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Maruti Ciaz Review: First Drive, Diesel – Cool Cat without claws

Maruti Ciaz review-0 front

Maruti Ciaz is full of surprises. Right from its unveil at 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, Ciaz has been immensely popular and anticipated in the market. The number of bookings it received before launch conveys how eagerly people were waiting for an attractive and a value for money C segment sedan from Maruti. Here is our first drive review and our surprising experience with the new cat in town.

Maruti Ciaz review-0 frontFirst Impression – Maruti Ciaz is nothing like the car it replaced, SX4. It is stylish, elegant, classy, premium, and all other synonymous adjectives Indian customers are looking for in any car these days. In current trend, to make a car fit the aforementioned bill, carmakers have found a formula that is cleverly applied on Ciaz as well, chrome coated detailing. Suzuki Alivio (Ciaz in China) has extra chrome trims near front and rear fog lamps and reflectors, perhaps Maruti spared it for later use (in possible Ciaz facelift). Another important aspect for Maruti Ciaz’s good looks is its form factor. It is the longest, widest car, and also has highest ground clearance in segment, which not only gives upmarket appeal, but also creates an impression that it has better value for money and spacious interiors. Equipment such as projector headlamps (on all variants), fog lamps, turn indicator embedded side mirrors, parking sensors and reverse camera instantly create an impression that Ciaz is locked and loaded, conforming to contemporary craze.

Maruti Ciaz review-001 sideThis is not the surprise, this is in fact the recipe for any competitive product. What stumbled us is its kerb weight. Maruti Ciaz weighs just 1,010 kg for petrol and 1,105 for diesel, which is 190 kg and 140 kg (respectively) less than Maruti SX4. To compare this with other models of the company, Maruti Swift and Dzire weigh 990 kg and 1080 kg respectively, resulting in a difference of just 20 kg and 25 kg excess in Ciaz. Maruti claims that this is a result of liberal use of high tensive steel across body panels for lighter and much durable shell, but the panels like bonnet and boot lid feel very flimsy, raising the concern for safety. Even few other parts and items show lack of strength and quality, one of them is a mat inside boot finished in a barbarian manner. Of course lighter vehicle will experience lesser force upon impact, and the chassis is built on Suzuki Total Effective Control Technology (STECT) to sustain collision, but, anyways, price justifies the package. On board safety equipment include dual (front) Airbags, seat belt pretensioners & force limiters, and ABS with EBD.

Maruti Ciaz review-002 rearInterior of Maruti Ciaz is very pleasing and adds to the positivity of cabin aura. Blend of chrome, silver, faux wood, beige and black plastic accents, fabric and leather create a rich and luxurious environment in Maruti Ciaz. Here is a detailed review of interiors of Ciaz.

Maruti Ciaz review-014 boot matPerformance & drivability – Maruti Ciaz draws 90 PS max. power @ 4,000 rpm and 200 Nm peak torque @ 1,750 rpm from 1.3 litre DDiS 200 diesel engine, also seen aboard the Ertiga MPV. But this engine has received tweaks that has enabled it to deliver 26.21 kmpl mileage on record, making Ciaz the most fuel efficient car in India. Not so surprisingly, Ciaz is noticeably underpowered. Immense turbolag until about 2,200 rpm makes it a quiet cat on road, but not so in the cabin. Engine is pretty harsh and sends good amount of growling noise to the passenger compartment, making us wonder if its a Maruti at all. Power delivery beyond log space up till around 4,000 rpm is decent, but revving that high is not a pleasant experience in Ciaz. With decent foot work, it returned 14.4 kmpl, which could be the average most will get in city.

Maruti Ciaz review-029 steering wheelGear shifts are not very precise and they seem loose. Gear knob is placed too low and to add to the discomfort, driver arm rest is positioned far behind and high up, making it useful only for storage.

Maruti Ciaz review-019 driver cockpitRide quality too added to the list of surprises, but not in a gratifying way. Shocks are stiff and bad roads easily make a bad day in the car. Handling in the city too is not up to the mark, seems Maruti’s commendable expertise in small cars hasn’t evolved to making a good mid-size sedan yet, in terms of dynamics. At high speeds the car seems stable enough, we are yet to test it to its limits.

