Watch Suzuki is on a roll. Once the specialist in micro and small cars, it’s now going into bigger and better things. The Ertiga showed Filipinos that Suzuki could also make great cars apart from the Swift. And now, it’s joined in the showroom by the all-new Ciaz. Considering that it’s competing in the lucrative, but heavily contested sub-compact sedan genre, let’s see how it performs in this Auto Feature.
For starters, the Ciaz is great to look at. It’s sporty and elegant with no line out of place. It doesn’t rely on overblown and caricature-like detailing to get attention so there are no large grilles, intakes, or headlights. Instead, it’s subdued and well-proportioned throughout. It’s especially handsome from the front three-quarters, creating an almost miniaturized executive sedan look.
The Ciaz goes from strength to strength the moment the driver’s door is opened. Like the classy and elegant exterior, the interior is clean and well laid out. The all-black color scheme means business. The consistent texturing and standard leather on the steering wheel and seats make for a luxurious cabin. It’s also interesting to know that apart from leather seats, the GLX variant come with keyless push start, automatic climate control, and even an Android OS-based infotainment system.
Suzuki is touting the Ciaz for its cavernous interior space, and they have every right to do so. Based off the Ertiga platform, which in turn is a modified Swift platform, provides good and uncompromising room front or back. The trunk space is pretty much alright and it can fit medium-sized trolleys.
The driver’s seat is supportive with the right amount of side bolster and thigh support. There’s also good movement built into it; though since it’s mounted high, the most comfortable seating position is with the seat height set low.
The steering wheel doesn’t offer reach adjustment, but it still falls naturally with an angle more like a sporty compact than a compromised small car.
With a sporty and elegant design, the Ciaz conducts itself quite nicely on the road. It doesn’t corner flatly, but it’s still pretty adept at handling curves and corners. Body roll is largely contained and can absorb the worst potholes and road cracks. NVH is nicely contained and it’s surprisingly quiet even at high speeds.
Instead of going with a 1.3 or 1.5-liter engine as the competition has, the Ciaz goes for the middle ground, equipping all variants with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Shared with the Ertiga, it loses three horsepower in this particular application (92 horsepower and 130 Nm of torque). There’s no need to fret about the lost horses as it feels adequately peppy in the city. It’s great also that the four-speed automatic is up to the task.