The SX4 had never been a strong seller in Maruti’s portfolio, except for the sarkari types, who did not have a choice. Now, the company has stopped production of this car to make way for the Ciaz, which will take over the baton in the sedan segment that has cars like the Hyundai Elantra and the Honda City as its formidable rivals. The car has been spotted many times by enthusiasts in full camouflage as it runs around the country for various testing requirements, but it seems now that the new Ciaz might be unveiled by the middle of September, in time for the upcoming festival season. The original SX4 replaced the Baleno in 2007, but did not come to people’s wish lists, though it was as competent as they come. Problem is, the oomph was missing and with the new Ciaz having plenty of that – as seen in this year’s Auto Expo concept – this is one area which Maruti hopes will be addressed soon.
The design of the Ciaz is brand new, with premium projector lamps, oodles of chrome, large air-dams and spoilers on the bumpers and totally new front and back-end design with some LED markers like Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). Dual exhausts show the business side of things, and the new sedan is likely to be offered with the same 1.4-litre petrol engine and the 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine, which also do duty in the Ertiga. The 1.4-litre is a favourite engine of ours – smooth like butter and very good levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Exact power output figures are not known at this point, but expect it to be more powerful than the Ertiga. Transmission duty would be from 5-speed manuals in the petrol and diesel variants, although a 5-speed automatic or CVT could also be an option – keep watching this space for more details!