Maruti Ciaz review-022 legroomAnother feature Maruti is good at tuning is steering, which is also surprisingly flawed in Ciaz. Feedback is irregular and turns are rubbery. What makes it more sad is that the steering wheel is kind of small (in the right sporty size) and is very ergonomic, which only makes us expect more from it.

Maruti Ciaz review-031 centre tunnelWhen we were finally through and wanted to stop the car, we realised that brakes too try to surprise us with fewer number of teeth. There is no briskness in slowing down or stopping, and ABS kicks in quite prematurely.

Maruti Ciaz review-038 mileageVerdict – Ciaz is Maruti’s cool cat, as they promoted the car that way before launch, but this cat has no claws. Maruti Ciaz is a great value for money product if you’re looking for a car just to commute with just one full tank of fuel every month. For those who appreciate finer details and get involved in driving, Ciaz may not be the best option.

Price list of Maruti Ciaz in India:

Petrol variants:
Maruti Ciaz V – Rs. 6.99 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz V+ – Rs. 7.55 lakhs
?Maruti Ciaz Z – Rs. 8.24 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz Z+ – Rs. 8.59 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz V+AT – Rs. 8.65 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz Z AT – Rs. 9.34 lakhs

Diesel variants:
Maruti Ciaz V – Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz V+ – Rs. 8.63 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz Z – Rs. 9.45 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz Z+ – Rs. 9.80 lakhs

All prices are introductory, ex-showroom Delhi.

PS: Seat upholstery shown in images is not from factory, custom made by a dealer.

Photo Gallery (47 images)

About the author

Ashwin Ram N P

Life after college in 2014 has seen Ashwin Ram propel himself wholeheartedly into the auto industry. Information is never enough for this young blogger who enthusiastically ticks his elaborate checklist at each drive. The need to add that one extra detail ensures select articles that are upbeat, and comprehensive.

He no longer works with RushLane.

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Your opinion matters

  • Prabhjeet Singh

    Biased Review. Seems someone paid to write it.

    I own Ciaz, and this review is nowhere near the reality.

    • sagar112

      Yea, Honda and Hyundai are so scared of Ciaz that they actually paid us. Thank you for reading and wasting your time.

      • luckyy

        Sagar 112. It seems somebody paid parebhjeet singh for this comment..lol.

      • rupesh

        I also own ciaz in rural area I also own ciaz in rural area even I never encounter mentioned problems
        I am. not saying u r biased but u can still try again

        • NabanitaSR

          Rupesh, we’re glad your ride quality has been better than ours. Yes, the car will be up for a longer term review, and even long term review over time, so we will keep updating the site.

    • homer

      The review is crap, as is the site. A total waste of time. There are much better sites out there like autocar etc and then the gold standard teambhp. The English also looks surprisingly bad. Prabhjeet Singh, did u consider the fact that maybe the author is not a very competent auto reviewer. That may be why the review is so pathetic. Not saying that the ciaz has no flaws but it definitely is not as bad as claimed in the review. PS note that they are using a demo car and are probably sore over the fact that they were not called for the media drive lols

      • Prabhjeet Singh

        Their review is definitely amateurish. More than that their remarks are amusing.

        • sagar112

          If you consider bluntly putting out facts is amateurish, then yes.

          • Prabhjeet Singh

            Wow! How old are you? 14.

      • sagar112

        here is what your gold standard teambhp thinks about ciaz

        • 1.3L diesel can’t match the performance of the Vento, Verna & Rapid. Has turbo-lag too

        • 1.4L petrol has the lowest power rating in the segment. City i-VTEC & Vento TSI are in a different league

        • Uninvolving to drive. Steering & dynamics aren’t to an enthusiast’s taste

        • Mediocre under-thigh support of the low rear seat. Also, limited rear headroom for 6 footers

        • Some might find the styling to be too bland. Rear end is uncannily similar to the Honda City

        • Light build quality. Lacks the sheer solidity of its European rivals

        Anything to add now?

        • Prabhjeet Singh

          No other reviewer has complained about diesel engine noise in the cabin.

