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Old 4th June 2014, 09:23   #1
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Default Maruti Celerio : Official Review

The Maruti Celerio is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 3.76 - 4.78 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• The cheapest Automatic car in India. LXi AMT starts at merely Rs. 4.14 lakhs
• Celerio AMT is a breeze to drive in the city. Has 'manual mode' too
• Well-packaged cabin. Decent legroom, excellent headroom and a 235 liter boot
• K-next engine has peppy performance & good fuel economy
• Suspension offers neutral ride quality & predictable handling
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales service & wide dealer network

What you won’t:

• VXi trim is poorly equipped. Only ZXi makes sense
• AMT lacks the refinement & shift-speed of conventional ATs
• 3-cylinder 1.0L against competitors that have smoother 4-cylinder 1.2L engines
• Flimsy build & economy-grade quality. NVH levels could be better as well
• Manual variant is overpriced. The more accomplished Ritz costs only a little more
• The Celerio AMT currently has an extremely long waiting period

The Celerio 793 cc Diesel:

Review Link (Maruti Celerio Diesel : Official Review)

A big shout-out to Peter & Jainita for generously lending us their brand new Celerio to test!

Last edited by GTO : 28th October 2015 at 17:58. Reason: ZXi AMT now available
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Old 4th June 2014, 09:24   #2
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

Introduction & Exteriors

The Maruti Celerio is based on the Suzuki A-Wind concept which was unveiled at the Thailand Motor Show back in November '13. There's no doubt that the Celerio is what the 2014 Alto should have been (it also replaced the A-Star in India, that was essentially the 7th-gen Alto worldwide). But then, every other manufacturer follows this practice in our price sensitive hatchback segment, including Hyundai who sells the Eon, Santro, i10 & Grand i10 side by side. Maruti has always insisted that an overlapping product range is better than losing a sale to a competitor. The Alto 800 & K10 sell over 20,000 units month after month; Maruti doesn't want to disrupt that ready business. There's no market other than India where Suzuki can sell multiple generations of the Alto concurrently with this level of success. Must add, the company smartly didn't name the Celerio as the next-gen A-Star (as the A-Star brand flopped in India).

The front of the Celerio reminds me of the Toyota Liva. The side profile is similar to the A-Star, while the rear is much like the Alto 800. The 2425 mm wheelbase is identical to the Grand i10. The Celerio is slightly taller than the Grand i10, yet its design is proportionate for a hatchback standing high. Overall styling is clean and neutral. It will offend none and you won't mistake it for anything apart from a Maruti. However, the design is very bland and nowhere as contemporary as Hyundai's Grand i10. If looking fresh is important to you, try the metallic blue (of our test car) or yellow (image link) that make the Celerio look more with the times.

The Celerio has a feather light build with a kerb weight of only 810 kgs. Shut the super thin & light doors and you know you're in an economy car. The hatch area however feels solid. Panel gaps are within acceptable limits for the most part. The hood and boot shut-lines are sometimes the exception here. The paint quality of our test car was standard fare and similar to what you see on a WagonR.

Getting to the manual transmission's pricing, the Alto K10 starts at Rs. 3.15 lakhs and the Celerio at Rs. 3.76 lakhs (ex-Delhi). The immensely practical WagonR retails at a cheaper 3.48 lakhs. There’s no doubt that the Celerio MT is overpriced. Then, the difference to the Ritz is only 45,000 rupees, and that's not even bringing into account the discounts available (on the Ritz). The Ritz is a far more accomplished product, giving you additional space, a superior 4-cylinder petrol engine and more solid build quality.

Maruti Celerio : Official Review-maruti-celerio-specifications-pricing-including-competitors.png

The manual gearbox variant isn't the Celerio's talking point though. It's unique selling proposition is undoubtedly the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). Fact is, take out the AMT and the Celerio would have gotten lost in the sea of hatchback options. Even Maruti seems to agree, as their marketing efforts are primarily focused on the AMT aspect of the Celerio. For the first time in the mass market, bookings for an automatic variant have matched those of the MT sibling. And there is a significant volume of bookings too, given that Maruti got over 58,000 deposits since launch. Plans are already underway to increase the Celerio's production.

