The last time I wrote for this section, it was about the Ciaz which was supposed to be just a replacement car. However, I ended up buying one because everyone in the family – dog included – absolutely loved it. Strange, because, when I first reviewed the Ciaz, my verdict was that it was hugely practical, but lacked spunk. Having lived with the Ciaz for a couple of months now, I can say I don’t miss that spunk at all and I’m hugely grateful for all the practicality it offers.
My car is predominantly chauffeur-driven, so having spent a lot of time in the back seat, I can vouch for really how comfortable that space is. The seat is well-cushioned and legroom is truly excellent. Even with three seated abreast, it doesn’t feel cramped. While trundling over the city’s uneven roads, the Ciaz manages to keep you comfortable. The ride is pliant even over the worst sections of roads and it keeps the sharper bumps out. Even as you pick up the pace on highway runs, the Ciaz remains admirably composed and feels settled. So, the back seat of the Ciaz gets a full five stars from me.
Also, the AC got a full workout through this sweltering summer, and I have to say that it works better than the units on most of the other cars I have been in. It cools the car down from boiling temperatures in two minutes flat, and I often found myself lowering the fan speed because it got too cold; that’s saying something, considering the scorching temperatures. A big thumbs up there.
The kids love the fact that they can play their music via the car’s Bluetooth connectivity – a feature that some of our older cars don’t have, despite being more expensive models. The only snag is the process of getting your gadget connected. First, you can’t connect to Bluetooth on the go. The car has to be stationary, and you have to go through a multitude of menu settings before you can play your music. The buttons have multiple functions, so it can get a bit complicated considering the screen is tiny too. However, once you are connected, it works seamlessly and the audio system delivers a pretty good sound too, taking into consideration the car’s segment.
The Ciaz is great for the times one needs to run errands. It’s of a size that can be squeezed into parking spaces quite conveniently, the steering is light and so is the clutch, which make it really easy to drive. You can be a really lazy driver too. In traffic conditions, your left leg doesn’t get a full workout. With the engine responding well from low revs, one doesn’t have to use the gears too much. The city is really where the Ciaz is most comfortable.
On my runs outside the city, I have found that if you cruise at 100-120kph, the Ciaz copes well, but push beyond that and it really doesn’t feel the safest or most planted. The steering then tends to be a bit too light and doesn’t let you feel secure. Winding sections of roads aren’t really friends of the Ciaz, and it’s best driven at a leisurely pace. But having driven on small off-road bits during a trip to Karjat, the Ciaz did manage to go over quite a bit of rough stuff without bottoming. The boot is also large enough to get a couple of bags in, so it has done airport duty a fair number of times.
For a car from this segment, I have to say that, in terms of fit and finish, the interior of the Ciaz is quite good too. It’s been just over six months since I bought the car, and there are no rattles and squeaks. Everything works just fine.
As our long-term Ciaz heads home, I think I’ve discovered it’s a bit of a dark horse. At its price point, it is certainly one of the most sensible and practical buys in the segment. And as far as emotions go, the car grows on you. So, do I wholeheartedly recommend the Ciaz? Absolutely.
Send a message to Renuka Kirpalani
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Issue: 211 | Autocar India: March 2017
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