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Old 14th July 2015, 20:01   #1
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Thumbs up Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi

Leading up to my first visit

My memory of the day I first walked into the Pratham Motors isn't as vivid, but it was on Sunday (and my birthday) that I decided to buy myself a new car. "Happy birthday to me" as one of my friends referred to it as. Before walking into Pratham Motors (the one on Sarjapur Road in Bangalore, opposite RMZ Ecospace) my research was limited to reviews on the internet (including team bhp) and comparing features across variants on carwale.com (if not for the shady Hyundai Verna add, their comparison tool is pretty useful).

To be honest I already had my heart set on the Ciaz. Unlike most 26 year olds, I'm more than willing to trade a little power for a few more kilometres per litre. I had my heart set on black Ciaz ZDI+. Black because well my current (now old) car was also black (Black Chevrolet Optra LS) and Ciaz because of the great looks and the badge on the front of the car. The Optra in question was something my dad had picked up in 2011 when the car had already done about 75,000 km, which at the time of disposal had completed little under 160,000. Managed to get INR 1,80,000/- for it (litte more on this later).

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-optra.jpeg

Mr. Sriram, Mr. Shoji and Mr. Sampath were more than hospitable. They told me all about the car (i.e. gave me their pitch), they also told me about the exchange option with Maruti True Value for the Optra. While awaiting for a quote from True Value, Mr. Sampath gave me the break up (down payment and EMI). Well the True Value quote for the Optra was insulting to say the least (no where remotely close to INR 1,80,000/- referred to above).

TEST DRIVE 1
We (me and my dad) then went on to test drive the ZDI. Having driven a petrol car all my driving life the turbo lag was too noticeable for me. Though I must admit I've felt a greater lag in some of the other diesel cars (The Volkswagen polo 1.5 L to name one), and my grouse with the turbo lag is with diesel cars in general and not with the ZDI per se.

MATHS and TEST DRIVE 2
The finance option for the ZDI+ most suitable for me was a down payment of approx INR 195,000/- and an EMI of approx INR 19,000/-. This meant that I had to sell the Optra to as close to INR 195,000/- as possible, which judging the quote from True Value now seemed like mission impossible. Dad gave me a way out and said "lets do some maths". The math we did here was to figure out if we really needed a diesel car. If you had noticed on our Optra we had done about 80,000 kilometres in 4 years. That's approximately 20,000 km a year and about 1600-1700 km a month. The distance we covered in the Optra was fairly circumstantial, and we concluded that would be highly unlikely that we would cover that kind of distance on the Ciaz. However, for the sake of a neutral estimate we arrived at a figure of 1,000 km a month. I.e. 20 km a day (my work place being 10 km from my home) * 25 days a month = 500 km + 500 km (factoring one Coorg trip a month).

By now we also received a quote for the ZXI+ which was a down payment of INR 1,75,000/- and EMI of approx 16,000/-. We factored in the following variables while doing our math;

1. The difference in EMI being INR 3,000/-.
2. The real world mileage figures for the ZXI and the ZDI (We put these figures at 15 km/litre for the ZXI and 20 km/litre for the ZDI);
3. Petrol and Diesel prices which we factored at approx INR 73/- for petrol and approx INR 55/- for diesel.
4. Approx INR 1,00,000/- that the ZDI would be worth more than the ZXI after 7 years (This works out to approx INR 1190/- per month that should be offset against the INR 3000/- difference in EMI).
5. INR 700/- per month that a diesel car would cost more in terms of maintenance.

And we came up with this to ascertain how many kilometres a month would we need to travel for the fuel savings on the ZDI to offset the difference in EMI of INR 3,000/- and maintenance ("XQ").

[(73/15) * XQ] = [ (55/20) * XQ ] + [3000 - 1190 + 700]

XQ = 1183

The figure comes up to roughly about 1183 km. Which meant that we could travel 183 km a month more on the ZXI than we estimated and cost wise still be on same footing as as a ZDI.

This is when we went on a test drive for the ZXI. Based on the reviews I had read (underpowered ZXI, bad mid-range, etc.) my expectations were not great but the test drive was a pleasant surprise indeed. My test drive was on Bellandur road which has a fair bit of traffic and therefore perfect conditions to simulate my real world. My conclusion is that the Ciaz ZXI is city commuter that packs an adequate punch. Factoring all this and my displeasure with the turbo lag I made up my mind to go for a black Ciaz ZXI+.

