The new flagship model of Maruti, the Ciaz, has already been one of the most talked about cars this year in India and it has also generated a huge curiosity amongst premium mid size sedan buyers. Those waiting to buy a new car this festive season have been for its launch and want to know if this car is worth going for if compared to its prime rivals which include recently updated Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid and Fiat Linea. Is the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz capable enough to deal with these renowned cars? Well, let's find as we compare these cars here in detail.
Even with only one glance, you can't ignore the fact that Maruti has done some serious homework if talk about looks. Despite being a bit conservative, Ciaz is a handsome looking car which does feel a bit more fresh if compared to its rivals. At 4460mm and 1730mm, Ciaz is longer and wider than Vento and Rapid both of which share their body platform and hence look quite similar to each other specifically when seen from certain angles.
Vento also apart from minor chrome treatment at front and blackened headlights looks quite familiar. Rapid and Vento share their side body panels and lacks any noticeable shoulder lines and looks almost identical apart from their differently designed 15-inch alloy wheels. At the back as well, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz steals the show with its horizontally placed sharp tail lights rear bumper with sharp lines and faux air-inlets while the other two do with simple designing layout.
Ciaz is powered by two engines; one each of petrol and diesel. The petrol unit is the 1.4L K-series engine churning out both power and torque output of 91bhp and 130Nm@4000rpm respectively. This engine can be chosen with an option of 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The second diesel engine is the tried and tested 1.3L Multijet diesel engine which comes mated with a five-speed manual gearbox and produces a power and torque output of 89bhp@4000rpm and 200Nm@1750rpm.
Unlike Ciaz which is only available with an automatic petrol engine, Volkswagen Vento is available with an automatic petrol as well as diesel engine. Both these engine uses 7-Speed DSG. Both the 1.2L TSI petrol engine and 1.5L TDI diesel engine of Vento pumps out a similar power output of 104bhp while their maximum torque output is of 170Nm and 250Nm respectively. Apart from these two engines, Vento is also available with a 1.6L petrol engine which has also has a power output of 104 bhp and only comes mated with a five-speed manual gearbox. This same petrol engine also does duty in Rapid with same specifications while it also shares its 1.5L TDI engine with Vento with similar power and torque output of 104bhp and 250Nm respectively. Rapid is also available with an optional 7-Speed DSG in diesel form.
Linea is the only car here which lacks an automatic transmission as all three engines of it come mated with a five-speed manual gearbox. There are two petrol units available in Linea, one is a 1.4L, 89bhp engine which is only available in its base variant. However, the focus will be on the T-Jet version of this same engine which churns out a power and torque output of 112bhp and 207Nm. The 1.3L Multijet diesel engine of Linea is its biggest strength which it shares with Ciaz but here it produces a bit higher power and torque output. Linea churns out a power and torque output of 92bhp and 209Nm which can be achieved at 4000rpm and 2000rpm respectively.
Step inside and you will notice, all four cars come with dual tone interiors. The interior layout and designing of Vento and Rapid is quite similar and they look fantastic if its quality that matters the most. The controls are very easy to use and everything seems in place and that's also the case with Ciaz. However it can't match the built quality of its rivals as still some of the bits and pieces in Ciaz are from its siblings. In terms of quality, the interiors of new Linea look more fancy than before and the quality of material is also upgraded adding the much needed premium feel to it.
Where the Ciaz triumphs is in terms of leg room and shoulder room and it particularly is the best chauffeur driven car in this comparison with its class-leading legroom, thanks to its long wheelbase of 2650mm. Vento and Rapid are also pretty spacious but the Linea falls behind and lacks headroom too.
The top variants of all four cars share features such as leather upholstery, automatic climate control with rear AC vents, rear parking sensors, front and rear center armrest, remote locking, electrically adjustable ORVMs, 2-Din audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls.
In terms of safety as well, all of these come equipped with ABS and Dual front airbags with Vento being the only car which comes standard with Dual front airbags. Even after all these features, Ciaz is left with even more features which gives it a clear advantage over its competitors. It also comes with a 5-inch touchscreen system with Navigation and Voice assist system. This infotainment system also comes with Mirror link technology and rear parking camera. In addition to these, you also get a push button start/stop system and largest boot capacity of 510 litres.
The prices for Vento and Rapid starts from INR 7.44 lakhs and INR 7.22 lakhs while their respective DSG equipped diesel versions will cost you INR 10.94 lakhs and 10.84lakhs. You can also have the Black package on the Rapid with an additional amount of nearly INR 13,000. The Fiat Linea seems to be the most affordable car here with prices starting from as low as INR 7 lakhs with its range topping model priced at INR 9.74 lakhs. Prices of the Ciaz start at Rs. 6.99 lakhs while the top-end diesel is priced at Rs. 9.80 lakhs.
Overall the Linea will put the biggest smile on your face with its looks and fun T-Jet motor but as a package the Vento and Rapid especially in their diesel automatic avatars just edge past. The updated Vento and Rapid are now more lethal for their rivals and occupy a niche all to themselves save for the diesel AT Verna. The Ciaz on the other hand is not as much fun as either the Linea or Vento and Rapid but with its VFM pricing, space, good looks and features, Maruti has made sure it ticks all the boxes required from a mid-sizer.