No matter how many they launch, but every new small car from Maruti never fails to attract attention. This time it is the Maruti Suzuki Celerio, a 3600mm long and 1600mm wide hatchback which will take on the Hyundai i10. The Celerio, which sits on a 2425mm wheelbase, will plug the gap the poor performing A-star and the Zen Estilo have left in Maruti’s otherwise impregnable small car fortress. The Celerio is expected to carry a starting price tag of Rs 3.8 lakh, ex-showroom in Delhi with the price rising to Rs 4.9 lakh for the top of the version. All versions of the Celerio, however, will only be powered by a petrol engine and there are no plans to launch for a diesel variant either.
The Celerio might only come with one engine but there will be an option to choose between a manual and an automatic. The manual is a 5-speed gearbox while the automatic is essentially a clutchless manual. The Celerio will be available in three trim levels – Lxi, Vxi and Zxi – with the Zxi being the top of the line version. One will be able to order the Lxi and the Vxi trims with either the manual or what Maruti calls its semi automatic – the Auto Gear Shift tech, the Zxi trim will only be available with a manual gearbox.
The engine is the same as the one on the Wagon R. It is an all-aluminium, 998cc, three-cylinder petrol engine that develops a max power output of 68PS at 6000rpm and a peak torque of 90Nm at 3500rpm. Given that the Celerio only weighs 830kg in its heaviest form, the manual version, like the A-star, makes for a peppy little car.
Yes, the A-star is one of the rare Maruti small cars that failed. And it did for good reason. It was cramped inside and had no real boot to speak of. And it also failed to give anything substantial over the competition even with its relatively steeper pricing. The Celerio is the replacement for the A-star. And it offers more in terms on interior room to begin with.
It has wider track lengths - front and rear, and a wheelbase that’s almost as long as the Swift (there’s only a 5mm difference in the wheelbases of the two cars). Moreover, the Celerio has smaller overhangs than the Swift, which means the resultant interior space might be quite similar. But, the boot at 235 litres is more than the Swift. That’s not all, the Celerio also gets stuff like audio controls on the steering, electrically adjustable ORVMs, Bluetooth telephony and a trip computer (though basic) on the top of the line Zxi trim. The Zxi optional trim also gets two airbags upfront and ABS.
The Celerio has the makings of a very good small car but at a starting price of Rs 3.8 lakh for the base Lxi and Rs 4.9 lakh for the top of the Zxi trim. Any higher, and we might have to relook our verdict here. The prices will be announced at the Expo and the Celerio will be available for deliveries soon after.
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