The terms ‘Maruti’ and ‘premium mid-size sedan’ haven’t really gelled. First, the Baleno didn’t make a convincing case for itself against the similarly priced Lancer and the first-gen City. Then the SX4, though better priced, wasn’t appealing enough in an era centred on feel-good factor and brand strength. Enter,
the Ciaz – Maruti’s latest mid-sizer which aims to remedy past mistakes. Maruti has left no stone unturned this time around and ensured that its latest crack at this segment has ticked all the right boxes. It’s spacious, well-equipped, fuel-efficient and superbly priced. You can buy the Ciaz in both petrol and diesel versions and the petrol car gets an optional automatic as well. Our test car is the petrol manual which, to start with, has great pricing on its side.
Prices for the petrol version start at Rs 7.21 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base VXi trim going up to Rs 9.64 lakh for the best-equipped ZXi automatic variant. There’s no doubt that the Ciaz is Maruti’s best bet yet, but is it good enough to make an indelible mark in a segment that Maruti has failed
Maruti and fuel economy usually go hand in hand, and the Ciaz doesn’t break away from that. While the petrol engine managed a respectable 11.5kpl in our urban cycle, where it really excelled was on the highway. The Maruti’s lightweight and slippery body, combined with a tall fifth gear, allowed the Ciaz to travel a good 17.2km for every litre of unleaded. These figures translate to a combined average of around 14.3kpl, which is very impressive for a petrol sedan this size.
The Ciaz’s audio system may not look very high tech but it does get most of the features you’d like. In addition to a CD player and radio, it comes with aux and USB. There’s also the option to connect to your phone via Bluetooth to stream music or make a phone call. We found it easy to hook up our phones to the system. Maruti has also recently introduced a touchscreen operated infotainment system on the ZXi+ and ZDi+ versions of the Ciaz. It features navigation and ‘MirrorLink’ technology that can be set up to duplicate your smartphone’s screen on the display.