@mods Couldn't find a thread or post comparing the City and Ciaz AT so posting this. if this post is inappropriate or already mentioned elsewhere please feel free to delete or move the post. Posting in both the Ciaz as well as City thread as the information pertains to both cars. Thanks.
Test drove the Ciaz AT and Ciaz diesel recently just for trying it out. These are my observations as a Honda city owner others feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Hope this write up helps prospective buyers confused between the Ciaz and City take a decision:
1) The beige black combination of the Ciaz's interior gives a kind of roomy feel to the cabin compared to the all black city dashboard.
2) The quality of plastics looked inconsistent with some places being good and some places being a straight lift from other Maruti offerings.
3) The rear doors look like a straight lift from the Dzire with just a resize.
4) The doors don't expand and contract in reaction to the power windows like the City's.
5) The steering wheel in the Ciaz feels a bit small for the car. Would have loved something like the City or Kizashi.
6) In one of the cars I drove the dashboard was rattling like hell which got me irritated. According to the Sales advisor the car had met with an accident a few days back which might have caused the issue. Since the issue was only with one car which was the showroom owner's car I give them the benefit of doubt.
7) The AT gear lever exudes quality wrapped in leather even in the VXI trim. In comparison the SV CVT just gets plastic lever without any kind of leather, heck even the VX isn't completely wrapped in leather. The gear slot was butter smooth and felt very premium. Absolutely loved it in comparison to the noise the Mode selector makes in the city.
8) The dash looked pretty good to me but some people might not like it. Let me put it this way, where the city's dash feels modern and futuristic the Ciaz's dash feels European which has an audience of its own.
9) The City's instrument cluster felt much better than that of the Ciaz. The City provides two trip meters with their own AVG. FE meters whereas the Ciaz does with only one AVG. FE meter.
10) One thing I noticed in the Ciaz is that my leg didn't interfere with the glove box like it does in the City. The city's glovebox due to the design of the dash interferes with co passengers knees if the passenger is more than 6 feet.
THE ENGINE and TRANSMISSION
I would focus more on the petrol here as I haven't driven the City diesel much to comment on the Ciaz diesel.
1) The petrol Ciaz contrary to popular belief is not under powered by itself but yes when you drive it back to back with the city you would realise that the engine has to work harder than the City's.
2) In comparison to the City's CVT I like the 4 speed AT. This might shock/surprise quiet a few but the CVT's rubber band effect makes you
where as in the Ciaz power is available just at the tap of the throttle. Count up to 2 after pressing the accelerator and the Ciaz would drop a gear or two to get you going. In comparison the City without the paddle shifters would just make noise taking its own sweet time to get to speed. Unfortunately couldn't time the 0-100 in the ciaz so cannot compare the acceleration in figures but the Ciaz AT was definitely more fun to drive.
3) The engine note after 3000 rpm sound raspy which might make someone happy/irritated depending on their taste. I personally liked the sound the engine made past 3000 rpm. The engine is very refined and silent at idle.
4) The 4 speed AT feels lazy after crossing 100. In fact 100-120 takes forever. This is after switching O/D off, this is where the lack of a 5 speed AT is felt.
5) On an open stretch of road I was easily able to touch triple digit speeds which can't be mentioned here but in the Ciaz i could achieve 15 km/h more than what I could achieve in the City CVT in the same distance which is surprsing taking into consideration that the CITY has more power and torque.
6) The Ciaz with the same amount of speed and rough driving and simulated panic braking achieved 12.3 km/l in the end which is pretty impressive considering the car is ignored and not maintained. This was the owner's car. In comparison the city in such type of driving without panic braking returned 8.5 km/l
FIT, FINISH AND BUILD QUALITY
1) The city when pushed hard makes vibration at the accelerator pedal. This wasn't present in the Ciaz petrol but the Ciaz diesel had tremendous vibration at all pedals.
2) Panel gaps and alignment were more consistent in the Ciaz in comparison to the CITY.
3) When it comes to build quality none of these are VW's or Skoda's. None have a solid thunk or tank like feel too them. I feel the city is better built as I haven't experienced any rattles from the dash except for one which occured only once and disappeared by itself. In comparison many owners of the Ciaz have complained about rattles coming from the dash and glovebox.
4) Having gone through the city and ciaz official review thread have found that the Ciaz had considerably less niggles compared to the city. I myself have experienced most of the niggles mentioned in the city niggles thread.
