The onslaught of practical and somewhat affordable sedans continues with the upgrade of Suzuki’s runaround, the Ciaz (still don’t know how to pronounce that).
The car maker has upped the spec level, as well as created a fresh new look, a bigger powerplant and the option of an automatic transmission.
The new engine increases capacity by just over 100cc to 1.5 litres. These relatively small engines, what with today’s tech, are all the rage because they still deliver while conserving expensive petrol. With multi-point fuel injection and variable valve timing, the Ciaz sends 77kW to crank while using 5.5 litres per 100km.
The engine is matched with a five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic gearbox, with the latter now also available in a GL specification level.
The new look includes an imposing painted grille for a more noticeable visual signature. With distinctive chrome inserts, in the GLX spec level, at shoulder line and on boot lid, there’s that touch of bling to make the eyes happy.
Headlamps are LED while the automatic GL model gets new halogen projector lamps. The Ciaz features new 15-inch steelies and the GLX spec gets 16-inch polished chrome wheels.
Going inside the cabin, front and centre is Suzuki’s new 7-inch SLDA touchscreen audio system, which combines full Android, Apple and Mirrorlink smartphone integration (in other words, it will talk nicely to your tech. In fact, voice commands are there, too). Then there are features usually found in bigger cars, such as a reverse camera with sensors.
Cruise control now comes standard, as does automatic climate control, electric folding mirrors, footwell lighting, individual reading lights and a retractable rear sunshade.
Safety includes airbags for the driver and front passenger, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assistance and a high-level brake light.
All Ciaz models will be sold with a three-year / 60 000km service plan and Suzuki’s promotional 5-year / 200 000km vehicle warranty.
Already available at dealers, the Ciaz starts at R214 900 for the 1.5 GL manual, and the range topper is the GL auto at R259 900.