Maruti Ciaz adds to the competition in the segment which already boasts of heavyweights like the Hyundai Verna and the Honda City. The Ciaz was showcased as a concept car at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo.

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Built on an all-new platform, the Ciaz gets a new look. The front fascia comprises of a fairly large hood and a 4-slat chrome grille with the Suzuki ‘S’ badge in the centre. The large projector head-lamps stand out. The 16-inch alloys come only on the top-end Z+ variant. Base variants have R15 wheels. The 2650 mm of wheelbase is substantially more than that of its rivals. The sedan also gets a ground clearance of 170 mm. The dimensions of the Ciaz are 4490 mm length, 1730 mm width, and 1485 mm height.

The Ciaz has a roomy cabin and has lots of storage space. The beige-black interiors with wooden garnish and chrome surrounds on the dash looks premium. The central console on the top-end Z+ variants comes with a SmartPlay infotainment system with a large touch screen. This unit from Bosch is equipped with voice recognition, navigation, integrated rear view camera and Bluetooth. Sadly, we faced some minor issues with the screen turning on and off in our test cars.

In addition to the generous space, the car also gets several comfort-enhancing features, like rear AC vents, extra shade on the windscreen, and reading lamps among others. The leather seats are quite comfortable and provide excellent thigh and shoulder support.

The boot space is 510 litres. The Ciaz gets ABS with EBD mid-variant onwards, while dual airbags are available only on the top-end trims, with the mid-level trim offering only driver-side airbag.

The suspensions are the McPherson struts at the front and torsion beams at the rear.

Under the hood is the 1.3-litre diesel variant, carried over from the Ertiga. This engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox and generates 89 bhp along with a torque of 200 Nm. The upgraded 1.4-litre K-Series petrol motor has 91 bhp power and 130 Nm of torque. Two transmission options are on offer with the petrol variant – the 4-speed automatic and a 5-speed manual.

Petrol car will race from 0 to 100 km in 12.1 and the diesel one in 15 to 16 seconds with maximum speeds of 170 kmph and 155 kmph respectively. The petrol variants give mileages of 20.73 kmpl (19.12 kmpl for auto) and the diesel variants give mileages of 26.21 kmpl.

The Ciaz comes in colours of onyx black, night shade, deep grey, blade3 silver, bronze grey and pearl white.

The competition comes from sedans like the Hyundai Verna, the Volkswagen Vento, the Honda City and the Nissan Sunny.

Also check out the Honda Livo