Well after returning home, I read a few more reviews about the infotainment system. I read this in particular as I was going to be paying INR 46,000/- more (on road price) for this infotainment system, leather seats (as opposed to artificial leather seats are were pretty decent in their own right), a leather wrapped steering wheel and 16 inch alloys (as opposed to 15 inch alloys). Somehow I personally felt that I could do without the above mentioned features and would rather save the INR 46,000/-.

And thus I zeroed in on the Ciaz ZXI and made my booking on the 15th of May, 2015. The total price of the car was INR 10,77,600/-. (Including a fee of INR 4,000/- for number selection). Like teambhpian Abhisheksircar (who's ownership review was extreamly helpful in not just the purchase of my car, but maintenance and service as well, Thanks Abhishek), I too fancy the number 9. The loan amount was INR 9,00,000/- and remaining 1,77,600 was down payment. Vijaya Bank was my financier, and they along with other nationalised banks are willing to give a loan of up to 85 % of the on-road price of the car. They charge a higher rate of interest though. While HDFC would have given me an INR 7,95,000/- loan for 5 years at 10.1 %, Vijaya Bank gave the INR 9,00,000/- loan for 7 years at 10.65 %. To put that into perspective, assuming that HDFC gave me the INR 9,00,000/- at 10.1 % for 7 years (which they don't), I would have saved approx INR 20,000/- over the seven year period.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-docket.jpg


THE NEXT TWO MONTHS

Now came the hard part of selling the Optra to as close to down payment amount of INR 1,77,600/-. We tried the second hand showrooms, all of them uniformly quoted INR 1,00,000/-. That was still way more than what True Value had offered me . Then someone offered me INR 1,35,000/- after seeing the ad on OLX. Got a few offers from dealers / brokers over the phone as well for INR 1,00,000/-. Three weeks after posting I had resigned to having to have to stump up INR 50,000/-. Then one random day in June after putting the car on the market for almost a month, dad called and says he sold the car for INR 1,80,000/-. For a while I didn't believe him, it was only after returning home that evening and after seeing the cash did I congratulate him. He still claims that considering how well he had maintained the car it should have fetched us at least INR 2,00,000/-. I was more relieved than excited here considering the Optra is a buyer's market.

I managed to hand over the required documents (for loan approvals) only by the 20th of June. The new Income Tax returns form for AY 2015-16 (i.e. FY 2014-15) was is still not available to file. I needed that to furnish proof of income for the last two years (I'd only been working for little under two years). Nevertheless, Vijaya Bank finally approved my loan with just my Form 16A (i.e. my TDS certificates) for FY 2014-15 on the 28th of June (i.e. within 4 days of me furnishing all the documents). Between the 15th of May and the 26th of June, I had changed the colour of my car (from the original black) to grey and then to black again. All the while, Mr. Sriram and Pratham Motors were really patient with me.

FYI, black is not a very commonly purchased colour hence it takes more time to deliver. While they promised delivery of the black car in 25 days, I would have got delivery of the grey colour within 4 days. However, in my case I got the black car in 15 days. I had changed the colour back to black on the 26th of June, and on the 6th of July 2015, I got a call saying that the car has arrived.

Went over to the showroom on the 7th and paid the balance outstanding. Couldn't do a PDI at this point due to severe time constraints (I know, I know, rookie move). However, I did confirm the VIN number, the car was indeed manufactured in the month of May, 2015 (the VIN number ended with the letters EF).

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-vin.jpg

ACCESSORIES (Discounts)

As regards discounts, I could have opted a INR 5,000/- off on the on road price or INR 5000/- worth of accessories. I chose accessories, and appended below is a list of everything I got. Well going by the MRP prices, these totaled up to more than INR 5000/-

(i) sporty pedals;

It's weird that they don't have a pedal for the throttle / accelerator pedal

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-pedals.jpg
Note: This picture is dated 14.11.2015 (not the date of purchase)

(ii) interior styling kit (i.e. matching wood panels on the door armrest);

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_170019.jpg
Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_170300.jpg
Note: These pictures are dated 14.11.2015 (not the date of purchase)

(iii) tomtom fast car charger with the phone holder;

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-charger.jpg

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-charger-holder.jpg
Note: These pictures are dated 14.11.2015 (not the date of purchase)

(iv) door sill guard with illumination;

(v) rear window sunshade (this inclusion is an edit, I received this later)

(Pics of (iv) and (v) in the following post)

(vi) under chassis coating; and

(vii) paint protective coating;

As regards the coatings, can't quite remember the brand, but apparently the one I'm getting has a 10 year warranty as opposed to the 5 year warranty offered by 3M. I hope I made a good choice here, but then again couldn't really be choosy when it came to a freebie.

