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Old 10th October 2018, 10:00   #1
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Default 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

The Maruti Ciaz Facelift is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 8.19 - 10.97 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Clean styling & big footprint. Among the longest & widest sedans from its class
• Value-for-money pricing that undercuts almost all rivals
• Spacious cabin with lots of practical features. Rear legroom is particularly impressive
• Petrol variant has now improved, thanks to the new 1.5L motor
• Soft, compliant ride quality. A suspension that's tuned for comfort
• Big 510 liter boot will swallow your airport & holiday luggage
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales service, wide dealer network & fuss-free ownership experience
• Equipment such as the automatic LED headlamps, DRLs, 7" touchscreen ICE, rear sunshade, cruise control, telematics system etc.

What you won't:

• New 1.5L petrol is rather mediocre. City & Verna petrol engines are much superior
• Small 1.3L diesel can't match the performance of the competition. Has turbo-lag too
• 4-speed Automatic gearbox feels old & outdated. No Diesel AT option either
• Petrol Ciaz has gotten more expensive by 34k – 65k (diesel has actually become cheaper!)
• Uninvolving to drive. Enthusiasts, look elsewhere
• Average under-thigh support of the low rear seat. Also, limited rear headroom for 6 footers
• Light build & ordinary interior quality. The game has moved on with newer competitors
• Maruti has missed the opportunity of a true top-end variant with 6 airbags, sunroof, auto-wipers & more

The 1.5L Diesel:

Link to 1.5L DDiS 225 review

This review has been jointly compiled with ChiragM. Thanks to him for the expert observations!

Last edited by GTO : 24th July 2019 at 14:30.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:00   #2
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Since the Maruti Ciaz has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 2018 facelift. To read the full official review, click here.

Last edited by GTO : 10th October 2018 at 10:06.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:00   #3
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Even though it has been 4 years since Maruti launched the Ciaz, the car has consistently stayed among the top 3 sedans on sale in the C2 segment. The car's sales remained healthy even after Maruti moved it to its Nexa "premium car" sales channel in April 2017. Over 2,20,000 units of the Ciaz have been sold so far, with the top-end Alpha variant accounting for 41% of sales.

Truth is, the Ciaz is the first Maruti to achieve success in the C2 segment. The Baleno sedan was a miserable flop, while the SX4 lost steam after seeing some initial enthusiasm. The Ciaz is an all-rounder, keeping mass market tastes in mind (enthusiasts will find its engines to be weak & that hasn't changed with the facelift). Plus, the Ciaz has always been well-priced too. It offers a lot of square feet for the money. Only the recently-introduced Hyundai Verna 1.4L, the slow-selling Fiat Linea and the Skoda Rapid (after discounts) start at lower prices.

Maruti has now updated the Ciaz to keep its appeal intact. This is perhaps the final major update until the next-gen Ciaz arrives in 2 - 3 years. With this facelift, the company has not only given the car cosmetic enhancements and additional features, but a new K15 1.5L petrol engine as well. This facelift also comes with Maruti's SHVS, making it the first petrol Maruti to get it. In terms of pricing, the diesel is actually a little cheaper than the outgoing pre-facelift model, while the petrol has gotten more expensive (bigger engine, SHVS hardware, additional battery). This might be a way to give the diesel a subtle sales bump; this thread illustrates how the petrol accounts for almost 3/4th of all Ciaz sales.

2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review-ciaz-fl-new.png

Safety features such as dual airbags, ABS+EBD, seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, ISOFIX child seat anchors and reverse parking sensors are standard across the range, while Maruti claims that the Ciaz complies with pedestrian protection, full frontal impact, frontal offset impact and side impact norms (we'll hold our kudos until the NCAP tests the India-spec car). The Ciaz is now equipped with audible speed alerts (VERY annoying) and seatbelt reminders for the driver & front passenger. Cruise control has been added, and the automatic gets ESP with hill-hold. Why no ESP for the MT owners, Maruti? Are their lives any less precious? Other features include automatic LED projector headlamps with auto levelling, LED daytime-running lights, LED foglamps and part LED tail-lamps.

We feel Maruti has missed an opportunity here. The Ciaz' VFM pricing definitely leaves room above for a true top-end variant with 6 airbags, sunroof, auto wipers & more. This could have been placed above the Alpha. Would have been a win-win as customers who can afford it get a better-spec'ed car while Maruti rakes in the moolah (profits are highest on top variants). We're frankly surprised that the bright brains at Maruti didn't think of this.

The Ciaz Facelift is available in seven body colours. Apart from the Nexa Blue colour of our test car, it is sold in Pearl Midnight Black, Pearl Sangria Red, Pearl Metallic Dignity Brown, Pearl Snow White, Metallic Magma Gray and Metallic Premium Silver. The last two colours are new additions to the colour palette (BHPian Ashish2135 shared a pic of the new silver here).

So, what's new on the outside?

Front end looks very mature & smart - we like the design. More European than Japanese IMHO. We're glad that Maruti didn't simply pick the Chinese Audi-inspired facelift (link). On the flipside, the usage of chrome is excessive. All that shiny silver looks gawdy to our eyes. There is a ready solution (details in the foglamp caption below):

The only changes at the rear are the reworked badging, black & chrome inserts on the bumper and tail-lamp detailing. Like the front, even this chrome treatment appears overdone:

Except for the new rims, there are no changes to the side profile. Facelift is 25 kilos heavier than the old car:

Alpha and Zeta variants are equipped with automatic LED projector headlamps with auto levelling, along with LED daytime running lights (DRLs) on the lower edge of the assembly. Also notice the chrome eyelid running on top of the cluster. Lower variants get halogen projector headlamps without DRLs. Get this = the outer shape of the headlamps is the same as the outgoing Ciaz, meaning easier headlamp swaps for existing owners:

With all the lights in action. Turn-indicators are now located on the inner portion of the headlamp cluster. DRLs are on all the time; switching on the pilot lamps makes them dim a bit. The headlamps don't get the 'follow me home' and 'lead me to vehicle' features though. These should have been provided, considering the cheaper Dzire gets them!!

