Hello The automotive Indians
I am going to write a review of my Ciaz ZDI+ which I bought 6 months ago. I am going to be writing about what my options were and why did I select this car and how's is it working so far.
Here is a little bit of backstory. It was a hot afternoon in June. I was just sitting at home getting bored suddenly I came to realization that we have been using the same car for 9 years(Me and my dad) FYI
I am in early twenties , that car was the Maruti Suzuki Alto.
So I just Kinda talked to my dad how about we buy a new car. At first he was totally against it but somehow I made him come around.
Options which were Considered - City Diesel , Vento 1.5 Diesel , Ciaz Diesel.
VW Vento - I went with my dad to the nearest VW dealership just to enquire about the car. I came to know upon reaching there that VW has just launched a new facelifted Vento which by chance was on display in showroom. I walked around it, checked the interiors, I was blown away. The flat bottom steering was just like I have never seen before, the salesman told us about the transmission in the car and took us away on a test drive, it was the DSG one. We went to a closed road and he told me to floor the accelerator , I was again blown away (2nd time). The surge of the turbo at 1500 rpm was pure porn, it was quite the adrenaline rush. The braking bike was quite strong , I had only experienced that previously in a LHD Audi A6 3.0 TDI( I am only telling this because I hit my head on the steering wheel)
Why We didn't buy it - I checked the forums online only to hear about the bad news. VW Vento Injectors was the main headline on the news. Although it was in early models of Vento but I heard some people were still not happy with it. Second blow came and this was the failure of DSG transmission. I had already told my dad if we are gonna buy a Vento its gonna be DSG. So all this news left me in a bit of commotion. Also I heard from some friends about the high maintenance cost and the super expensive spare parts. So after all this Vento was dropped from the list.
Honda City I-Dtec - There was quite some hype of Honda City at that time of the year. A large number of people were buying, it felt like a safe option. So I went with my dad to check it out. They had the topmost variant on display, I sat on the driver side and there it was the E.T. type ACC and the beautiful steering wheel. The steering felt so good in hands I didn't want to let it go. Took her on a test drive. The engine was quite responsive from the low end, its acceleration was more of a linear acceleration unlike Vento and Ciaz. The TD was not that long and there was quite some traffic on NH1 so couldn't floor the accelerator, but the ride quality was quite good. After a couple of days, got a call from Honda dealership and they told us to TD it again. This time my dad drove while I sat in the back. The sofa like seats were quite comfortable as well but what I didn't like was bumpy ride on an uneven stretch of the State Highway 8 , it felt like I was sitting in back of Alto again (Memories refreshed) Although I will tell you as a Point of reference that we took the Ciaz on that Same stretch a day ago and came fully impressed. My mom also felt nauseated in the City when I took for a test drive. After all this we kinda put a hold on it. City outer shell was kind of a let down, I was literally able to depress it with my fingers , it didn't inspire much confidence with its build quality.
Test drove a Ciaz ZDI - Guys from Suzuki came to our house, they brought a ZDI model for test drive. Initially I was not impressed by the interiors as they were all scratched up and there was no leather wrapped anything. I was impressed by the acceleration after 2000 RPM. Their was certain amount of lag before 2000 RPM which kinda squares as you increase the gear. Went to the dealership to check out the ZDI+ model and the interiors were certainly awe inspiring. Leather wrapped Steering was a treat to hands as well as eyes. The Smartplay Infotainment was quite easy to use and looked tad cool. The leather seats were a big yes, the finishing , the textures were quite pleasant to eyes. The dealership agreed to give me great price for my Alto as well. I was kinda shocked about the fact that how they agreed to it. So finally booked it the next day and went to take delivery in the evening as well. We chose the Grey colour as it was matching with the Grey Alloys as well. I must say I am quite happy with my decision.
As most you people would have already viewed all the Official views from various websites and forums, I ll not be going in those details.
It's has been 6 months already since I bought the car and the car has done little over 5000 kms.
Sales Experience - I cannot say much about the sales experience as most of the time my Dad dealt with them. They had been bugging my Dad since we took the test drive. They used to call about Everyday about our decision while we were checking our other options. As my dad had quite a history with the same dealership , they come up with quite good offers and the best one was the resale of our Alto, We were getting a maximum value of Rs 1.10 lakhs , we wanted to give to truevalue as to not deal with the hassle of selling a car, With their constant nagging , my dad gave them an ultimatum whether to take the car for Rs 1.75 lakhs or we are going to buy a Honda City. To my shock, salesman from the dealer came the next day and told us they agree with all the terms and conditions and thus at this moment we knew we are going for Ciaz along with some other goodies which I cannot say here for some reason.
Performance - I ll say Ciaz is quite a stunner in the performance department. Although their is certain lag just upto 1700 rpm , It's just that you should try to keep the engine in its sweet spot. The lag is not that troublesome in the lower gears as it is from 3rd gear and up. The lag is more evident if you accelerate pretty hard like some of the car enthusiasts do , but for normal comfort driving you will hardly notice it. Overtaking is not a problem if the RPM range is near about 2K. City riding in slow traffic is manageable in 2nd gear , although you MAY need need to switch to 1st if the traffic stops. Highway driving is a breeze , at 100 kmph in 5th gear with engine running just above 2K RPM , there is hardly any load on the engine. Also being in the sweet spot, you can overtake cars with just a slight push of the accelerator.
Handling and Steering - Steering looks like that of Swift , Dzire etc, although OEM
wrapped leather adds a certain ambiance to it and it feels good too. The steering mounted controls are quite a boon for highway driving and works flawlessly. Horn seem a little out of position as you have to move your hand to blow it(you will certainly get used to it). Steering is quite light for city driving and weighs adequately as the speed builds up, Although I did find it light if you go North of 120 kmph and its not that confidence inspiring beyond that speed(only people who has a death wish go beyond that speed , I am not one of those). Steering feedback is quite good according to my experience. Car seems to take corner well as you don't seems losing the grip at all, I guess 195/55/R16 tyres comes in handy at that time.
Fuel Efficiency - One of the best parts of buying the Ciaz Diesel is the Fuel Efficiency. I am getting about 19 kmpl constantly while driving in the city. Although I have taken her for rides for about 300kms , I didin't actually checked how much I was getting on the highway. With the diesel being so cheap , its costing me about Rs 2.60 per KM which is great number considering my CBR 250r costs me about Rs 3 to 3.50 per km.
Issues and Niggles - I haven't encountered any issues till now and I hope it will go like this in the future only. I did hear something rattling a while back but its was quite a low sound and i think that maybe due to something I may have put in one of the many storage compartments. I do feel gearbox could have been more smoother especially when putting the 2nd gear. I haven't encountered any lag in my Smart play infotainment system as well , although it is a bit slow but I seem have gotten used to it. I did have a little problem connecting my M8 to it via Bluetooth , I checked it online and it turns out to be software problem with the phone only.
What Could have been better - High beam throw could have been better , Bi Xenon would have been a dream come true.
Plastic quality near the Handbrake area could have been better , It's prone to scratches as well
Windows controls could have been better since we are paying a lot of money ( Its the same console as Swift)
Atleast 1.6L Diesel should have been provided as an option. ( The one in S cross)
3 point Seat belt for the Rear center position.
Curtain Airbags atleast in the top of the line variant.
If you have any other queries , you can comment to let me know.