located next to the number plate lights. The boot of the Ciaz is truly spacious. A capacity of 510 litres makes it the largest in the segment (along with the Honda City). Even though the wheel wells eat into the available space, it won’t embarrass you on airport runs. The wide mouth helps, although the boot sill is rather high, which means you have to lift heavy bags that much more. Unfortunately, the boot lid isn't clad on the inside and the ugly body work is exposed.
Finally, India is the most important market for Suzuki and that shows with the company's aggressive product onslaught. The Ciaz makes its global debut in India and is Maruti's 8th launch in 4 years; there are more in the pipeline.
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