Powerful LED projector headlamps illuminate the road very well:

With high beam engaged, the throw is simply fantastic!

DRLs are bright & prominent, even during the day. Bling lovers will be drawn to the Ciaz (DRLs + excessive chrome):

W-i-d-e glossy black grille with multiple horizontal slats replaces the simple & elegant 4-slat unit of the outgoing car. Grille gets a thick chrome strip at the top and a thinner, but longer one at the base (this is the only piece of chrome we like on the car):

Unlike the chrome strip at the base of the grille, the chrome garnish on top does not merge with the headlamps:

Front bumper has been completely redesigned with more aggressive creases, a wider air dam and new foglamp housings:

Alpha and Zeta variants get powerful white LED foglamps. Black foglamp housing has been redesigned. Alpha variant gets loud chrome highlights around the foglamp housings, while the Zeta and Delta get classier brushed-aluminium ones (Thanks to Karthik Chandra for sharing a pic here). We'd suggest a swap to Alpha-owning BHPians:

New 16" precision-cut rims with a metallic pebble grey finish look damn smart. 195/55 R16 tyre size continues unchanged. The Zeta and Delta variants get 15" silver alloy wheels draped in 185/65 section tyres, while the Sigma variant gets 15" steel wheels with full wheel caps. Lower variants should offer an even cushier ride, thanks to the taller tyre sidewalls:

Split, wraparound tail-lamps are identical in design to the older ones, but have different detailing inside. LED strips only for the pilot lamps (everything else is halogen). White portion on the boot lid (below the pilot lamp) is a dummy piece:

With all the lights in action. LED strips bring a very BMW'ish look to the car at night:

In 2017, Maruti moved the Ciaz to its Nexa dealer network. Thus, it gets this "Nexa" sticker on the rear windshield:

When the car was moved to Nexa, the sole Maruti-Suzuki badge was replaced by the model name:

Top right corner sports the Smart Hybrid badge (now even on the petrol). Like other Nexa cars, no variant badging is stuck anywhere on the car:

Rear bumper houses 4 parking sensors (even on the base trim):

Black inserts which house the rear reflectors have been redesigned. They now feature prominent / gawdy chrome borders:

The list of accessories includes this sweet body kit. Sadly, it'll be a case of a sheep in wolf's clothing:

We really like the Nexa blue colour. Got to appreciate Maruti's attention-to-detail. Ranveer was made to wear a similar blue in this video ad

Last edited by GTO : 10th October 2018 at 10:17.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:00   #4
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So, what's new on the inside?

Unlike the exterior, the interiors of the Ciaz have received only mild changes. The cabin continues with a dual-tone black and beige theme, but the colour of the faux wood inserts is lighter. The design of the dashboard, steering wheel and switchgear are the same as before; however, the instrument cluster has been revised:

Dark faux wood inserts have been replaced by low gloss birch blond wood and satin chrome inserts. This looks classy:

Leather-wrapped steering wheel with chrome accents is identical in design to the older car. With the addition of cruise control, it now gets buttons on the right spoke to operate the system:

Cruise control is provided on all variants, except the base! Switches for the same are provided on the right spoke of the steering wheel. I personally don't think it's of any use in India, yet I'm aware that some BHPians are fans of the feature. To them, the AT + cruise control combination might be tempting:

The rather simple-looking instrument cluster of the old car makes way for a more modern and good-looking unit with white fonts & blue needles (blue colour has already divided opinions in the Team-BHP office). It is easy to read and consists of a revv counter on the left, a new 4.2" MID with a coloured TFT display in the middle and a speedometer on the right. Analogue temperature and fuel gauges have been provided - we like. Petrol's revv counter is marked till 8,000, with the redline starting at 6,300 rpm. Notice the blue line at the top of the instrument cluster? It indicates how economically the car is being driven (e.g. it turns green if driven with a light foot and if you are coasting with no throttle input, it turns white). Petrol now gets 'smart hybrid' badging (we feel Maruti is royally exploiting the 'hybrid' tag):

The only thing carried over from the old instrument cluster are the two ugly adjustment stalks! Buttons should have replaced them by now:

The stalk on the left adjusts the trip meter, while the one on the right adjusts the brightness of the instrument cluster. Long press it to enter 'settings'. Twist it to the right or left to toggle between the functions and then, short press to select a function:

MID is similar to the Baleno's, but isn't an exact copy. Do note that this new MID is only available on the petrol. Readouts for the clock (with numbers & arms!), date, outside temperature, two trip meters, power and torque graphs, motion sensor (G-forces) and flow of energy (mild hybrid system). The graphical displays are sure gimmicky and fun to use initially. The power and torque meter shows you how much torque & power you are using (of what's available). A dot in the motion sensor moves backward or forward on acceleration or braking respectively, and left or right on taking a turn. The energy flow meter shows you where the energy to propel the car is being drawn from, and if or not the battery for the Smart Hybrid system is being charged:

