The name Maruti Suzuki always conjures up images of endearing, economical and ultra practical little hatchbacks that become a trusty mode of transport to families all over the country. As a result, when the company says that they will be releasing a new one, a huge buzz is pretty much inevitable. The new Maruti Suzuki Celerio follows Maruti Suzuki’s modus operandi of making cars that are reliable and practical, compact yet roomy. Maruti Suzuki has also kept the design of this car safe and clean so that it doesn’t raise any eyebrows.
The Maruti Suzuki Celerio has only one engine option – a 998cc, 3 cylinder petrol engine that puts out a modest 68 bhp. The power output might sound underwhelming but it is more than sufficient for city commutes and daily drives, essentially the type of driving that this car is designed for. Maruti Suzuki has taken the old K10 engine out of the Alto and made a whole bunch of modifications to it. The resultant of all that work is the K10B engine and it is a significant improvement over its predecessor. This engine has good power and is reasonably silent at the lower end of the rev range, but at higher revs, it does get rather loud. The aspect of the car with the highest amount of hype surrounding it is the new 5 speed automated manual transmission which Maruti Suzuki refers to as ‘EZ Drive’. This gearbox can be thought of as a regular automatic gearbox, in the sense that there is no clutch pedal and the selector lever looks very similar to a conventional automatic transmission; but, it differs from them because it uses electronically controlled hydraulic actuators to shift up and down through gears. This provides for effortless driving and no matter how jammed up the roads are, navigating through them is a breeze.
The interiors of the car are done up quite tastefully and are not a plain, boring sea of grey as one would normally expect from a car like this. The dashboard looks pleasant and flows into the centre console of the car. The build quality might not be the best around but the car is very generous in terms of storage space. There are several pockets, cubbyholes and recesses for you to clutter up your car nicely! The passenger cabin is very spacious and all the seats are pleasantly comfortable. At 235 litres, the Celerio has a fairly decent sized boot and apart from the base LXi variant, all other variants have a rear seat that folds forward and splits 60:40. The gear selector of the Celerio is positioned quite high, thereby minimising the effort required to use it. Features include power steering, electric windows, central locking and internally adjustable rear view mirrors. The top end version also gets an audio system that supports USB, aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity, alloy wheels, steering mounted audio controls, electrically adjustable rear view mirrors and a driver side airbag.
The Celerio has a lot going for it – the new automated manual gearbox, roomy interiors, good features, excellent fuel efficiency and so on. The car is affordable too, with ex-showroom Delhi prices ranging from INR 3.90 lakhs to INR 4.96 lakhs. Small and efficient hatchbacks are Maruti Suzuki’s forte and with the company’s extensive and far reaching service centres, you can be sure that you will not go wrong with the Celerio.