And then the wait. The long long wait only because of my mum's superstitions. Her instructions were to collect the car after the 15th. So I twiddled my thumbs for 6 days with the knowledge that my black Suzuki Ciaz ZXI was awaiting me.

Last edited by Jeevith : 23rd December 2015 at 22:59.
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Old 16th July 2015, 00:34   #2
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D-DAY

Didn't sleep much the night before the 15 of July. The big day was finally here. While I may have practically owned the Optra and an M800 (still have the M800) before the Ciaz, this was technically my first car. The Ciaz has MY name on the registration. At this moment technicality counts for a lot. I know it's a bit sentimental, but then again aren't we all!?!!

PICS

1. I think this angle does most justice to how good this car looks (as you may have noticed it's my display picture as well).

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-front.jpg

2. One from the back

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-rear-end.jpg

3. One from the side

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-side.jpg

4. The engine bay

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-engine-bay.jpg

5. Odometer indicating that car had travelled all but 30km.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-odo.jpg

6. Mr Shoji (one of the four execs mentioned earlier) who guided me through the delivery procedure. Gem of a guy.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-shoji.jpg

First thoughts:

Without actually driving the car the only thing I can possibly comment on are the features. First thing to notice (at least this is what I noticed), is that the car is pretty feature rich. Without commenting on the standard features present in most cars in the price range, the thing that stood out for me was the key. Pretty cool that as long as the key is in your pocket you can do everything you need (key related) by just pushing buttons (and by buttons I don't mean the ones on the key itself). Don't ever lose the key though, it apparently costs about INR 10,000/- to replace. You get two of these, and I've been advised to use both of them interchangeable. As in, use one for a month and then use the other for the next month.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-key.jpg

And there are these really really awesome looking sill guards. Trust me, they look way better in person. My phone's camera DOES NOT do justice to how smashing these sill guards look. Before installing them I had a slight inkling that they may look a bit tacky. But yea, If you're ever buying a Ciaz (or any other Suzuki car, considering even the S-Cross has them), you should definitely go for these.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_165912.jpgOwnership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_165942.jpgOwnership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_170012.jpg

**Forgive the variation in image quality (some pics were taken subsequently). Also forgive the dirt on the mats in the sill guard pics, those are on account of rainy weather during diwali.

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Old 16th July 2015, 01:53   #3
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SLIGHT DELAY IN DEPARTURE

My departure from the show room got slightly delayed on account of installation time for the rear sunshade (last minute inclusion). Didn't feel the wait as Mr. Shoji kept me company while giving me the inside scoop on the S-Cross (The car hadn't launched at the time). BTW, those figures mentioned in the original post about re-sale value (ZDI vs ZXI), he agrees with me on the figures I've estimated.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_170045.jpg

FIRST DRIVE

My dad couldn't accompany me on the way back from the show room as he had some errands to run. So was a lonely drive back for me from Bellandur to Kalyan Nagar (about 15 kilometres). Moderate traffic at about at 3 30 pm, so the drive back wasn't too cumbersome. Picked up my mum and sis and made our way to the temple. Yes, my mum insisted that it was the first thing I did. I'm not a religious person at all, but somehow (and in all probability it's purely psychological) I felt so much at ease after the visit. The prayers helped calm the nerves a bit.

**Reading this paragraph back to myself, I feel I am going a bit senile.**

***Writing that last sentence, I felt a bit cynical***

Moving on. So Pratham gave a complimentary five litres of petrol. While being told what each number on the HUD meant, I was given a heads up that the fuel economy will be a little lesser than normal as the car is new. With the excitement of a new car (coupled with the compulsive need to take longer routes with wider roads) I managed to clock 60 km on day one. I got an average fuel economy reading of 13 km/litre. Assuming that this figure is supposed to improve, I'd say that's pretty impressive. Mind you I didn't baby the car at all. All I did was keep the speed under 80 km/hr and the RPM under 2000 (Wasn't too hard in Bangalore city).

The air-conditioner works like a charm. Was around 29 degrees when I left the showroom. The automatic climate control was set to 22 degrees, and within a matter of a few minutes the cabin was cool.
Yes, my temperature of choice is 22 degrees, I'm a thin guy, can't help myself.

I felt that that the steering is a tad bit light. Apart from that (and that is just an impulse and not based on anything scientific) you get the feeling the car has been made lighter to compensate for the shortage in horse power. Want to really get a feel of the car once the run-in period is over. I have feeling though if you floor the throttle the car will fly but the flight might not be all that stable.

Notwithstanding the above, I simply loved the car. My family loved it just as much. And black really made it all the more special.

