Johannesburg - Suzuki’s Ciaz is arguably one of the most underrated cars on the market, and now it is taking a second stab at the compact sedan market.

Suzuki South Africa has just launched the facelifted model, which gets a fresh front-end design as well as a new 1.5-litre engine and boosted spec.

While the previous 1.4-litre motor certainly punched above its weight, even at altitude, the completely new 1.5-litre unit that replaces it brings a welcome increase in power and torque, with outputs now listed at 77kW and 138Nm, which is 7kW and 8Nm up on its predecessor.

The normally aspirated engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox, and the latter option is now available on the lower-spec GL for the first time.

Talking specification grades, the Ciaz continues to be offered in GL and GLX guises.

The former covers all the bases with air conditioning (including rear ventilation), electric windows, remote central locking, steering-mounted audio controls, dual front airbags and ABS brakes.

The GLX adds Suzuki’s new 17.8cm touchscreen infotainment system (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility) to the mix along with a reverse camera, rear parking sensors, cruise control, automatic climate control, combination leather upholstery, keyless entry and start and a retractable rear sunshade.

Additional exterior goodies include automatic LED headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels with a polished chrome finish, replacing the 15” covered steel wheels fitted to the GL.

The aftersales deal for both models includes a three-year/60 000km service plan and Suzuki’s promotional 5-year/200 000km vehicle warranty.

PRICES

1.5 GL manual - R214 900

1.5 GL auto - R229 900

1.5 GLX manual - R244 900

1.5 GLX auto - R259 900

IOL Motoring