Faceoff: Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City

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.

2014 city red

EXTERIOR

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 : 4Maruti Ciaz: 4

interiors-honda-cityINTERIORS 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 : 4.5Maruti Ciaz: 4 
2015 maruti suzuki ciazENGINE AND PERFORMANCEThe 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 : 4Maruti Ciaz: 3.5
 rear view maruti suzuki ciazMILEAGE AND PRICINGThe 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: 3.5Maruti Ciaz: 4VERDICTFor 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.

Face Off : Hyundai Verna vs Honda City

Hyundai has been on a roll, ever since the launch of the Fluidic Verna – here in India. Unleashing a barrage of new models in every possible segment, the South Korean automaker has managed to displace market veterans Honda and Maruti from their top spots in various segments.

hyundai-verna-rear

With the lack of a diesel engine, Honda’s sales steadily declined and with ever increasing fuel rates, the situation looked bleak for the Japanese car manufacturer. However, with the recently introduced i-DTEC diesel engine, Honda quickly regained momentum and sales of the diesel Amaze quickly that put the car maker back on the map. The release of the new City with a diesel option marked the beginning of Honda’s return into the premium sedan segment.

front-3-quarters-honda-city-2014

We have put two of the best sedans in the market right now against each other and see how they fare.

Design:

Honda City:

The latest gen Honda City builds on the sporty appeal of the previous gen models. The front end has been tweaked to give the sedan a sleeker look. The front headlamps are now thinner and longer aiding to the car’s aesthetic appeal. The aggressively styled fog lamp enclosures and tail lamps are a huge improvement from the outgoing model. Honda has also added a sunroof, a feature not available even on the top end Verna.

front-head-lights-honda-city

Hyundai Verna:

Hyundai debuted its fluidic design philosophy with the Verna in India. The South Korean car maker’s edgy design, paints an image of an entity in perpetual motion. Honda may have brought the City back into fighting shape, but few sedans come close to the new Verna’s striking exterior. The aggressively styled front end is a far cry from the spiritless shape of the previous generation model and the car definitely stands out in a crowd.

hyundai-verna-rear

Round 1 Winner: Hyundai Verna

Interior:

Honda City:

The City’s interior is an attractive blend of beige and black. The piano black centre console complete with a touchscreen system is stunning. The touch sensitive controls for the air conditioning is also a nice touch. The touchscreen infotainment system is the only one in its class and doubles up as the rear parking camera display as well. However, the piano black finish around the center console is prone to smudges and fingerprints. The silver accents along the steering wheel and various other regions around the cabin combined with leather upholstery to improve the car’s upmarket feel.

Cabin space is good with four adults being able to sit comfortably. With an increased wheelbase, the new City offers as much space as the Nissan Sunny. However, the City could do better with a pair of rear AC vents.

interiors-honda-city

Hyundai Verna:

The Hyundai Verna’s interior is as impressive as its exterior. The cabin is large and roomy but does not provide the same amount of space as the City. However, quality of materials used are superb.  A combination of faux woodwork and premium plastics endow the Verna with a cabin that can even rival luxury car makers.

However, the infotainment system is quite old and lacks a multi-function touchscreen display.

interior-hyundai-verna

Round 2 Winner: Its a Draw !

Under the Hood:

Honda City:

For the first time ever, the new Honda City comes with both petrol and diesel options. While the petrol variant is the familiar 1.5 L i-VTEC engine that produces 117 HP at 6600 RPM and 145 Nm of torque at 4600 RPM, the diesel engine is the engine you’d buy the new City for. The 1.5 L i-DTEC engine produces 99 HP at 3600 RPM and 200 Nm of torque. While that may not be tarmac shredding figures, the main aim of the new diesel engine is fuel efficiency and it definitely delivers. With a mileage of 26 km/L, the new Diesel City offers the best in class fuel economy.

Both engines are mated to a six speed manual gearbox with the petrol offering a five speed automatic as well. Safety wise, the City offers dual airbags, ABS and central locking.

Hyundai Verna:

The Verna also offers a petrol and diesel. The petrol engine is a powerful 1.6 L unit that produces 121 BHP @ 6300 RPM and 155 Nm of torque @ 4200 RPM. The petrol Verna is equipped with both – a five speed manual and a four speed gearbox.

Hyundai offers two diesel engines for the Fluidic Verna. While one is a more economical 1.4 L oil burner, the other is a more powerful 1.6 L unit. The smaller engine produces 89 HP and 224 Nm of toque while the more powerful unit produces an impressive 126 HP and 260 Nm of torque. However mileage takes a hit with the diesel variants giving 23.5 km/L and 22.32 km/L respectively. Both numbers far lower than that of the City’s.

The top end variant sports all sorts of safety features such as six airbags, ABS, EBD and brake assist.

Round 3 Winner: Its a Draw again !

The Drive:

Honda City:

As with all Honda cars, the drive is simply superb. The suspension setup is soft but stiff enough to take around a corner. Steering sensitivity is well proportioned allowing for better confidence around twisty roads. The diesel motor however, is quite unrefined and the cabin succumbs to a large amount of noise from the engine. However, we did find that the reverse gear caused a few issues at times.

Boot space is more than ample. With a class leading boot space of 510 L, the City is perfect for those long family vacations.

Hyundai Verna:

Here’s where the Hyundai Verna loses out. While the South Korean car maker has focused on packing more features, it has failed to work on the car’s driving dynamics. As a result, the Verna comes off as a mixed bag. Though the power under the bonnet is impressive, the soft suspension has been tuned for comfort rather than out for speed. As with the i20, the driver in you might be a little disappointed.

However, the softer suspension means a better ride over the pot hole ridden streets of India.

Round 4 Winner: Honda City

Verdict:

Both cars are excellent, however, the City has a slight edge over the Verna. While both sedans are the segment’s best sellers, there is a reason why Honda managed to displace Hyundai from its top spot. The City has always been a long standing favorite of the Indian consumer. Offering the right mix of driving dynamics, style, space and reliability, the Honda City’s only drawback was the lack of a diesel engine. Now, with the new Earth Dreams diesel mill, the City is back with a bang!!!

Visit the Hyundai India websitehttp://www.hyundai.com

Visit the Honda India website : https://www.hondacarindia.com