DAY 2

Managed to clock in another 50 km on day 2 as well. My kilometres have largely been in traffic, but I've tried to use the ring road as much as possible and have avoided the peak hours. Come August, I was going be doing 20 km a day during the peak hours, so wanted to get in as many good miles as possible by then. A Coorg trip had been planned for Monday (19th July, 2015) which would complete my 1000 km run in.

The cabin noise is pretty low. You can just about hear the soft grunt of the engine. The stock tyres on the ZXI are MRF 185/65/R15. I had a few inklings to upgrade / up-size the tyre, but like I mentioned earlier I'm fairly mileage conscious and so that was a no go for me.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-car-5-2.jpg

An aunt of mine who sat in the car was hugely impressed with the leg room. Considering my seat settings on the driver seat, this makes for a lot of leg room for the rear passengers. Even with front seats moved back, it's still a lot of leg room for the rear passenger. Looks like I'm going to enjoy the car even when I'm chauffeur driven. Which judging by Bangalore traffic might be sooner rather than later.

Leg room on offer at the seat reclined to the maximum. Note: I'm 5 foot 8 eight inches tall, those are my legs in the second picture.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151114_165227.jpg

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151114_165328.jpg




It had been only two days so there wasn't too much that bothered me at this point in time, but the rear view mirror did (and still does). Now the night mode feature is pretty awesome and all for dealing with the moron behind you with his high beams on. But why does the night mode always have to be on!? So every time you turn off and turn on the car, the night mode gets turned on.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_165832.jpg

The glove box could have been a tad bigger. Still manageable though, no way a deal breaker. A cooled glove box would have really awesome. Speaking of which, a few more features that I felt that could have thrown in are rain sensing wipers and possibly a sun roof. Pretty sure I wouldn't have got the car for 10,77,600/- if it had a sun roof, but it would have a though provoking to consider the variant with a sun roof. The reason I bring up sun-roof is cause while selling the Optra, I got asked a lot if the car was the sun-roof version. You get a feeling people in India really like the run-roof.

Rumor has it that the face lifted Ciaz will come with the 1.6 litre (Fiat Sourced) Engine that currently powers the S-Cross. Upon such arrival the Ciaz will be sold in the NEXA showrooms. So maybe then we can see the sun-roof.

P.S: The Source of the rumor is showroom manager at NEXA from my fiance and I picked up an S-Cross. More on that in another ownership review

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Old 30th July 2015, 19:57   #4
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FIRST SERVICE

So I had now completed 1400 km in about 13 days. Big figure, but that's only because of extenuating circumstances (i.e. One Coorg trip with family and One Mysore trip with friends). Completed the first free service at this point.

Took the car in a little late (I had completed 1350 km). The Pratham guys were kind enough to let me witness the entire service process. Had to pay for the oil change as that's not part of the first free service. The service person did try to convince me a lot about how it wasn't required that I change the oil after 1000km. His explanation was that the car is dyno tested and unlike older cars there actually isn't any wearing of the pistons. He may have been right for all I know considering I didn't see any shiny bits in the drained out oil either. Nevertheless, I didn't see a downside to changing the oil other than an outlay of approx INR 3600/- (including the oil filter).

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Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_231318.jpg

I was told that the Maruthi guys have something called a doorstep service. So they can either pick up the car from your doorstep have serviced at the service center or in the alternative (this part sounded pretty awesome) they would bring a service car over and service the car AT your door step.

1500 KILOMETRES

Having completed the run-in, I chose to push the car a little bit. Here are my observation. Off the blocks the petrol engine has a decent (but not great) surge. Picking off vehicles on the highway isn't too hard, but it does require the odd downshift which I hadn't experienced in my Optra. But the downside to the car is the mid-range. Pretty sure this not news to anyone (all the reviews on the car talk about this). The car gets to about 90-100 km/hr in decent fashion, but taking it up from there is where you feel the lack of horses. You can put your foot on the gas down all the way and may be then you'll get the desired response, but then again I would get the same response on the Optra by only partially applying the throttle.

Referring to my earlier post, where I had mentioned the "unstable flight of the car", well I'd still hold that to be true but only at speeds post 90 km/hr. And when I say unstable I'm referring solely to engine and the not the car in general. The car on the other feels fairly assuring even at the highway speeds.

Cornering is a slightly different ball game. My expirent was conducted on the Hebbal flyover while coming from Mehkri Circle and heading towards Manyata (Bangaloreans would know what I'm talking about). For those not from Bangalore, this is a curve which turns almost 110 degres over about 300 meters (See image).