5) The stalks of the City felt of much better quality in comparison to the Ciaz which felt cheap on their operation(no offense)
RIDE, HANDLING AND COMFORT
1) The ciaz has much better ride quality in comparison to the City with the suspension working away quietly and absorbing all bumps and potholes nicely. The city on the other hand has a firmer setup which allows some of the harshness to enter the cabin
2) The firmer setup in the City helps it in high speed stability where the Ciaz feels a bit bouncy the city feels composed.
3) The steering of the Ciaz feels heavy at slow speeds compared to the City which is a breeze to use but when the speeds increase the Ciaz's steering feels better where the City feels a bit too light for my taste.
4) The rear seat of the city feels much much better in comparison to the Ciaz. Whether it's the cushioning, the recline angle, the space or the under thigh support the city is just PERFECT whereas the Ciaz has firmer cushioning and inadequate under thigh support.
5) The City is much better when comes to cornering in comparison to the Ciaz but the biggest let down for the City are skinny 175 section tyres with an upgrade to 195's the City feels much more sure footed.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The ciaz VXI+ gets the following feature which the SV CVT doesn't:
1) Fog Lights
2) Rear accessory socket
3) Illuminated glove box
4) 4 speakers + 2 tweeters ( the city does only with 4 speaker)
5) Leather wrapped gear selector
6) Height adjustable seat belts
7) Projector headlamps
8) A CD player
9) Glass Antenna
10) Turn indicators on ORVM
11) Illuminated key ring
12) Rear parking sensor
The SV CVT gets the following that the VXI+ doesn't:
1) Cruise control
2) Co driver airbag
In addition to all the features that the SV CVT misses out it costs as much as the Ciaz ZXI AT
The price difference between the VXI+ and the SV CVT is almost 1.5 Lakhs.
Also, the HONDA genuine accessories are anything but cheap. They cost a huge BOMB. IIRC the Fog lights themselves cost Rs. 7500/- plus a fitting charge of Rs. 1000/- which is too much. Their excuse all parts are imported from Thailand. Don't know if it is true.
The City commands a real high premium in comparison to the ciaz. Even if we take into consideration the better engine offered in the City it is still overpriced by at least Rs. 50k. The smart and sensible pricing of the Ciaz would make it below 10 lakhs even for the ZXI AT/ ZXI+ which would attract a lower tax bracket.
Also, the more technological advance CVT in the CITY returned lower fuel efficiency and the rubber band effect makes it feel considerably slower.
At the current prices after the excise cut got removed I feel the City isn't a VFM proposition anymore at least the SV CVT isn't for the amount of features it loses in comparison to the Ciaz.
If Maruti tried harder to sell the car with better training for their sales staff and better maintained cars and showrooms I believe they can do much better. For eg. One of the showrooms I visited the AC wasn't working making too hot making me loose all interest in the car as I just wanted to get out. The other showroom had stains of some spitting paan on the drivers door arm rest which was plain disgusting. In comparison Honda showrooms are much better maintained so are their test drive vehicles.
City is a car for someone who loves driving, enjoys the driving dynamics and the I-VTEC engine note( I love it too). The Ciaz on the other hand is for someone who wants to be on the safer side with Maruti. People currently owning a Swift/ Dzire looking for an upgrade finally have something to consider from the Maruti stable that too at a really good price.
The city's biggest advantage is resale value as can be seen from the used car market. Even the previous gen city commands a real good resale value. The generations of City in the Indian car market have established its name whereas the Ciaz still has to prove itself in this area.
WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT THE CIAZ INSTEAD?
Well, the Ciaz hadn't launched at the time I had bought the City. The chances of me going for the Ciaz had it been launched then were neither very high nor very low as I would have recieved more bang for my buck getting the top of the line Ciaz ZXI AT instead of the CITY SV CVT but the bad taste that the Kizashi experience had left on us forced us to look outside.
Honda ASC in comparison is at almost a similar level. I am not saying they are rude but their sheer incompetence in solving the niggles coming back to back irritates me. For e.g just for the alternator grinding I have made nearly 5 visits now without any result and my city having only 2 dealers makes me further helpless. Adding to the helplessness is the constant blackmailing that anything done outside the ASC would void warranty which is frankly getting on my nerves now.
Where Maruti gains is the sheer number of dealers and service centers it has which outnumbers that of any other manufacturers.
If we take the Kizashi experience out of the equation there was a good chance that I would have ended up getting a Ciaz ZXI instead of a City SV CVT.