Maruti has been out of the game for quite sometime now. Slowly losing market presence to manufacturers such as Hyundai and Honda, the Indian car maker has had it rough in various sectors of the Indian market. While the car manufacturer sells units in good numbers in the budget segments, Maruti Suzuki has not been able to break new ground in the C1 sedan segments. With the launch of the Fluidic Verna and the more recent 2014 Honda City, Maruti needed a replacement for the aging SX4 to compete against foreign manufacturers. Launching in a few weeks time, the Ciaz will be Maruti Suzuki’s trump card against the hugely successful Verna and City. How well does the new model compare? We find out.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz:
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is a milestone in the company’s design segment. Although the car maker has improved over the past few years, Maruti still did not have the finesse of the Japanese or the extravagance that the Verna offered. This time however, with the Ciaz, the Indian car manufacturer has vastly improved itself on the design front. Headlight design is striking without the outlandishly swept back design implemented in most cars these days. Unlike the Chinese model, Maruti has opted for lesser amounts of chrome around the grille and front bumper.
Over at the back, one cannot help but notice the similarities in tail light design to the current gen Honda City. However the stylish tail lamps, boot lip spoiler and well designed rear bumper gives the Ciaz a premium look, a characteristic lacking in most cars from the Indian brand.
Hyundai Verna: Hyundai's critically acclaimed Fluidic Design philosophy worked wonders for current gen Verna here in India. With the launch of the C segment sedan here in India, Hyundai reinvented its brand image as a trend setter and not just a trend follower. Sadly however, riding on the immense success of the sedan, the manufacturer has failed to update the Verna sufficiently to compete against its rivals and as a result though the Verna is a striking car, the design has been around for quite sometime now and most buyers may want to look for something fresh.[caption id="attachment_570" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Hyundai Verna[/caption] Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Interiors: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz: The Ciaz's interiors showcases Maruti's steady growth into a more mature manufacturer. Focusing on not just following the trend but developing a design philosophy that suits its vehicles, the Ciaz sports is one of the most well balanced cabins in its segment. While cars such as the Vento adopt a no-nonsense approach, the Indian audience always look for a bit of zing in everything. The Ciaz strikes the perfect balance between functionality and panache. Making good use of faux wood and premium plastics, the Ciaz's interiors a major step up from that of the SX4 and offers a more than premium feel to it. [caption id="attachment_3011" align="aligncenter" width="1366"] Interiors of the New Ciaz[/caption] The center console also features a high end multi touch infotainment system that offers smartphone connectivity, navigation and voice recognition. One of the most interesting additions to the car's entertainment system is MirrorLink which throws the paired smartphone's display directly onto the infotainment screen. The Ciaz also offers the best in class cabin space. Hyundai Verna: Compared to the Ciaz, the Verna is rather dated. While the Hyundai sedan has been hugely successful in its lifetime, the aging tech inside has begun to show. Interior design is still top notch. However, there is escaping the fact that the Verna sports a rather simple entertainment system with minimal connectivity options. Despite the beautiful plastics and faux wood inserts, the Verna falls short on features when compared to the Ciaz. [caption id="attachment_571" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Interiors of the Hyundai Verna[/caption] Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Under the Hood: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz: Maruti Suzuki has always been about value for money and the Ciaz is no exception. Powering the Ciaz will be both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol variant will sport the Ertiga's 1.4 L VVT engine that gives an incredible 20.73 km/l. When launched, the Ciaz will be one of the most fuel efficient petrol powered sedans available in the Indian market. The diesel mill will be a 1.3 L DDiS unit that also competes for best in class mileage. Rivaling that of Honda's EarthDreams 1.6 L i-DTEC motor, the 1.3 L diesel engine is expected to give 26.21 kilometers to the liter. Sadly however, Maruti Suzuki will not be offering the Ciaz with an AMT or automatic gearbox at the time of launching. Hyundai Verna: The Hyundai Verna makes use of a 1.6 L and 1.4 L petrol as well as 1.4 L and 1.6 L diesel mills. The 1.4 L petrol mill churns out 105 bhp @ 6300 RPM and 138 Nm @ 5000 RPM while the more powerful 1.6 L petrol engine puts out 121 bhp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 155 Nm @ 4200 RPM. The 1.4 L and 1.6 L CRDi diesel engines produce 89 bhp @ 4000 RPM and 121 bhp @ 6300 RPM respectively. Both the 1.6 L petrol and diesel are also offered with an automatic gearbox. Winner: Hyundai Verna Verdict: The Hyundai Verna has been a segment leader for quite sometime now. Sadly with the lack of updates to take on newer arrivals, the Verna has now become a thing of the past. Until the next generation Verna (rumored to be the Solaris Internationally) is set to arrive, Maruti's latest offering is one of the best in both the manufacturer's history as well as in the current market.