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-car-4.jpg

I took the curve at about 60 km/hr in a racing line (i.e. came in from the outer lane towards the inner lane, and back out). It scared me a little!!! The car didn't quite feel as comfortable, and it's very unlikely that I'm going to repeat this experiment.

BUILD QUALITY

The build quality is certainly not as good as the German counterparts (Rapid and the Vento), but it's decent. Certainly better than the Verna. Again this is fairly subjective, but I came to my opinion on the basis of things like; (i) how the doors, boot and bonet feel when your close them; (ii) how the car feels when you deal with a pot-hole or speed breaker; and (iii) the general road presence while driving.

Now most reviews say that the plastics feel cheap. While that may be true, I somehow get the feeling that they would be durable. So while the plastics may be inexpensive, I think they'll go the distance.

BOOT SPACE

The boot space is very impressive. Here's a pic for emphasis. This is four people's luggage (and we're not light travelers). This was only journey forward, on the way back we had all these bags plus some fruits, coconuts and rice bags.

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AUDIO SYSTEM:

The ZXI comes with a 2-din audio system (Not the touch screen one on the ZXI+). The system has an equalizer with 5 modes (i.e. rock, classic, jazz, bass and treble). I wasn't able to max out the volume because somewhere around 34 itself it go too loud to handle. Great system in IMHO, but I don't consider myself even remotely qualified to be commenting on sound systems.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_165815.jpg

The system has bluetooth connectivity and pairs with my phone in exactly 3 seconds of being switched on. I've transferred all my phone contacts on the phone-book (this took about a min or two). Dialing from the car is a little cumbersome. You have to press the call button on the steering, then press tuner button on the sound console, rotate the tuner, press the tuner button again, (scroll through the phone book if no speed dial is assigned, or press the assigned speed dial (you can assign up to six contacts)) and then press the call button on the steering again. But answering calls, is a breeze. The number of the caller (name as well if the contact has been stored) gets displayed on the sound system. The person on the other end of the call doesn't not feel like he or she is on a load speaker at all (I've checked with at least ten persons), at the same time the other person's voice is crystal clear.

Update: I've since changed my phone to the Oneplus X (has the iPhone 4s earlier). The contacts just won't copy from the phone to the car's system. I'm almost sure it's an issue with the phone and not the car, though I haven't tried linking any other phone since. Do let me know if anyone else has such issues and if you've found solutions.

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Old 13th August 2015, 23:31   #5
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13th August, 2015 = 3500 km

I had now completed 3500 kilometers in little under a month. I had started work, so the amount of travel was now be limited to my work place and back (20 km a day).

I did manage an Ooty trip before hitting the 3500 km mark. The experience worth sharing is the climb up the hills. Long story short, I felt the lack horses yet again. While it's not impossible to make the climb up the hair pin bends on the 2nd gear, it certainly feels like your taxing the engine.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-car-2.jpg

I've made similar trips / climbs on the Optra, and the power delivery was pretty awesome even on 2nd gear. Safe to say the Ciaz could have used 10 to 15 horses more. While the Ciaz sure ticks all the boxes for city commuting (there's enough kick on 2nd and 3rd gears to make that dash to bridge the gap in traffic), it's power deficiency is slightly exposed on a highway and becomes more than apparent on the Nilgiris. 1st gear is where I felt the car was most comfortable taking the hairpins, 2nd gear felt like the car was going to stall any minute.

And yes it was on this fateful trip that I got my first scratch. It was quite a nasty one as well.

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Old 13th November 2015, 17:50   #6
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The 10k Mark (Well....Almost)

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_170509.jpg

At the time of this post I had completed 9650 kilometers. By now I had completed two services (one of which's experience was detailed above). This post would be an update on the driving experience so far and the 2nd service at Pratham Motors.

2nd Service.

I went in for the 2nd service at around the 6500 km mark. I've acquainted myself with one of the service attendants by the name of Mr. Mahesh from my first service. He was more than happy to attend to me on priority despite the mad rush on a Sunday (worst day to give your car for service).

This time around I didn't quite have the time or the patience to stick around and watch the service. Having driven in around 10 am, Mahesh promised to have the car ready by 7 p.m at the latest. Any other day I may have taken issue but on seeing the rush at the service center I grudgingly accepted.

Remember the nick / scratch I posted previously, this was to taken care of this time around for INR 1800/-. And the rear cabin lamp had some lose wiring and hence had to be replaced (for free considering the car is still under warranty).

