This month the new Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has entered our long-term garage. It’s the very same car that was also a part of our annual anniversary test. However, after all the testing and scoring were done, I grabbed the keys of this spanking new sedan and headed out for some place out of Delhi over the long Dussehra weekend. After spending some quality time with Maruti’s flagship sedan, I think I’ve a couple of things to say.
Outside, the changes are surely subtle, but I really love the way it looks. The LED eyebrow on the headlamp is a nice touch, and the overall look of the car is very classy. It’s a quintessential sedan. Oh, and I love the Nexa Blue exterior shade of our car, it adds an elegant touch. The interior isn’t much different from the previous model, but that’s no bad news. The car is super spacious and the seats are supportive. We, of course, have the top-end Alpha variant, so it gets all the bells and whistles. The touchscreen infotainment is intuitive like before, and it’s one of the best in the segment. The good thing about the new model is that it also gets LED projector lamps, which are very effective. The quality of plastics inside could have been better, though. For instance, the rear door panel has started creaking already!
The main highlight of the new Ciaz is Maruti’s new 1.5-litre petrol engine. Not only does it produce more power but also comes with the fuel-saving Smart Hybrid technology. From what I experienced, the engine sounded gruff and coarse during cold starts, but once it gets to operating temperatures, it becomes smooth and refined. Performance wise, it’s quite strong in the low and mid-region of the rev band. But it does run out of steam beyond 5,000rpm. For instance, during quick overtakes, I found myself working the gearbox quite often.
On the other hand, this engine is really frugal, as the sedan averaged 16km/l in different conditions – city, highway and hills. This makes it one of the most efficient petrol cars in its segment. I must add that it rides beautifully over rough roads. Handling is good, as the chassis feels stiff and responsive while changing directions. The steering does, however, have a vague feel. Anyway, it’s been smooth sailing thus far with the Ciaz. Next month, we’ll bring more about its daily usability.
When it came: October 2018
Current odo reading: 3,394kms
Mileage this month: 1,650kms
Fuel efficiency: 16km/l
What’s good: Ride quality, spacious cabin, fuel efficiency
What’s not: Engine performance, plastic quality