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Old 18th December 2017, 17:06   #1
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Cool My Maruti Ciaz Automatic

Likes
Big on space
Ride quality
Fuel efficiency
Pricing
Equipment levels

Dislikes
Mediocre performance
Outdated Gearbox. No bragging rights.

A lot can happen over a week.

A Toyota can fail.
The garage could shrink.
A new Jap could take over.
Or maybe another of those pseudo SUVs?


Well, not really, all these did not happen exactly like that but hey, life needs a bit of masala to keep it interesting.

So what did happen?

Well, our faithful 2012 Liva diesel, having run a faultless 95,000 kms, finally had its first failure. Toyota could not give an appointment in a week, and so this was diagnosed by a reputed AC servicing garage as 'AC compressor failure'. An estimate of 30k was given.

It was an eerie happenstance that just the day before, we were having a discussion about dad longing for a change, to a more comfortable sedan, and this time, an AT gearbox. So the moment the estimate was given, we did not have to think more about letting the Liva go. It had served us wonderfully over the years, and could probably continue doing it for much long, but Dad was not enjoying the current traffic scenarios and so we decided to move on.

Lack of a dilemma

For our set needs, the choice was easily narrowed down to the Ciaz. Dad has had a soft corner for the Ciaz and we had discussed getting one several times. But mom was the one who vetoed it saying the Liva was running perfectly well for our needs. Sigh..she was right too, until now

Alternatives (that were not really considered)

Honda City

We owned a 2011 City, and for me, the current generation is a step down as far as the interiors go. I just hate touchscreen audios, and the City has a soft touch climate control. (Waiting for the day they launch a touch screen steering. Should be loads of fun eh? )

I have to agree that the CVT-Vtec combo would be much nicer to drive than the Ciaz' AT, but then it was too pricey as well. So dropped it outright, it never stood a chance frankly.

The 2018 Verna

Love the looks. And the interiors. Add to the fact that the Verna is sold in developed international markets, and so has much nicer interior quality. What went against the Verna was the lack of rear seat comfort and space, and maybe the waiting period, I presume. Because I did not even call Hyundai. If it was for me and I was shopping for an AT sedan, I would have most probably got the Verna, I voted for it in both best in class poll, as well as the car of the year poll. But sadly, not for my parents.

The 2018 S cross

Yes, Cross !. That is exactly how I feel with the lack of an AT in the S cross. You are marketing something as premium, and there is no autobox. Or a petrol. I hope there is one in the future, for am strongly drawn towards this to replace my 70k done Ecosport TDCI Titanium. I can wait. I would not even mind the underpowered mjd. Ok, going off topic now.


Having finalised the Ciaz, the only question was the variant and the colour.

Selecting the variant

Safety is standard in all NEXA vehicles, just as it should be

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The AT box is available on all but the base variant. The difference between Delta and Zeta is only Rs 28,000 and there is a hell lot of kit for that. I was left wondering why anyone would want to own a Delta.

DELTA vs ZETA vs ALPHA

My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-screenshot_201712191249561.png

The Alpha, for Rs 1.4lakhs more, provides

Full leather (fabric+leather on Zeta);
Chrome belt line,
Leather wrapped steering (Sorely missed),
16 inch alloys (looks real nice but a trade on the ride comfort)
Touchscreen ICE

Amongst these the only ones I wanted was the elegant chrome garnishes and the steering wrap. But the asking was too high and so we settled on Zeta.


Now, the colour. White, of course. Classy, timeless and relatively easy to maintain. If only life was that simple.

My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-screenshot_20171219200409.png

Rather than saying what was the preferred colour, I would rather say what was not. Black because of the difficulty in maintaining it, and silver since the outgoing Liva was silver and we just wanted a change. Every other colour, White, Grey, Blue, Brown and Maroon was fought over amongst family and friends.

While shopping for a Polo for my sister recently, her choice was white or red. During the PDI, I sent her the following picture to which a horrified sister replied and I quote " I said White or Red, not white and Red"

My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-screenshot_20171219205721.png


Since there was a confusion there needed to be a solution. So like any man of the house would do, I put my foot down and announced my decision that it would be white. A silence. A smirk. If you believe fishes do not have feelings, you should have seen the face of my goldfish. I swear there was a smirk.

And so I did what any intelligent man of the house would over a fight with the Lord of the house (The wife of course) . Give up. An unconditional surrender. And for sanity's sake, I did just that. And Grey was chosen.


