Maruti has given the car a new engine, a new front panel and a lithium-ion battery across the board.
The Ciaz of Maruti-Suzuki was never considered the saleswoman in his segment, and participated with the Honda City and Hyundai Verna. Nevertheless, the Ciaz managed to achieve an impressive share of a third in the so-called A3 segment by providing a reliable, broad and economic proposition. The Ciaz, however, had shown signs of what one would describe as fatigue, especially on appearance and ability. The K14 petrol engine did not deliver as much power as its rivals, and faced with smart-looking rivals, the Ciaz became more and more an Indian babudoms car of choice, and although institutional sales do matter, the Ciaz had to appeal to private buyers again and it was expected that the midlife renewal would do the same.
And Maruti has delivered us an updated car with not only much improved looks, the new front of the Ciaz with its redesigned dashboard and new smart, distinctive LED lights is indeed a smart-looking car, even if the changes at the back are a bit have been more limited. The interiors have also become brighter and the top model gets a faux-birch wood finish, I personally am not a big fan of such trims, but it does not look or is wrong in the Ciaz.
But the big change with the new Ciaz, previously the refreshed Ciaz, is with the petrol engine. The new engine is slightly larger, moved 1468cc and has a new name, the K15B, a continuation of Maruti's successful K-series petrol engines. The new engine delivers an impressive, but pretty much bog-standard for the segment, 103 hp. But where Maruti has been innovative here is that they have added a lithium-ion battery pack to the bottom of the car as standard equipment. Combined with the Integrated Generator Starter (IGS) and a larger regular lead-acid battery in the engine compartment, they have made the Ciaz into what Maruti describes as an Advanced Smart Hybrid & # 39; and what we have a & # 39; mild & # 39; would call hybrid.
Now we do not want to enter the word game here, but this is not a hybrid in the conventional sense. A good conventional hybrid can technically run the car on both energy sources, that is the combustion engine or the battery pack. Despite the new Lithium-Ion battery pack, the Ciaz can not only work on battery power, unlike, for example, the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry which is available in India. So in that sense it is not a hybrid in the conventional sense of the word. But that battery pack does not add its own weight to the car. Although it does not offer extra power, it does a few things, it gives a boost when you accelerate and power the car when, for example, the start-stop system is switched on at traffic lights. This means that Ciaz petrol is by far the most economical car in its segment with an ARAI-certified fuel economy of more than 21 kilometers per liter.
I drove the Ciaz and tried the manual variant of the car, you can see quite quickly that it is not the thirstiest car on the road. In the city it can easily deliver fuel consumption of over 14kmpl, very impressive for a car of its size. As far as power delivery is concerned, it seems to be absolutely better, especially as you drive faster from traffic, with the battery in it. So it seems that the Ciaz gets the upper hand on some of the competition, but the truth is that it has some weaknesses. The proven 1.3-liter diesel engine from Maruti is now being put to the test for a long time and even if the diesel-Ciaz will have an incredible economy, it is not powerful enough compared to the competition.
Despite the new engine and a reliable mile-muncher on the highway, it is not the most exciting car to drive in its class, and the four-speed automatic that I have driven for a short time is the weakest clutch-less option in its class.
However, the Ciaz has a big advantage over its rivals. It remains the largest car in its class, both in terms of the legroom in the back and the luggage compartment. And that makes it an attractive proposition for those who buy a car in this segment to drive around, and even if the front looks smarter, it does not feel flashy in any way. So there you have it, a nicer Ciaz and now one with added economy.
PS: There is something else that I have discovered on this disc with the Ciaz. As part of the new safety regulations that insist on ABS and airbags on 1 April 2019 on all cars, there are also speed warners. You get a single beep when you cross 80km / h, and that's fine, because the speed limit on most highways is 90 km / h, but crosses 120 km / h like one of my colleagues did, and the beeping is constant. Given the fact that some new motorways are constructed around a speed limit of 120 km / h, this seems unnecessary to me.