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The Ciaz has been a runaway success for Maruti and an updated model launched last year further upped its value quotient in the segment. Although over 3500 units of the Ciaz, on an average, are sold each month, there was one key area where it lacked over rivals. The 1.3-litre diesel motor just didn’t pack in enough juice to challenge all other rivals. This is where the newly introduced 1.5-litre unit comes to the rescue. It's called the DDiS 225 and joins the K15 petrol and DDiS 200 (smaller 1.3 diesel) engines in the lineup.
The pricing first. The new DDiS 225 motor is only offered with the Delta, Zeta and Alpha trim levels and not with the base Sigma variant. Pricing difference isn’t significant over the smaller DDiS 200 model. For example, the Delta 225 model has a premium of just Rs 17,000 over the Delta 220 variant! At the new prices, the Ciaz continues to offer unbeatable value for money in the segment. Its chief rivals, the Verna and City diesel carry a sticker price that is much higher. We believe this has been possible due to the exclusion of the Smart Hybrid tech that Maruti offers in the smaller diesel engine.
What are the changes in the new DDiS 225 Ciaz? For starters, visually, Maruti has decided to continue forward with the same design. On the inside too, there are no changes except for the inclusion of the colored TFT screen for the driver info display that was earlier only offered with the petrol Ciaz. Likewise, the DDiS 225 model also gets eco illumination. No other changes in features or cabin comfort. The Ciaz continues to offer one of the most spacious cabins in the segment. Fit and finish of materials is excellent though in terms of features, rivals like the Verna offer more goodies!
And this brings us to the biggest update in the 1.5 diesel Ciaz. The DDiS 225 motor offers 20% higher engine displacement of 1498cc vis a vis 1248cc for the smaller engine. At 95PS of peak offer, it offers 6% more power. The torque has gone up by 12.5% to 225Nm but most importantly, it comes in at a lower engine RPM of just 1500rpm. Enthusiasts may raise eye brows stating these figures are still lower than say the Verna 1.6 but an increased jump is always welcome, right?
The extra torque without having to rev the engine in slow moving traffic should be appreciated by owners. The smaller 1.3 unit does suffer from turbo lag which means that under 1800 rpm, the engine just doesn’t offer ample torque to gain momentum specially when being driven with a load of full passengers. We are sure the extra 25Nm of torque, at 250rpm lower, will erase this shortcoming of the smaller unit. The Ciaz DDiS 225 offers a certified economy of 26.82 kmpl which is a shade lower than 28.09 kmpl of the DDiS 200 engine. Do note that this bigger diesel motor does not come with smart hybrid technology.
Another change in the new, larger engine, is the inclusion of a 6-speed manual gearbox. The smaller 1.3 or the DDiS 200 engine comes with a 5-speed unit. The benefit of an extra gear is that at highway speeds, the engine is able to spin at lower revs, thereby increasing fuel economy.
The new Ciaz should continue to offer a supple ride as there is no change in the type size or the weight of the car. This will be appreciated by most buyers. Add in the Nexa experience and Maruti’s unbeatable long-term experience and we are sure the new, powerful Ciaz diesel will only push up sales upwards! That said, unlike the Vento, Rapid and the Verna, the Ciaz is still not being offered with an optional automatic with the diesel engine. Will Maruti fill the void? Our fingers are crossed!
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