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Ciaz in focus

A closer look at Suzuki Ciaz.

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To be blunt, the first time I “encountered” Suzuki Ciaz was through an ad – there, the model unit was tan-colored (apparently they refer to this shade as “Prime Dignity Brown”) that, at any other time, may look okay, but didn’t do it for me because the shade reminded me of (sorry to say this) poop. So it was with abated breath that I waited for the unit to drive test to arrive (at my tita’s place in BF Resort Village in Las Piñas). A white unit (they call the shade “Pearl Snow White”) arrived, and I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t look “wedding-y”; it was actually a pretty car (it isn’t drop-dead gorgeous, yes; but it’s not ugly at all).

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And so I was exposed to Suzuki Philippines’ entry in the sub-compact sedan segment, the Ciaz.

Ciaz – said to be an acronym for “Comfort-Intelligence-Attitude-Zeal”, and which actually replaces Suzuki’s SX4 sedan – is, to my surprise, a nice looking car, with no out-of-place parts.

On the outside, the car is elegant – e.g. there are no lines out of place/un-sexy edges (making it look even sleek/sporty), unnecessarily large grills (as if calling for attention), unsightly headlights (as if they’re too big for the model; this one has projector-type headlamps), et cetera. Particularly when considered front-facing (complete with the signature Suzuki “S” logo in front), Ciaz looks like an executive sedan.

Inside, the Ciaz continues to be not bad. Some features worth highlighting:

  1. Start with the all-black interior. Some may find this boring, but you know, black=class, at least most of the time. An issue for me here, though, is how easy it is to leave marks on… just about everything. I placed Baliwag chicken (inside a plastic bag inside a supot/paper bag) beside me, and upon removal, the mark left didn’t come off easily (no stains; but removing the mark was tedious).
  2. The gear stick is “supported” by the dashboard – i.e. you can see what gear you’re on right on the dashboard, as opposed to other cars that: A) relies on you “knowing” your car enough to trust your shifting; or B) somewhat forces you to look at the light that appears beside the gear. The somewhat tricky part here is when you’re turning (and may have to change gears), and the dashboard is covered by the steering wheel.
  3. The enhanced leg, head and shoulder room for all occupants (and I mean all). Ciaz claims to be the longest car in its class, measuring 4,490 mm (length), 1,730 mm (width) x 1,475 mm (height), with the car getting an extended wheelbase of 2,650 mm. Particularly when you check the back seats, the space is impressive – it ought to seat three, but four (admittedly slimmer) friends didn’t find the back tight at all. There are minute details worth mentioning – e.g. rear headrests don’t adjust – though these become trivial/appear like we’re nitpicking, considering that the back also has an armrest (as needed).
  4. A keyless push start system – i.e. “Look, ma, no keys!”.
  5. An Android OS-based multimedia system with mirror-link capability and GPS navigation (As a friend said, “It’s like having a tablet there.”). It’s not iPad-fast (or since it’s Android, Samsung-like); but considering that other at-par cars aren’t even touchscreen equipped, can’t complain on this one.
  6. The trunk space isn’t bad – e.g. I carried three sacks of gravel (over 15 kilos per bag) alright; and another time, a bicycle (with the wheels removed) fitted inside nicely (plus some bags). Forget trunk space flexibility, nonetheless, since the rear seats don’t fold in any way.
  7. Equipped with dual SRS airbags and ABS with EBD (on all variants).
  8. It even has a heater – sorta (initially) out of place in a tropical country, though coming in handy when heading to places like Tagaytay or Baguio City.

Ciaz is powered by Suzuki’s K14B 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, and come with VVT (variable valve timing; with the VVT emblazoned at the side of the car) to generate up to 92 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 130 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Obviously depending on the variant, the engine can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.

