The ayes and nays of the Suzuki Ciaz

Paulo Papa
·4 min read

Suzuki Philippines wowed the local automotive scene when it launched the Suzuki Ciaz in April of 2016. Since then, this subcompact sedan has wielded a slight edge over other competitors (the Reina from Hyundai, the Soluto from Kia, and the Mirage G4 from Mitsubishi) in the same segment, in terms of size.

Marketed for customers who are looking for a relatively small vehicle with a big boot, the Japanese car manufacturer’s entry to the subcompact sedan segment makes for a practical choice for small families living in the city.

Interested in investing in the Suzuki Ciaz? We list down the vehicle’s pros and cons to help you make an informed buying decision.

Pros:

1. Roomy interior

You saw this coming, didn’t you? One of the reasons why many hopeful car owners consider the Suzuki Ciaz as a candidate is because of its roomy interior. Granted, we Filipinos are not the tallest among Southeast Asians, the added legroom, headroom, and shoulder room is always a welcome feature. The Suzuki Ciaz can comfortably seat three average-sized adults at the back and offers a trunk that has 495 liters of space — perfect for extended holidays.

ciaz-interior
ciaz-interior
ciaz-trunk
ciaz-trunk

In the cabin, there’s also room for your daily carry, including a side pocket at the driver’s seat, front and rear door pockets, a center lower box with light and lid, front center armrest with console box, and a rear center armrest with cup holders.

2. Superior safety

For those who value safety, the Suzuki Ciaz makes for a great ride. Suzuki’s four-door subcompact sedan is outfitted with a suite of safety features typical from the Japanese carmaker like three-point emergency locking retractor (ELR) seat belts, front seat belts with pretensioner, force limiter, and height adjuster, childproof rear door locks, side impact beams, anti-lock braking, remote controlled door locks, an immobilizer, and dual front airbags.

ciaz-front-airbags
ciaz-front-airbags

And because safety is paramount, the Ciaz is equipped with Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TTEC) that gives it the ability to withstand an impact. The Suzuki Ciaz has an ASEAN NCAP four-star rating in adult occupant safety along with other models like the Ertiga.

3. Ride quality

The Suzuki Ciaz is relatively easy to drive making it a great choice for those looking to own their first vehicle. The high seats give drivers a good view of the road ahead, the large rear windows also improve visibility and situational awareness. The Suzuki Ciaz also boasts suspension systems designed exclusively for this model and is tuned to achieve better handling ride and comfort. Suzuki outfitted the Ciaz with MacPherson Strut with coil spring suspensions at the front and paired it with a torsion beam with coil spring at the back. The rack and pinion electric powered steering wheel also offers improved maneuverability.

Driving stick? Expect light clutch effort with gears that are relatively easy to shift. Thanks to the optimized gear ratio of its 5-speed manual transmission, the Suzuki Ciaz offers a smooth and precise experience making this subcompact sedan a good fit for both new and experienced drivers. How about driving automatic? The 4-speed automatic transmission also boasts smooth transitions which makes the Ciaz a stop and go traffic must-have.

4. Reliable engine

Powering the local-spec Suzuki Ciaz is the brand’s K14B engine. Shared by the likes of the Suzuki Ertiga, the 1.4-liter DOHC 16-valve gasoline mill with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) gives both manual and automatic models 92 horses and 130Nm of torque.

Furthermore, the K14B model has been refined by incorporating new piston crowns and cylinder heads. They also work in reducing friction in each engine component allowing the Ciaz to deliver great dynamic performance.

Cons:

1. Drab design

Compared to other vehicles in the segment, the Suzuki Ciaz is more drab than dapper. That said, both the exterior and the interior designs are practical. Although this subcompact sedan does deserve merit for trying (the styling on the rear adds a sporty flavor), there are better options on the market if you’re looking for a more aesthetically pleasing vehicle. The paint options are also rather safe and conservative with the likes of Metallic Mineral Gray, Metallic Star Silver, Pearl Snow White, and Pearl Super Black.

2. Dated car tech.

ciaz-meter-cluster
ciaz-meter-cluster

Although you get an eight-inch head unit with Aux, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity, the meter cluster is rather démodé. And while it does provide you with relevant driving information, the analog gauges look like they belong elsewhere. Moreover, the air-conditioning controls are also manually operated with analog dials instead of a digital panel. Nevertheless, we’re still thankful we didn’t get roll up windows.

Yay or nay?

Its strengths definitely help the Suzuki Ciaz stand ground against segment staples like the Honda City and the Toyota Vios. It’s a subcompact sedan that has a strong focus in utility and driving quality. And as long as you don’t mind driving without an on-board nanny, the Ciaz makes for an appealing choice.

Photos from Suzuki

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