The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has been around for sometime, and has certainly shown signs of ageing. That, however, has not necessarily affected its sale-ability, as it continues compete neck-to-neck against the some of the newer offerings in the segment. However, the Ciaz in its current avatar has gotten longer in the tooth and the automaker is readying the facelifted version that will be going on sale later this year. The 2018 Maruti Suzuki Ciaz facelift was spotted testing recently, and builds our hopes on what to expect from the popular selling compact sedan.
With the exception of the Fiat Linea and Volkswagen Vento, the average generation cycle of cars in the compact segment stands at about six years. The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has already completed four and the absence of a noticeable update, has shown its toll in terms of volumes.
Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Moves To Nexa Dealerships
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz arrived in late 2014 and while it has been a popular seller in the segment, the model has practically remained unchanged since its launch. In the past three and a half years of its life-cycle, the only major upgrades to the Ciaz comprised the addition of new variants, Android Auto and the RS version with cosmetic changes. The "big" change to the Ciaz last year was its move to Nexa dealerships, in a bid to consolidate its premium positioning along with the addition of the Nexa Blue colour.
In contrast, the current generation Honda City, which also arrived in 2014, has already received a facelift last year with comprehensive upgrades and new features. Meanwhile, the new generation Hyundai Verna arrived last year as a complete product overhaul to its predecessor, and has bounced its way to the top spot in the segment.
It's commendable then, that the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz still manages to remain as the one of the top three best-selling models in the compact sedan segment, despite new competition coming in. The strong volumes, have only allowed Maruti Suzuki to pull the Ciaz in its present avatar longer than they should have. Moreover, the regulation change last year declassified the Ciaz diesel's hybrid status while increasing prices on the diesel models under the new GST norms. This too, has further taken a toll on the overall volumes of the car.
That said, it's only going to be an uphill task for the Maruti Ciaz to justify its position in the segment. Prices for the Toyota Yaris have been announced and the new model certainly packs a punch backed by the Japanese manufacturer's strong goodwill and aggressive pricing strategy. Numbers for the new Hyundai Verna too have been steadily rising as well, and show no signs of slowing down. Lastly, the compact sedan segment collectively faces threat from the compact SUV segment that co-exist in the same price range, albeit are in more demand over sedans.
The 2018 Maruti Suzuki Ciaz facelift, then, will have to be a lot more comprehensive as it aims to drive sales back to the top spot. Moreover, in order to keep the model fresh until the next generation arrives sometime around 2020-2021. The China-spec Ciaz received a facelift last year, and we expect some of those elements to make it to the model in India too, including the bigger grille, new bumpers and new headlamp assembly. Expect the interiors to get a more premium touch as well, if not a complete revamp.
Under the hood, rumours are rife that Maruti Suzuki could introduce new 1.5-litre engines on the Ciaz facelift. The 1.5-litre K-Series petrol motor recently debuted on the Indonesian-spec new generation Suzuki Ertiga, and could effectively replace the 1.4-litre motor currently on offer. Meanwhile, the 1.5-litre diesel is being developed by Suzuki and will replace the 1.3-litre Fiat-sourced MultiJet unit seen across the Maruti portfolio. It is likely that the new petrol motor could make it to India first, while the new 1.5 diesel will take sometime.
Maruti Suzuki hasn't shared launch details on the new Ciaz yet, but the model is expected to arrive towards the end of the year, soon after the second generation Ertiga makes its way to India.
Image Source: Carandbike reader Simarjot