But for me, more than the nimble performance, Ciaz also fares well because it offers a quiet(er) and smooth(er) ride. If you’re heading to Las Piñas coming from Pasay/Baclaran via Coastal, and turn right at BF Resort Drive at Casimiro/Alabang-Zapote, you’d encounter oh-so-many humps (not to mention potholes). Braving these (humps and potholes) didn’t bother me (and my passengers) at all. Turns aren’t problematic either (stable and quite sharp).

It’s this quietness that I also remember even in longer drives (e.g. Tagaytay) – though as my cousin (who also tried the unit) said, “this calm is tricky” as it “could cocoon you into a false sense of being secured”. More than once, I got a sense that Ciaz is a lightweight car (curb weight is 1,010-1,040 kilograms) because I could “feel” big (e.g. trucks) or speeding (e.g. jeepneys driven by barumbado drivers) vehicles “pushing” me, so that I had to cut speed (then at 80kph). And you know that oft-repeated stories about smaller cars, that when you reach a certain speed, your control over it lessens faster, too? I had some moments like those in Ciaz, too…

Fuel use isn’t fixed. In ideal (and I’d say often city driving) conditions, just as when I received the unit, the dashboard boasted that consumption is at 8.8L/100 km. Driving around the city (e.g. from Las Piñas to Quezon City), this went to 8.1L/100 km. And on the way to Tagaytay, this went up to 9.1L/100 km. I’d say more than acceptable…

To sum up, this isn’t gonna be on everyone’s must-have car (particularly with cars fast mimicking tech goods, with newer units released before you can say “HELLO!”). There’s bound to be a model (or two, or three – depending on needs and budgets) that one would want to get hold of. But having said this, Ciaz is not at all a bad car particularly in its category. Sleek (even sexy), not-a-bad performer, no voracious gas guzzling, et cetera, it’s not surprising for Ciaz to be noticed. And so, yes, I do see you Ciaz…

The Suzuki Ciaz is available in five colors (Pearl Snow White, Metallic Star Silver, Metallic Mineral Grey, Pearl Super Black, and Prime Dignity Brown), and sell for P738,000 (GL M/T), P773,000 (GL A/T), and P888,000 (GLX A/T).

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M.D. dela Cruz Tan is the founder of Zest Magazine. And no, the initials (i.e. M.D.) do not make him a "medical doctor" (as many have erroneously thought in the past); he is actually a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales Australia (just don't ask when, he says). He can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (of course), shoot flicks, community-organize, facilitate, lecture, research (with pioneering studies under his belt)... this one's a multi-tasker, who is even conversant in Filipino Sign Language. Cross his path is the dare (read: It won't be boring).

NewsMakers

SM Green Finds is going beyond shopping

SM Supermalls President Steven Tan acknowledges that “People already know about the importance of sustainability. Their question is ‘What can I do?’ SM helps them find a way to make a difference.”

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When it comes to challenges as big as climate change, businesses and communities have to work together and consumers need to have concrete, practical options that can allow them to go green in their everyday life.

SM Supermalls President Steven Tan acknowledges that “People already know about the importance of sustainability. Their question is ‘What can I do?’ SM helps them find a way to make a difference.”

SM, the country’s largest retailer, is taking the lead in offering accessible eco-friendly options to their consumers through the recently launched Green Finds. Consumers simply need to spot items and products with a Green Finds badge.

The SM Green Finds initiative helps customers develop a sustainable lifestyle through affordable and easy-to-find eco-friendly products showcased in convenient pop-up stores.

These kiosks feature several green shopping options from 22 participating brands which includes SM Home, SM Fashion, Watsons, The Body Shop, Kultura, Baby Company, Ace Hardware, Supplies Station, Sports Central, Toy Kingdom, and Signature Lines.

Supporting local businesses

Many products featured in the Green Finds pop-up stores are made by local businesses. This is part of SM’s long-standing commitment to support Filipino small and medium enterprises—driven by its origins as a small shoe store in downtime Manila in 1958.

