CIAZ Hybrid-Diesel Test Drive Report.
CIAZ is the premium offering from Maruti Suzuki to Indian market. With NGT tightening the noose on Diesel Vehicles (more specifically on 10 years and above.) Maruti Suzuki has pro-actively thought of giving an intelligent alternative by providing its buyers with the Mild Hybrid version of their premium sedan CIAZ now named as CIAZ SHVS. SHVS stands for Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki. With the launch of Hybrid Version, it is yet to be ascertained whether this move shall help it to de-throne the king of the segment Honda CITY. Also, for the record, Due to the beneficial policies like FAME of the Govt. of India, Ciaz SHVS Diesel Hybrid is now starting from Rs 8.23 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi).
Today, the CIAZ Hybrid was sent to my home for Test Drive. So based on the test drive, here are my views on the same. Firstly, no external changes have been done to the car and whatever changes are made, they are under the hood only and with the launch of mild hybrid CIAZ, a new variant by the name VDi (o) has also come up that provides dual airbags and ABS
as standards which is a sensible move I would say from Maruti Suzuki who is often criticized by enthusiasts like me for haphazard distribution of safety and comfort features among the variants of their models. Drive Feel of CIAZ SHVS
: Ever since the news of CIAZ Hybrid broke, it was informed that now the diesel CIAZ will be having a Mild Hybrid that would come attached with an integrated starter. Apart from this, Maruti for its premium offering, has included a START STOP feature as well which can be easily enabled at the press of the button provided in the conventional fog lamp and headlamp beam adjuster switch panel marked with symbol “A”. The mild hybrid technology is inspired from the likes of Scorpio and premium luxury sedans like Camry but at an affordable cost. The basic driving dynamics even in this new CIAZ Hybrid remain unchanged and it shall remind you of non-hybrid ones. While driving this 1.3 DDIS Hybrid, I felt that new engine including Hybrid and Diesel still remains very refined with good Torque delivery being there in range of 2300-3000 rpms. Having driven earlier the out-going DDIS 1.3 I can assure you all that even the new CIAZ Hybrid won’t leave you complaining on its driving pleasure at-least for daily driving honestly because as soon as the turbo came into play, the car became really agile and transformed into a well-mannered and decently powered sedan. If I have to define its driving in one line then I’ll say “It still retains the charm of being a worthy city commuter”.
Ok now for me driving a Hybrid Car was a first. Previously I have not laid my hands on any hybrid. So before driving it today, I took a good look at the official brochure and got some information before hand. To my surprise, the Test Drive executive who came with the car today was not aware of the car’s technology and I had to explain her in detail about the same. It is always better to learn then to boast falsely. So, as she
seemed not to have got the full executive training of the vehicle I informed her the differences between new Hybrid and non-hybrid CIAZ so that she can do the sales pitching in future for new one. Told her about the technical enhancements done to the CIAZ Hybrid this time in order to make it more fuel efficient than the segment leader and provide some intelligent technology as well for benefit of the environment. Coming now to what I learnt about this car today while driving, apart from the starter generator this time CIAZ has been provided with Power Assist and Regeneration feature which work in order to save and convert the energy of the car while it’s decelerating and saves it in the big battery provided. Thus, after understanding the technicalities of this car and with my first hand drive experience today, I feel the provision of Hybrid technique in this CIAZ is not all that complicated and the driver will easily get to know that the car is running on Hybrid with a Green SHVS symbol showing in instrument cluster. Now, it was a pleasant surprise for all enthusiasts/buyers when MSIL announced that the CIAZ Hybrid would have better/higher FE than out-going one. So, even though the car externally remains unchanged but the increase in FE is one big plus point that shall win votes for CIAZ SHVS. However, its no rocket science to understand how to get best FE from your car. Hybrid or No Hybrid, the principle still is same i.e to drive it at right speed with the right gear. In this CIAZ, this principle has been given a technical edge and it works with a gear shift indicator provided in instrument cluster that suggests the driver to use the right gear at the right speed thereby enhancing the fuel efficiency of the car. Since India is a FE conscious market, so, it is imperative to mention here that CIAZ SHVS provides a FE of 28.09 km/l as stated by MSIL.
Based on my above experience I am writing here my personal point of view
, Though undoubtedly CIAZ is a worthy attempt from Maruti Suzuki in order to compete in the segment but if I see myself as a prospective owner of one, then I will think twice even after it is clear that Maruti Suzuki has priced it lower than earlier non-hybrid DDIS and SHVS does perform a good job simply because I am not a really fond of alternate fuel/powered car engines. Though 1.3DDiS is a proven work horse but still including a Hybrid kind of makes me fidgety/uneasy. I prefer cars which are either fully on Petrol or Diesel
. So, if I have to choose, I’ll prefer the left-over CIAZ DDIS (non-hybrid) than this one.
What I Liked
* Modulated NVH.
* Smooth Change Over
* Engine Refinement Intact
* More Fuel Economy.
* Safety provided from base variant.
* Reasonably Priced. Offering Rs. 13K as subsidy. All Pics are only for TAI. Any re-use needs full credit to The Automotive India.