At the India Auto Expo 2014, there was one car at the Maruti stall which looked like it didn’t quite belong there. Maruti has come to symbolize efficiency and practicality, but design daring isn’t something we’d associate with the King of the Indian automobile industry. However, the Maruti Ciaz concept was such a striking model that it elicited at least a double take from those who happened to catch a glimpse of it. But of course, in the transition from flamboyant concept to road-going car, some of the flare has been lost. Be that as it may, the Ciaz is a combination of Maruti’s perennial mastery of efficiency in a shell that is a product of their newfangled absorption with design.
Understandably, with the launch of new Ciaz in the market, Maruti has very high hopes over its success. But, the battle’s not going to be easy as it has to compete with the Honda City, a car that has made a comeback and how. For a manufacturer that has conventionally rode the success wave with small cars, Maruti is treading relatively new ground with the launch of the Ciaz. Whether the Maruti Ciaz is ready to take on the 2014 Honda City comes down to a number of factors. Let’s look at how these two models stack up.
The latest Honda City has been fully carved with a new design from the bumpers to the rear of the car. The large chrome grille, razor sharp lines all over its body, and the outstretched tail lamps gives it a more edgy appearance than we’ve seen from its successors. But surprisingly, Maruti doesn’t trail too far behind. The Ciaz is not City but it does have a lot going for it in the looks department. The widened chrome grille, smart projector headlamps, and its curves are different compared to the other big cars. The features are a lot more rounded as compared to the angular relations in the City. It also has a sleek side profile, and a crease line which is a lot straighter when compared to the one the City sports.
The Ciaz is the best-looking car to ever come from the Maruti stable. The Honda City has always been known for its cosmetic capabilities. It does come as a surprise to see how well the Ciaz performs against the City in terms of its exteriors.
New Honda City : 4 Maruti Ciaz: 4INTERIORS AND EQUIPMENT Both the cars share certain features in them such as the push button start/stop, climate control, rear AC vents, and multimedia controls incorporated over the steering wheel with Bluetooth telephony. The 510 litre boot is also something the two have in common. The beige interiors finish in the Maruti Ciaz lend it a light an airy feel. At the dashboard, it is incorporated with a touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation. It also has rear parking sensors, and a sun-blind for rear windscreen. Meanwhile, the new Honda City also gets upgraded interior in its latest iteration, with a new gloss black finish with fine quality and texture. It is the best in its class, and is best known for its interior designing in the upcoming years. It also offers a sunroof as an additive feature over the Maruti Ciaz on its top variant. Unlike the exteriors, the competition isn’t as close on the interiors front. The Ciaz gets a lot right but simply cannot match the extravagant City. New Honda City : 4.5 Maruti Ciaz: 4 ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE The new Honda City comes with a 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine compared to the 1.4 litre K-series Ciaz's engine. The Ciaz develops 92 PS, whereas, the new Honda City develops peak power of 119 PS, which is a whopping 27 PS greater than that of the Ciaz. Clearly, the City comes off better on paper, and continues to maintain a powerful engine as it has since previous generations. The Maruti Ciaz offers better a good suspension setup and a fair amount of on the drive. However, when it comes to the pickup, the new Honda City leaves the Ciaz far behind. The 27 PS greater power output begins to reveal itself in the form of more power on tap and better lift off the blocks. But the Ciaz does provide better grip with its huge 195 section tyres as compared to the City's 175 section tyres. Thus the City under-steers a bit on corners but does do pretty well when the brakes are required to kick in. New Honda City : 4 Maruti Ciaz: 3.5 MILEAGE AND PRICING The manufacturers of the Maruti Ciaz claim that this product provides the best mileage in its segment. The petrol variant of the Ciaz is said to have a mileage of 20.7kmpl, and the diesel variant offers 26kmpl. According to the ARAI figures, the new Honda City offers a mileage of 17.8kmpl in the petrol variant and 25kmpl is the diesel variant. The new Honda City ranges between 7.20 to11.06 lakhs. Maruti’s Ciaz comes in with a price that starts 20,000 below the City. The Ciaz’s price ranges from 6.99 lakhs to 9.80 lakhs. New Honda City: 3.5 Maruti Ciaz: 4 VERDICT For a newcomer, the Maruti Ciaz does extremely well against the New Honda City. On most parameters that matter in the Indian market, the Ciaz matches up to or even outperforms the City. It eventually comes down to how a buyer perceives a car. For those who need a dependable commuter, the Ciaz is the way to go. For the enthusiasts and those who like to focus on the nuances, the City is a great choice.