Maruti’s small cars are always much-awaited and come pre-loaded with
market-shaking potential. It is, however, true that after the Swift,
there hasn’t been a hatchback from Maruti-Suzuki that has really
rocked the passenger car market.
But, the next small car from Maruti – the Celerio, due out at the Auto
Expo next week, looks like it can disrupt the market.
The Celerio has been developed from the ground up on a completely new
platform and has been endowed with a special automatic gearbox that
Maruti officials believe with revolutionise the way we drive. The
design of the Celerio is based on the A-Wind concept that Suzuki
showcased at the Thai Auto show.
This new hatch has been built to fit into and complement Maruti’s
portfolio of small cars, but it is also meant to take on new
competitors in the segment such as the Hyundai Grand i10. The Celerio
is just a bit smaller than the Grand i10 in terms of length and width,
but matches the wheelbase and is even a bit taller than the latter
From various angles the Maruti Suzuki Celerio brings to mind the Toyota Etios Liva,
especially that smiling grille with the twin smiling slats flanking
the Suzuki Logo. In fact, if you took off the Suzuki logo and replaced
it with a Toyota badge you could easily fool anyone into mistaking
this car for the latter. As it is, driving this car on the busy roads
around Jodhpur did not elicit much interest from the very people who
would in the near future be buying this car, the aam janta! And let me
tell you in the past there hasn’t been a single new car that hasn’t
grabbed attention on these drives.
At the front, the bumper is a strong element of the design and looks
sturdy and well-sculpted, though the inverted curve to the lower air
dam and the single fog lamps scooped inside the bumper continue to
remind you of the Etios Liva. I like the hood which has this slight
clamshell effect to it and gives the Celerio a sporty character.
The side profile is sculpted with two sweeping character lines that
appear running parallel to each other. The one running along the
shoulder starts at the fender and sweeps upwards towards the rear
window with a sculpted kink. The outside rear view mirrors with
integrated turn lamps and smaller indicator lamps on the fenders are
the only ornaments that give this profile a sparkle. The rear is my
least favourite area. The tallish tail lamps look a bit out of place,
though the chunky bumpers look quite in sync with the rest of the body
shell. The rear tail gate can only be accessed from the outside and
not from within the car.
Where dimensions are concerned, the Celerio is comfortably long and
wide, though to put it in comparison, it’s shorter in length than the
Hyundai Grand i10 though taller by a few inches. At 2.425 metres,
however, both hatchbacks share the same wheelbase and that also means
the Celerio has substantial amounts of interior space, especially knee
room, just like the Grand i10.
As with the exterior, Maruti has played it very safe with the cabin.
The two-tone dashboard uses a rather basic design, and though the
instrument cluster is easy to read, it looks very bland. Plastic
quality is good, but still not up there with Hyundai. It scores
decently on practicality too, and though the front door pockets are
slim, the rear ones house bottle holders. There’s another bottle
holder between the front seats, a pair of cupholders near the gear
lever and a medium-size glovebox. For luggage, you have 235 litres
once you get past the tall loading lip, but you can also split-fold
the seat for even more room.
Space is a strong point of the Maruti Suzuki Celerio, with good headroom in all
seats. Three adults in the back is a bit of a squeeze, but legroom is
decent, and you get a good sense of space too. Apart from a slightly
short seat squab and the low-set, fixed head restraints, the seats are
really comfortable as well. Even the fixed-headrest front seats,
though they don’t look the plushest, serve up a good mix of softness
and support. The equipment level is acceptable and this ZDi (O) gets
features like Bluetooth, driver’s seat height adjustment,
steering-mounted controls, electrically adjustable mirrors, ABS and
The Celerio is being offered only with a petrol engine, though there
are rumours already that Maruti Suzuki has developed a small, diesel
engine in-house for use in the car. The same may be showcased at the
Expo and potentially make it to showrooms late this year or early next
The engine that the Celerio will be launched with is the same
one-litre K 10B engine that is currently available in the A-Star, Alto
K10 and the Wagon-R. The engine is being offered in the same state of
tune too. (See the Tech Spec box for more info.)
The story of the Celerio is actually inside the bonnet, but if the
engine is a carry over, then what is different?
It is the new automatic gearbox that Maruti and Suzuki engineers have
developed specially for the car, and which promises to be frugal both
in terms of costs and in terms of fuel consumption. The new EZ Drive
auto gear shift promises to do just that shift the gears on your
behalf and it is a unique solution that is going to lead to a lot of
clones cropping up amongst competitors. (Read more about it in the
The Celerio drives like a perfect city car. For an engine in this
class, there is enough power and torque available on tap for all sorts
of urban driving conditions and some more for the average highway
cycle. The car is also offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
The suspension is soft enough to iron out road imperfections but the
light car that it is, allows Maruti to keep the tune stiff enough for
the Celerio to feel composed at high speeds. You don’t feel as nervous
north of 100kmph in the Celerio as you would in an i10. The Celerio is
a predictable handler too, fun to chuck around corners when you pick
up the pace but the tyres could have offered more grip, especially in
the diesel as there is more weight up front.
It is a given that a Maruti has to be an easy car to use in the city,
and with the Celerio it’s no different. Light steering and good
visibility out of the cabin coupled with nearly straight lined sides
make for some precision driving when you are weaving through traffic.
If there is one drawback in the diesel, it’s the lack of low end
The Celerio CNG is one of the most affordable hatchback in its segment
and is the perfect package. The Wagon R’s interiors have started to
look aged and the Celerio is a better option to pick as you will look
at keeping the car for a period of three to five years. At the price
and the mileage, Celerio CNG is a great buy. Wish it was also
available in the ZXi variant also.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Ex Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 4,04,651/- (Celerio LXI) to 5,25,255/- (Celerio ZXI AMT Optional) .Maruti Suzuki Celerio has 14 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Maruti Suzuki Celerio comes in 6 colours, namely Cerulean Blue,Blazing Red,Sunshine Ray,Glistening Grey,Pearl Arctic White,Silky Silver.