Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review: 2016 Suzuki Ciaz GLX A/T


Suzuki is on a roll. Once the specialist in micro and small cars, it’s now going into bigger and better things. Granted there were some hiccups along the way (the SX4 and Kizashi to name two), the Ertiga showed Filipinos that Suzuki could also make great cars apart from the Swift. And now, it’s joined in the showroom by the all-new Ciaz. Considering that it’s competing in the lucrative, but heavily contested sub-compact sedan genre, the Ciaz is a great alternative to the usual segment stalwarts.

For starters, the Ciaz is great to look at. It’s sporty and elegant with no line out of place. It doesn’t rely on overblown and caricature-like detailing to get attention so there are no large grilles, intakes, or headlights. Instead, it’s subdued and well-proportioned throughout. It’s especially handsome from the front three-quarters where the greenhouse, hood, and fenders all do their part to create an almost miniaturized executive sedan look. Even the standard set of 16-inch rims (195/55 R 16 tires) work very well in this application. If there’s one single critique though, it’s in the rear-end treatment. It’s far too similar to another more established sub-compact sedan.




The Ciaz goes from strength to strength the moment the driver’s door is opened. Like the classy and elegant exterior, the interior is clean and well laid out. The all-black color scheme means business, and for the most part, it is. The dashboard itself is hard to the touch, but given the price tag, it’s easily within expectations. Plus, the consistent texturing and standard leather on the steering wheel and seats more than make up for it. It’s also interesting to know that apart from leather seats, the GLX variant come with keyless push start, automatic climate control, and even an Android OS-based infotainment system. The fit and finish are generally good, but there are small nagging issues like the rattling from the infotainment system and the glove box which doesn’t seem to close straight.

Suzuki is touting the Ciaz for its cavernous interior space, and they have every right to do so. Based off the Ertiga platform, which in turn is a modified Swift platform, provides good and uncompromising room front or back. The wheelbase—a generous 2,650 millimeters—already connotes good interior volume, but add to that nifty cues like the theater-styling seating and that frees up even more legroom. The rear headrests don’t adjust, but they’re comfortable enough. The trunk space is pretty much alright and it can fit medium-sized trolleys, but the flexibility is limited because the rear seats don’t fold in anyway.




Ergonomically, the Ciaz isn’t the best, but it’s surprisingly good—better than even the segment’s best seller. The driver’s seat is supportive with the right amount of side bolster and thigh support. There’s also good movement built into it; though since it’s mounted high, the most comfortable seating position is with the seat height set low. The steering wheel doesn’t offer reach adjustment, but it still falls naturally with an angle more like a sporty compact than a compromised small car. On the other hand, the pedals fall victim to poor packaging: they’re too offset to the right requiring the driver’s leg to be unnaturally spread out during driving. Though this isn’t enough to cause discomfort (even after a long drive up Tagaytay, it can be a nuisance to those with sensitive backs or legs). The instrument cluster also scores poorly for legibility, especially at night. The surrounding light rings are better lit than the numbers themselves.

With a sporty and elegant design, the Ciaz conducts itself quite nicely on the road. It doesn’t corner flatly, but it’s still pretty adept at handling curves and corners. Body roll is largely contained and can absorb the worst potholes and road cracks with aplomb. NVH is nicely contained and it’s surprisingly quiet even at high speeds. The overly light steering is also fairly precise, but the over boosted tune means it doesn’t communicate the chassis’ limits well. More than once, the steering rack will try en cashing a check the suspension can’t afford; requiring the driver to scrub speed , add more steering angle or both just to get the car dialed in. Thankfully, the brakes make for a great ally, biting well and confidently.





Instead of going with a 1.3 or 1.5-liter engine as the competition has, the Ciaz goes for the middle ground, equipping all variants with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Shared with the Ertiga, it loses three horsepower in this particular application (92 horsepower and 130 Nm of torque). There’s no need to fret about the lost horses as it feels adequately peppy in the city. That said, the power delivery isn’t explosive and it’s not linear either. The power band is narrow and keeping it singing at its sweet spot is important for pace and refinement. At idle or full song, the engine sounds gruff, sorting itself somewhere midway. It’s great also that the four-speed automatic is up to the task; the first three gears are short, clearly for quick city pace, while the fourth tall gear means reaching 100 km/h at less than 3,000 rpm. Transmission refinement is alright, but there are some slight hints of shift shock from time to time. Fuel economy is mixed. When stuck in traffic (average speed 11 km/h) it dips to 7.14 km/L, only to reach 11.76 km/L as the speeds increase (average speed 16 km/h) up to 20.40 km/L on the highway.