MID shows how hard you are accelerating or braking. When you accelerate, a series of white vertical bars appear according to the intensity of the acceleration on the upper part of the MID. When you brake, orange bars appear according to the intensity of the braking below the center line. There is a display for the reverse parking sensor as well. MID also shows you the exact door (or boot lid) that is open. The last screen shows the level that the brightness of the instrument cluster has been set to:

First display shows the average fuel economy & distance to empty, while the second display shows the fuel economy over 5 / 10 / 15 minutes (AT's gear position on the bottom left). Third display shows the average speed (5 / 10 minutes) along with the driving time while the last display shows the stoppage time while idling and how much fuel you have saved by using the engine idle start/stop function:

After switching the car off, you get a summary of your drive with the range, your stoppage time while idling and how much fuel you have saved by using the engine idle start/stop function. This post-drive summary was first seen in Hyundais:

Settings that can be altered include the units for distance, fuel economy as well as language. Surprisingly, despite having options like Russian & Turkish, there's no "Hindi" or any regional language on offer. You can also change when the value of the average fuel consumption is reset and the unit of measure of the outside temperature. Ignore 'set sensors' ('trailer mode' for parking sensors):

You can adjust the time and date and change some door lock / unlock settings. You can choose to lock all doors manually or automatically, based on speed (20 km/h). Similarly, you can choose to unlock all doors manually or synchronise it with the switching off of the engine (we don't recommend this, keeping India's crime scene in mind). The lane change feature of the turn-indicators can be deactivated if you so wish, while the working of the footwell lights can be synchronized with either the opening of the doors or with the pilot lights. The footwell lights can be switched off as well:

You can play around with the anti-theft settings. Activate or deactivate the anti-theft alarm and the shock sensor, or tune their sensitivity levels:

Colour of the car in the MID can be changed according to your car's actual colour. Date display can be turned on or off and its format can be altered too. Seen below are basic settings for the fuel economy history, idling display and idling warning (i.e. messages related to the idling start / stop system). From these screenshots, you can tell that the MID has sharp fonts & is easy to read:

The Alpha and Zeta variants get automatic headlamps. The light stalk, therefore, gets an extra notch. Wish Maruti gave it auto-wipers too which are so useful in the rains:

In the AT, the button for the parking sensor off has been replaced by one for the engine idle start/stop. A button to disable the ESP (NOT recommended) has been provided, while the headlight beam adjuster has been left out:

MT, sadly, does not get ESP:

Door pads remain unchanged, except for the new birch blond wood and satin chrome inserts:

"Nexa" branded beige floor mats replace the dark ones of the previous car. These will get soiled easily - a poor choice of colour for Indian conditions. No scuff plates, even on the top variant:

Two hooks to lock the driver's floor mat in place. Warning label in English as well as Hindi:

Passenger's floor mat gets a single hook to lock it in place. Nice!

Front seats are carried over from the outgoing car. Even the leather upholstery is identical:

Storage pocket on the passenger's seat has disappeared with this facelift (reference image):

A look at the center fascia with the new birch blond wood and satin chrome inserts. In terms of design, the center fascia is identical to the outgoing car's:

All variants of the Ciaz get dual airbags as standard. Notice how the letters "SRS AIRBAG" have been printed onto the faux wood insert, rather than being etched on the dashboard as in most cars:

Like the front door pads, the rear ones get birch blond wood and satin chrome inserts. Other than that, the door pads are identical to the outgoing car's:

Spacious rear bench is the same...with one change:

It now comes with adjustable headrests instead of fixed ones! Adjustable headrests also mean safer neck restraints (preventing whiplash). Nothing for the middle occupant though:

ISOFIX child seat mounts are now standard on all variants of the Ciaz :

Top tether anchors get flip covers and are located on the parcel shelf:

Lithium-ion battery for the Smart Hybrid system is located below the front passenger seat (petrol Ciaz only). Won't interfere with your feet unless you are tall and really stretch your legs inside. No clue about the life of this battery & its replacement cost (we're guessing it's currently imported):

Boot lid now gets full cladding underneath (check older one here)!

Last edited by GTO : 10th October 2018 at 10:04.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:00   #5
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In-Car Entertainment

The Alpha (top) variant of the Maruti Ciaz has an updated SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system, which offers smartphone connectivity with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link. It's changed a lot since we last reviewed it, so am listing some key points below. Credit to Maruti for continually improving the system. When we originally reviewed the Ciaz years ago, it was loaded with bugs. Today, this head-unit is among the best out there.

Music is played through 6 speakers (including 2 tweeters) - speaker quality isn't as impressive as the HU. Sound quality is average. Connectivity is through Bluetooth, USB and Aux. A CD player is missing, but then, who uses CDs today. The system also comes with navigation (by 'Here' maps), voice recognition & serves as a screen for the reversing camera. The new addition to the system is the optional "Suzuki Connect" telematics system.

