Maruti Suzuki Celerio Overview
No matter how hard you try, somethings just aren’t heard, like in the case of automobiles how often have we heard India’s largest car manufacturer having a flop model in its portfolio. Rarely, but when Maruti Suzuki’s product does fail to sell, the company quickly makes amends by discontinuing the model and replacing it with something better. Such has been the case always and that’s why the Japanese automaker is replacing not one but two of its poorly performing cars in India with one product. The Zen Estilo and A-Star are being replaced by the Celerio, a car which also fills in the shoes of the Splash globally. Does the Maruti Celerio have what it takes to replace three cars? Suzuki thinks so, its ideology behind developing the Celerio was to make a vehicle which has the economy of the Alto (A-Star) and space of the Splash (Ritz). We put the Maruti Celerio through the thick and thin to see if this Maruti has what it takes to be a success. Check for Celerio Car Model Price in CarzPrice
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Exterior
The Maruti Celerio looks similar to its petrol counterpart. The badgingg on the fender and boot mark the difference. The styling of the Celerio is mix of various elements. It has a pleasing front end with twin chrome horizontal slats. Large headlamps also add to the look. The fog lamps have chrome surrounds and the fascia looks appealing. this makes it look attractive. It is a somewhat tall boy design which is apparent when viewed from the side. The door handles are grab type ones and the crisp line adds on to the styling. The wheel well size is perfect and it doesn’t look small like the Wagon R, neither is it too big. The rear of the Maruti Celerio Diesel is nothing to talk about, but is decent with simple looking tail lamps.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Interior
When compared to A-Star and Estilo, this hatchback offer more upmarket and better quality interiors. The seats have better cushioning and offers comfortable seating to passengers. The rear seats come with the option of 60:40 split flexibility to increase luggage capacity. That is what we call XpanDesign. The flowing curves of the dashboard and the way it merges with the rest of the interiors give the cabin a premium feel. All of it comes together to create a space thats perfect for you and your family to settle into and enjoy the drive.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Engine & Transmission
The Maruti Celerio uses the same engine which powered the cars it replaces. It is the same motor which propels the Wagon R but sees some changes. The 1.0-litre K10B motor (now called K-Next) gets drive-by-wire technology (instead of a mechanical linkage), reduced friction (thanks to redesigned valve springs), high pressure injectors and low viscosity engine oil. The changes aren’t a world apart but do end up improving the performance from the car which now produces the same 68 PS of power at 200 RPM earlier. Being a 3-cylinder unit, the Celerio’s engine has its achilles heel, the NVH is very poor which is amplified by the low weight of the car, resulting in everything from the gear lever to the pedals and seats vibrating at idle (noise isn’t much though but vibes are very intrusive). What the low weight does help in is, it gives the Maruti Celerio slick performance in the city, you do however have to keep the pedal depressed at low speeds to prevent stalling in crawling traffic, specifically in first gear.
The 3-pot unit is quick to respond to throttle inputs at low speeds and moves swiftly in stop and go conditions. However like most Suzuki petrol powertrains, rev the nuts of the motor and it makes an unpleasing whine, the Celerio goes one step ahead and sounds massively coarse near the 6100 RPM redline. The car debuts an improved 5-speed gearbox which although has slick shifts, can be a bit of an effort to use till you get used to the slight stiffness. The 1.2-litre K12 engine in the Ritz and Swift would have made a world of a difference to the Celerio but Maruti Suzuki is focussed on mileage, which the smaller petrol mill will deliver in abundance. Our VBOX runs with both manual and automatic versions of the Maruti Celerio revealed the 0-100 km/hr time to be 15.05 and 15.60 seconds respectively, which is decently quick for a car with such a pint sized motor.
The A-Star was offered with an automatic but Maruti Suzuki has opted for a cost effective solution with the Celerio, which uses an automated manual transmission, technology sourced from Magneti Marelli. This transmission is shared with the manual and doesn’t have a torque converter (thereby returns the same mileage as a manual), instead it uses an ECU to control gear shifts (using actuators), eliminating the need of a physical clutch. There is a creep mode which prevents clutch wear in slow moving conditions while a hold function prevents roll back on slopes. You have the option of leaving the box in auto mode while there is a manual mode as well (slot the lever to the left) wherein you can keep the gear engaged till redline to extract the most out of this mill. The EZ Drive does make driving very convenient but is very jerky and you can feel the clutch being activated most of the time. Since this is an automated manual gearbox, there is no P mode like in traditional automatics (there is M, D, N and R modes). The company claims a fuel efficiency of 23.1 km/l which is quite impressive.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Ride and Handling
The Maruti Celerio offers a good mix of space and comfort and it is exactly like its petrol sibling. The ride is pliant and the suspension feels well balanced. It is not too stiff nor soft. The steering too is well weighted and not overly assisted like some other cars in the segment and this feels good. The clutch too feels pretty light, especially for a diesel. While the engine sound intrudes inside the cabin, it gets easily muffled with the audio system on. Overall, the driving dynamics in the Maruti Celerio are better than just acceptable.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Braking and Safety
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Verdict
The Maruti Celerio is an improved product, compared to the A-Star whose direct replacement it is. However it isn’t a vastly improved product which makes you question why the manufacturer did not go the long haul in taking a car which bombed so miserly, to the next level. The regular manual version of the Celerio doesn’t appeal much with the EZ Drive model being the only saving grace here. By using the intelligent and cost effective option, Maruti Suzuki will offer the cheapest automatic car in India in the Celerio. Although very jerky, the ease of driving offered by the Auto Gear Shift in the Celerio is sure to appeal to those on a budget. Being a Maruti Suzuki with a vast dealership network and aggressive pricing (for the lower trims), the Celerio is bound to be a success. However if you want a manual hatchback at this price point, there are better options.