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Old 8th February 2014, 11:21   #256
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

Celerio might just be the first surfer on the wave of AMT transmission that could revolutionize the Indian car industry. With Tata following suit by offering the same in Zest and (maybe) nano, I think my ideas are not totally crazy.
But I would have really liked the Zxi(O) variant to have all bells and whistles, plus the AMT transmission. Might sell only 10 per month, but that would have been a great car - small and nimble in the city, peace of mind with ABS and airbags, no tension auto shift, great FE !

Last edited by blackasta : 8th February 2014 at 11:22.
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Old 8th February 2014, 15:18   #257
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

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Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Celerio might just be the first surfer on the wave of AMT transmission that could revolutionize the Indian car industry.
But I would have really liked the Zxi(O) variant to have all bells and whistles,
Agree with you on both the points.
It is rather unfortunate that Maruti projects AMT as the USP of Celerio and then does not launch a Zxi variant of the same. Agree that the pricing may cut in to Swifts territory.
However they should have given an option atleast for AMT customers to select ABS / Airbags.
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Old 8th February 2014, 16:19   #258
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

Just when DSG/DCT/CVT/Torque Converter was confusing enough, we have AMT. Still don't know how it is different from Torque Converter(TC). May be absence of P (parking) is. Why did they skimp on P? And how does one park this? Just apply parking brake? I drive A-Star AT. I have to test-drive this AMT thing but I'm sure it won't be as good as TC.
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Old 8th February 2014, 16:48   #259
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Just when DSG/DCT/CVT/Torque Converter was confusing enough, we have AMT. Still don't know how it is different from Torque Converter(TC). May be absence of P (parking) is. Why did they skimp on P? And how does one park this? Just apply parking brake? I drive A-Star AT. I have to test-drive this AMT thing but I'm sure it won't be as good as TC.

Torque converters are coupled to the traditional Automatic transmissions.

AMTs are traditional clutch + manual gearbox vehicle. The clutch is engaged/disengaged using hydraulics as well as the manual gears are shifted using hydraulics. The hydraulics are controlled by a computer based on vehicle speed, accelerator pedal input etc
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Old 8th February 2014, 18:31   #260
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

Today i got to drive the Celerio AMT. Looks more sophisticated than the Astar and Alto800 and more importantly quite roomy interiors for such a segment car. Dashboard seems to be now more pleasing when compared to the Astar and Alto800 which is a welcome change. But the beige door pads feel cheap and might put off lot of people who are looking for automatics. They could have had fabric material on door pads which would have been very pleasing. Unfortunately even the door handles and ORVM are black and not body coloured :(
Coming to the Test drive for a 1L engine the pull was pretty good but felt too much of engine noise entering the cabin at higher RPM's. The OTR price in chennai for this car is approx 5.45L for the VXi AMT Variant which is almost in the swift category. This car is for people doing sedated driving within the city. Its a practical city car which i feel would give an average of 11Kmpl in city driving. Since this is a new technology developed by Suzuki isn't it better to first wait and watch how it would fair in the indian market?
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Old 8th February 2014, 19:50   #261
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

I had a test drive of the Celerio AMT today near KBR Park, Hyderabad.

First the impressions. After waiting eagerly for a month now, I was totally disappointed with the tinny feel of the car. The doors feel really flimsy. Interiors are one or two notches below Ritz and Swift. For a car that is straddling Ritz territory after discounts, I felt that Ritz would be a better buy. Lack of Zxi in the AMT is a huge disappointment. AMT Vxi looks barebone.

Coming to the Drive, I was told that a driver needs to be accompanied as a lot of people are not accustomed to the Automatics. On the first day of test drives someone rammed the brakes thinking it was clutch and got rear ended. We had to wait for 20 mins before the driver arrived.

AMT is very simple system near the gear stalk. Put the car in D from neutral and it pulls well. The console Clearly mentions what mode you are in. under hard acceleration you can actually feel when the gears are changing in D mode. That was not a good feeling at all. It was making a huge noise.

Switch to Manual mode and the car is a breeze to drive. As there is no clutch Manual will be very easy and feels way better than Automatic mode in the city drive. Further from what I was told, in M mode, as you slow down you don't have down shift. The car automatically goes to lower gear if you are braking and slowing.

One issue that will be really big one for people who like keeping hand on the gears is chance of you pushing the gear stick to M from D while driving. On the Fly Automatic to Manual and viceversa. I did not try it though.

