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Rs. 4,99,000 (Ex-Showroom)

Maruti Suzuki

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Jan 01, 2015 07:19 PM 166668 Views
(Updated Jan 02, 2018 06:22 PM)

Leg Room:

Dealer Satisfaction:





Mouthshut has given a format for writing reviews. I would this time like to write a review away from the conventional verbose style, to a Q/A format. I guess, this should help the reader. Most of you who would be reading this review would be interested in the vehicle. So here we go.

Question: Why did I buy this Vehicle?

Answer: My first vehicle was Maruti 800, about ten years ago. This was followed by Maruti EECO- petrol, then Maruti EECO- petrol CNG. The reviews are there to read, on Mouthshut. The reason that I brought Celerio, is that I wanted to buy and automatic gear vehicle. This fits the budget, and of course it was Maruti, the car company that I trust. In the past, I always has good experience with the service of Maruti. It never let me down. There was a pleasant occasion, where expensive parts were replaced, free of cost, after the warranty, when they realized that there was an issue. So confidence backed my decision. I took a test drive of Maruti Celerio, on the highway and in the crowded roads of Mumbai. The Auto Gear Shift came out to be a pleasant surprise. After the test drive, I decided that I would own one.

Question: What did I like about the vehicle?

Answer: The engine is smooth. All the reviews that say that it is noisy is pure bullshit. The noise is really low. On the highway, at the speed of 80-90 km per hr, you cannot hear the hum. In the city drive too, unless you really race the vehicle, there is no engine noise. Please don't go on the reviews of certain people.

I have found that the only job they have is criticizing Maruti. They compare it with BMW and Mercedes Benz. Compare it with the vehicles sold in the same segment, Maruti outperforms. Next you will hear a lot of criticism of it Auto gear not being upto the mark. I am and engineer, old one. Please believe. The technology for auto gear here used is the most unique. All they have done is taken the conventional gear box, connected it to an robotic system to automate the shift. The shift is based on speed, rpm and the accelerator position. You will be surprised to know that the accelerator is electronic drive by wire, which means that it is not directly connected to the engine. This make the accelerator, really feather touch. Maruti has named this auto gear as Automated Manual Transmission(AMT).

The advantages are that it is a robotized version of a conventional gear box. The reliability of gear wheels is now extremely high, no wear and tear in the gear. The gear oil replacement is after 1, 00, 000 km. The autogear technologies available in todays vehicles are, torque converter-smooth, but prone to wear, low mileage at low speeds. Constant Variable Transmission, aka CVT-smooth, but wearing of transmission belt is a know evil. Dual Clutch Dual Gear- sporty, quick, but costs a bomb, smooth. Maruti seems to have studied all this and came up with an indigenous solution, i.e. AMT. It you put it in the auto mode, the gear shift is a bit( only a bit, the passengers will not feel it) jerky. In the manual overide all the jerk is gone. The auto mode is good for Highway and very slow, aka creeping traffic. The start is not at all jerky. It is smooth. Many people expressed fear that it will not pick on slopes. Nonsense. I tried it on steep gradient, it picked up gracefully. Since this technology automates the clutch shift, the mileage claimed is 23.1 km/litre. I got 15 km/litre in a worst city known as Mumbai, and 20 km/litre(impressive) on highway. Now this is tank full to tank full reading, and I am not wrong on this figures. The interiors are good. The seats comfortable, leg room decent, so it the head room. Shocks are decent, now again BMW is a different class.

You will have to slow down on bumps and potholes.

Question: What did I did not like about this vehicle?

Answer: It has no parking mode in gear. If you stop the vehicle, park it without pulling the handbrake, the vehicle will move freely. Shifting the gear to manual mode, when the vehicle is switched off, does not engage any gear. Switch off and the vehicle is in neutral. The manual says, that it goes on the first gear. I disagree. I can literally move the vehicle on the flat road, with my finger, if the vehicle is switched off. Don't tell that I didn't warn you.

Can you not come out with a sedan version?

Question: Describe your driving experience?