The Suzuki Ciaz may not yet achieve class-leading technology or driving dynamics as its rivals could, but pound for pound, it is the most intriguing value for money champion here. There’s some ways to go to dial in the driving part right, but everything else—the exterior design, the interior packaging, the comfort—it’s all right there with the best of them. If the Ertiga and Swift made people notice a Suzuki then the Ciaz will make sure everyone will take them seriously.




2016 Suzuki Ciaz GLX
Ownership 2016 Suzuki Ciaz GLX A/T
Year Introduced 2016
Vehicle Classification Sub-compact Sedan
The Basics
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.4
Aspiration EFI, NA
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 92 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 130 @ 4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 4-speed AT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,490
Width (mm) 1,730
Height (mm) 1,475
Wheelbase (mm) 2,650
Curb Weight (kg) 1,025
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Bridgestone Ecopia EP150 195/55 R 16 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors No
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights No
Auto Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat No
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes
Audio System Stereo
DVD
MP3
Aux
USB
Bluetooth
No. of Speakers 6
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

45 comments:

  1. Very nice review. Way to go Suzuki! Ertiga GLX owner here.

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  2. Wla yan sa Mazda 3 ni mazda fanboy. May PVC victor control daw un

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    1. Hahaha... Isa din sa inaabangan ko mag-comment si "get laid" guy.

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    2. Tapos award-winning at fun to drive pa daw. LOL. Pinagyabang pa na made in japan. Hahaha. Si mazda fanboy talaga oo.

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    3. Of course Mazda is better than this... I'm not fan of Mazda but i try to drive Mazda 3 is more sophisticated in exterior and interior. peace

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    4. Your sarcasms won't stop me from spreading Mazda's glorious march of continuous improvement.

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    5. Whatever floats your boat kid.

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    6. You're just envious of Mazda, because the car you have doesn't have Mazda's awesome technologies and attributes. You chose practicality and that's what you got.

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  3. This will not sell well. The competitors have 1.5L engines and newer transmissions. Hell even the vios has been updated, it now has CVT. The only thing the ciaz has going for it is the leather seats.

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    Replies
    1. Promise yan ha... Pero dami na din Ciaz sa Cavite area.

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    2. Theoretically it should not sell well. However knowing how unpredictable and backwards the Filipino market is, *cough Crosswind *cough, no one can say whether any car will sell well.

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    3. True... kc after sale yung hindi maganda ng services na car dealership d yan tatangkilikin ng cosumer, kulilat nga yang Suzuki sa services rating hindi nga yan maka average.

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  4. Dapat amt transmission. Suzuki maintenance and parts are also killers

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  5. Hi CarGuide! Please do a review of the New Dual VVT-i CVT Toyota Vios. Please do also include fuel consumption test of the 1.3 and 1.5 variants too. I'm torn on what i should buy Vios or City. Thanks

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    1. I'm surprised that you would still think between the City and Vios. I'm a Mazda fan, but I would choose the City over the Vios anyway. More powerful engine, prestige(better looks), more efficient than the Vios despite the more powerful engine and the build quality is also better. About the updated Vios, there's no reviews yet.

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    2. still thinking about it though. I'm a toyota and honda fan so i'm kinda torn between the two. If prestige is the question yeah honda is the right pick. Engine wise hmmm yeah the honda is more powerful but not really on power is in my mind because here in the ph you can't go fast. Fuel efficiency wise though is a question cause the new vios has a dual vvt-i and cvt like the same transmission in the new city. Reliability wise both are good and maintenance cost between honda and toyota are my main question. so thats why i'm torn but thanks for your comment!

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    3. City Na Yan. The best sa segment Na Yan.

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    4. Anong prestige pinagsasabi nyo dyan. Honda City and Toyota Vios yan. Both subcompact econocars. May prestige pa kayong nalalaman...

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    5. Anong problema neto. Haha

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    6. The new Vios without any interior/exterior changes is really lame and lazy move by Toyota tbh.

