Up until now, Thailand's eco-car sedan segment consists only of two models - the 1.2-litre Nissan Almera (different from our Malaysian market models) and Mitsubishi Attrage. This is set to change later this year as Suzuki has announced that its Ciaz sedan will join Suzuki Motor Thailand's line-up later this year.
Powered by a 1.25-litre K12B petrol engine paired to either a five-speed automatic or a CVT automatic, the Ciaz qualifies for Thailand's eco-car incentives.
Production of the Ciaz will start in June 2015, at the Suzuki Motor Thailand's plant in Rayong. This will be Suzuki's third eco-car after the Swift and Celerio, both also powered by a 1.25-litre engine.
The Ciaz is also on sale in India and China (Alivio), albeit with different engines - 1.4-litre petrol and 1.2-litre diesel in India, and 1.6-litre petrol in China. The image above is the Indian market Ciaz but apart from the Maruti Suzuki badge and minor differences in details, this is what the Thailand market Ciaz will look like.
The highlight of the Ciaz is its body, which is the biggest in its class - 4,490 mm long, 1,730 mm wide and 1,475 mm high - it is both longer and wider than the City, Vios and Almera. Of course, whether does this translate to actual usable space in the interior is a different matter altogether.
In Thailand, eco-cars qualify for a lower excise duty rate of 17 percent (which will drop to 14 percent in 2016 under Thailand's new carbon emission based duty excise structure) versus 30 percent for regular passenger cars 2,000cc or below.
The requirements to qualify for eco-car incentives are: fuel consumption of 5-litre/100 km or better, meets Euro 4 emission standards and meets UNECE R94 and R95 regulations for frontal and side impact protection. Petrol powered eco-cars must be below 1,300cc, and below 1,400cc for diesel ones.
Prices and specifications for the Thailand market Suzuki Ciaz will only be announced later in June, when the Ciaz goes on sale.