          Verna & Rapid are competent packages. And the new 7 speed DSG, on them, is a charm.

          • Prabhjeet Singh

            Vento and not Verna.

      • Dhiraj Patra

        I read team bhp review, and this is what it says

        • 1.3L diesel can’t match the performance of the Vento, Verna & Rapid. Has turbo-lag too

        • 1.4L petrol has the lowest power rating in the segment. City i-VTEC & Vento TSI are in a different league

        • Uninvolving to drive. Steering & dynamics aren’t to an enthusiast’s taste

        • Mediocre under-thigh support of the low rear seat. Also, limited rear headroom for 6 footers

        • Some might find the styling to be too bland. Rear end is uncannily similar to the Honda City

        • Light build quality. Lacks the sheer solidity of its European rivals

        i dont think theirs is much different from the one above.

  • amused_avis

    lol..the mod is getting into a flaming war with readers? brilliant.
    It does read like a biased review, but even if that isn’t the case, do a better job of responding to your readers – if you want them to come back to your website that it..take a cue from team bhp on how to run a website.

    • sagar112

      ok sir, yes sir, thank you sir.

    • sagar112

      Essentially very different. Team bhp is a forum that runs on discussion and opinion, and yes essentially a website, but of a very different nature since readers are contributors.

      We do just fine warring with readers, and yes they still return, because it’s okay to argue viewpoints, but baseless allegations,we don’t take too kindly to that.

      Reviews are op-ed pieces and it’s not possible that everyone feels similarly. We can understand you take pride and joy in owning a vehicle but that’s no ground for 2 different drivers to have a similar opinion.

      So, yes, if one begins with crappy allegations, we’re fine with them not coming back. We’re not running a forum here. We respect opinions but will not tolerate rants.

      • amused_avis

        Wow. Such sarcasm. Much derision.
        This is not even about the Ciaz – and I am not trying to tell you how to run your website. But regardless of this being a user generated corntent-run forum or not, there is no need for ‘moderators’ (ah, the irony!) to be snarky. Fanboys will be fanboys, and just as you respect the possible lack of objectivity in op-ed pieces, should you not be considering the same for readers’ comments?
        Of course, you have a right to not to tolerate ‘crappy allegations’ on your website-but tone down on the nastiness. None of us mind a little bit of sparring between readers, and the moderator is rightly expected to step in give them a talking to. But c’mon, do not abuse your position to talk down to your readers, team bhp or not.
        And you don’t care about readers coming back? really? did not realize that this is a not for profit venture.
        Anyways, enjoy your exalted sense of entitlement and save your wisecracks. I, for one, am not coming back (not that you will miss me :P)

      • Prabhjeet Singh

        Your defensive actions confirms my suspicion that this is in-fact a paid review.

        • NabanitaSR

          What you look at as defensive is in fact quite conversational in my opinion. I’m not sure if you understand everything about paid reviews. Here are a few easy pointers.

          The first will be an overtly friendly inclusion somewhere at the bottom saying this trip was sponsored buy so and so.

          Now, you should know that all drive events are paid for by a manufacturer (i.e., travel cost, hotel cost, and meals during drive). That’s an expense a manufacturer bears to get all journos to a location. Articles written from such drive events are not paid reviews.

          Another paid review format is somewhere within the article there’ll be a link to where the customer is being intentionally diverted through a link.

          The other paid review format is part of a larger sponsorship from a company. Wherein you are paid to host a dedicated advert, write so called positive reviews, and the likes.

          Also do consider that paid reviews make more sense for any manufacturer if they’re on a buying/selling portal as it’s easier to redirect a reader to a buying situation within the review page if need be.

          Paid reviews usually happen based on readership number which again tilts the scales in favour of websites that are involved in buying, selling, and proving leads.

          Please do use your valuable time to understand that neither is this a big website, neither are their fixed ads, dubious links, or a buying/selling subdomain. Based on what do you think has it become so important for someone to pay a small blog to write a paid review?

          • Prabhjeet Singh

            With all humility I agree that I do not know, how paid reviews work?

            But I will reiterate the review isn’t fair. The flaws pointed out are not mentioned in any of other reviews that I have read. And that is, in my opinion!!