Interacting with NEXA

I contacted two Nexa showrooms to get the best possible offer, and obviously went with the one that provided the better rate. They were having some year end discounts and an attractive 50k exchange offer too. The Liva was put on olx too but NEXA B offered a much better rate.

Nexa A

This was the one near to me. They had a test drive vehicle available in automatic variant !! The test drive was provided and I found the gearbox to be alright, nothing remarkable, but will do its job. But they did not have stock of a Zeta, did not provide a test drive on Sunday, and was either very respectful of my privacy or did not want to follow up much initially. Bigger wheels, leather and touchscreen unit of the Alpha was immaterial to us and then the RM spoiled the whole NEXA experience by trying to explain to me that the Alpha's 195/55 R16 inch wheels would be more comfortable than the Zeta's 185/65 R15 alloys, and provide better fuel economy as well. I wish he had just said safety or the stance or something.

NEXA B

The assigned RM was extremely efficient, communicative and helpful. He mentioned that they had a couple of Zeta AT variants and also one in Grey. Since the Nexa was about 80 kms far for me, I requested my good friend and bhpian BigBrad to do a quick pdi. He graciously obliged and went the same day and gave a thumbs up. Thank you again buddy. I owe you one. {Not really. I often say stuff I do not really mean ;-)}


The deal was soon finalised. By this I mean I just gave the RM a Hobson's choice knowing very well the slow sales in December, the existing stock and the upcoming facelift and engine/gearbox upgrades. He was appreciative of the background work I had done on the Ciaz and after consulting his office, agreed to my terms. All good then. The money was wired and the Liva was given two days prior to the preferred date of delivery, which was the next Sunday.

Accessories

The Ciaz basic accessory kit costs Rs 7,079. This contains mud flaps, floor mats, pillows, perfume and a tissue box. For 7k. Yeah right. I opted out of this and asked for only the mud flaps to be installed (free of cost) and the rest would be sourced and handpicked individually. I was later informed by the RM that mudflaps are standard with Zeta and that they could instead offer a 'leather' steering wrap. While I love natural leather steering wraps, am wary of aftermarket ones as they do not have the same quality of the factory fit ones. I asked for a photo of a wrap and he sent one promptly.

My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-img20171213wa0027.jpg

It was hideous and I was horrified with the fit and finish to say the least. This was looking like one of those botched botox jobs. I asked for a direct cash discount instead of the wrap to which the RM surprisingly agreed.

Body side moulding

This was the only accessory that I installed from the dealer. Costs Rs 1,800 and an extra Rs 1,000 for getting it painted in body color. Am not really satisfied with the quality of painting but its alright.


The Delivery experience

The delivery was handled very efficiently and everything went smoothly. The vehicle was being given a final polish when I arrived. I have to mention here that there were a few dirty spots that had to be cleaned, which were promptly attended to after being brought to their attention. There was also a major scratch on the inside door panel trim, next to the driver's window, which I noticed then itself but realising that not much could be done about it, I just let it be. Sometimes its better to ignore some minor imperfections in life. Blank it out and you live a happy life.


My son, clearly miffed about not getting his choice of colour.
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-img_20171217_125138042_hdr.jpg
The friendly RM told him that the red car was broken down and so could not be had. My son replied that 'Brenda Dog' can repair it. No? Brenda dog? Peppa pig? Still don't get it? Sigh..

Brenda dog's garage
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-brenda-dog.jpg
You really should get up to date with the cartoons. There is no Tom and Jerry, or Jungle Book, or Duck tales, or He Man.. Reminds me of how old I have become :-(


Finally he goes over to check the 'grey one' and does what I can only describe as a sort of flehmen response. Be gentle buddy, lest you leave your indelible marks.
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-6.jpg


Err...back to the matter. There was a cake cutting ceremony, I have to say it was delicious.
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-8.jpg

The key was handed over to my son. They took pictures in the RM's iPad, which were promptly mailed to me. I was also provided with a 5L petrol coupon with a 3 day validity from the nearest IOC pump. In all the excitement , I forgot to get the tires checked for air pressure. Silly me. A few days later when I did check it, I found it was some 10-15 psi above the recommended 29psi.


An owner's take

There are multiple Ciaz ownership threads and a beautiful official review, however there is not much info available about the AT box in these threads and as of today there is no ownership review of a Ciaz AT. So I will give a sneak peak at how the AT fares.

The heart

The engine is a 1373cc unit, with VVT technology and puts out 91BHP @6000 rpm and a peak torque of 130 Nm @4000 rpm. The hood is insulated ( My sister's gravelly sounding polo MPI is not insulated) and the engine sounds are well contained. This of course does not compare with the silky smooth revving nature (Now you know how I got the handle ;-) ) of the Honda VTECs.

