The Ciaz is a popular compact sedan by Suzuki that was developed to replace the SX4 sedan in Asian and Latin American markets. The Ciaz was first introduced in China in 2014, where it is called as Alivio, followed by India and other Asian, African and Latin American markets.
From 2017, the Ciaz started to received its mid-life refresh. The Chinese facelift, called the Alivio Pro was introduced in late 2017 while just recently the Indian market has received the Ciaz facelift, which looks considerably different from the China-spec Alivio Pro. Reportedly the Ciaz is headed to South African market as well for an expected Q1, 2019 launch.
In India the Ciaz is the most popular car in its segment and has created huge problems for Honda City, which is otherwise considered as the king of this segment. Almost 4 years after being introduced, the Ciaz facelift is expected to help Maruti Suzuki maintain its dominance in this class, as the vehicle comes with a number of improvements over its predecessor.
The most important upgrade is the engine for sure, as the 2018 Ciaz facelift ditches the old 1.4 liter K-series engine in favor of a new 1.5-liter K-series petrol engine with mild hybrid technology. The new engine churns our 104hp along with 138Nm of peak torque, which is 14hp & 8Nm more than the outgoing engine.
The additional displacement makes the Ciaz better suited for city driving than ever before. It is now stronger at low revs, help the car pull effortlessly even with luggage and three occupants onboard.
Mild Hybrid System
The petrol version of the 2018 Ciaz facelift now comes with mild hybrid SHVS system, earlier the SHVS technology was limited to Ciaz diesel only. The SHVS system includes a dual battery setup which assists the engine with start-stop function and generates additional pulling power, thereby taking some load off the engine and in turn reducing the fuel consumption. The start-stop function is quite effective, you just need to pull up, engage neutral, get off the clutch and the engine shuts off immediately, depressing the clutch pedal again and the crank turns over almost instantly.
The 2018 Ciaz facelift has made the sedan appear more sharper and sportier. Contrary to the China-spec Alivio pro which uses an Audi-inspired front grille, the Maruti Ciaz features a sleeker look with a slender grille that reaches the LED headlamps on either ends. There are LED DRLs, and LED fog lamps housed on a redesigned bumper to complement the update.
Other updates include the razor-cut style 16-inch alloy wheels and the updated taillights with new detailing that are more noticeable when lit up. All in all, the 2018 Ciaz facelift looks well balanced and appears much more sportier and mature than ever. The Suzuki Ciaz happens to be the longest sedan in its segment (in India) and it’s something most buyers in this segment love. Pretty much the case with Toyota Corolla 1.3 despite having a smaller engine, people love it for having larger dimensions.
While there are no major changes to the layout of the dashboard, the door pads or the seats, it’s the little updates to the trim that catches the attention. First up there is new faux wood accents plastered across the dashboard and the door pads, which actually do look good. There are also new satin chrome highlights on the center console and door trims that go well with the coherent ambience of this cabin.
Then there is a new 4.2-inch multi information display between the dials, displaying a host of driving-related read outs. What’s new is the light bar at the top which changes its color depending on how easy or hard you are dealing with the throttle.
The Ciaz retains Maruti’s SmartPlay infotainment system that gets both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Although the 2018 update doesn’t bring about any further improvements as far as the interior is concerned, the ample amount of legroom and headroom the Ciaz offers is quite appreciable.
The 2018 Ciaz also gets high speed warning alert which comes in at certain speeds. It will let out one beep each at 80kmph and 100kmph, however after 120kmph the car will constantly beep at you.
Other safety features include driver and passenger seatbelt alert, ISOFIX mounts for child seat, cruise control, dual airbags, ABS and EBD. Whereas the automatic versions get ESP and hill hold function as standard.
Available in four variants: Sigma, Delta, Zeta, and Alpha, in both petrol and diesel engine options. The price of 2018 Suzuki Ciaz facelift in India starts from INR 8.19 lac for the base Sigma petrol MT, and goes as high as INR 10.97 lac for the top-of-the-line Alpha petrol AT & Alpha diesel MT variants.
|Sigma petrol MT||INR 8.19 lac|
|Delta petrol MT||INR 8.80 lac|
|Zeta petrol MT||INR 9.57 lac|
|Alpha petrol MT||INR 9.97 lac|
|Delta petrol AT||INR 9.80 lac|
|Zeta petrol AT||INR 10.57 lac|
|Alpha petrol AT||INR 10.97 lac|
|Sigma diesel MT||INR 9.19 lac|
|Delta diesel MT||INR 9.80 lac|
|Zeta diesel MT||INR 10.57 lac|
|Alpha diesel MT||INR 10.97 lac|
The Suzuki Ciaz has been a market leader across the border, primarily because of its lower price tag and amazing array of convenience and safety features it offers. It also offers largest dimensions among the competitors, tremendous cabin space for occupants and ample cargo space too. The Ciaz is also considered among the most fuel efficient vehicles in India, thanks to Suzuki’s SHVS technology.
On the other hand in Pakistan, the stripped down Pak Suzuki Ciaz which allegedly smashed its critics right after its launch in February 2017, has been struggling to leave the showroom floors since then. However since Pak Suzuki doesn’t assemble the Ciaz locally, rather it imports the sedan as CBU, it will be interesting to see if they are able to launch the facelift here, after it reaches other Asian markets as early as 2019.
2018 Maruti Suzuki Ciaz images from launch event:
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com