          • NabanitaSR

            Yes, it may not be fair as seen by you. That is always debatable. Calling it a paid review is what’s not fair either.

            These are not inherent flaws necessarily, or not. It maybe an overtested vehicle. We have clarified on another comment that the vehicle will duly be tested for a longer while, and other parameters, at which time the vehicle may perform better for us.

            And with all due respect, there will be another review. You could take a brief look at the review section to see vehicles are being driven on a continuous basis, and what we experience is written about.

            Across websites reviews are mostly similar in terms of features and specs. The rest is distinguished through individual drive experience.

            A small example: Last year all auto related publications went for the Ford EcoSport test drive. Only 1 car crashed. As a result 1 site was able to explain ‘Sync’ in great detail as technically the car called the closest hospital, and an ambulance reached crash site.

        • Nishant Deaai

          I test drove the Ciaz and city and today, one after the other. For one, I can tell you that whatever points mentioned in this review are true. You own Ciaz, but have you driven verna or city?

          • Prabhjeet Singh

            Yes, I have driven City. It has its strengths, but it is too noisy to my taste. And City is the one that makes “growling noises” and Ciaz only Purrs.

          • aashik

            Maruti’s After service is so good as compared to Honda. Ciaz is value for money and complete package car. if u see the pros and cons of both the cars then definitely Ciaz stands little taller then the City

    • NabanitaSR

      First we don’t expect people to return to the website that frequently since it only caters to automotive news within the larger category of news. As such, readers will only come by if a certain manufacturer/product interests them, and never to read every article uploaded since 90% of content here is product/industry specific.

      The cue you suggest is unhelpful, as we’re not running a forum. A low number of comments each day is all we expect/manage. We don’t need to have a conversational relationship as is on forums, and neither do we need to encourage a constant load of comments and award stars to forum members. Anyway you look at it, these are clearly two different website types that can’t have the same result if functioning similarly.

      • amused_avis

        Now that’s more like it. Thanks NabanitaSR- forget team bhp, please give some pointers to your less enlightened moderator colleague on how to interact with your readers.

        • NabanitaSR

          I’m not sure, what you’re reading and understanding here. It is clearly specified by Sagar that we need not run site comments as a forum, and neither will we tolerate blatant allegations. We only disapprove of abusive comments, all other posts are tolerated. But seriously, between all that effort put in post after post, suddenly if you have someone allege that there was a payment involved to write a review, then yes, we do not care for your opinion. This is in my opinion quite a hard working small blog, and, no we will not put up with random personal opinions. We do however thank you for your limited time with us.
          Regards, N.

          • Ram

            lol..chill! so someone accused you of paid review. it’s not the end of the world.surely this is not the first time u’ve heard that? donno about this being a hrdworking/small blog but u r sure an idealistic lot!
            did u really think that u can run an auto blog, have negative/positive reviews on any car and not invite irate comments from owners/prospective buyers/arbitrary trolls? random personal opinions are precisely what the comments section is for..if u don’t care about it, then you guys are better off running an internal mailing group and talk about more relevant and original ideas?
            I think there is merit in the argument that moderators should not pick fights..leave it to the readers and step in when necessary. And please, the whole we -don’t- care- about-footfalls-to-this-website is naive at best, if not just plain arrogant.

          • NabanitaSR

            As arrogant as it sounds, it’s not possible to retain readers in the capacity of a forum where people will return day in and day out. By any statistic, new readers far exceeds returning readers on a daily basis.

            So, yes by pattern we aren’t too worried about returning readers in that sense, it’s just how it works.

            It’s also true that the paid review discussion hasn’t come up in the past. We have always allowed every comment from owners/prospective buyers/arbitrary trolls to be uploaded here (except spam/links), and are happy about people discussing what they like. No one has gotten abusive or anything to that end.

            You almost make being idealistic sound bad. Negative comments have always been encouraged, just as any comment has been permitted.

            At best you can have a discussion, but if you begin an argument with such a fixed opinion, than at best it can be ignored, or replied to.

            It’s not such a bad thing to have an argument, and if someone is pissed off, then that’s that. That’s fine too.