Car AC was very good. This from feedback from my dad and sister who were occupying the rear bench.
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Old 9th February 2014, 15:51   #262
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

Did a Test Drive of the Celerio AMT from Pratham Motors ORR Bangalore. Mainly to get the experience of the AMT. In short I was pretty impressed (Note: My natural comparison would be with my current Vento TSI which uses a DSG gear Box. Dual Clutch AT gearboxes is pretty much the current gold standard with respect to smoothness and performance in automatics)
  • Exteriors and Interiors
    • Did not feel very solidly built.
    • Nothing flashy about exterior look and presence. A typical Maruti. The kind of look that will not offend most people.
    • Interiors seemed a little basic (VXI). The dealer has cleverly modified the display cars with the 'dealers package' (Things like seat covers, steering wrap etc..) which make it feel a little bit more premium.
    • Interior space was decent. Back seats seemed narrow and thigh support was lacking.
    • Boot space at 235 liters is pretty good. Rear seats have 60:40 split.
  • The drive experience
    • The car will not start unless the lever is in N. There is a sticker on the driver door indicating how to start and move off.
    • The gear lever felt solid and the slots were comfortable and assured.
    • There is no gear lock button, simply pushing the lever down will move it. The shift gates are well designed.
    • The Instrument cluster looks good. Especially the gear and mode indicators. They are well sized and very visible. Important for folks moving to automatics
    • Move it into D and take the leg of the brake, the car slowly creeps forward with a small shudder. I thought it may not do this since there is no Torque converter. But there is a creep. The creep will not help on inclines, the sticker I mentioned above has an instruction to use the hand brake when starting of from steep inclines.
    • Drive with a light foot and the car accelerates smoothly. The shifts are definitely quite noticeable, but did not find it bad or intrusive.
    • The shifts happen a little later than what I would do in a manual, but this kind of ensures that you are in a power band for the quick acceleration
    • When you stomp down on the accelerator, it is a different picture. The shifts are more jerky and it becomes very noisy. But from a drivability perspective, it served the purpose for which I stomped down (ie. A quick overtake)
    • It is possible to switch to manual mode from D mode in motion. So for example to execute a quick overtaking maneuver it is possible to change to M mode, do a downshift to the needed gear, finish the overtake and then go back to D mode.
    • The gear stick in manual mode felt solid and comfortable to execute.
    • The Manual mode I think is a critical feature of this car and a key differentiator from other AT cars under 10L. I don't think any other car under 10L has a complete manual mode.
    • Like any other AT car, it is at its best when driven with a light foot. With a heavy foot, although it is noisy and more jerky, still gets the job done unlilke some of the CVT Auto's where if you stomp down, the rpm climbs, it becomes noisy, but nothing happens for some time (The rubber band effect)
  • Other Aspects
    • Do I think it will sell well? Absolutely. The OTR of the VXI in Bangalore is 5.6 Lakhs. The nearest competitor is the Grand i10 Sportz which is around 7.1Lakhs OTR. Although the Grand is superior in most aspects, 2 key advantages of the Celerio is the promised efficiency and the combination of the full AT and full Manual gearbox at this price. And a buyer with a ~5L budget will in most cases not be willing to stretch to ~7. On top of it, the extensive advertising blitz started by Maruti will surely help.
    • Good job done by Maruti in ensuring that the test cars have reached all dealerships and are available as soon as they announced the launch
    • The SA was pretty knowledgeable about the AMT which indicates a good training session. Good job done by Maruti.
    • SA claimed efficiency of 18-20 in Bangalore City. I take that claim with a huge pinch of salt.
    • The advertising blitz has generated a lot of interest. I went to the showroom around the time it opened on a Sunday morning. There were at least 10 people around the display car and I was 3rd in line for a test drive.
    • Wait period is around 20 days.

Personally, I hope they launch AMT in the Zxi-O variant also. I am sure there will be a small bunch of customers who give importance to things like ABS and Airbags and would be willing to pay for it.

In summary, the AMT turned out to be much better than I expected. I hope they start offering it in their other models. Also, would be interesting to see the AMT perform in the Quanto and the Zest. This may end up being the trigger than can make India embrace AT's in a big way.
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Old 9th February 2014, 19:19   #263
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

Test Drove the Celerio MT today. My observations :

1) Pathetic seats. Rear even more so. Dropped the idea of having Celerio due to this. Yes, I am looking to replace my Baleno with something in range of Rs. 5-7 lakh and it should be a hatch. Mainly city use.

2) Engine feels more eager and faster than in Wagon R.

3) Controls are light, yet steering was slightly heavier I felt which in fact is good. Its not ultra light like than of Wagon R.

4) Ride quality was slightly better than Wagon R and Alto 800. Though, for city ride quality Ritz is better.

5) Even Lxi has hooks in trunk for holding luggage. Nice.

6) LXi has black manually adjustable ORVM, but the entire black assembly is not just a pivoted mirror which is nice. Once the setting of ORVM mirror is done, you just have to close the entire assembly.

7) Too much road noise. Higher road and tyre noise than Wagon R.

8) 6 jet wash and wipe, i.e. just like Swift.

9) Excellent outside visibility.

Overall, the cheaper Wagon R feels almost as good built as Celerio, is more practical and has less road + engine noise. Makes more sense than Celerio as a family car due to better ingress and egress + much better seats.
Celerio pricing makes Ritz petrol feel like VFM. Ritz wheelbase might be less than Celerio, but it has got a much better build, better ride and a more powerful ( read highway worthy ) motor. The higher seating of Ritz is also more practical and user friendly.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 9th February 2014 at 19:24.
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Old 10th February 2014, 12:51   #264
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Test Drove the Celerio MT today. My observations :

1) Pathetic seats. Rear even more so. Dropped the idea of having Celerio due to this. Yes, I am looking to replace my Baleno with something in range of Rs. 5-7 lakh and it should be a hatch. Mainly city use.
By pathetic you mean less supportive seats or thin cushioning ? Are the seats too small (like Alto 800) ? How do they compare to the ones in Baleno?