The AMT is particularly clever because it is cheaper to manufacture than a regular 'slush box' automatic and it can be mated onto any existing manual drivetrain (if there's space for it). More information, including technical details, are shared in the ensuing posts. With most other hatchbacks, the premium commanded by the Automatic (AT) variant is 1 lakh Rupees. With the Celerio, it is merely Rs. 38,000. Additionally, this is the cheapest AT car in India. The next option up is the Hyundai Grand i10 AT at 5.60 lakhs, nearly 1.5 lakhs more than the Celerio's base AT variant (4.14 lakhs)! Perhaps, another reason that the Celerio AMT looks comparatively well priced is because the manual Celerio is overpriced. Nonetheless, being the cheapest automatic at the moment, the convenience-per-rupee factor is unbeatable.

That a trusted giant like Maruti is the first to introduce this technology simply means that the Indian public is more likely to welcome it with open arms. That's good news for Mahindra & Tata who are to roll out their own AMT equipped cars shortly. Diesel automatics under 10 lakhs will also be on the menu! Given that AT cars only make up 5% of vehicle sales in India, the cost-effective AMT could very well be a game changer.

We welcome Maruti's move of giving the AMT option even on the base variant; historically, Indian manufacturers have offered automatics only on higher trim levels. Maruti might have done this to help lower the perceived price range of its AMT equipped Celerio and take away the 'expensive' tag usually associated with automatics. On the flip side, the Celerio AMT isn't available on the top ZXi variant. Thus, safety equipment (ABS, Airbags, rear wash & wipe, rear defogger) and convenience features (tilt steering, steering audio controls, driver's seat height adjustment) aren't an option for automatic lovers. Given that the AMT has been a success, I hope the rumour of Maruti introducing a ZXi AMT comes true soon. This is especially important as the middle VXi variant looks very cut-price with its non body-coloured mirrors and door handles.

Maruti Celerio : Official Review-maruti-celerio-variant-features-compare.png

NOTE: The blue Celerio pictured for the majority of this review is a VXi AMT variant, but please note that it had the following aftermarket add-ons; alloy wheels, body coloured door handles & ORVMs, fog lights, music system, seat covers, steering cover and parking sensors.

Maruti has opted for a more conventional front on the Celerio. It's not bug-eyed like the Alto 800 or A-Star:

The rear looks very similar to that of the Alto 800:

That 2425 mm wheelbase is identical to the Grand i10:

The Celerio may not be eye-catching or stylish, but it won't offend anyone with its looks either:

Large glass area is evident here:

Despite its tallboy feel on the inside, the Celerio actually slots middle-of-the-field in terms of exterior height:

Twin chrome slats on the grill look smart. Fog lights were an aftermarket add-on on this VXi variant:

That chrome eyeliner (on top of the headlight) is designed to emulate the overhang of the hood:

Straightforward headlamp styling:

The LXi gets skinny 155/80 R13 tyres, while the VXi & ZXi get 165/70 R14 MRF ZVTV rubber. The alloys shown here are from the aftermarket:

Front wheel well gets basic plastic cladding:

ORVMs on our test car (VXi) were painted body-colour at the dealer level. Only the ZXi variant has body coloured ORVMs:

Door handles too were painted at the dealer level. To see a completely stock VXi variant, view the pic by BHPian Vijay.s here:

This swoop from the front wheel arch to the taillight looks good, although it's more like Hyundai's design language than Maruti's:

The standard ribbed roof to increase rigidity and minimize material weight:

Rear bumper barely protrudes out. This will result in the hatch (metal) getting dented on even the smallest of rear-end impacts:

Tail-lamps are a bit blocky, still managing to wraparound to the side of the car:

Maruti says Celerio means 'celestial river'. Not sure what the relevance is. Google will tell you something else:

Maruti uses the self explanatory 'Auto Gearshift' badging on the Celerio, instead of their marketing term 'EZ Drive':

GTO thought the boot handle was an eyesore. I thought it was okay. However, we both agreed that in its non-body coloured form, it would look ghastly:

High-mounted stop lamp is built into the spoiler. Note that a rear defogger is not provided on the VXi, and neither is a wiper:

Tiny exhaust pipe, nearly hidden from view. Well-integrated mudflaps are always a welcome feature in our driving conditions:

Side by side with its predecessor, the A-Star:

Flat-sided Maruti on the left, swoopy side-contouring evident on the right:

Notice the height difference between the two:

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th June 2014 at 11:37.
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Old 4th June 2014, 09:24   #3
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

Interior - Front

Get seated in the Celerio and a couple of things hit you right away. The Celerio's taller height results in ample headroom. Then, you're sitting up high. The fixed seat height is perched as if it were on its uppermost position. Note that seat-height adjustment is only offered on the ZXi variant, and therefore not on the AMT. Short drivers will love the commanding view they get of the road ahead, and they won't miss the seat-height adjustment at all.