            And yes it’s essential to mention that the site is really a tiny blog to put things in perspective because that’s not where paid reviews are uploaded.
            Regards.

  • Sandeep Dhillon

    Excellent. I dont think anyone else has brought these points out. They are all gaga over this crap car. Ciaz doesn’t stand a chance against City or Verna. All Maruti has done is given SX4 a new and better looking set of clothes. There is no refinement. The quality of metal used is not even as good as Swift, nor is the driving pleasure. How can Maruti pitch this as a premium product? Just by giving good interiors?

    • NabanitaSR

      Or by strategically offering the lowest price point entry.

      • Prabhjeet Singh

        “What we obtain cheaply we esteem lightly. It is dearness only that gives everything value”

        • NabanitaSR

          Not true, see by example Maruti’s 800/ Alto, low price points and great winners.
          See Tata Nano, can be obtained at a great price, but is it selling.
          A new example in the making could be Datsun Go, sales stagnating within 10 months of launch.

        • Vaibhav Rishi

          Prabhjeet, I Completely Agree with you, just because something is value for money does not mean it is worthless, Honda city 2014 is the cheapest car made of cheap components by Honda till date…..

  • Ankush Mehra

    Half of India buys a Maruti. When someone writes against it, obviously they cannot take it.

    • NabanitaSR

      Yes, thats’ true, but most importantly none of us have to be agreeable. An ownership experience is always more satisfying because your hard earned money, and years of planning goes into it. That aside driving styles and preference vary. But in a realistic way, we’re obviously driving way more cars, and checking each against the other over longer terms, so a review is likely to be more critical than expected.

  • Sushant Agarwal

    Just drove diesel ciaz today.. my 2 cents – gives a luxury feeling both from outside and inside…front looks elegant unlike ugly honda city ..not very impressed with back as it has uncanny resemblance with Honda ..16″ alloys looks too good.. unlike 15″ from honda that just strips it from premium feel…projector headlamps are too cool….features – best of the class features…rear AC vents, light controls, parking sensors, steering mounted controls, push button start…list is long…didn’t particularly liked the head rest as it was not useful……space – viola…Was i driving a sub 10 lac car? excellent leg room for rear seat passengers…Driveability – very comfortable, suspension is excellent..dont give you kick like a cruze but decent..turbo kicks in after 1500 rpm.. didnt find steering wheel comfortable.. but was ok after some time..no engine noise inside cabin which was there outside when idle.. value for money- priced too well.. top end difference is close 1 L.. mileage better than honda city…. Overall a very good competitor to Honda city.. a lot of factors will go in favor of Ciaz… 2 factors goes in favor of honda – Premium Brand name and better driveability… rest all goes in favor of Ciaz.. .

    • NabanitaSR

      Sushant, what are you driving now? Are you looking at buying Ciaz?

      • Sushant Agarwal

        I am driving Swift and I am very happy with the car and maruti brand.. Just had to buy another car as both me and my wife needs car ..earlier planned to buy Honda but I just cant bear Honda front.. its like marrying an ugly person with braces (pun intended and no personal offence :))

        • NabanitaSR

          Yes, The Maruti brand loyalty is greater than any. I know folks who are using Maruti since the 80’s.

          Yup that front was shocking the day they revealed it. No doubt a much better and spacious interior this time around, but upfront it just doesn’t look like what you’d want from a City, especially since it has this cult following in India.

    • dude11027

      2014 City has pathetic interiors and too many quality issues. So why pay premium to Honda?

  • Ram

    So performance is bad, ride quality is bad, gear shifts are bad,steering feedback is bad and finally the braking quality is also bad – so just a pretty face, basically?
    I am a prospective buyer and have been doing a lot of research online about the ciaz ever since they started accepting booking advances. Of all the reviews I have read and hundreds of posts in auto forums that I have sifted thru, this is by far the most scathing. I mean the ride quality too? seriously?
    I think it’s the dealer man – he just gave you a banged up TD car. May be too many people had already test driven it by the time you got around to it.
    Granted, it’s your personal view, but this is clearly an outlier of a review as compared to most of them out there. Not taking this seriously.

