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Rediff.com  » Business » Maruti Celerio: Will it be the next best-selling car?

Maruti Celerio: Will it be the next best-selling car?

February 04, 2014 09:55 IST

Maruti Celerio: Will it be the next best-selling car?

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The Maruti Celerio isn't a game changer but an average performer in many areas, writes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com

Whenever you think of a small car, Maruti Suzuki is the name which instantly pops into your mind and that's because India's largest car maker has ruled the hatchback space for like ever.

But it's not all sunshine and puppies as the Japanese automaker has had its fair share of flops too.

The cute little A-Star and highly outdated Zen Estilo bombed in the market, purely because they were inferior to other products. Now Maruti Suzuki is replacing both its failures with one single model, the Celerio.

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Maruti Celerio: Will it be the next best-selling car?

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First look at the Celerio and you aren't going to get impressed. The design is just so boring and there is nothing which stands out.

This is disappointing as Suzuki does some awesome styling with its concept cars. In the Celerio, you see a mix of not one, two or three cars, but four of them.

The front resembles the Etios to a certain extent, the side has quite a bit of the A-Star in it while the rear is very similar to the Alto 800. From certain angles, you also see a bit of a reminiscence to the Zen Estilo.

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Maruti Celerio: Will it be the next best-selling car?

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Step inside and things improve drastically. The dashboard borrows quite a few parts from the Swift, which gives it an appealing flavour.

The addition of silver inserts on the side AC vents, centre console and steering wheel are neat while the dual tone black and beige interiors give the car a roomy appearance.

Maruti Suzuki has also improved interior room and headroom is in abundance throughout the car. Even legroom is decent at the rear and the seats are comfortable too.

However there is poor under-thigh support and quality is sub par as we could find some panel gaps on our test cars.

The boot space is 235-litres, which is decent, it's even bigger than the Swift.

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Maruti Suzuki hasn't skipped on equipment and the Celerio gets a ton of features, although most are present only in the ZXi trim, which isn't offered in the Auto Gear Shift model.

The Celerio gets electrically adjustable rear view mirrors, auto locking doors, steering mounted audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, driver side airbag in the ZXi trim.

With the ZXi Option variant, you also get co-passenger airbag, ABS, driver seat height adjust, fog lamps and alloy wheels.

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Powering the Maruti Celerio is the well-known 1.0-litre K-Series engine, which has been given a few hardware tweaks for improved performance.

In its updated avatar, it's known as the K-Next motor, which outputs the same 68 BHP of power but at 6000 RPM (instead of 6200 RPM) and 90 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM.

This motor is silent at low speeds but vibrations are plenty leading to the complete car vibrating, including the gear lever, seats, pedal and doors.

Maruti Suzuki has made the Celerio very light, it weighs just 830 kgs and that does have its negatives.

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The 3-cylinder engine offers good low-end performance and is good in city conditions with enough juice to close gaps in traffic.

However the mill is too noisy post 4,000 RPM and sounds extremely coarse near its 6,100 RPM redline.

The powerplant is coupled to an improved 5-speed gearbox, which offers slick shifts but needs a bit of an effort to use.

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The bigger news is the debut of a 5-speed automated manual transmission, which is a cost effect automatic.

This doesn't use a torque converter like conventional automatic transmissions, instead it uses an ECU to control shifts using actuators.

The convenience offered by the automatic is terrific but there are some jerks as you can feel the clutch being engaged.

There is no P mode on the lever but you do have a manual mode wherein you can hold gears till redline.

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Tags: ECU

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The Maruti Celerio's suspension is softly sprung and that gives it good ride quality at low speeds which gets a bit messy at the rear at higher speeds.

The handling is good and it's easy to chuck this car around corners. However the light steering doesn't weigh up at high speeds but the lightness does aid in city manoeuvrability.

The brakes of the car are good but ABS should have been offered on the ZXI variant as standard. Even the Auto Gear Shift version should have got an option of ABS.




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The Maruti Celerio isn't a vastly improved product over the cars it replaces and cost cutting is quite evident at certain places.

Maruti Suzuki could have gone a step ahead and made the Celerio much better but the company chose not to.

The Celerio's manual gearbox variant doesn't make a strong case and there are better hatchbacks at this price point.

However when it comes to the Auto Gear Shift version, it definitely is something which offers peace of mind in congested driving conditions.

If you must buy the Celerio, it has to be the one with the Auto Gear Shift, else there are better cars in the segment.




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