Today, SM works with almost 25,000 small and medium enterprises representing 27% of the total SMEs in the country. Aside from helping them reach consumers through several retail channels, it also gives free training on sustainability and social and environmental topics through the Green Movement Sustainability School.

Empowering consumers

SM is also offering multiple channels where consumers can pick out green items: from brick-and-mortar stores to online spaces.

“As the country’s largest shopping platform—with malls nationwide, the ShopSM website and app, and services like Personal Shopper and Click and Collect—we are in a unique position to make it easier for people to spot green finds,” says Cathy Ileto, VP for Corporate Communications, SM Retail.

“Our platforms empower consumers by giving them more choices, which drives the movement towards a green lifestyle.”

Community Engagement through the SM Green Movement

The SM Green Finds is part of a comprehensive program called the SM Green Movement, which brings together the customers, suppliers and partners, and communities in a joint effort to help protect the planet.

“The goal of the SM Green Movement is to get everyone involved in the effort to stop global warming and protect the planet,” Tan further stated.

For several years, SM has engaged the local communities in environmental programs. This includes recycling programs like Trash to Cash Market, SM Electronic Waste Collection, and coastal cleanups.

SM has also encouraged customers to use more eco-friendly transportation, through bike lanes and electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations in several of its malls.

Join the Green Movement

The SM Green Movement is a collective effort of SM, its customers, communities, and partners to promote green living, green culture, and a green planet. For more information, visit this website.

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Singlife Philippines, Moovr partner to protect bike, e-scooter riders

With this partnership, Moovr riders in BGC, Makati, and Filinvest Alabang are offered FREE PHP100,000 coverage when using bikes or e-scooters. They can sign up to claim this free coverage through the Moovr app.

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Singlife Philippines, a mobile-first savings and protection company, launched its partnership with Moovr, the country’s first bike and e-scooter sharing app.

With this partnership, Moovr riders in BGC, Makati, and Filinvest Alabang are offered FREE PHP100,000 coverage when using bikes or e-scooters.  They can sign up to claim this free coverage through the Moovr app.

Teaming up to solve customer pain points

Singlife and Moovr are both start-ups that solve challenges customers experience by using the most innovative technology.  Singlife offers easy access to solutions that support the middle class to protect their financial future by ensuring there is money when needed. The company has made products for income protection, medical cost protection, and solutions that help prepare for education expenses available on mobile devices. They’ve been specially designed to fit customers’ needs and budget.  Moovr is dedicated to making commuting in key business areas easier, and more sustainable. 

Both companies are disruptors in the established industries they belong to, offering alternatives that better fit customers’ needs and preferences. This is the shared belief that initiated this partnership. 

“We are in the business of helping today’s movers and shakers get to where they need to be, faster, safer, and in a more sustainable manner.  We are thrilled to partner with Singlife to offer an added layer of protection to all our riders” said Anna Moncupa, CEO of Moovr. 

“Both Moovr and Singlife Philippines believe that technology is a game-changer for solving customer pain points and providing better services. We are happy that through this partnership, we make commuting and being financially protected–things that were such a hassle in the past — more accessible and better” Moncupa added.

“Very few Filipinos own life insurance products, and this is because the traditional ways of getting insured are tedious, complicated, and expensive. We partnered with Moovr to show people that getting the protection you need can be as easy, budget-friendly, and fast, just like riding a bike or e-scooter!” said Rien Hermans, CEO of Singlife Philippines.

Mooving around the city protected with Singlife

More than 1,000 people have already been protected since the start of this partnership. Singlife Philippines helps Moovr users protect themselves against the financial impacts of accidents with FREE P100,000 coverage. In less than a minute they can apply for their coverage and start their ride on a Moovr bike or e-scooter.

“Being financially protected means that unexpected events do not have to lead to big financial setbacks. Be responsible, be financially ready, and protect your family’s financial future” added Hermans.

