For young families
BRIAN BASSETT tests the Suzuki Ciaz in and around Maritzburg
THE Suzuki Ciaz has been around since April 2015 and it has allowed Suzuki to compete in the ultra-competitive compact sedan segment for the first time.
It also allows the company to extend its reach to buyers who want a larger car than the Swift Dezire, while still enjoying the fuel economy and safety of the Suzuki brand. Suzuki has now launched the top-of-the-range Ciaz, which essentially has everything and manages, even in this era of the weak rand, to retain a very competitive pricing.
My thanks to Gary Stokes of Suzuki Fury Pietermaritzburg for allowing me time with the car.
Externally the Ciaz is the same sleek shape, with slim A-pillars and a large windscreen that looks equally at home on either formal or family occasions. Colour-coded side mirrors and windows are electrically operated and the external design is finished off by attractive, 16-inch takkies.
The strong point of the Ciaz interior is how easy it is to access by passengers of all ages. The doors also hinge open in stages so that you don’t have to worry about damage to the car next to yours in a shopping centre parking lot.
The cabin of the Ciaz is spacious, elegant and roomier than the exterior would suggest.
The interior finish is a combination of soft leather and highquality plastics that project an almost premium image and every time you approach the car you will have the warm glow that comes with knowing you have received good value for money.
The dash favours the driver and the instrument binnacle contains deep analogue dials which can be viewed without losing sight of the road. The instrument binnacle is framed by a leathercovered, multi-function, fullyadjustable steering wheel with controls for the six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth telephony and speed control. The central stack houses the CD/radio/aux systems and an effective air-conditioner.
The driver’s seat comfortably fits all sizes and generally seating both back and front offer a high comfort level for five adults.
Sitting in the rear seat behind my own long-legged seating position provided the level of comfort suited to a longer journey.
The boot offers a huge 495 litres of space and is so big it is a bit of a stretch to retrieve items in its recesses.
Safety and security
The Ciaz offers a range of security measures of which the key items include the usual ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags, Brake Assist and a collapsible steering wheel, child-proof locks, as well as keyless entry and an immobiliser. There are seatbelts for all and side-impact beams to protect against passenger damage.
Power and handling
The Ciaz SLX Auto has a normally-aspirated 1,4-litre, four-cylinder, 70 kW/130 Nm engine and a smooth, four-speed auto box. With a reasonable driving style fuel consumption is around 6,5 l to 100 km. 0-100 km/h comes up in 13 seconds and top speed is over a ton, which you hopefully you won’t need.
I drove out to Wartburg with the car and found the ride quiet and sophisticated, with crisp and responsive steering. I was also able to easily pass heavy cane trucks and the auto box provides three power levels of which I only had to use the conventional drive mode to do everything necessary. In town the car is easy to park and a pleasure to drive.
Costs and the competition
The Suzuki GLX Auto offers very good value at R235 000 and comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty and a threeyear/60 000 km service plan.
This is the most competitive market sector in SA, so also look at Toyota, VW, Honda, Hyundai and Kia, amongst others.
A big boot, comfy seats and economical engine ensures the Ciaz auto equals good value.