Ciaz is Maruti's success story. Till now, 2.20 lakh units of Ciaz have been sold. It is also the premium face of the small-car maker Maruti. Though Maruti Suzuki rules the Indian market, Ciaz is a reply to those who refuse to see it as a luxury carmaker. Four years since its launch, Ciaz gets a facelift that rides on its new hybrid 1.5-litre petrol engine.
Big, beautiful: Among the Suzukis, Ciaz is the biggest and the most beautiful. From all angles, it is difficult to miss the size. Once you enter the car or look at the boot, (510 litre) you know it is big. The most-spacious mid-size sedan that has stumped the rivals. Besides, it is also designed as the perfect family car.
The Ciaz gets a new grille, LED head and tail-lamps, a tweaked bumper, 16-inch alloy wheels with multiple spokes and a little taller stance. In front, the highlights are projector headlamps and a bolder-looking grille, a diversion from the regular Suzuki look but one that gives it a premium look.
Once inside, what strikes you first are the wood trims on the dashboard. Stereo and seats are trendy. Leather seats are not only good in the looks department but comfortable too. The 7-inch infotainment system comes with inbuilt navigation facility. Buttons get chrome lining. The lithium ion battery below the co-driver's seat may not be easily visible; the hybrid system is powered by this battery.
The hybrid system
The Ciaz features a smart hybrid system, consisting of a secondary starter motor and battery, to assist in start-stop situations and to run the electrical systems of the car. The motor gets its energy from the battery and the engine provides the energy to recharge the battery. The battery also gets charged with the help of regenerative braking. Usually, full hybrid cars mostly run on their motors.
Why a hybrid?
Fuel prices are on the rise; their availability is also reducing. Fossil fuels are also add to environment pollution. It is in this context that serious research is being conducted worldwide on hybrid cars. In the next five years, a big reduction is likely in the number of petrol and diesel cars. The hybrid system is a small entry of Suzuki in this area.
Ciaz doesn't get a full hybrid; it can be called a mild hybrid. The most important part here is the start-stop system. When the car is not moving, engine will stop. Press the clutch and the engine comes back into life. Second, the battery stores the energy which has been generated during braking. The battery under the seat is meant for this purpose. The system works only when the vehicle is moving above 30 kmph. The car also gets an electric boost via the engine power assist system.
The all-new 1.5-litre petrol engine churns out 105 bhp power and 138 Nm of peak torque, providing a mileage of 22 km per litre. The power at the lower end is quite impressive, with good spread of power from low-down to the mid-range. Gear is smooth to operate, steering is perfect for both city and highway use and brakes have enough bite. In handling department too Ciaz is ahead in its segment. The only change here is that at signals and other places when the car stops the engine too shuts down. The car is available in both manual and automatic transmissions.
Price: No change in price