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Product Showcase

Garmin Forerunner 255 series helps you find more reasons to run

Garmin Philippines launched the new Forerunner 255 series, which builds upon the popular Forerunner 245 series, now providing full triathlon support, new training metrics, enhanced smartwatch features (when paired with a smartphone) and more, while introducing the Forerunner 255S and Forerunner 255S Music in a more compact 41mm sized case.

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Garmin Philippines launched the new Forerunner 255 series, which builds upon the popular Forerunner 245 series, now providing full triathlon support, new training metrics, enhanced smartwatch features (when paired with a smartphone) and more, while introducing the Forerunner 255S and Forerunner 255S Music in a more compact 41mm sized case. 

“Garmin always innovates with the athlete in mind,”  says Mr. Scoppen Lin, Assistant General Manager, Garmin Asia. “With the Forerunner 255 series, we have always wanted to ensure that our customers are provided with the best tools that will help them improve their performance and achieve their goals.” 

“What makes this series special is that the Forerunner 255 was designed by runners for runners, providing our customers– our athletes with everything they need right on their wrist,” says Sheena Sim, Regional Marketing Manager for Garmin Philippines. “So instead of you figuring out how to analyze the data on your own, you’ll have your smartwatch, providing the insights for you.”

Here’s what’s new:

  • Full triathlon support: Switch up a workout routine with triathlon and multisport activity profiles. During races and brick workouts, easily toggle between sports with a single button press.
  • Morning report: Receive the day’s weather and daily workout suggestion, as well as information about last night’s sleep and HRV status.1 The report can even be customized so athletes can view only the details they want to see.
  • Race widget: View race prep information – including a race day-specific performance prediction, race day weather and a countdown clock – all in one widget. Once a race is scheduled, daily suggested workouts will adapt based on an athlete’s race plans.
  • HRV status: Track heart rate variability while sleeping to get a better handle on recovery and an overall wellness picture. 
  • Daily workout suggestions: Provides an entire week of day-to-day training guidance on what workout is most effective for overall wellness and will adapt based on race plans that are set up using the new race widget. 
  • Garmin Coach: Train for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon with free training plans that adapt based on a runner’s goals and performance. 
  • Multi-band GPS: Garmin’s reliable GPS accuracy just got better. By enabling multi-band, multi-satellite-system tracking on the watch, athletes can receive more accuracy in their run data, even in the most challenging environments.
  • Native running power: When using a Running Dynamics Pod (sold separately), receive real-time metrics of how much power is being exerted on a run, built into the watch – no app required.

Offering personalized training and recovery insights, the Forerunner 255 series includes performance monitoring tools to help athletes push the limits. Athletes can also switch up workouts with dozens of built-in sports apps, including triathlon, cycling, pool and open-water swimming, track run, and more. The series also features a Wrist-based Pulse Ox3 and the Body Battery™ which shows current energy levels to help athletes find the best times for activity and rest. It also aids women by featuring menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking, helping them adjust their training to plan for upcoming races.

Whether working out alone or with friends, built-in safety and tracking features include incident detection, assistance and LiveTrack to let loved ones follow along on a run or ride. Following a workout, the Forerunner 255 series will automatically upload activities to Garmin Connect, a no-cost, subscription-free platform where athletes can view all of their health and fitness data, connect and compete with friends, sign up for challenges and more.

Packed with connected features, the Forerunner 255 series lets users get the most out of their smartwatch with smart social and SMS notifications, as well as built-in music that can store up to 500 songs from Spotify®.

The Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 255S is now available at Garmin Brand Stores, kinetic.com.ph, Lazada, Shopee and the Garmin PH Viber Community, and retails for P21,975 while the Forerunner 255 Music is also available for P25,115. With any purchase of the Forerunner 255 series from any official Garmin store, customers can avail of a 20% discount voucher for ASICS. Terms and conditions apply while stocks last.

For more information on the Forerunner 255 series, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at ph.garmin.com/news/pressroom and on our blog at garmin.com/en-PH/blog. For other promos, follow us at Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.

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