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83%
3.73 

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

Maruti Suzuki

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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member
Thrissur India
Finally I Get My Hands on the Celerio AMT
Apr 15, 2014 09:57 AM 282657 Views

Leg Room:

Dealer Satisfaction:

Mileage:

Comfort:

Reliability:

Appeal:

After months of waiting I finally got to drive the Maruti Celerio on a 300 km round trip to Vagamon in Kerala. First of, I would like to thank my friend Rajiv Prasad, who works at POPULAR Automobiles for being able to give me the car for a day. Without further delay, lets get started on the review.


LOOKS:-


The celerio is sort off two-faced(or should I say three?) when it comes to pure looks. I really liked the front end of the car. It looked really modern. From the side profile, the celerio could be easily mistaken for the chevy sail uva. The rear end looks like a slightly stylized copy from the alto 800. Overall it is a medium sized hatchback. Alloy wheels are provided only for zxi(o) version. All the others come with standard steel wheels.


INTERIOR SPACE AND BUILD QUALITY:-


The front seats are big enough and comfortable.The under thigh support is good but I felt the front seats lacked lumbar support which started giving me a slight backache near the lower spine region after about an hour of continuous driving, or maybe I am just getting old:) .The vxi AMT model that I had was not equipped with height adjust. I didn't have a problem but I heard from Rajiv that visibility might be a bit restricted for people who are shorter than around 5"4'. The rear seat is decent enough, but can't give detailed view since I sat in the back seat for only about 15 mins during the entire trip.Coming to build quality, the plastics are good.


The beige and black interior combination gives an airy feel to the cabin. I forgot to ask him if this was the only interior color option.The steering feels good to hold and feels similar to the one on the maruti swift.Only con I found was the horn doesn't extend to the steering wheel spokes and I had to take my hand off the steering wheel to press the horn.The top model gets electronic adjustment for the rear view mirrors.The car I got didn't come with any sort of music system and this left a big blank space just above the ac controls. The plastic bits are of good quality although I was not a fan of the texture. The air conditioning was very good and worked fine, but since there was heavy rain during our trip, I wasn't able to see how well it performed in very hot climatic conditions. The doors on the celerio feel lightweight and don't feel that solid.


Unfortunately that has become the norm in most Indian automobiles. The rear hatch on the other hand feels sturdy enough. Driver visibility is great since the celerio has a big windscreen but the rear visibility is not that good owing to the thick C pillars and small rear windscreen. The amount of rear boot space is huge and will be more than sufficient.


DISPLAY CONSOLE:-


The celerio comes with good looking semi digital display console. The display shows all the information required. On the right, it indicates the gear in which you are. Note, the gear position indicator is present only in the AMT model The system also shows information like instant consumption, avg. fuel economy and distance to empty on the press of the right stalk. What is surprising is that the fuel gauge somehow starts rising if you drive economically and drops if you drive enthusiastically.


It also comes with a clock and an ambient temperature gauge. Surprising thing is that you do not get any engine temperature gauge nor any indicator which would show that the engine is overheating which is really quiet shocking.This is a must have for a country like India where you might be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for hours at temperatures that constantly hover around 30-40 degree C.


ENGINE & DRIVING EXPERIENCE:-


The car will only start if the brake is pressed and the gear lever is in neutral. If either of these conditions are not satisfied, it will keep beeping when the key is turned and an icon would be indicated.The celerio is powered by 1000 cc, 3 cylinder k series engine developing 67.06 HP at 6000 rpm and 90 NM of torque at 3500 rpm. The engine is rev happy and has enough pulling power.


The engine will touch redline if you push it hard but does get audible above 4000 rpm where you feel it is being strained. The AMT model gives good power delivery giving no feeling of lack of power. The AMT reached triple digit speeds easily in the Manual mode without any hiccups. To be honest I liked the car in manual mode more than the fully automatic mode. I heard that that the zxi which comes only in manual gearbox option feels a bit under powered, so its best to go for the AMT model. Perhaps a clever move by maruti to funnel more customers into choosing the AMT over the manual transmission.


In D (drive) mode the car keeps upshifting and downshifting on its own at about 2200-2500 rpm. The D mode is configured for maximum fuel economy so it keeps up shifting as fast as possible and reaches fifth gear by 55-60 km/h. In manual mode the AMT will hold the gear till the red line and will not up shift on its own but will restrict you from up shifting if the speeds are too low and blink the gear number in the display. It will automatically downshift when the speeds get too low.


The celerio comes with Mcpherson Struts with coil springs in the front with coupled torsion beam axle with coil springs at the rear. The car handled really well and absorbed all the harshness and bumps on the roads pretty well. The steering is precise and balanced even at speeds above 100 KM/H. The car has been designed keeping city driving in mind and did not touch any of the speed bumps even the large ones.


The car does struggle slightly when the surface is uneven due to which the steering keeps changing direction which makes you put a lot of input to correct it.There is only a slight body roll when you take corners a bit fast. All in all it was a comfortable ride and the celerio handled the potholes and ghat road sections well.


EXTRA INFO GOT FROM RAJIV:-


1)The AMT has better mileage than the manual transmission. Maruti claims 23.1 kmpl for both the manual and AMT version. But we got a mileage of around 21.Not bad at all. Manual gives slightly lesser it seems.


2)No fog lights, body coloured mirrors/door handles on AMT models. Cost cutting.


3)Manual version doesn't have ambient temperature gauge.


4)35 litre fuel tank. That means you can drive almost 700+ KMS before needing a refill!


5)1st year services are free. 3 services at 1000/5000/10000km or 1/6/12 month.


THE  PROS:-


1) At 4.32 lakhs, The celerio Lxi AMT is the cheapest automatic transmission vehicle in the world.


2)Excellent fuel economy


3)Good engine and transmission


4)Good suspension


5)Decent looks


THE CONS:-


1)AMT available only on Lxi/Vxi. Not available on the top end zxi.


2)No ABS/AIRBAGS on the AMT models. Again to keep the price low. But wouldn't you rather pay 80k extra than get killed in a crash? IMHO, the govt should make both of these features mandatory for all vehicles. 3)Waiting period of 6 to 8 months is not ideal. I personally will not go for  a car that has a waiting period of more than 3 months. In that period of time god knows how many new models will be launched.


4)vibrations during idling.


FINAL VERDICT:-


Maruti is known best for its small cars and it looks like they have another winner on their hands. 50, 000 bookings within a few months of its launch is an astonishing feat with almost 55% of the bookings for the AMT model. The next closest rival in terms of automatic transmission is the i10 which is more than 1 Lakh costlier. The lack of AMT transmission available is the root cause for such a long delivery time and lack of AMT on the zxi version.


Rumors are there that maruti is opening a new plant to manufacture more AMT transmissions and hopefully that will bring down the waiting period by maybe a few months. I hope you enjoyed my review.If you have any queries please post them in the comments below.


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