5 p.m and Mahesh gives me a call saying the car is ready. Took a cab all the way to Belandur and picked her up. The cleaning was up to the mark, though the interiors could have been attended to a little more. The scratch was fixed immaculately, but it was only later that I discovered the botched paint job (as the botch was on another part of the bumper). Big thumbs down to Pratham Service.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151113_170617.jpg

The Drive So Far:

To put things into context, I drive about 20-25 kilometers a day. My work place is about 10 km from home, the extra 5km is on account of social visits. Almost the entirety of the 20 -25 kilometers is in heavy traffic. You could even say that about 10 of those kilometers are in bumper to bumper traffic.

Apart from the above, out of the 9650 kilometers approximately 3000 km would have been spent on the highways (trips to Coorg / Mysore).

Engine:

First things first, this car is no enthusiast's car. It's sober, sophisticated and smooth. Hardly surprising considering the 90 bhp figures. Like they say "you win some, you lose some". So where the car loses out on the power, it more than makes up for in the mileage. 16 km / liter (as indicated in the picture above and verified on 6 separate occasions using the full tank method) in harsh Bangalore traffic is simply spectacular in my opinion. The figure even goes up to 20-22 km on the highways.

Caveat to the 20-22 km/litre is my (and my dad's) driving style. We engage neutral when the car hits around 90 km/hr (and / or on a favorable incline) till it drops to around 80 km/hr, during which time the car would have covered around a kilometer or two. So in the case of conventional driving, I'd still put the highway mileage at 18-19 km / litre.

The Steering:

The Steering felt a little light (i.e. too much play) in the early days. It's light no doubt, but I feel the lightness is appropriate. This issue was faced more by my dad (the other driver of this car) when he made the switch from the Optra to the Ciaz.

The buttons on the steering wheel too are very functional. You barely need to use your left hand to access the console for any music / phone related controls (except when dialing). Contrary to most other people's opinion, I quite prefer the Bluetooth stalks being on the left, cause this way your right hand is always firmly holding the steering wheel itself (seems safer to me).

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-steering.jpg

Suspension

I have been fairly gentle when driving this car. Something about the 90 horses and the way this car has been tuned brings out the maturity in you. So I can't really give you an honest opinion on how good the suspension of this car is. On the rare occasion that I did hit a bump or a porthole, The car lapped it up pretty nicely. Though it didn't cause me (i.e. driver and passenger) too much discomfort, you get the feeling that the car took a slight beating. Something you wouldn't feel in Volkswagen or a Skoda.

Overall, the suspension is soft enough for the city driving.

Apart from the one instance when the car was fully loaded with 5 heavy occupants and a lot of luggage (and on a really bad road in Coorg), the car has NEVER scrapped the floor. And when I say bad road, I mean not tarred and it had rained a lot. This is testimony to the good suspension I guess.

Interiors:

The fabric portion of the beige interiors (I got the ZXI version, which comes with seats that are a combination of artificial leather and fabric) soil pretty easily. I went around quote shopping for having this cleaned and got quotes of about INR 5,000/- from the reputed brands. As opposed to incurring that expenditure, I'm seriously considering upgrading to leather seats from Stanley / Karlson (which would cost about INR 30k).

But now with the Ciaz RS, you also have the option to go for the all black interiors. Something I requested for at the time of my purchase but did not get. I was aware the the Ciaz for the African markets were (maybe still are) manufactured in India. And those cars already had the all black interiors currently available on the Ciaz RS.

In hindsight, maybe I should have just coughed up 50k more and gone for the ZXI+.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-seat-stains.jpg

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-seat-stains-2.jpg

Apart from the cabin lamp issue, no other problems with the interiors so far. All buttons work fine and as intended.

The cabin lamp with some lose wiring.
Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-cabin-lamp.jpg

Air Conditioner:

Before my purchase of the, I had heard legendary stories about how awesome the air conditioner of the erstwhile Baleno was (the sedan and not the 2015 hatch). I was hoping the Ciaz follows suit. It's not legendary of the sort, but it sure does the job. Again, I can't really give you an honest opinion as a matter of general practice I used the automatic climate control feature and the temperature I use in 22.5 c. It's a comfortable cabin within a minute during normal conditions. There have been instances where the car had been parked in the sun, on such occasions the AC takes about 3-4 minutes to get the cabin to comfortable temperatures. Note; all the above is using the Automatic Climate Control, pretty sure you can accelerate the process by manually decreasing the temperature and increasing the fan speed.

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-ac-console.jpg

Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-rear-ac.jpg

In the rains, the front defogger clears the foggy windshield in exactly 3 seconds. I was mighty impressed. I was specifically warned by the sales representative (at the time of purchase) not to turn on the rear defogger during the hot temperatures (read day time) as this might result in the rear windshield cracking. I have taken his word for it.

