It has been a busy couple of months in the automobile sector in India. There have been new launches hitting our market, ranging from hatchbacks to SUVs, with plenty more on their way. Currently, word is that Toyota India is planning to launch a new sedan in the coming few weeks. While there already exists the Yaris, sales of one of the brand’s best-selling compact sedans in the country have been quite poor. Costing between Rs 9.17 Lakh and Rs 14.60 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Yaris was introduced with much fanfare, but that’s where the excitement ended. If reports are correct, the next sedan from Toyota’s stables will be based on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.
Toyota already has a tie-up with Maruti Suzuki in India, which is why we have cars like the Toyota Glanza and Toyota Urban Cruiser. With sales of the Yaris tanking, Toyota seems to have decided their next move will be to ‘borrow’ the Ciaz, take out all Maruti Suzuki badges, and replace them with their own. However, while this would primarily be a badge operation, for the most part, Toyota will be making a few changes. To begin with, the front fascia of the Ciaz-based sedan will be home to a tweaked grille and a Toyota logo, of course. The only other change expected there would be a slightly revised bumper, if at all.
Since this will pretty much be a rebadged Ciaz, the general design and styling of the upcoming sedan will remain as it is. As for the alloy wheels, chances are that they would be directly borrowed from the Ciaz but will sport the Toyota badge in the center. Around the back, Toyota may revise the rear bumper by a small margin, though the tail lamps and the overall design will not face any modification. On a side note, Toyota’s Ciaz-based sedan could make more use of shiny chrome to make it seem more premium. While the Toyota sedan may be offered in some new colors, the chances of that materializing are slim.
Inside, the changes between the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and its Toyota counterpart will not be radical. If Toyota’s previous rebadged cars are anything to go by, the alterations will be limited to new logos (of course) and different upholstery. And because the two cars will be otherwise identical, there shouldn’t be any perceivable changes made to either the build quality or fit-and-finish. Either way, the Ciaz’s interior is far from the worst place to be in. Similarly, the features and equipment list of the upcoming sedan will reflect what’s already available on the Ciaz. This means that there should be automatic climate control with rear vents, keyless entry with push-button ignition, a touch-infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, cruise control, dual airbags, Electronic Stability Program, and Hill Hold Assist.
Under the hood, the Toyota sedan will draw power from the same engine that is found in the Ciaz. There, the 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol unit comes with Maruti Suzuki’s mild-hybrid technology and produces 103hp and 138Nm of torque. Meanwhile, transmission chores are handled either by a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox. Expect this exact powerplant and gearbox options on Toyota’s upcoming sedan as well. Upon launch, it will rival the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Honda City, and Hyundai Verna, to name a few. While there’s no word on the pricing, the Ciaz’s Toyota cousin will be more expensive. For context, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz costs between Rs 8.52 Lakh and Rs 11.50 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).