The now familiar 7-inch touchscreen is very easy to operate, although visibility under direct sunlight is average. While the screen is pretty sensitive to scrolling and clicking, there is a slight lag. It is not as quick as scrolling on a smartphone or Ford's awesome SYNC3. The home screen is divided into four logical sections. Music can be played from a variety of sources (including SD Card):

Sound settings include the usual equalizer and fader/balance adjustments. The sound quality is average:

Various other sound settings, including equalizer presets have been provided. The beep on touch feature can be activated or deactivated from this screen:

Navigation is via pre-loaded 'Here' maps on an SD card:

The Maps are quite accurate, must say. Although most of you will just prefer to use Google Maps via Android Auto & Apple CarPlay:

Call clarity is satisfactory as well:

Pairing with your smartphone is quick & easy. Owners will love the iOS & Android integration:

To use Android Auto, owners have to connect their smartphones to the system via a USB cable. Get directions, make calls, send and receive messages (including WhatsApp) and listen to music + audio books through a touch interface or voice commands:

Navigation through Google Maps is the best. Android Auto also helps in getting real-time traffic updates (via Google) on the screen:

Parking display is clear with colour-coded distance demarcations. However, it does not get adaptive guidelines. That said, the camera along with the reverse parking sensors helps greatly while backing up:

One can alter the brightness & contrast levels of the parking display, or switch off the guidelines:

Infotainment system can be locked or unlocked via a PIN. This lets you handover the vehicle to a driver without giving him access to the full system:

Owners of the Alpha variant can download the Suzuki SLDA Remote App on their smartphones, connect it to the infotainment system via Bluetooth and use their phones just like a remote control. Might be useful for chauffeured owners. You can switch the audio system on or off with the app. You can also select the music source, adjust the volume to your liking and mute/unmute the system:

Through the Suzuki Connect smartphone app, owners can keep a track of their vehicles. It requires a Telematics Control Unit (TCU) and a smartphone app, which is available on both iOS and Android. Smart Connect is not a standard feature. It has to be purchased separately. A 3-year subscription costs Rs. 9,999. Going by this thread, I don't think too many BHPians will opt for the feature:

Owners can track their car's movements or share it online for a specified trip. In case of a mishap, an emergency feature alerts specific chosen contacts. The notification comes along with the car's precise location. Suzuki Connect gives a support call for immediate technical or towing assistance if it detects an issue. Alternatively, it directs the owner of the car to the nearest authorised service center. One can also contact customer care and receive towing and technical support by touching the red calling button:

A summary of the alerts and trip logs can be accessed. Excellent for cabbies & fleet operators:

The app provides the carís average fuel consumption and distance covered for single or multiple trips. It allows owners to analyse their driving habits such as braking and acceleration too. The driving performance gets scored out of 100. This score is created from an algorithm based on several on-road parameters:

A number of alerts are displayed. Geofence alert allows owners to set a maximum of five boundary areas for their car at one time, and receive an alert every time the vehicle crosses these boundaries. Tow away alert shows up if the car moves from a parked position while the ignition is off. The 'navigate to car' feature allows owners to find where their car is parked and navigate to it. A service reminder is also provided. In a nutshell, this is definitely a cooler & more comprehensive telematics system than we've seen from most other manufacturers:

Last edited by GTO : 10th October 2018 at 10:02.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:00   #6
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Driving the 1.5L Petrol MT

1.5L K15 engine makes its debut in the Ciaz. Notice that it doesn't get an engine cover! Service intervals are the same (10000 km / 1 year):

The Ciaz petrol's 1.4L was always its weakest link. Well, things have improved with the facelift (although not too much). The new Ciaz is powered by a 1,462cc, 4-cylinder K15 engine that puts out 103 BHP @ 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm @ 4,400 rpm. While the power and torque figures are higher than the old 1.4L unit's 91 BHP and 130 Nm, they are no match for cars such as the City 1.5L, Verna 1.6L & Vento 1.2L TSI.

It must also be remembered that, with this facelift, the Ciaz's weight has gone up by 25 kg to 1,035 kilos. So while the old car's power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios stood at 90 BHP / ton and 129 Nm / ton, the new car's figures are 100 BHP / ton and 133 Nm / ton.

The new engine sure feels like an upsized version of the old motor. A lot of characteristics are similar (including some areas of the 'driving feel'). Overall, the 1.5L is better than the 1.4L, yet the difference isn't night & day.

The Alpha & Zeta variants are equipped with keyless entry & go. To start the car, press the clutch and hit the start button. The engine fires up with very little noise and without transmitting any vibrations to the cabin. At idle, it is silent. Press the clutch and you'll find that it has a light action and a short travel range. All the better for city driving. As if to match that, the gear shifter is light & smooth to use as well. Its gates are well-defined and there’s little effort required to slot the lever into place.

Release the clutch gradually and the car moves forward without any throttle input. You can even pull away from a standstill in 2nd, albeit with some extra accelerator input! Throttle response is quite satisfactory. Power comes in smooth & seamless. Low speed driveability is good and in the lower gears, the car can pull reasonably well at anything over 1,000 rpm. The way the engine is tuned makes the Ciaz a practical car to drive in urban surroundings. What's more, the 1.5L is refined at low revs (although it's not Verna-like refinement).

On the open road, the Ciaz feels adequately quick, but far from being really fast. Like the old Ciaz 1.4L, the Ciaz 1.5L is also more of a 'cruiser' rather than a 'racer'. Power delivery is linear and there is enough performance available to get the job done. That said, the car's outright performance is not as strong as its rivals. A Honda City will leave you in the dust. When pushed, the engine revs to 6,300 rpm. And with a full load of passengers & cargo, you will need to work it hard at times. Again, the Ciaz is more suited to a sedate driving style. The Maruti can comfortably cruise at 100 km/h & 120 km/h with the tachometer reading 2,600 rpm & 3,100 rpm respectively.

We feel that the rev limit of 6,300 rpm is very conservative. Sometimes, in the middle of overtaking maneuvers, you have to shift up. For the sake of comparison, the City's 1.5L crosses 7,000 rpm and is much more revv-happy too. The best way to sum up this engine is that it's 'adequate', which is the exact same term we'd used for the old 1.4L. This really goes to prove that Suzuki's competence is in small engines, not big ones (even the SX4's 1.6L & Vitara's 2.0L weren't that impressive).