The Family's Take:

My family's biggest issue with the car is that I don't let them play the music too loud if I'm driving. My dad's biggest issue with the car is that If I'm in the passenger seat, it a hassle driving the car.

Apart from the the above, no complaints what so ever (unless of course you include the fact that car is too big to enter a narrow lane on which my mum's tailor is located).

Previously (with all my previous cars), rear passengers would complain that the music was too loud at the back, while the driver would feel the same sound level isn't quite cutting it. So such issues here as the sound is evenly distributed across the entire cabin.

We're not a family of tall people, so even on the long Coorg trips, no complaints about lack of under-thigh support. On the contrary everyone is awe of the amazing leg room on offer.

On a psychological level, the also feel that car won't offend anyone. If my family spoke in Hindi, they would describe the car as "Kisi ka nazar nahi lagega". Yet my family has this sense of pride and they genuinely feel like they've upgraded big time from the Optra.

Last edited by Jeevith : 24th December 2015 at 00:05.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 23:42   #7
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2nd Free Service:

I was pretty upset with the botched paint job by Pratham from the first service. Nevertheless, I still drove my car in on account of Mahesh (the service rep I had mentioned earlier). I reached Pratham Motors at around 5 p.m. . Mahesh was not available and consequently was greeted with the "give a damn" attitude of the service manager. He very curtly asked what the point was driving in at 5 p.m. (like he was doing me favour by even talking to me). I offered that he keep the car overnight and have it ready by the following evening, to which he callously declined. Drove straight out and vowed never to go back. Felt bad for Mahesh though (he was a nice guy).

A quick referral from Abhisheksircar (thanks again Abhishek) led me to Suraksha Car Care. Mr. Lokesh (service manger at the Electronic City Branch) put me in touch with Mr. Lavakumar. I stuck around for the service (since it was the first time at Suraksha). In comparison to what Pratham had to offer, one could say I was pampered.

My grouse with Pratham service only accentuated when I found out that they hadn't fitted my air conditioner filter from the last service . Nevertheless, had a hassle free and fairly satisfying 3rd free service at Surakhsha.

Switched back to the recomended 0w20 engine oil
Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi-img_20151224_010518-1280x960.jpg


Summary:

Having driven roughly 16,000 km as on date. Here is my summary of the Suzuki Ciaz

PROS:

1. Great Looks

I genuinely believe the car is a looker. I've been in love with the car since the concept version was released.

2. Features.

In the relatively mature C2 segment, bells and whistles are quite the differentiating factor. The Ciaz is ticks quite a few boxes in this department.

3. Value for money

When I say value for money, I'm emphasizing on the fact that I got the top but one petrol variant of the car for INR 10,73,600/- and would have got top petrol variant for INR 11,20,000/- . Where as the Verna and City had their top variants at little under INR 13,00,000/-.

4. Fuel efficiency.

I get a real time mileage of 16-17 km/liter in the city and around 20-22 km/liter on the highways (Full tank method). Think that's self explanatory.

5. After sales service.

Here too, the jury is no longer out on this. Maruti is the undisputed number and by country mile on that, when it comes to after sales service.

Despite my snafu with Pratham, Suraksha more than made up for it. Besides, their emergency service reaches to you in under half an hour. Experienced this on the fiance's S-Cross when her batter died out.

CONS:

1. Power Deficiency

The car is not the best highway car, and certainly not an enthusiast's car. Still a good / decent highway car, but by no means the best. Apart from fuel efficiency.

2. High speed handling.

Can't really put a finger on what exactly is the problem here, but you can refer to my to experiment.

3. I can't really come up with too many more cons, apart from the niggles mentioned in the review. But even these I wouldn't really put down as con per-se.

Last edited by Jeevith : 24th December 2015 at 01:16.
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Old 25th December 2015, 09:52   #8
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Default Re: Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th December 2015, 12:47   #9
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Dear Jeevith,

A very well written review.

I have a friend/colleague who has a ZDI. Looking at it I was tempted to at least TD a Ciaz. I had decided to stick to Auto when buying a new car. Consequently, I contacted for TD. In Mumbai, I got a TD of a manual ZXI. I do not remember whether it was + or not, but most probably it was. Definitely good car. Unfortunately, no TD of the automatic. Not possible in the near future - this is what I was told! So, dropped it! Felt Maruti was missing something here - only 4 gears in the AT and still no TD vehicle! How do they expect to sell that!!