So is it under powered? No. It suffices, as long as you plan to ride it sedately. Expect anything more from the engine and you will be disappointed. But then, the reason for choosing the Ciaz AT should never be for outright power. You buy it for the space, for the reliability, the interiors, the features. You need grunt you should look else where. There is no way this would satisfy your need for speed.

The gearbox is a tried and tested 4 Speed Torque converter unit, mated to the engine with a single purpose. Fuel Efficiency. And am not joking when I say that am managing to get the same exact efficiency that I used to get with my 2011 city VTEC MT. A lot of this is down to the fact that the Ciaz is the lightest sedan in the class, and low slung too so I suppose that aids in aerodynamics.

The gearbox is a simple PRND2L with a overdrive lock button on the gear knob. Am sure almost everyone will know what PRND does, but I was confused a bit about 2 and L
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0094-copy.jpg

I was informed that the 2 and L locks the gearbox into 2nd and lowest gears respectively, and may be used if necessitated by steep elevation changes. Until now I have found that leaving it in D copes well with all the steep inclines I have encountered so far.

The overdrive lock button on the gearknob 'locks out' the top gear and so the gearbox will hold on to 3rd gear until it is manually turned off or the vehicle is switched off.
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-27.jpg
'O/D OFF' is displayed in the MID whenever the button is depressed so you wont leave it on for longer than needed.

The AT responds well in city conditions, you can barely feels the shifts here. On highways it is comfortable and is effortless till about 70-80 kmph, beyond that it is a bit sluggish. Am sure it will attain triple digits but you will need to flog it for that. Neither my father nor me is a pedal to metal type. Far from that. Infact am the butt of jokes during Team-bhp drives. We drive at a leisurely pace, and so the Ciaz delivers for us.

The AT box is neither a deal clincher, nor a breaker

Fuel efficiency

Heavy traffic : 11-12 kmpl
Moderate Traffic : 14 kmpl
Highways : 16 kmpl

Yes. its too good to be true, but it is what it is. Now imagine what they could have achieved with a modern slush box. The 2018 Ciaz face lift is rumored to be arriving with a much more potent engine and gearbox so good for them. In this age, a 4S AT is almost a crime when the norm is 6 speed.

The looks : To each his own

Most of what can be said about the exteriors and interiors of the Ciaz, has already been mentioned so many times over in Team BHP threads and so it would be boring and repetetive and could probably put you to sleep in your office where you could be reading this. Better to appear engrossed with your 'work' on the screen to your superiors, right? So I will save you the trip to the coffee station ( Are Ramu kakas still on the payroll? ) and jump right over to what I found interesting.


THE INTERIORS


Love it !!!
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-33.jpg

What can I say about the interiors. Probably the segment best if you consider the fit and finish, the quality and the space. I don't really miss anything here, its all goody good. One thing I really liked is that although there are enough cubby holes around, all are covered, and the soft opening action of the one ahead of the gearbox is real nice
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0095-copy.jpg
The cigarette lighter switches off with the vehicle. On the Ecosport, it stays on even if you switch off and lock the vehicle. Nice, since I can charge my mobiles in one go. Not so much from a safety point of view.


The seats
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-25.jpg
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-23.jpg

The seats on the Zeta are a combination of leather and fabric, while the Alpha variant has all leather seats, and the base Sigma and Delta makes do with comfortable (and apt for the climate)full fabric seats, and the brochure states that the leather contains part natural leather and part man-made leather. If that does not confuse you, it is only because you have a very high IQ; or you have not been paying any attention to what I just said about the seat material conundrum ! Ramu kaka is getting old and slow, go get that coffee yourself if it has not already arrived.


A closer look
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-26.jpg


The vents
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-30.jpg
The reason why the plain Jane looking vents find a mention here is because of the way each one can be individually shut. And there is no 'leak' at all. This is very important to me as I always direct cold air away from my body, and if am alone, I just close both the driver side vents. Yeah, a bit weird, even for me. Look closely and the air volume level indicator is marked with something which resembles the old white marker ink. With just as much finesse too.


The telephone function buttons
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0089.jpg
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0091.jpg
They are oddly placed. Were these add ons? Almost feels like it, doesn't it? This was my first impression too and being unused to the location, I was unsure of how to use it. These keys are to be 'lifted' slightly as opposed to pressing it and frankly after using it for a few days, I now prefer this location rather than on the steering. Its big and has a nice tactile feel.