Coming to NVH levels, the engine is silent while idling and acceptably refined at low revs. However, it is audible above 2,000 rpm. You can always hear the motor when you are accelerating. It starts getting loud post 3,500 rpm, and a lot more so after 4,500 rpm. Near the redline, it doesn't sound as sweet as the City's i-VTEC. Wind & tyre noise are both well-controlled.

The Delta, Zeta and Alpha variants of the Ciaz MT are equipped with cruise control, while ABS + EBD are standard on all variants. The handling, steering and braking of the facelift are similar to the outgoing car's.

Smart Hybrid system:

Maruti's Smart Hybrid tech has found its way into the Ciaz petrol. Unlike the diesel, the Smart Hybrid system in the petrol Ciaz uses a dual battery setup. While there is a conventional lead acid battery in the engine bay, a lithium-ion battery sits under the front passenger's seat.

This Smart Hybrid system is at best a very mild hybrid, and not a proper one like say, the ones seen in higher-end Toyotas. It essentially employs an integrated starter generator (ISG), whose primary objective is to enhance fuel-efficiency & reduce emissions. The ISG replaces both, the conventional starter and alternator. It allows greater electrical generation capacity.

Most of the FE improvements come from the idling start / stop system. This system switches the engine off when the car comes to a standstill and neutral is engaged. Upon pressing the clutch, the engine fires up again. While this might enhance fuel economy, it can get irritating, although we must admit that the start / stop action is less intrusive than in the diesel Ciaz. Yep, there is a button to disable the annoying feature. The conventional lead acid battery in the engine bay is used by the idling start / stop system.

The system also includes brake energy regeneration. In this, when the brakes are applied, the kinetic energy generated is converted into electric energy. This electric energy is stored in both the batteries. The Li-ion battery assists the engine by providing a little extra torque when the car needs to accelerate quickly. Do note that the batteries get charged even while the vehicle is coasting. While cruising, the electricity stored in the batteries is supplied to the various electrical components.

The ARAI FE rating has gone up to 21.56 km/l against the old car's 20.73 km/l. Not a world of difference, yet it leaves an impression when you consider that the engine size, power & torque have all increased.

1,462cc, 4-cylinder petrol develops 103 BHP and 138 Nm of torque. An engine for the mass market / sedate drivers, but not enthusiasts:

One smart thing that Maruti has done is they've kept all the petrol MT variants under the Rs 10-lakh bracket. This not only has tax advantages in many states, but also marketing benefits (9.99 always sounds better than 10.00). Trust Maruti's genius marketing team to come up with this for the petrol that accounts for an overwhelming majority of sales:

Petrol continues to get an insulation sheet under the bonnet:

No underbody protection at all!! Not even a plastic cover below the engine:

Sticker underneath the bonnet tells you about the placement of the lead acid and lithium-ion batteries. It claims that the Li-ion battery can also be used for vehicle start (guess you'll never need jumper cables in the Ciaz?):

A, B, C pedals and dead pedal are identical to the outgoing car's. They are well spaced out. Clutch is light, with a short travel range:

5-speed gear lever is carried over from the old car too. It comes with a leather boot, while the knob gets a glossy black top with chrome circling it. Like most Maruti cars, the gearshift is smooth:

MID readouts before starting the engine. While the manual version requests you to press the clutch and brake pedals to start the engine, just pressing the clutch is enough. If you press the start button without pressing the clutch (brake in the case of the AT), the car enters 'accessory' mode. In accessory mode, you can operate the stereo. Press the engine start button twice without pressing the clutch (brake in the case of the AT) and the car goes to 'ignition on' mode:

Gearshift suggesting tool shows when & which gear to shift to (bottom left). Newbies will appreciate this:

When the idling stop system kicks in, you'll see this green indicator in the rev counter:

An orange indicator is provided to indicate that the idle start/stop system has been switched off. Seatbelt reminder is just below it (now for the front passenger too):

Petrol doesn't get any labeling here. Don't be careless - ensure that the petrol pump attendant fills the right fuel in your Ciaz:

A video of the new 1.5L engine:

Driving the 1.5L Petrol Automatic

Maruti is offering a 4-speed AT as an option on all variants, except the base. Pretty cool. Variant to variant, the AT is priced exactly Rs. 1 lakh more than the MT.

This old & outdated 4-speed torque converter is certainly no match for the 6-speeder found in the Verna or the smooth CVT of the City, let alone the DSG of the Vento. That said, it's good enough to get the car from point A to point B with minimum fuss & effort. The only talking point of this AT is the convenience it provides, and not much else. If you buy a Ciaz AT, enjoy the ease of driving the slushbox offers and keep any performance-cravings aside. Just like we said for the engine, the AT gearbox is 'adequate'.

With your foot on the brake pedal, press the start button and the 1.5L engine comes to life. Just like the MT, starting up is a silent affair with no vibrations felt inside the cabin. Unlike the MT though, at standstill, the petrol motor in the AT revs till 4,000 rpm tops (MT touches the max revs of 6,300).

The car moves off the line very smoothly upon releasing the brake pedal. It'll crawl at ~5 km/h without accelerator input (useful in bumper-to-bumper traffic). However, when the accelerator is pressed, initially, the car feels a tad jerky. Right at the start, you will not get any response from the throttle and then suddenly, there is a mild jerk felt as the power comes in, even if you use a light foot. This can get annoying in slow moving traffic. Once you are on the move though, the AT is smooth and free of jerks. Drive the Ciaz in a sedate manner and the gearshifts are butter-smooth. Other than a driver who listens to the engine, the occupants of the car are not even likely to realize the gear changes. With a light foot, upshifts are seen at 1,700 - 1,800 rpm. It's an upshift-friendly transmission that's tuned for efficiency.