The cabin feels airy and interior width is good by economy hatch standards. Front occupants won't be elbowing each other when the driver changes gears on the MT variant. Frontal space in terms of legroom is sufficient too. The seat goes far back enough to keep tall occupants happy, and the foot-well has adequate depth. 5'10'' GTO had more than enough space to stretch his legs, in his typical relaxed seating position. This certainly isn't the norm with 3-4 lakh rupee hatchbacks. In terms of space, the Celerio's interiors are indeed well packaged.

Quality is rudimentary and you know you're in a budget Maruti from the minute you step in. Overall quality is somewhere between the WagonR & Swift, although in some areas, it is poorer than the WagonR. There is absolutely no comparison with the Grand i10 which is significantly superior & easily the segment best. To start with, all parts are rock hard to the touch. The handbrake area plastics feel cheap and there are many other parts that feel flimsy. The actual quality control & fitting process cast some doubts in our mind over the two days we spent with the Celerio. For example, the flooring of the handbrake storage area wasn't snapped in correctly, exposing an ugly gap. The rear hatch's door handle stopped working because the release cable hadn't been fastened in correctly, resulting in it popping out of place. We were able to fix these two issues ourselves. However, there was a noticeable ticking sound coming from behind the dash (left side); it was somewhat proportional to vehicle speed. Moving the steering at a standstill would also make a strange sound sometimes. Lastly, the air intake pipe had either fallen off, or wasn't put back after the first service (notice the absent air intake pipe in the engine pictures below). ​Fit and finish aside, there is no doubting the durability of Maruti interiors. They simply last! Evidence is with the many WagonRs & Swifts running with over 1 lakh kms on the odometer. The interior quality is livable. I only wish it didn't feel so 'economy grade' and there was more attention to detail at the assembly line.

The dash (especially the center area) is swept back, liberating more space at the front. The styling is straight forward, yet contemporary enough. The dashboard sports a neutral & inoffensive 2-colour combination, as does the rest of the interior. The top half of the dash is black, whilst the lower half is beige. Silver accents have been occasionally thrown in to make it look more premium.

As is the case with any Maruti, the interior design is user-friendly. Due to the logical ergonomics, you'll find your ideal driving position within seconds. The compound of the thin seats is on the firmer side. The steering wheel is just the right size and like most Marutis, it is well positioned too. Hardly any LXi / VXi owners will miss the steering's tilt adjustment (available only on the ZXi). However, on the sides of the horn are hollow plastic parts - with the horn pad in the center. On the top ZXi variant, this area (either side of the horn) is filled by steering-mounted controls. You do need to stretch your thumbs quite a bit to press the hornpad. On a related note, the horn sounds like a standard economy grade Maruti unit, and a fair deal of the sound is heard within the cabin.

Despite its fairly honest design, the instrument cluster is classy. It certainly doesn't look cheap (like in the Liva, as an example). The speedometer has a matte silver border around it, and the fonts used are contemporary. On the right side, the MID is dominated by a large digital digit showing the gear you're currently in, along with a host of other information. All of these factors add to making the instrument cluster look good. The indicator stalks feel solid and they have a nice silky feel to the plastic. They're not exactly chunky though and you can feel a faint molding seam line around the edges. Just like the i10 & Ritz, the Celerio's gear lever is located further up on the center console. This placement helps free up space around the handbrake area for storage. The gear lever feels very solid, and isn't flimsy at all. The AMT shifter has a nice slotting action. Note that the steering & gear lever are borrowed from the Swift's part bin.

The thick A-Pillars do create visibility issues, especially when turning into junctions and on curved hilly roads. You must be cautious as it's possible to entirely miss a two-wheeler or pedestrian. On the other hand, rearward visibility is satisfactory. It's unfortunate that the immensely useful rear defogger is only available on the ZXi variant. The inside rear view mirror is big, tall and has day / night modes. I only wish it was wider to cover the entire rear windscreen. Further, the ORVMs are on the smaller side, one size larger would've been nice.