Girish Mahajan
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Old 28th December 2015, 00:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKMahajan View Post

I had decided to stick to Auto when buying a new car. Consequently, I contacted for TD. In Mumbai, I got a TD of a manual ZXI. I do not remember whether it was + or not, but most probably it was. Definitely good car. Unfortunately, no TD of the automatic. Not possible in the near future - this is what I was told! So, dropped it! Felt Maruti was missing something here - only 4 gears in the AT and still no TD vehicle! How do they expect to sell that!!

Girish Mahajan
Thanks Mr. Mahajan.

If the car had the touch screen system it was in all likelihood the ZXI+ (other features include bigger alloys and leather seats).

My dad too was keen on the automatic, he reckons his knees might not keep up with the demands of a clutch pedal for too long. But yea, the debate was purely academic, it didn't even materialize into a test drive.

Though from what I've heard (from acquaintances who own the automatic) is that the CVT on the Ciaz does have the "rubber band effect". I.e. the throttle is a little slow to respond. So you may not have missed out on much if you were particularly keen on an automatic only.

Which car did you finally choose? The DSG gear boxes on the Volkswagens and the Skodas are held in very high regard.
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Old 28th December 2015, 14:58   #11
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Default Re: Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeevith View Post

Though from what I've heard (from acquaintances who own the automatic) is that the CVT on the Ciaz does have the "rubber band effect". I.e. the throttle is a little slow to respond. So you may not have missed out on much if you were particularly keen on an automatic only.

Which car did you finally choose? The DSG gear boxes on the Volkswagens and the Skodas are held in very high regard.
The ciaz comes with a conventional torque converter gearbox, and not the CVT.
It's just that like all the other TCs, it takes a second to downshift - unlike the DSG gearboxes which are significantly quicker.

Another issue is that unlike the DSG, the ciaz's gearbox is more eager to roll-on when you slot it in 'D'. Requires a little more effort and attention on the brakes.

Those two points aside, the Ciaz AT is a very nice city car if you are not looking for outright performance. It will be reliable, feature loaded, and convenient in the city.
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Old 28th December 2015, 17:58   #12
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Default Re: Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeevith View Post
Thanks Mr. Mahajan.

If the car had the touch screen system it was in all likelihood the ZXI+ (other features include bigger alloys and leather seats).

My dad too was keen on the automatic, he reckons his knees might not keep up with the demands of a clutch pedal for too long. But yea, the debate was purely academic, it didn't even materialize into a test drive.

Though from what I've heard (from acquaintances who own the automatic) is that the CVT on the Ciaz does have the "rubber band effect". I.e. the throttle is a little slow to respond. So you may not have missed out on much if you were particularly keen on an automatic only.

Which car did you finally choose? The DSG gear boxes on the Volkswagens and the Skodas are held in very high regard.
Dear Jeevith,

Finally I went in for the Honda Jazz V CVT. You can see my full ownership review. It has run for 2000+ km till date. No regrets.

One more thing, already mentioned above - Ciaz has 4 gear AT and no CVT. Jazz has CVT. Yes - with small rubber band effect. If you do not want to race cars, then it is insignificant. In the V model you have S mode and toggle shifts. There are fantastic.

Girish Mahajan

Last edited by GKMahajan : 28th December 2015 at 17:59.
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Old 28th December 2015, 18:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeevith View Post

Caveat to the 20-22 km/litre is my (and my dad's) driving style. We engage neutral when the car hits around 90 km/hr (and / or on a favorable incline) till it drops to around 80 km/hr, during which time the car would have covered around a kilometer or two.
Well, I had read somewhere that when the engine is running, the gear should not be put into neutral as this breaks the link between engine and brake and so, is considered unsafe. Is it so? I am curious.
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Old 1st January 2016, 11:15   #14
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Well, I had read somewhere that when the engine is running, the gear should not be put into neutral as this breaks the link between engine and brake and so, is considered unsafe. Is it so? I am curious.
Lol. This an age old debate which even I had stoked up in my early days on the forum. Here's a link

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/owning...ml#post3750833 (ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving)

There are links in there too quoted by senior bhpian phamilyman. Do check it out.

Long story short, if you're breaking in advance you should be okay. Both me and father are conservative drivers that way.
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Old 11th February 2016, 19:07   #15
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Default Re: Ownership review of my black Maruti Suzuki Ciaz ZXi

Hi Jeevith

nice ownership review & the black color looks awesome!!!

I have a vdi+ & its a fabulous car but, i feel there is a lot of road noise inside the car, driver side to be precise, diesel clatter is not there but when the car runs at 50-60 km's i hear a lot of road noise, is it so with your car too???
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