This transmission is not as quick-shifting as a DSG or even the 6-speed torque converter of the Verna. There is some delay before a downshift is executed upon kickdown. Further, when the speeds are continuously changing, the transmission does get confused. Aggressive use of the throttle will see the Ciaz AT hunting for gears. Therefore, it's best to drive with gradual accelerator inputs. Coming to the shift quality, it is noticeable in situations when you drive hard, but is never excessively jerky.

On the open road, the Ciaz is a fair cruiser. Throttle response is acceptable, while the power delivery is linear; the transmission gets the job done. The car can cruise at 100 km/h with the engine spinning at 2,300 rpm - 300 rpm lower than the manual. However, the motor is not strong higher up in the rev range, and does get buzzy. The transmission will shift up once you hit 6,000 rpm.

A button on the right side of the gear knob enables the driver to disengage the overdrive gear (4th). This is an outdated feature that we remember from the 80s & 90s (that's probably how old the gearbox is too). The overdrive keeps the gearbox in 4th at low revs while cruising. Disengaging it sees the revs shoot up as the gearbox shifts down to 3rd. However, this can come in handy when overtaking slow moving traffic on undivided highways as 4th is very tall and the AT always needs a downshift to 3rd to overtake. Better to keep it in 3rd (via the 'overdrive off' button) until you are done with overtaking. It will also help on continuously undulating roads where the gearbox will otherwise constantly shift between 3rd <-> 4th.

Maruti hasn't provided paddle shifters, a 'sport' mode or even manual mode. What it does have is "L" and "2" modes. In the former, the engine will stay in the lowest gear (1st). It is best to use this on steep ascents or descents. In the "2" mode, the engine will only use the initial 2 gears of the car (never going up to 3rd). This can be used on inclines & declines that are less severe.

Just like the MT, the AT gets cruise control. Additionally, the AT gets ESP with hill-hold .

The Ciaz AT also gets the Smart Hybrid system, which is reflected in its fuel efficiency figures. The ARAI-certified FE of the Ciaz AT is 20.28 km/l, which is over a km/l higher than the 19.12 km/l of the outgoing car.

Safety Warnings:

With this facelift, Maruti introduces audible safety warnings in the Ciaz. These include a seatbelt reminder for driver + front passenger and a speed alert system. These are soon to become mandatory on Indian cars.

If the driver or front passenger is not wearing his seatbelt and the car starts moving, once it touches 15 km/h, the seatbelt warning light in the instrument cluster starts flashing, accompanied by beeping. Then, even if the car stops, the visual and audible warnings don't! It is only after the occupants wear their seatbelts that the beeping ends. We like this feature, but not the next one .

Coming to the speed alert system, when the car crosses 80 km/h, the speed warning system beeps twice every 60 seconds. When the car crosses 120 km/h, it beeps continuously. Some drivers will find this irritating and the system cannot be turned off. We're sure that the after-market will come up with ways to disable this system though. We won't argue with the 120 km/h beeping as no Indian highway has speed limits higher than that. However, many expressways do allow you to legally cruise at 100 km/h. Why should you be bothered with two beeps every minute? Your ears will be ringing with beeps after a 10-hour drive! To discuss this feature with other BHPians, click here.

Here are a couple of videos showing how the speed alert system works:

Pedals in the AT are shared with other Maruti cars. Lots of space in the footwell. The dead pedal is a comfortable place to rest your left foot:

To start the AT, you need to put your foot on the brake pedal and hit the engine start button. While the car can be switched off in any gear position, it can only be started in "P". The MID urges you to shift accordingly. The gear-lever position is denoted at the bottom left corner of the MID (e.g. "P" shown here):

Simple, yet elegant gear shifter gets a leather boot and chrome insert. The knob has a perforated design pattern on the sides and front. Gearbox is an old 4-speed torque converter with an "L" mode:

A feature from the 80s & 90s that shows just how old this gearbox is. Press the 'overdrive off' button and the car won't engage 4th (top gear = 3rd). Useful when overtaking, or even preparing the car for overtaking before the actual move. The AT doesn't have a manual mode, but you can use this to command a downshift from 4th to 3rd:

An indicator appears above the speedometer when overdrive is turned off:

Cruise control sign appears on the MID when the feature is activated. See how the band's colour has changed to green? You'll see this whenever you are driving in an efficient manner (i.e. with a light foot):

ESP is available on the AT variants only. Indicator to show that it has been switched off is located on the right bottom corner of the instrument cluster. NEVER switch ESP off in Indian conditions; disabling it is only required when you need to start moving on very slippery surfaces like snow, slush etc.:

Disclaimer: Maruti invited Team-BHP for the Ciaz test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by Aditya : 21st November 2018 at 12:10.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:18   #7
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing! Fantastic review as always, guys. Rating thread 5 stars .

Definitely not my kind of car, but I would have bought it instead of the Nissan Sunny if it was available then. Would be perfect as the family ride. While enthusiasts should steer clear of it (mainly due to the engines), the car hits the bull’s eye by giving the mass market exactly what it wants. Styling (I love its new face), Maruti’s peace-of-the-mind ownership, VFM pricing, space, ride comfort, loads of features & fuel economy.

