Checked out the new Ciaz at Ambal Auto showroom today with Guhan and Stingray 91.
As test drive was not yet available, we just had an initial feel of the car. A Brief Preview of the new Maruti Suzuki Ciaz: First Impressions:
A silver ZDi variant was on display with all decorations. Looks sleek and long in person. I quite liked the Euro-Japanese clean lines, but it's time Suzuki develops a new and modern design language rather than playing safe. My opinion is the Ciaz will look great in darker shades like the Maroon/Firebrick red or Black. Design:
There is nothing offensive in the design and though Suzuki seems to have played safe, many people may like the clean lines. The headlamps are very well detailed with projectors and chrome. The air-dam and lower grille adds to some sportiness. The side profile indeed makes you realize how long this sedan is. Although not as long as the concept shown in the expo, it is indeed very long. The rear design has more than a hint of the 2014 Honda City, as the tail lights are of similar shape. But these tail-lamps suit better with the Ciaz, rather than the City according to me. Also, the showroom ZDi car had only 185/R15 Goodyear tires. 16 inchers would definitely add to the sleekness of the car's profile.
8/10 (Safe but sleek design.) Interiors:
The interiors may seem almost familiar to all those who have been in a Swift/Dzire/Ertiga/Kizashi. But there are whole lot of new design elements and features. Except the steering wheel, the door-mounted switches and wiper/indicator and light stalks, every control and feature is new. Bluetooth controls are also provided on the steering wheel. The power mirror knob is also new, with electric folding mirror control. The Music system and Auto AC unit is also new. The ergonomics are just right and the front seats are very comfortable with good bolstering and support although reach- adjustment for the steering isn't available. The height adjustment has decent range. The front center armrest adds to the comfort. We couldn't test the audio system as there were quite a lot of customers interested in this car. The Push- Button start is placed conveniently on the right side of the steering column. The Instrument cluster is new and more upmarket. The touchscreen system is available only on the ZDi+ variant which is yet to be launched. The door-pads are of familiar and easy-to-use layout with bottle holders on all doors. The nice pop-out cupholder in front of the AC vent is missing in this car. There is a nice concealed cubbyhole below the center console which gets a smooth operating spring-loaded lid like the Hyundai Grand i10/Xcent. A 12V power point and USB/Aux ports are situated inside it. There is a medium size storage box under the front armrest. The AC vents are quite well-sized and are of good quality and have good range of adjustments. The glovebox is of decent size. A Sunglass holder is also provided on the roof. Quality of the materials is quite good. Although not as good as VW or Skoda, the quality is definitely better than the Honda City. Fit and Finish is also quite good. The overall Ambience feels good enough for a car of this class.
The rear seats are very inviting to look at. The ingress is also quite easy as the doors are big and the lip is low. There is great space for even a 6 footer, even with a 6 footer in the driver's seat. The seats are plush and comfortable, but not as comfortable as the Honda City's rear seats. But space is more than the Honda City. The armrest is perfectly positioned and also provided with two cup holders. A special cabin light is provided above the right-side rear door and also, there is a single coat-hanger above the right-side rear door only, integrated with the grab handle. A useful sun-blind is provided on the rear windscreen, to provide comfort for the chauffeur-driven. The rear AC vents doesn't intrude into the middle passenger's leg-room. There is also a 12V power-point provided below the Rear AC vents. The speakers are positioned in a typically Suzuki fashion, on the doors and the tweeters on the dashboard. The rear seats headrests are not adjustable and that is really disappointing from Maruti Suzuki (Following Honda?). The ZDi+ variant will be provide with leather upholstery and leather padding on doors for more premium feel.
8/10 (Very spacious and comfortable enough. Good quality too.) Build and safety
: The doors and overall sheet metal seems to be a bit tougher than Swift/Dzire and also the Honda City. The doors feel light, but are built well and give out a very good THUNK sound, on closing. The boot section feels hollow though (so does the City). There is NO cladding or plastic padding under the boot-lid and all the wires are exposed, just like in the Honda City, which is quite disappointing from Maruti, given that even the Swift and Ertiga have neat plastic paddings. The new STECT High tensile steel chassis seems to be strong and sturdy enough.
Twin airbags, ABS
are provided on the ZDi variant.
8/10 (Sturdy enough, but minor cost-cuttings present.)
The brochure and Price-list is not yet available. But the SA hinted that the On-road price of the ZDi+ variant would be around 12 lacs, which is almost 1 lac cheaper than the Honda City's top-end trim. The Ciaz seems to be very good VFM
in it's class, but we can decide that only after a thorough road-test.