The first impression you get seeing the Ciaz up close is how starkly simple it is.
Nothing about its design fulfills any fantasy of speed and recklessness; it merely follows the basic silhouette that makes a car, a car. Neither does it hint of a hyperfuture where cars look as though they were about to fly; about the only flair you may notice is how the rear lights seem to point upwards and continue to wrap around the rear side panels, but you can tell they are so only as a matter of utility. You can almost say that the Ciaz looks like the anti-Japanese car, and by that we mean it doesn’t come across as something straight out of an anime series.
But rather than following the simplicity of the Europeans, famed for their angular and rigid lines, the Ciaz still comes across as distinctly Japanese, in the way of their approach to designing everyday things. We’re thinking pottery and Muji furniture here.
That aesthetic flows all the way to the interiors. The Ciaz’s dashboard is uncluttered. The instrument clusters do not glow in glaring colors. The leather upholstery is flat. The mood inside is polite. The only concession to upward mobility is the Android OS touchscreen audio unit with navigation.
Driving the Ciaz, you notice that no one aspect of the driving experience stands out, but that everything feels together, giving you that wholeness and quiet confidence that the car will keep itself in tune for the long haul.
Simplicity, however, doesn’t appeal to anyone. But those who begin to embrace it find that the more they stick to the basics, the more they stand out.
This story was originally published in the August 2017 issue of FHM Philippines.
Minor edits were made by the FHM.com.ph editors.