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Suzuki Ciaz – Premium motoring on a budget

28.05.2015

LIFE is full of little unexpected surprises. The Suzuki Ciaz was definitely one of those blessings in disguise when it arrived at Autodealer. We peeled of that hard shell (figuratively speaking) to reveal the true personality, hidden underneath.

Lately, Japanese carmaker, Suzuki, has earned a reputation of strategically placing its different models within the local passenger car segments, similar to the pieces of a puzzle flowing into each other. As far as sedans go, the marque’s latest model is positioned between the budget orientated Suzuki Swift DZire and the more premium, Suzuki Kizashi. This positioning translates to the Ciaz having elements of both in its DNA – think of it as premium on a budget.

The Ciaz however, neither looks nor feels, budget – at all. On the outside it is evident that serious thought went into the styling of the Ciaz to create a car that stands out – even a little – from its competitors.

Arguably the most important styling feature on any car is the grille area. In that department Suzuki did not disappoint with a boldly styled horizontally-barred grille and a sportily placed lower intake. Complementing the sporty front-end styling is the widely positioned fog-light casing.

The side profile of the Ciaz is styled to create a smooth rounded silhouette, also aiding in the aerodynamics of the compact sedan, coupled with the 16-inch alloy rims available on the GLX model on test – the Ciaz looks well proportioned.

Although a subjective matter, the prominent taillight clusters can look awkward from certain angles – dated in a certain sense however, it does supplement the perceived dimensions of the Ciaz, making it look more commanding.

On the inside, Suzuki focused primarily on comfort and space. In the GLX model, occupants get a sensation of the good life with genuine leather upholstery, which comes standard on the GLX model. 

The interior is primarily finished in black and dark grey with silver accents adding elegance and variety to the cabin of Suzuki’s compact sedan.

Lately known for its easy to use controls, Suzuki did not disappoint. From the air-conditioner and the radio system, to the cruise control, everything is easy to understand. On that note, the fascia is neatly laid out with handy stowaway space underneath with a sliding cover.

For the sake of balance, one critique, however small, would be directed towards the positioning of the steering wheel audio controls. Similar to the Splash, the audio controls on the steering wheel of the Ciaz are positioned on the left-hand side making it entirely redundant and slightly annoying when driving in unyielding traffic and the driver’s hand is resting on the gear-lever.

On the performance side of the coin the Ciaz delivers more than adequately. The 1.4-litre engine of the Ciaz has 70kW on tap from a relatively high-revving 6 000rpm and delivers 130Nm of torque when needed.

The new kid on the block has a claimed fuel-consumption of 5.4 litres/100km, an easily achievable figure - considering after a week of spirited driving and traffic jams - the Ciaz delivered an average of only 5.6 litres/100km.  

Verdict

The Suzuki Ciaz is excellent value for money and trumps its segment competitors in most areas. Great attention to detail has been devoted to the Ciaz on the outside and especially on the inside with a premium feel and an abundance of space. Perfect for a small family, the compact sedan offers more rear legroom than some luxury sedans and a boot capable of gulping 495 litres of luggage. Suzuki truly hit the nail right on the head with this new entry, as it does everything expected from a compact sedan and then some.

Article written by Deon van der Walt
28.05.2015
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