On a hot day in Goa (around 35 degrees as per the MID), the air-con did a fantastic job of keeping us cool. Most of the time, we ran the fan on level 3 (maximum 4 levels). Occasionally, we even had to turn it down as things got too cold! This is despite the direct sun and large glass area of the Celerio. Also worth noting is that, on speed 3, we could maintain a conversation in the cabin without raising our voice (speed 2 was whisper quiet). The rotary side air-con vents can swivel any way you want, and you can shut them too. The ones in the center however, are the rectangular type with no air flow control. It's worth noting that when you floor the accelerator, the air-con compressor will shut off momentarily to give you more power. Do this frequently and the cabin will become warmer. On that hot Goan afternoon, we eased up on the accelerator to maintain cabin cooling.

The OEM music system (only provided on the top-end ZXi variant) is nicely integrated and looks upmarket. Being the centerpiece, it definitely adds a more premium feel to the interior. The ZXi's steering wheel gets audio controls, as well as a separate set of 3 bluetooth telephony-related buttons. The bluetooth controls aren't 'push' buttons. You can only operate them by pulling them towards you - which actually works quite well. The fact that the center button is raised to the touch (from the backside) makes them convenient to use (you don't have to take your eyes off the road). The music system comes with a remote control too. The audio system has CD, Bluetooth, USB and Aux inputs. Sound quality isn't brilliant, but it’s a solid 7.5/10, which is impressive for a 5-lakh hatchback. The average Celerio buyer is going to be satisfied. Bass is prominent and the system doesn't sound cheap or lacking in the speaker department, like some budget cars do. Maruti uses JBL as their OEM audio provider.

It's a mixed bag in terms of storage. The glovebox is small and is placed too low, interfering with the front passenger's knees whenever you access it. There are all of 5 bottle / cup holders in the Celerio, although the two ahead of the handbrake area are placed unusually low. The sloping cubicle - below the air con controls - has a charging point and is the perfect spot to park your smartphone. If you opt for a single-din stereo (as in our test car), you get a rectangular storage spot right below the head-unit too. The front doors don't get bottle holders (those at the rear do) and the door pockets are on the thinner side.

Nice steering wheel is shared with the Swift. Horn pad is a bit of a reach. Steering controls only on the ZXi:

Simple yet contemporary styling for the instrument cluster. Large digit of the current gear display (on the right) is eye-catching. Two control stalks on either side:

The right stalk shows average FE, DTE & real-time FE. The left stalk helps you toggle through the odometer & 2 trip meters:

Thin front seats have integrated headrests. Ironically, the Celerio brochure touts this as a 'feature'!

Seating position is on the higher side. Shorter drivers will appreciate this:

The center console is neatly styled. Gear lever position is similar to the i10:

The 2 DIN slot can be used for storage if you install a single-din head unit (as in our test car). Reminder: Some of the accessories shown here are not standard. Seat covers, steering cover, reversing sensor & stereo have all been fitted as extras:

Large control dials for the effective air-conditioner. Air circulation slider looks outdated (would've preferred a button instead):

The AMT shifter is just like any other automatic, except there's no [P] park mode here:

Door pads are economy grade. Very plain, very flat. Thin pockets & no bottle holder:

Driver's window gets one-touch down (not up). Only the ZXi has electrically adjustable ORVMs:

Mirror adjustment stalks are chunky & have a rubberized coating too. ORVMs should have been a size bigger:

Inside mirror has a day/night function. We found it to be on the narrower side:

The footwell is roomy on the AMT. A prominent dead pedal for your vestigial left leg would've been nice:

Control stalks have a silky texture on the plastic. They feel durable and should last a long time:

Indicator stalk has the lane change function (3 flashes on a light tap):

Useful cubby hole on the right of the steering wheel:

Glovebox is tiny, and the lid (when opened) significantly interferes with the front passenger's knees:

Handbrake storage area (notice the gap on the left due to the ill-fitted panel...which we eventually fixed). Cup holders are placed very low:

Perfect spot for your smartphone. Conveniently located next to the 12v socket for charging (and the ZXi's Aux / USB too):

Though not the biggest beasts we've encountered, the thick A-pillars did block our vision a few times on curvy roads:

The rear windscreen size is bearable when driving, but the thick C-pillars hamper visibility when parking:

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Old 4th June 2014, 09:24   #4
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

Interior - Rear

The rear doors open out wide enough to aid ingress & egress. Once inside, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the room at the back. Again, interior packaging is really good for a car that is relatively small on the outside. In addition to the fair cabin space, the boot is also bigger than the Swift's.

