The Ciaz’s wide-opening doors lead to a cabin that is the most spacious in its class. From the driver’s seat, the uncluttered, European-inspired dashboard looks elegant and important controls are within easy access. Also, the wooden trim, metallic highlights around select knobs makes the cabin look premium and the general finish and quality of switchgear is good too. Sure, some plastic bits feel a bit scratchy but overall, they don’t hurt the ambience much. That said, the Ciaz carries over bits like the steering wheel and window switches from smaller (read cheaper) Marutis and that’s an association the sedan could have done without.
We’d have also liked to see a touchscreen interface for the infotainment system on our top-spec Ciaz ZXi(O) test car. Interestingly, Maruti has such a system in the works that will be introduced on the ‘ZXi +’ version due in some months. For now, the simple black-and-white unit is all you get. It’s functional, easy to use and pairing our phones with it via Bluetooth was a breeze. This apart, there’s a fair bit of other equipment as well. The top-spec ZXi (O) gets front airbags, ABS, climate control, a reverse parking camera, keyless entry and push button start, a rear sun blind, rear air-con vents and leather seats as standard.
Speaking of the seats, the driver’s seat is fairly comfortable but even in its lowest setting, feels a touch too high. Taller drivers may have to fiddle around a bit to find a comfy driving position. The Ciaz’s strength, however, lies in its spacious rear bench; something that the chauffeured lot will appreciate the most. There’s almost as much legroom here as in some cars a class above and even with the front seat pushed all the way back, most people won’t have to worry about their knees touching the front seatback. Headroom isn’t great but what hurts comfort is that the rear seat itself isn’t very generous – the smallish seat squab is largely to blame here and feels a bit stingy on thigh support. It’s not that the seats are uncomfortable, it’s just that in this airy and spacious cabin, the seats could have been plusher.
Everyday practicality hasn’t been overlooked though. All four doors get a 1-litre bottle holder and there are lots of cubbyholes for small items as well. The boot is large too, but the wheel wells do eat into space and make it less useable than its 510-litre capacity would suggest.