Answer: It was, is and will be a pleasure to drive. The car is stable at speeds of 80-90 km/hour, and engine noise in literally absent at these speeds. Being low Center of Gravity, it is stable. The auto mode works great on the highway, and there is no danger in overtaking in the auto mode, in the highways. Most of the reviewers have written crap on this aspect(i.e highway overtaking), saying, it has no pickup, slows down. Nonsense at the best. Go ahead use it in auto mode in the highway. It will give you a mileage unheard of, in case you use to auto mode. Sometimes when you push the accelerator hard to overtake, it just jerks a bit and the gear box gives a roar. This is nothing abnormal. it is shifting at a lower gear to give you torque to overtake safely. There is a computer(Microprocessor) under the bonnet that does all the calculation and take instant decisions. Don't worry, let it do its job, you drive. It you don't trust the computer for gear shifting, shift to manual mode and take control. As easy as that. The steering is light, and does have less feedback. This may unnerve some, but I found it okay. The doors need not be slammed for closing. There is a style in closing doors, that I learned from a friend who came from New Zealand. You should bring the door four inch away from the body and give it a firm push. The door then closes with minimum noise, firmly. I all the time slammed the door, stupid me. The city drive has been one of the most pleasant experience of life. No jhanjhat, of shifting the gear. You only use the accelerator and brake to drive.

Question: Who should buy this vehicle?

Answer: Miya beewi do baccho ke saath. Enough space. Miya beewi, one child, and grandparents, thoda adjust. In such cases long drive not recommended. If you wish to skip to the CNG line go for it. You will end up spending a bit high on petrol but then, its convenient. Doesn't guzzle fuel promise. Yuppies with Girlfriend, Highly recommended, Yaara da tushaan.

Question: Who shouldn't but this vehicle?

Answer: Hyundai, Hondacity, BMW, Merc, Volkwagen, lovers please don't spend you time in the showroom. And yes the AMT version comes with no airbags and ABS. I personally am annoyed with Maruti's decision on this. The funny stuff is that if you want Celerio with safety features, you will not get it with auto gear!

I invite all the readers to ask questions. I will answer them to the best of my abilities.

On the question of not having parking gear, I would like to add that it is available, but in a bit indirect fashion. You should switch off the vehicle in D or R mode. Then the car stops with the gear latched. You then cannot move the car. Do not switch the car in N mode. The gear stays neutral.

It has been two years that I have brought this car. The review after two years should help buyers to make decision. Yes there are problems in this car.

Juddering: Yes this is a problem that people have started reporting with AMT.  This problem started in my car around 15, 000 km. The problem has not been solved. I have been to two reputed service stations in Mumbai. They explain me that this is normal with the car and have their own explanations. I am not convinced.  The problem is severe when driving in D mode in stop and go traffic. Otherwise the transmission works like a breeze. Juddering, gives jerks, that can be quite irritating. You can prevent juddering by pressing the gas pedal slowly when starting from an halt. Now is juddering only a problem in celerio? Well no. This has been reported many cars around the world. From a engineers perspective, I can only say that this happens when you do not calibrate the clutch release mechanism for smooth transition.  Juddering, if it happens,  will always occur when the car has run for some miles. This happens, as the pressure plate loses its elasticity, and the friction plates their friction.

Update 2017, June

So far have driven the car 48000km. I have driven to Jodhpur, in a single day. Excellent on highways, good road grip. On the Juddering issue, it has been identified due to the clutch. The service station adjusted the clutch and the juddering reduced drastically. This was done by Vitesse Service Station Andheri West, Mumbai. So far no complaints. Once again the highway average 22km/l and to speed 120 km/h. My next car is Celerio, thats it. The engine is still smooth.

Once again you can trust me for an honest review.

Update 2018, January

So far I have driven the car for 55000 km in three years. Now this usage is high. I regularly use this car for office. I have done three cross country drives to Jodhpur. The distance was 1000 km, and the drive was completed in 14 hr. The car handles really well on the highway. This is a highway beast too. But don't expect braking like Innova. Innova has the best braking, very few can really come close or match up. I used the M mode instead of D mode. I was easily able to overtake without any problems whatsoever. Top speed on highway 130 kmph( measured using GPS- Global positioning system, by tom tom, considered to be the best in class)

The juddering problem in my car was finally solved by changing the clutch plate. So if your car judders, its the clutch plate is the culprit. Had to change the clutch plate at 53, 000 km. It costs Rs. 6000, so the cost of clutch usage is 11 paise per km. As per experts Mumbai city has a traffic that causes the highest wear of clutch. I am not surprised that it lasted this long.

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Maruti Suzuki Celerio