Maruti Suzuki India, which has reported 29 percent year-on-year growth in sales for August 2014 and 15.8 percent growth for the April-August 2014 period, is understood to be betting big on the Ciaz, its all-new midsize premium sedan. Bookings for the car have opened today at Rs 21,000.
Maruti has benchmarked the Ciaz against the Honda City, with the aim of wresting sales away from the undisputed segment leader by offering a mix of features, space and value with the Ciaz. In fact, some of the Ciaz’s styling elements like the rear tail-lights bear a striking resemblance to the City's. The Ciaz’s cabin feels more upmarket than any midsize Suzuki before it and in terms of quality, is right up there with the likes of the City. Maruti has also packed the Ciaz with a long list of features to pamper midsize car buyers who now expect the same level of equipment as in bigger cars.
With the Ciaz, Maruti is pulling out all stops to crack the midsize segment, which has long eluded the company. Maruti’s first midsizer, the Baleno failed to set the sales charts on fire; its successor the SX4 didn’t make any impact either. Success in the midsize segment is crucial for Maruti, which has been desperately trying to position its brand as upmarket and break away from its middle-class roots.
The Ciaz sedan is available in both petrol and diesel guise. Two engines are on offer, a 1.4-litre K10B petrol unit that develops 91bhp and a 1.3-litre Fiat-sourced diesel unit that produces 89bhp. The petrol variant has an ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 20.73kpl and the diesel is rated at 26.21kpl. It will be available in four trim levels V, V+, Z and Z+ and seven colour shades.
Maruti will showcase the Ciaz sedan at the upcoming Paris motor show 2014 and will launch it in the Indian market by the festive season, around mid-October.