The first-gen Celerio, launched in 2014 has been one of the best success stories from Maruti Suzuki with over 5.97 lakh units sold. The practical Celerio slotted in nicely between the Alto and the more premium Swift in terms of size, performance, and price. It was the car that introduced Indians to the now common AMT technology and Maruti even tried their hands at a small two-cylinder diesel engine with this. While the first-gen Celerio never made any effort towards its styling, things are a bit different with this second generation.
The looks are a bit polarizing at first, but the more you look at it, you see a quirky Kei car styling influence. The rear is more conventional and the sides are already a bit dated. But on this top-spec car, it looks okay with bigger 15-inch wheels and 175/60R15 tyres nicely filling up the arches. The car is the same length as before but is 55mm wider. With doors and boot lid having more heft, it feels better built than before.
The insides are okay for the segment but there is a lot of visible cost-cutting. The flap-type door handles with separate request sensors, the central power window switches, the built-in head-restraints, etc. look cheap. The front seats are comfortable but the built-in headrests on the rear seats intrude into the neck region. Legroom front and rear have gone up by 95mm and 37mm respectively. The extra 55mm width also increases the boot capacity by 78 litres to 313 litres. You also get a 60:40 split rear seat for added practicality.
The Celerio gets the updated dual-jet 1L, 3 cyl naturally aspirated K10C engine with dual VVT. It produces 67bhp and 89Nm, which are one down on the earlier car, but the focus this time is on fuel efficiency. The extra fuel injector allows for more precise control of the AF ratio for maximum efficiency. The engine pulls decently from low revs and has decent power all across the rev range. Because this car uses the newer Heartect platform, it also feels more refined than before.
The biggest difference comes from the better chassis and bigger wheels, which mean the new Celerio feels closer to the Swift in terms of the way it drives. The suspension is a bit on the stiffer side, but it feels well damped and has a mature feel about it. The steering is light, but it feels more sure-footed in the corners than before. The brakes are up to the job too.
In many ways, the new Celerio is an improvement over the old car. It drives better, has more space, the engine is better, but the pricing seems on the higher side. With the base model costing Rs.4.99 ex. showroom, the top-end AMT variant costs over Rs.8.3 lakhs on road. That is a lot of money for this class of car, especially when you consider that Maruti’s own Wagon R which is taller, a lot more practical and has a 1.2 litre 4 cylinder engine, costs ten thousand rupees less.
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