Last edited by DCEite : 10th February 2014 at 12:55.
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Old 10th February 2014, 13:26   #265
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

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Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Did a Test Drive of the Celerio AMT from Pratham Motors ORR Bangalore. Mainly to get the experience of the AMT. In short I was pretty impressed
Very comprehensive review, thanks for that! Agree with your assessment that this could be the start of the AT wave in India.
Quote:
Personally, I hope they launch AMT in the Zxi-O variant also. I am sure there will be a small bunch of customers who give importance to things like ABS and Airbags and would be willing to pay for it.
Absolutely! It's unthinkable to a lot of us to buy a car without basic safety features like ABS and airbags these days. At the most you can use a Vxi trim as a city car but the moment you take it out on the highway you get the uneasy feeling you are risking life and limb. I really hope Maruti sees the writing on the wall and launches a Zxi trim Celerio AMT!
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Old 10th February 2014, 13:31   #266
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

There is absolutely no point in buying the Manual Celerio at the price. It offers way too little for the price. Its only the Automatic price which when looked in isolation make a case for a cheap no frills fuel efficient City Auto car.

If I have to predict, the Celerio manual will soon start having some basic discounts.
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Old 10th February 2014, 13:32   #267
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Default re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT launched

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Originally Posted by DCEite View Post
By pathetic you mean less supportive seats or thin cushioning ? Are the seats too small (like Alto 800) ? How do they compare to the ones in Baleno?
Very less supportive. Quite small and not accommodating at all. The cushioning is very thin, plus lack of overall support hurts neck and back. The head restrains are just flat extensions.

By comparison, Wagon R has larger seats which are a bit flat, but not bad at all. I was not tired of driving Wagon R for long, but in case of Celerio, despite being quicker and more responsive, I was tired.

IMO, Baleno seats are some of the best front seats in business. Only the new recently launched Honda City and Swift/Ritz are comparable. Even Innova seats are not as comfortable as Baleno/2014 City/Swift/Ritz as they are large and flat, like the ones in Wagon R, but a bit more comfortable.

The rear seats of Celerio are as good ( or as dated ) as our M800. The rear so called integrated head restraints were lower then my neck. The support was absent and it was just flat bench.

Seats, IMHO, could be really big negative for Celerio.

EDIT : I am 85+ kg guy nearing 5'10". The above views might not be applicable for those who are not so heavily built. But those who are used to Wagon R or normal supportive seats, irrespective of their physical build/weight, mostly will NOT be comfortable in seat of Celerio. I repeat, Wagon R or even Ritz make for smarter choice. The front seats of our good old M800 were more comfortable than Celerio front seats.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 10th February 2014 at 13:46.
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Old 10th February 2014, 16:13   #268
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Default Re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT laun

Celerio in Automatic Mode is extremely jerky. This was felt whenever the gears are changing. We also dropped the plans to pick one for my sister in Kolkata. Somehow the car does not appeal much after the test drive.

Lack of Zxi (o) on the AMT I guess is Maruti's strategy to minimize overlap with the Ritz.
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Old 10th February 2014, 17:15   #269
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Default Re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT laun

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Originally Posted by indian21r View Post
Celerio in Automatic Mode is extremely jerky. This was felt whenever the gears are changing. We also dropped the plans to pick one for my sister in Kolkata. Somehow the car does not appeal much after the test drive.

Lack of Zxi (o) on the AMT I guess is Maruti's strategy to minimize overlap with the Ritz.
I went for a test drive today, agree with you that the car is sloppy in 'Auto' mode.
I guess the computer reduces throttle when shifting gears so that the engine does not free-rev.
However, the revs come back a tad too late after the shift, creating an irritating 'flat-spot', reminds me of the earlier generation carburetted cars.

However, in the 'manual' mode, the car is quite nice (without the bother of a clutch)!

Last edited by cpbopanna : 10th February 2014 at 17:20.
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Old 10th February 2014, 18:25   #270
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Default Re: Maruti to offer Automated Manual ("EZdrive") in small cars*EDIT: Celerio AMT laun

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Originally Posted by cpbopanna View Post
I went for a test drive today, agree with you that the car is sloppy in 'Auto' mode.
I guess the computer reduces throttle when shifting gears so that the engine does not free-rev.
However, the revs come back a tad too late after the shift, creating an irritating 'flat-spot', reminds me of the earlier generation carburetted cars.

However, in the 'manual' mode, the car is quite nice (without the bother of a clutch)!
Hi - from your test drive, can you maybe answer a couple of queries:

In the sequential shift mode, do we need to 'lift' (i.e release the accelerator) while shifting?

Does the car auto shift up or down to save the transmission/engine from redlining/lugging in sequential shift mode?
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