Maruti Ciaz petrol automatic review: Is this the segment-best?

It was a last minute emergency that prompted me to ask Maruti for the Ciaz petrol. You see, we we’ve already reviewed the 1.5-litre diesel version a couple of months ago. The usual Ciaz traits like the space, low cost of ownership and up-to-date features were present. So was the new 1.5-litre engine. The Ciaz accounts to more than 44 per cent sales in its segment and a chunk of that numbers comes from the new petrol engine. So is the Ciaz then the segment-best? We check it out with the new Maruti Ciaz petrol review.

Good bits of the Maruti Ciaz petrol

  • The new 104PS/138Nm, 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine has decent low end poke. The SHVS enables it to have a torque boost function that not only improves mileage but also eliminates the need to shift to a lower gear in traffic. We had the automatic version for a test and while the 4-speed auto may be outdated, it more than was up to the task in traffic.
  • A big petrol sedan returning 18kmpl on the highway is only stuff that Lexus could achieve. However, the Maruti Ciaz petrol easily reaches this number and returns close to 11-12kmpl in dense traffic conditions.
  • There is acres of space on offer and more often than not, is enough for three healthy grown-ups at the rear. This particular Ciaz was put to test while ferrying around relatives of a dear friend during a marriage function. Everyone appreciated the quality of materials, spaciousness as well as ride quality of the car. Moreover, the huge boot swallowed all their luggage without a whimper.
  • Even when fully loaded, the car didn’t lose out on the dynamics front and stayed rock steady at highway speeds and was also quick to change directions when needed.
  • Widespread Maruti network and the affordability of spare parts is definitely a plus point of this car. Competitors like Hyundai, Honda and Volkswagen can only envy the service network of Maruti Suzuki.

Not-so good bits of the Ciaz petrol

  • This engine is not a enthusiast’s delight. It doesn’t like being revved and has very low torque at higher speeds. Moreover, the hybrid system’s auto start-stop isn’t intuitive. Whenever we came to a stand-still, even in D mode, the engine will cut off. If u shift to Park mode, the engine comes back to life. This defeats the purpose of a start-stop system as it will end up expending more fuel than it should.
  • Fully laden, the ground clearance is low and more often than not, you got to take the vehicle zig-zag over speedbreakers. If Maruti could have stiffened up the suspension a bit, we think this issue can be resolved.
  • The interior doesn’t make you go wow. In fact, the SmartPlay infotainment system is old and should have been replaced by now. It feels laggy at times.

In all, if you are someone who will be mostly using his/her sedan once in a week or have old folks at home, the Ciaz petrol makes sense. However, if you are an enthusiast, you should definitely look elsewhere.

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