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Suzuki Ciaz 1.5GL: Compact, comfortable and conservative

By Ghaith Madadha - Sep 02,2019 - Last updated at Sep 02,2019

Photo courtesy of Suzuki

Better known for their small hatchbacks and SUVs, tiny Japanese city Kei cars and motorcycles, the compact Ciaz is, however, one of Suzuki’s few saloon cars.

Built by the Japanese manufacturer’s Indian Maruti Suzuki subsidiary, the Ciaz is the brand’s gambit at a world car, using a three-box four-door saloon body style to better appeal to developing tastes and preferences in the developing world.

With a more upmarket and conservative connotation from its saloon body style, the Ciaz is, however, developed to be affordable, attainable and uncomplicated.

First introduced in 2014 and face-lifted for the 2019 model year, the Ciaz plays down the typically feisty, fun and playful characteristics of many a Suzuki, and instead has a more neutral, understated and mainstream design sensibility. 

A more mature Suzuki to better suit more mature and conservative clientele, the Ciaz is nevertheless a handsome compact saloon, with a flowing profile and roofline, and has been revised with a sportier and more assertive look that includes more prominently textured surfacing and bigger more aggressive side intakes and bumper design.


Smooth and willing


A hungrier looking car than the one it replaces, the revised Ciaz also receives a narrower, yet, wider full-length grille between its headlights, with classier top and bottom chrome strips in place of chrome slats. 

And under its raised bonnet, the Ciaz is powered by a slightly enlarged naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine in place of the outgoing 1.4-litre. Driving the front wheels through a four-speed automatic gearbox, the Ciaz’s new engine develops 103BHP at 6,000rpm and 102lb/ft at 4,400rpm and quoted to return frugal 5.5l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency. 

Progressively eager and with a distant high rev snarl subdued by more sound insulation than its Baleno hatchback sister model, the Ciaz’ 1.5-litre engine is smooth and willing. Its eager to rev nature is just as well given that with just four — albeit slick shifting — speeds, one often tend to work the Ciaz’ little engine hard to make quick progress. 

Responsive to throttle input from standstill and with adequate mid-range versatility, the lightweight Ciaz is estimated to accelerate through 0-100km/h in around 11.5-seconds and to be capable of approximately 175km/h.


Light and forgiving


A lightweight 1,027kg car with a more mature feeling suspension set-up, the Ciaz feels heavier and more insulated when cruising or pottering around town, like a bigger car. 

However, pushed slightly harder, it feels relatively nimble, with quick and tidy turn-in, reassuring grip and a good level of driver-car communication and feel. Compact and with good front and side visibility, the Ciaz is easy to manoeuvre and place on the road, through traffic and when parking. 

Meanwhile its light steering is well-damped but quick and offers decent road feel through corners.

Narrow and with high sidewalls at 185/65R15, the Ciaz’ tyres improve steering feel and make it more comfortably forgiving in better absorbing shocks from lumps, bumps and cracks than sportier low profile tyres. 

Gliding smoothly over imperfections, the Ciaz tall tyres are also less prone to damage from potholes and kerbs, and are better suited to rougher roads. 

And as a car for developing markets, the Ciaz’ somewhat high 160mm ride height serves it well whether driven through dirt roads or the bigger bumps and potholes often encountered on Amman’s roads.


Small yet spacious


Best in blue with a dark interior as pictured in right-hand-drive guise for its home Indian market, the driven left-hand-drive version’s bronze and beige combo did not play best to the Ciaz’ design strengths inside or out. 

Uncluttered, business-like and pleasant as pictured with metallic trim, the driven car’s uninspired beige upholstery and obviously faux wood trim just seemed to try too hard to emphasise a conservative character. Otherwise, the Ciaz’ cabin offers a good driving position and good front and rear room, and generous 510-litre luggage volume.

Competing with other uncomplicated, comfortable, conservative yet reliable and well-equipped compact saloons with an eye on developing markets, like the Peugeot 301, Renault Logan and the Honda City, the Ciaz is at priced at the attainable end of the market. 

At JD15,250 on road, without insurance, it is just JD750 more than the smaller and less powerful, but more fun and better looking Suzuki Baleno hatchback. 

Equipment for the driven GL specification meanwhile includes ABS brakes, electronic stability control, central locking, electric windows, air conditioning, security alarm and USB-enabled sound system.



Engine: 1.5-litre, transverse 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 74 x 85mm

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, multi-point injection

Gearbox: 4-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 103 (105) [77] @6,000rpm

Specific power: 70.45BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 100.29BHP/tonne

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 102 (138) @4,400rpm

Specific torque: 94.39Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 134.37Nm/tonne

0-100km/h: approximately 11.5-seconds (estimate)

Top speed: 175km/h (estimate)

Fuel consumption, combined: 5.5-litres/100km (estimate)

Fuel capacity: 43-litres

Length: 4,490mm

Width: 1,730mm

Height: 1,475mm

Wheelbase: 2,650mm

Tread, F/R: 1,495/1,505mm

Ground clearance: 160mm

Kerb weight: 1,027kg

Doors/seats: 4/5

Luggage volume: 510-litres

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Turning circle: 10.8-metres

Suspension: MacPherson struts/torsion beam

Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/drums

Tyres: 185/65R15

Price, JD15,750 (on the road, excluding insurance)

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