Completing its seven year stint in the Indian C-segment space, Maruti Suzuki has officially ceased production of the SX4 sedan in the country to make way for the all new Ciaz sedan that will be launched in July this year, ahead of the festive season. In spite of having an optimistic start at the time of launch, the SX4 just couldn’t match up to its contemporaries in the segment and soon lost out to the competition, managing a meagre 4029 units in the financial year 2013-14. The Ciaz however, is expected to change the Indian car maker’s fortunes in the segment by being a far more capable product.
Maruti Suzuki has commenced the trial production of the Ciaz sedan at its Manesar facility. Shown as the Authentics concept last year, the Ciaz will be longer than the SX4 with the addition of more premium features and better build quality, something the SX4 lacked immensely. The Ciaz will be powered by the 1.4-litre K-Series petrol motor from the Ertiga and the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine producing 90 PS of power. Internationally, Suzuki confirmed that a 1.6-litre petrol engine will be powering the sedan and can possibly make it to India as well in the future.
The SX4 is currently the flagship model that is produced in India in Maruti’s portfolio. However, the lack of equipment and premium feel did not help India’s largest car maker build volumes, especially with competition coming from the likes of the Honda City and Hyundai Verna. The SX4 also received a facelift last year to keep the model fresh, but in vain. The SX4 though did make for a cheap to own, cheap to run sedan offering high ground clearance and spirited engine options. Considering that Maruti already offers good discounts on the SX4, you might just get a new one for a bargain with stock clearance underway.
Maruti Suzuki is pinning huge hopes on the Ciaz sedan. The model in its concept form received a positive response at the Auto Expo and if priced right with the needed goodies on offer, it will surely be a success story. The current segment leader Honda City has gained a sizeable chunk in volumes, followed by the Hyundai Verna and Volkswagen Vento and Maruti too will have to bring an attractive proposition to the segment to compete in the aggressive C-segment sedan space.