The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, one of the best mid-size saloons, if not the best, high on features, backed by Maruti‘s rock solid after sales service and support and has been giving the City a tough time since its launch. The company has taken another bold step in strengthening the Ciaz’s position in the market by introducing the SHVS diesel hybrid variant. Although that move has made the sedan the most fuel efficient car in India, exactly how big of an advantage they are able to achieve in terms of market share remains to be seen. Has this move made it even better than the competition? So let’s find out how the Ciaz fares against its major rivals here in this Hyundai Verna vs Honda City vs Maruti Ciaz comparison story.
Let’s start with the newest one first, the Hyundai Verna, which has finally been given a much needed update. Having said that, it was by no means a dull looking car, but the it had been around for a bit too long and the age had started to show. The facelifted Verna gets a more mature looking front end, with new headlamps incorporating projector units with high intensity discharge. The hexagon outlining the front grille and the lower air dam has been done away with in favour of a wider, chrome accentuated grille, all part of Hyundai’s fluidic design language 2.0. The lower air-dam is surrounded by rectangular fog lamps completing a smart looking front. The side sees no changes, much like the rear where the only significant alterations are the reflectors integrated into the bumper and LED tail lamps. The interiors remain largely unchanged except for the addition of a new features which will be discussed in the forthcoming segments. The interiors of the Verna were always a decent place to be in and that trend continues with the black and beige combo with faux wood inserts. The quality and fit and finish is decent and you won’t find many people complaining about it. However, we wish Hyundai had updated the blue lighting and maybe added a touchscreen infotainment system. The rear bench has been improved to give more under thigh support, but you still sit lower than you would like and the sweeping window line makes it a bit claustrophobic.
The Ciaz’s design is a bit of a contrast with its understated yet, classy looks. The front end with its sharp projector headlamps looks smart and the chrome added to the grille is just right. The side is comparatively a bit drab and Maruti could have done more to add a bit of character to the car. The rear gets sleek, wraparound tail lamps and the bumper gets a dose of style with black inserts which house the reflectors. The understated yet classy looks continues on inside with a smart, uncluttered dash. Very European. Smart black and beige combo with faux wood inserts has been tastefully done and the quality of the materials used is top notch. The rear is the most spacious of the lot but the seats are a bit too firm. Maruti has played it safe with the styling which will go down well with most buyers, but there will be quite a few who will complain about the lack of excitement.
The Honda City’s styling is probably the one we can talk about the most since there are so many unique styling touches all around. The front gets sleek, horizontal headlamps flanking the grille which gets a huge slab of chrome, bit of an overkill really. There are character lines along the wheel arches which are slightly oddly shaped and highlight the already small 15 inch wheels. Move on to the back and you will notice tail lamps strikingly similar to the Ciaz albeit slightly edgier. Thankfully, the chrome usage has been kept to a minimum. Love it or loathe it, the sales figures suggest most people love the way it looks. The interiors are as striking as the exteriors, if not more. Black dominates the dash with piano finish centre console and silver inserts. There is a touchscreen infotainment system and the climate control gets feather touch buttons which add to the coolness factor. Overall, it looks a bit overdone. The rear seats are supremely comfortable though, the leg space isn’t class leading.
[box type=”success” ]Looks are subjective and it all comes down to personal tastes. But if we had to choose one, it would be the Ciaz for its classy, well proportioned styling. The City and the Verna come in a close second and while the Verna is the freshest of the lot, we wish Hyundai had done more to the rear to enhance its appeal. [/box]
The Hyundai Verna was never really short on features and with the launch of the facelift Hyundai has added even more to the list. It gets some unique features such as automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, cooled glovebox, six airbags to name a few. It also gets something called the ‘Ergo-lever’ on the side of the front passenger seat, which can be used to move it back and forth by the rear passenger. Surprisingly, it misses out on rear AC vents. Apart from that all three cars get all the essential features such as engine start/stop, keyless entry, rear camera. The Hyundai Verna misses out on a touchscreen infotainment system which is present in the Ciaz nd the City. The top spec City gets additional kit like cruise control and sunroof, both of which are unique features, but it is the only car that doesn’t get projector headlamps and rear parking sensors (camera only). Also, the feather touch climate control system is a pain to operate while driving.
[box type=”success” ]In terms of features, the facelifted Hyundai Verna comes out on top as it gets more equipment than the rest and additional safety equipment as well. Hyundai should have added rear AC vents.[/box]
Ride & Handling
One of the major issues with the pre-facelift Verna was the soft suspension setup which resulted in a ride that did not inspire confidence at high speeds. All that has been addressed with the new model, the suspension has been firmed up enough to make highway driving a more joyful experience without compromising on ride quality for city conditions. The steering weighs up nicely at high speed to give more feel to the driver. It still doesn’t feel as planted as the competition, but then again, for most buyers driving dynamics isn’t that high up on the preference list. The Ciaz feels more planted on the highways while the City tends to pitch and roll a bit. But, in terms of handling the City is the sharpest and provides the most feedback from the steering.