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    7. ^Toyota is lazy because it knows that people will still buy their cars even if they put little effort in it, unlike the other small players who need to give their best in their cars(the koreans and the smaller Japs)

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    8. Yeah :( plus the fact that we don't have the same features unlike thailand vios has automatic climate control and vehicle stability control and better looking rims on the higher trim. Even thai hilux, fortuner and corolla altis have better features than our local toyotas

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    9. Thankfully we have the honda city and the mazda2 in the market. Sa mauto lang ng toyota.

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  6. ang panglaban lang ng car na ito ay space at size. sya ang pinakamalaki sa B-segment cars. end of story.

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    Replies
    1. Also ride and passenger comfort base from the feedbacks of Ciaz owners.

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  7. Nice effort from Suzuki looks sharp compared other B-segments but it's more expensive than the usual Vios, Accent and Rio.

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    1. Its just about the same as Vios. The TOTL trim of accent diesel is around 900k.
      Ciaz entry level trim is the most bang of the buck in terms of features for around 700-770K PHP, projector headlamps, foglights, touchsceen navi HUD are standard already.

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    2. Its just about the same as Vios. The TOTL trim of accent diesel is around 900k.
      Ciaz entry level trim is the most bang of the buck in terms of features for around 700-770K PHP, projector headlamps, foglights, touchsceen navi HUD are standard already.

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    3. Would rather pick thr accent diesel than this. You can upgrade all those aftermarket but its difficult or impossible to upgrade the engine

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  8. Uly, thanks for the review! How would you compare the A/C of the Ciaz to the Vios or the City? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. If Ciaz A/C system is the same as Swift or Ertiga, then it is cold enough to overcome the Manila mid-day heat. Still no match to Nissan's A/C though. Also make sure you use good brand of car tint like 3M or VCool.

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  9. The Ciaz is too big for its engine. Though it looks smart it cannot compensate for its fuel thirsty engine and anemic performance. Best choice is still the Honda city.

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    1. The ciaz is actually lighter than the honda city. That's the strange thing about it, its slightly bigger yet it weighs considerably less than what expected. Back in 2004 this could already be considered as a compact sedan.

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  10. This a good move from suzuki, at least adding another model to their portfolio.

    Their Jimny got the looks cute and aggressive. The price is ok below 1m. The only problem is its power pumping out only a no-appeal 70hp.

    If only they have the guts to put a 2.0 turbo diesel or even a 2.5 naturally aspirated diesel engine in the Jimny im sure that will be their mother goose that will lay the golden egg !

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    Replies
    1. Too fast engine for a narrow stance is to me a very risky combo.

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  11. Can you use Waze or any other application while the radio is still playing? Or is it a one at a time thing?

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    Replies
    1. Think of the head unit as an Android tablet, so yes, you can use Waze and play music at the same time.

      You can even surf the web if you're into that sort of thing. I can imagine Uber drivers using this to have a much more integrated experience.

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    2. Thank you for the response, Uly. I guess the only thing missing is a rear camera. By the way, is this the same Android head unit found in the new Ertiga?

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    3. It's likely the same, but I'm not really too sure. There is an interface for a rear camera, so won't be surprised you can have one installed as a dealer option or accessory

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  12. I hope Suzuki brings in the Ignis and Vitara Brezza in PH

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  13. Sana pagandahin nalang ang raider.

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  14. A sure contender for the city and the vios, but i havent seen much of the ciaz here in nueva ecija.

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  15. the ciaz has a noticeably roomy cabin.. and you have a proven engine that is enough for the everyday city commute, and comes with a nice set of bridgestone ecopias..

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  16. Owner of 3 Suzukis ,Swift 1.2, APV, Ciaz GL. I doubted the brand for sure. But once you are owning one, you get to see a company that really engineered their cars very well. APV has 3 star NCAP rating, Swift and Ciaz has the most fuel efficient engines and smooth transmission. Kinokompute ko nga e. Owning a Suzuki doesnt cost you an arm and a leg. When it comes to Ciaz, The ride is extremely smooth for its class. The seats are well supportive. Its simple yet functional. The design shows that Suzuki did their homework. It is CLASSLESS and TIMELESS all at the same time. Cheers ☺

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