Reverse parking sensor switch
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-61.jpg
Why would these be switched off? Beats me.
Note the classy Start/Stop button? Its hidden from the driver's line of sight.


Rear sunshade raised
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-47.jpg

and lowered
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-51.jpg
There is a feel good factor with having such features filtering down from the premium vehicles. The shades feel solid yet nicely slides in and out and is real easy to use.
I might leave it raised in the night too to encapsulate myself from the tailgating Icarus weilding Gustav Graves.

Anchorage for child seat
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-49.jpg
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-50.jpg


Electrically foldable mirrors
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-55.jpg


Backlit boot opener
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-58.jpg
The boot can also be opened via the remote, or manually by a button on the boot, well hidden near the rear cam.


The Footwell
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-59.jpg
The footwells are illuminated at night. The dead pedal, is not much (if at all) bigger than the one found on the manual variants.


Rear vents
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-41.jpg
Comes with a common air volume setting, direction of flow can be individually adjusted, but only ever so slightly.

Twin cabin lights
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-38.jpg
Can be switched on together via the switch or individually too by pressing on them.

Last edited by GTO : 13th January 2018 at 09:13. Reason: Moving likes & dislikes to the opening post
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Old 1st January 2018, 09:54   #2
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Default re: My Maruti Ciaz Automatic

There is a stately classy vibe about the Ciaz, and combined with the interior space, it almost feels like it straddles the C and D segments. I don't really like the grille, not only because of the sunglass necessitating overdose of plasticky chrome, but also because it is a size too large. There are some wonderful aftermarket mods available, but to be frank, I won't bother.

THE EXTERIORS


Clean rear
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-16.jpg
Just the Ciaz badge. No variants, No petrol/diesel, No MT/AT, nothing. I like it. The polo's rear is neat too.

Can't say that about the Ecosport's rear though. There is 1.Ford, 2.Ecosport, 3.TDCI, and 4.Titanium, all neatly arranged around the mounted spare wheel. Thank you Ford, but I would rather have you acting stingy here, like you did on the quality of those alloy wheel bolts, 5 of which I have already replaced after being worn off.

"No sir, you should not apply this much force while removing them."
"So I call out their names and they come out? "

I did try naming them... Chintu, Mintu, Tintu... but they all kind of look similar to me now.


Indescribable
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0068-copy.jpg
No idea at all what its function is. Just to hold a reflector? If its for aesthetics, its a fail. Meant for rear fogs maybe?

The tires and alloys
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-20.jpg
The Zeta rides on 185/65 R15 MRFs. The Alpha has sweet looking 16inchers with 195/55 rubbers. I can't get over those but I find comfort in the pillowy ride. Imagine what some Michelins could do to the ride. I can find some serious difference in the Ecosport's ride when I changed the stock MRFs to Michelin P3STs. The only saving grace is that the MRFs lasted a cool 63,000 kms before the tread wear indicators made their presence felt.

Parking sensors
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0072.jpg
Could have been a little bit more subtle, no?

Inconspicuous Rear view camera
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-19.jpg

The eyes
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-22.jpg
One of the striking features of the exterior. The low beam projectors (halogens) give out a nice spread of wonderfully focussed light. The hi beams could have been better.

ORVM indicators
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0107.jpg
Wish these were leds like on the polo. I intend to make it appear sleeker, a bit of masking could work here.

On the polo, sweet huh?
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0106.jpg

Child locks
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0102.jpg
These toggle pins are much more convenient to use than the ones that require a key. Remember, the Ciaz has keyless entry.

Windshield washers
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0078.jpg
Well placed ensuring a clean windshield and a dirty bonnet.

Should get a PETROL sticker.
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-56.jpg
Notice the small cup beneath the fuel inlet? It drains away any spills. How thoughtful.

Body side moulding
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0079.jpg
Really enhances the side profile, like the tastefully applied bit of chrome too.

The complete family
My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-ciaz-mob-63.jpg

Well, that pretty much sums up the shortish review. A month is hardly enough to evaluate a car, the initial excitement is still unbridled and contagious, yet let me try to post a short list of the likes and dislikes.

Cant really point out much problems with the Ciaz. You know how it is when you fall in love and in the honeymoon period, she farts and you both giggle and you go "That is the sweetest fart ever" ? Yeah, am in love and enjoying every single one of those farts.