[box type=”success” ]The Ciaz and the City handle better than the Verna even after the revamped suspension and steering setup.[/box]
Engine & Transmission
|Hyundai Verna||Maruti Ciaz||Honda City|
|Displacement||1.4 litre||1.6 litre||1.4 litre||1.5 litre|
|Efficiency||17.43kmpl||17.01kmpl (manual)/15.74kmpl (automatic)||20.73kmpl (manual)/19.12kmpl (automatic)||17.4kmpl (manual)/18kmpl (automatic)|
|Transmission||5-speed manual||5-speed manual/4-speed auto||5-speed manual/4-speed automatic||5-speed manual/CVT|
The Ciaz is the least powerful car here while the Verna 1.6 has the highest power and torque rating. But, lees power means more mileage making the Ciaz the most fuel efficient car of the lot and thanks to clever gearing and torque distribution, the lack of power is well disguised by the Ciaz. The City comes with an optional CVT with paddle shifters while the Verna gets an ageing 4-speed transmission.
|Hyundai Verna||Maruti Ciaz||Honda City|
|Displacement||1.4 litre||1.6 litre||1.3 litre||1.5 litre|
|Efficiency||24.8kmpl||23.9kmpl (manual)/19.08kmpl (automatic)||28.09kmpl||26kmpl|
|Transmission||6-speed manual||6-speed manual/4-speed auto||5-speed manual||6-speed manual|
The Verna, again, gets the most powerful diesel motor producing 126bhp while the Ciaz, again, is the least powerful of the lot. Thanks to the mild hybrid tech introduced by Maruti, the Ciaz returns the highest fuel efficiency figures by quite some margin. The Hyundai is the only diesel here to be offered with an automatic transmission. The diesel equipped Verna scores high on refinement which the City’s diesel lacks. The noise and vibration insulation is also poor on the Honda. Like the petrol equipped Ciaz, the diesel manages to mask the lack of power thanks to clever gearing and better torque delivery. Also, the introduction of the SHVS variant means the Ciaz’s 1.3 litre unit is much peppier than before.
[box type=”success” ]The Verna is the most powerful of the lot while the Ciaz is the most fuel efficient.[/box]
The new Verna 4S has been priced between the City and the Ciaz. Here’s a price list comparison of the new model with the Ciaz, which is easily the most well priced car in its segment.
|Maruti Ciaz||Hyundai Verna||Honda City|
|VXi||INR 7.17 lacs||1.4 Base||INR 7.80 lacs||E||INR 7.56 lacs|
|VXi+||INR 7.75 lacs||1.6 S||INR 8.88 lacs||S||INR 8.22 lacs|
|VXi+ AT||INR 8.88 lacs||1.6 S(O)||INR 9.41 lacs||SV||INR 8.82 lacs|
|ZXi||INR 8.46 lacs||1.6 S(O) AT||INR 10.14 lacs||SV CVT||INR 9.58 lacs|
|ZXi+||INR 9.03 lacs||1.6 SX||INR 10.18 lacs||V||INR 9.40 lacs|
|ZXi AT||INR 9.59 lacs||VX||INR 10.37 lacs|
|VX (O)||INR 10.67 lacs|
|VX CVT||INR 11.46 lacs|
|Maruti Ciaz||Hyundai Verna||Honda City|
|VDi||INR 8.23 lacs||1.4 Base||INR 9.07 lacs||E||INR 8.78 lacs|
|VDi (O)||INR 8.37 lacs||1.6 S||INR 10.00 lacs||S||INR 9.44 lacs|
|VDi+||INR 8.81 lacs||1.6 S(O)||INR 10.70 lacs||SV||INR 9.94 lacs|
|ZDi||INR 9.52 lacs||1.6 SX||INR 11.58 lacs||V||INR 10.59 lacs|
|ZDi+||INR 10.17 lacs||1.6 SX AT||INR 12.28 lacs||VX||INR 11.57 lacs|
|VX (O)||INR 11.87 lacs|
Even after the introduction of the expensive hybrid tech the Ciaz manages to undercut both the Verna and the City by more than a lakh for the top end diesel variants. The top spec Ciaz petrol automatic is cheaper than the top spec City automatic by a whopping 2 lacs! The Maruti Ciaz is one of the most value for money offerings currently in this segment and wins hands down in terms of pricing.
[box type=”success” ]The Maruti Ciaz is easily the most value for money offering here. Top spec trims of the Honda City a bit too expensive[/box]
The improvements made to the Verna have definitely made it a better car than before. All three are very good looking cars with a lot of equipment on board, which makes picking a winner all the more difficult. While the Verna and the City make quite a strong case for themselves, between these three cars, our pick would be the Ciaz thanks to it pocket-friendly pricing and greener credentials. That said, we still feel that car buying decisions are subjective to specific requirements and hence, we request you to take your pick from these three models here. Rest assured, you can’t go wrong with any of these cars.
[box type=”success” ]While the Verna and the City make quite a strong case for themselves, between these three cars, our pick would be the Ciaz thanks to it pocket-friendly pricing and greener credentials.[/box]
Please feel free to express your views on our Hyundai Verna vs Honda City vs Maruti Ciaz comparison story and stay tuned to Car Blog India for more.