Another not-so-obvious advantage of the 1.5L is that it'll help Maruti in the showroom wars. A lot of regular Joe buyers place importance on the paper specs. Earlier, the Ciaz had a disadvantage as its 1.4L engine was being compared in size to the City’s 1.5L. No more the case.

You can see on the sales thread how the Ciaz facelift’s launch has affected the City (IMHO, it’s temporary though).

Last edited by GTO : 10th October 2018 at 10:21.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:50   #8
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Quite a smart facelift, I must say. I spotted one in my rear view mirror on the highway the other day and I was wondering which Skoda or Audi is this? I slowed down to get a good look and was quite impressed
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Old 10th October 2018, 11:28   #9
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Another not-so-obvious advantage of the 1.5L is that it'll help Maruti in the showroom wars. A lot of regular Joe buyers place importance on the paper specs. Earlier, the Ciaz had a disadvantage as its 1.4L engine was being compared in size to the Cityís 1.5L. No more the case.
This is the exact thought I had in my mind when I read review of new 1.5L mill. While this new motor does only seem like a minor improvement, it certainly is going to help sales advisor, ad's focused on comparison charts . 1.5L will not give Maruti the bragging rights but will definitely help them to claim "We are no less". Maruti could have plonked the 1.6L motor from SX4, even though it was old, performance was good. With this motor, the Ciaz would just fly given its lighter then SX4.
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Old 10th October 2018, 11:29   #10
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Thanks Aditya for the review. Rated 5 stars.

Maruti has definitely tasted success in the C2 segment with the Ciaz and now want to ensure that the cash registers keep ringing with this face lift.

I liked the new face and rear of the car. Also, the colors on offer are all terrific. Well done Maruti.

To the regular family, who are trying to pick their first sedan, Ciaz makes a very strong case. Seats 4 very comfortably, is cheap to own and run and yet looks cool.

For the family trying to get a workhorse (like GTO's Sunny), the Ciaz again makes a strong case. Reliable, spacious with a big boot and fuel efficient.

Surely the sales figures are echoing the success.
Ciaz numbers > Verna + City !
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:02   #11
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Fantastic review as always

Liked the styling of the face lift (except the chrome on top of the grill). Ciaz was a handsome car and the updates make it more desirable.

I wish Maruti had launched the new diesel engine with this face lift.

The body kit looks (at least) really sporty , sheep in wolf's cloth for sure

Last edited by Asish_VK : 10th October 2018 at 12:12.
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:08   #12
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Wonderful review Aditya. Covered it all and captured every aspect required out of a Test drive report.

My post is less related to the facelift and more towards the outgoing version. Since the platform hasn't changed much in terms of Chassis, Steering, Suspension, Seating and engine (Diesel only), I thought this was the right place to pour my thoughts.

The outgoing Ciaz was good for what it offered at the price bracket. The sales thread showed how despite of a mediocre Petrol then and the historical Diesel mill it was still opted almost equally by the buyers.

I then got a chance to drive with a friend to Jabalpur last month in his new pre-facelift Ciaz, a distance of 3000 Km and I came out impressed, both as a driver for over 2500 Km and a co-passenger for 500 km since I drove most of the trip. He picked this up 2 months before after a very good discount and bargain during stock clearance and it made perfect sense for his needs.

Since the facelift apart from aesthetic treatment (barring 100cc more for the Petrol with SHVS) doesn't differ much from the pre-facelift, my positive impressions driving the Diesel were due to the following:
  • Looks: There is no denying that the Ciaz is designed quite well as a sedan and it certainly looks inviting in few color shades

  • Value for Money, at the price point and of course the Brand image to some extent which attracts buyers

  • The Gap in terms of Pure performance and handling doesn't differ much from its closest competitors - Honda City or the Verna keeping in mind the buyer pattern for a spacious Sedan who really won't want to take on the curves and involve in throwing some tight corners during each trip. While the Petrol Engines in both Verna and City are superior, the good old MJD for sure didn't seem bad for the Ciaz during our drive. In short, there will be less of those who would say - Wish I had a City or a Verna for this trip instead of a Ciaz because others would perform better or handle well!

  • Since I drove the Diesel, I realised how Ciaz takes the crown among all the Maruti's with the MJD Engine when it comes to noise insulation (Closest one being Brezza). I haven't bothered much to check what makes it more silent but for sure Ciaz Diesel has better NVH with least noise intrusion

  • You may want to ignore it if you wish but the combination of SHVS and MJD on the Ciaz is really Fuel efficient. I would not want to mention the speeds in few sections we were mostly holding up to all the time on some really good and empty stretches along with normal cruising at 120kmph but at the end of the trip we got a fantastic FE of 19.5 kmpl for the overall trip including around 150 kms of real bad roads. The same in my Ertiga would deliver 16.5-17.5 kmpl only

  • A good cruiser : The Diesel Gearbox has a really taller 5th Gear and this I realised when I was looking at the RPM Dial. The gearing is taller than most of the other MJD counterparts and this is one reason for better FE with the Ciaz. So at 120 KMPH you hardly hear any Engine hum except for the Tire noise, while the RPM is 2500 at 120 in the Ciaz, it is nearly 3000 in the Ertiga and in 5th Gear. So you can imagine what it will deliver when cruising at 100 Kmph.

    2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review-ciaz_ertiga_120.jpg

    (Image courtesy : YouTube Videos)
  • Decent handler: It glides at cruising speeds without passing bouncy movements to those seated inside. It exhibits controlled body roll under extreme conditions only and in all other situations I felt it behaves as good as any other. Surprisingly, I found the steering feedback better till 110 Kmph (and otherwise beyond that I have mentioned in the negatives)

  • Space: Oh yes! everyone seated from your family will be happy with it.