    • Prabhjeet Singh

      Car reviews can-not be subjective. And if your not into racing, then Ciaz is an overall better package compared to competition.

    • dude11027

      True. I took Ciaz TD couple of times and ride quality, NVH on patcy roads was much better that City test drive. In City even smaller potholes used to make thud like noise wnd rear passenger could feel the shock.

  • Akhil Sharma

    As many mentioned here, I too am one of the prospective buyers of Ciaz. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the review. The reviewer has mentioned all the points which needs to be highlighted, just like other reviews on the internet. Others have mentioned the same points, Team BHP, Overdrive, albeit, in a softer manner. These guys didn’t put butter and hide the negative points, instead mentioned them as it is.

    I have been driving Classic for about three years now, and was looking for a new car. For Ciaz test drive, I went to the dealership in my Classic. I could immediately notice the difference. Yes, the Ciaz has good interiors, but it is not a good driver’s car. High speed stability is fine, only until you are on a good road, once you try taking on curves, or patch roads, the car cannot handle anything close to Maruti’s own Swift, leave alone City.

    Not that anyone wants to know, but I am not buying the Ciaz. I will wait for the new Verna, and then decide between City and Verna.

  • roughguy

    RELAX team RushLane. This is Marutis PR team at work. The fact is known in auto industry that RushLane calls a spade a spade and does not lick balls for free holidays. Keep up the great work and I recommend to close comments on this post.

    • Prabhjeet Singh

      We are doing a good job then Huh?

      And this silly review is getting so much attention and time.

      • Sandeep Dhillon

        are you the same prabhjeet who handles maruti dealership in chandigarh?

        • Sandeep Dhillon

          @prabhjeet i had met you a few days back at the Cm Autosales outlet in regards to buying Ciaz. I remember how you were pushing the car for sales as you had some target to meet, and now with this kind of replies for this review, I am sure Ciaz does have the problems mentioned above.

          please tell your team not to call me again and again

          i am not buying ciaz

          thanks rushlane :)

          • Prabhjeet Singh

            I am a businessman from Ludhiana.

      • Uday Chandiramani

        yes, perfectly good job for a maruti dealer 😛 i dont think you are getting ciaz sales as expected, thats why are coming and trolling over the internet.

  • vikram

    HI

  • Vikram

    Hi Guys
    I personally liked Maruti Ciaz very appealing and value for money that too with more than enough power for indian roads. I got my Ciaz just two days before Diwali. I would say I am in love with it and not me even all the guys around me are liking it very much and congratulated a lot for my new white ciaz. I went on Mumbai pune highway and tested the full power of Ciaz. For my surprise I was in thought that whether it is sedan from maruti ..Great power with very good steering grip and very stable even on high speeds of 160km/h. This is great machine with stylish looks and power. Great thanks to Maruti.

    • NabanitaSR

      Great to hear about your new car. Hope you enjoy the season, and drive. Best wishes.

    • Vaibhav Rishi

      Vikram, Since you are the end users, describe more…..

    • dude11027

      Is it diesel or petrol? Also can you please share Km and fuel efficiency number till now?

  • Ram

    So how much was the mileage that Ciaz yielded, on highway both petrol and diesel say @ 100km speed. I am afraid that Suzuki is sand bagging the fuel economy figures just to get attention over Honda city. Their new Swift claims mileage figures of 25.2Km when compared to Ciaz mileage of 26.21km, by engineering terms with the same tuned Fiat engine and reduced weight Swift should have given more. Lets hope Suzuki does not dupe mileage numbers as Hyundai do.

  • Sushant Agarwal

    I think we have seen good and not so good reviews from all experts across the web… One issue is that most reviews are not always in sync with public mood…these are in the end a “personal opinion”. … Reviewers will always call Happy New year a stupid movie but it will still rule if fans love Shahrukh Khan… Let Fans decide if Ciaz becomes a Happy New year or Haider….its time for end users to share their stories and there is no better marketing than word of mouth…

  • dud11027

    Has anyone taken test drive/delivery of Auto Transmission? I have booked one and the dealers says that demo car for AT will not be made available by Maruti and I will have to take delivery without test drive of AT model.

    How can these guys expect me to bet my million Rs. on this crap?