My Maruti Ciaz Automatic-dsc_0045-copy.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 13th January 2018 at 09:12. Reason: Taking live
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Old 13th January 2018, 09:16   #3
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th January 2018, 10:33   #4
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Congratulations!! Very well put together. Enjoy your new ride and many happy miles ahead.
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Old 13th January 2018, 13:14   #5
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Hi Revintup ,

Congratulations for the new purchase and for a detailed review. I am finding myself in similar dilemma and my opinion about all other cars you have mentioned is exactly the same. And that's why despite so many cars around I now am left with only one option and that is Ciaz AT. My decision is still pending as I find my Grand i10 to be more responsive than Ciaz AT. I also don't like the fact that Maruti has not provided paddle shifters or a manual mode which is available with some other smaller and less expensive cars. How do you find the ground clearance with full load.
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Old 13th January 2018, 14:23   #6
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Beautifully written review! I like the Ciaz and it makes a good case for itself with an AT box, in case you are a sedate driver. I believe, the Zeta makes a more VFM buy, if you can forgo the touch screen and some additional features. Congrats and enjoy your new car. Do keep updating the thread, I will be interested in knowing the details. We might be doing some car shopping later this year

P.S: Do they sell it in black colour? I would love to get one in black colour.
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Old 13th January 2018, 16:40   #7
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Congratulations Revintup on the beautiful addition to your family. Great review with a very crispy and humorous write-up. I wish your car will never need any Brenda dog or Peppa pig and you enjoy many happy miles ahead.
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Old 13th January 2018, 19:00   #8
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What a wonderful review Revintup. As they say, short and sweet. I'm glad that you didn't go overboard with too much technical details. Had that been the case, it would've easily flown over my humble senses. Then it wouldn't have remained 'short and sweet' either.

Great choice of colour there. Lucky that you were spared the pains of colour selection dilemma by the "Kochi Bhpian gang". I was meted that misfortune when I was selecting my car colour; and believe me, it's meaty enough to get you pluck your hair.

I personally wouldve chosen the cherry red. That's ogle worthy. That said, having owned a hot red car in the past, I know how much of a pain it is in the posterior to maintain it.
Loved the way you explained how you succumbed to the diktat of the 'Almighty at home'. After all, life is not only about how you get the choicest colour of car. It has got more to do with peace at the line of control!!!

Lovely review once again. Looking forward for the test drive. Rated the well deserved five stars.
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Old 13th January 2018, 19:13   #9
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An absolutely-delightful thread! Congrats on the new car buddy! Your garage looks enviable now.

The Ciaz AT has been getting good reviews from the ones who test-drove it, but an ownership thread for the same was much awaited. And we could have helped you with the colour selection, as DhanushMenon mentioned

Drive safe buddy!

PS: Dont forget to Visit Brenda Dog's Garage for air top-ups and general checkups!
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Old 13th January 2018, 20:13   #10
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Congratulations Revintup.

Well written - entertaining read.

A very logical decision making process- even when you were trying to put in a little bit of heart, the home minister poured cold water on it eh?

Wishing you many happy miles
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Old 13th January 2018, 22:04   #11
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Congratulations on your new ride and well written review.
Can you share the cruising rpms at 80,100 &120kmph?
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Old 13th January 2018, 22:14   #12
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Congrats revintup! Wish you many happy miles with the new Car.
Last Jan I too was in a similar situation, the mind ruled over the heart and got home a diesel Ciaz. Having driven over 20k kms in the last 11 months, looking back now it feels like the right decision.
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Old 13th January 2018, 23:15   #13
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Congratulations. Just test drove one myself yesterday and loved the feel of the car, though I am used to the high seating position of my TUV 300.

I am in a dilemma if I should book a Ecosport or the Ciaz AT. Since you own both, can you throw some light on Ecosport's reliability ? I do frequent highway drives and want my car to be extremely reliable with strong suspension and GC. What do you recommend between the both ?

Last edited by TaurusAl : 13th January 2018 at 23:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 14th January 2018, 07:55   #14
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Well written, well edited review. Straight to the point and not a sign of any unwanted detail. Wishing you many more happy miles on the new ride.
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Old 14th January 2018, 09:34   #15
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First a big congratulations on the new Ciaz. Thank you for writing a crisp brief review with lots of photos (that speak a 1000 words) instead of the 1000 words themselves. Pity about the colour getting decided by your (much, much) better half but that is the way life rolls the dice. Let your wife know that my missus thinks the steel grey looks smarter! - what's it with women and grey I say.Having ridden in (but never driven) the Ciaz and the new Honda City I would vote for the Ciaz. I am pleased you savour the service and attitude factor of Maruti Nexa and it worked well for you. The life time experience is more important than just the car. Happy motoring.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 14th January 2018 at 09:36.
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