  • Better quality at some places (Strictly referring to Maruti's own cars to compare) : When I recently opened the hood for a DIY, I found most of the otherwise bad elements decently fitted - Includes wiring harness, clips, headlamp caps (made of plastic and not rubber) etc.

What may have been better?
  • The Soft suspension: 5 Adults and there is every chance it will scrape when you pass on a speedbreaker (Ref- Bangalore). It did quite a few times with us.

  • Steering feedback at higher speeds: Adding to the soft suspension bit above, the steering feels good till around 110 Kmph after which if you want to hold onto a lane and take a longish curve on a dual carriageway, and if the road has uneven surfaces, the confidence levels drop to a disconnect and this was not due to improper tire pressures or crosswinds. It may be the OE tires to an extent too but overall steering feedback beyond certain speeds wasn't that good.

  • Driver seating comfort: I am 6'3" and I was still looking for space to move my seat backward. This is because the max position is still not great for taller drivers and that results in a bad underthigh support. Overall the seats are not great in terms of design and lumbar support (I will prefer Honda City here any day). My knee still touched the steering wheel adjusted to the highest position and I had to rest my leg at an angle to avoid brushing knee with the steering (Damn, I may never buy a sedan I know)
  • Flimsy control levers, Buttons and Stalks : Trust me, the stalks on the MID are like a toothpick while the switches are carried over since a decade now from all Maruti Suzuki Models. For a Sedan of this size, they should now do away with this parts sharing for few models at least and match what the competition offers

  • Stock headlights with Halogen Projector for Low beam wasn't confident inspiring at all as we mostly drove in dark in both directions. A recent DIY upgrade to HID Projectors made immense difference (will refer in appropriate thread). However, the facelift promises better lighting with LED Projectors and is clearly visible in the pictures

  • The irritating SHVS in Stop and Go traffic: I hated this and I mostly turned this off nearing Toll booths or while driving inside the city. I always lift my leg off the clutch after slotting to neutral while at a signal or a toll booth and this constant turning off and restarting was getting on my nerves till I learnt to pro-actively turned the SHVS off based on what's ahead

In the end, the biggest differentiator is certainly not the Brand nor the Engine for the Ciaz. The buying market today is very well aware of where to research before buying, especially when it comes to C-Segment Sedans. It is something else and by the review above we know what are those attributes!

Having recently read about the Crash test reports of both Brezza and the New Swift, it truly shows 2 faces of the same coin of MSIL. The HEARTECT platform series of new launches is now a worrying factor for me and I don't expect miracles if a test is carried out on the Ciaz.

Last edited by paragsachania : 10th October 2018 at 12:21.
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:11   #13
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

The pricing is fantastic , the Aplha petrol would be ~ 11.5 lacs on road and that is excellent VFM considering one gets a full blown sedan.

Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
Maruti could have plonked the 1.6L motor from SX4, even though it was old, performance was good. With this motor, the Ciaz would just fly given its lighter then SX4.
With 1.6 ltr motor the Ciaz would lose excise benefit and pricing under 10 lacs as they've done now wouldn't have been possible.

That said, MS certainly has room wrt pricing to accommodate an Alpha+ variant with

1. Probably an option with 1.6 ltr engine
2. 6 Airbags
3. Sun roof
4. ESP, TC & Hill hold

With the current pricing they can still price the Alpha+ below the Verna SX (O) & City VX (No MT in ZX). It'd be an added advantage to Ciaz since both Verna & Ciaz don't offer ESP, TC & Hill hold and the City VX doesn't get 6 airbags.

Last edited by Karthik Chandra : 10th October 2018 at 12:38.
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:24   #14
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Originally Posted by Karthik Chandra View Post
With 1.6 ltr motor the Ciaz would lose excise benefit and pricing under 10 lacs as they've done now wouldn't have been possible.

That said, MS certainly has room wrt pricing to accommodate an Alpha+ variant with

1. Probably an option with 1.6 ltr engine
2. 6 Airbags
3. Sun roof
4. ESP, TC & Hill hold

With the current pricing they can still price the Alpha+ below the Verna SX (O) & City VX (No MT in ZX). It'd be an added advantage to Ciaz since both Verna & Ciaz don't offer ESP, TC & Hill hold and the City VX doesn't get 6 airbags.
For a petrol motor, even the current 1.5L (or the old 1.4L one) would also not qualify for excise benefits, isn't it?
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:31   #15
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Default Re: 2018 Maruti Ciaz Facelift (1.5L Petrol) : Official Review

Originally Posted by Nav-i-gator View Post
For a petrol motor, even the current 1.5L (or the old 1.4L one) would also not qualify for excise benefits, isn't it?
For cars measuring < 4 meters, its 1.2 ltr for petrol & 1.5 ltr for diesel

For cars measuring > 4 meters, its 1.5 ltr for petrol & 1.5 ltr for diesel.

Currently except for the Verna (barring the 1.4 ltr variants), rest of the C2 sedans enjoy the excise benefit. Verna loses for both 1.6 petrol & diesel variants.

Shows how much premium Honda charges for the city since despite losing excise benefit the Verna undercuts the City. There is a rumour though that Hyundai is developing 1.5 ltr petrol and diesel motor. (Rumour: Hyundai Verna facelift to get 1.5L petrol & diesel engines)

Last edited by Karthik Chandra : 10th October 2018 at 12:35.
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