The Celerio is on the taller side, thus you don’t have to sit down too far on the seat. The rear bench is perched noticeably higher than the (already high) front seats. This, and the thin front neck restraints, lend rear passengers a good view of the action ahead. A generous amount of light comes into the cabin and things don't get claustrophobic at all. These factors combined make the Celerio feel acceptably roomy. It's worth noting there's a lot more space here than in the A-Star. The A-Star is very cramped in comparison.

With small cars, every cm of space makes a difference, and the thin front seats release extra legroom front and back. A 5'10'' passenger sitting behind a 5'8'' driver has adequate legroom, with more than an inch of clearance from the seat ahead. The rear seat-back angle is just like in other economy hatches. That is, not too inclined nor too upright. A sore point is that the seat base is shorter than usual and as a result, under-thigh support is strictly average. The seat is rather flat as well and lacks contours to support you.

Headroom is sufficient and a 6-footer should do okay in here. The tiny non-adjustable neck restraints are quite useless though, unable to offer comfort or safety (protection against whiplash). The rear floor isn’t completely flat, yet the ~2" floor hump isn’t much of a bother. Nonetheless, as you'd imagine in a budget hatchback, the rear seat is better for 2 and not 3. The limited width makes things difficult for a 3rd occupant.

The rear door armrests are of medium width and actually usable to rest your forearm on. Additionally, the rear doors get a bottle holder (ones at the front don’t) and their door pockets are wide enough to pick a coin from the base. When it comes to cooling, even on blower level 3 (of 4), there is a fair amount of cool air making its way to the back. One negative is that the single cabin lamp is placed all the way at the front. We feel a center placement would have keep both (front & rear) parties happy.

The 235 liter boot is good by segment standards. On the other hand, the loading bay is rather high and the mouth is narrow. You'll have to lift your luggage fairly high to place it inside. 60:40 split folding rear seats are provided on all but the base variant. Because of the big boot, the parcel tray has a large area to keep the odd low item. However, the thin ropes (sample image) that automatically lift the parcel tray when the hatch opens are missing in the Celerio. We lost count of how many times we had to stop & put the parcel tray back down manually (after having flipped it up to remove something from the boot). You realise the importance of these little things only when they're missing!

The boot's lock/unlock is linked to the car's central locking system. Important to note: If you unlock the boot with the key (from the outside), remember to lock it again, else the boot will remain unlocked.

Doors open wide for easier ingress / egress:

The Celerio is intelligently packaged. Legroom behind a 5'8" driver shown here. The rear backrest has a typical recline angle:

Minimum & maximum legroom. Short seatbase results in mediocre under-thigh support:

Useless rear headrests are short & small, therefore unlikely to provide protection against whiplash:

Floor hump isn't bothersome. You can see the bottle holder lid in closed position...

....and here it is, opened:

Rear door pads get a bottle holder (unlike the front), along with wider door pockets:

The frontal view for rear passengers:

Rear windows roll all the way down:

Well-sized 235 liter boot. However, the mouth is about 4" higher than the boot floor, and the opening is a bit narrow too:

60:40 foldable rear bench brings cargo carrying flexibility. Even the more expensive Swift lacks this feature:

Bag hook in the boot; useful for holding plastic bags in place:

Large parcel tray spans over the boot. Lack of strings attached to the hatch means you have to manually lift up the parcel tray each time you access the boot:

Hatch gets an inset handle for easy pull-down:

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Old 4th June 2014, 09:24   #5
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The Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

Look deeper into the engine bay, and you'll see a metallic box sitting on top of the gearbox:

This Magneti Marelli box has the hydraulics which operate the clutch & gearshift (instead of your limbs). The connection to the clutch lever (marked 5LA) is visible below:

Some cars have a turbo cool-down warning stuck on the driver's door. The Celerio has a sticker with some tips on using the AMT:

This yellow 'foot on pedal' icon lights up to tell you that you need to press the brake when shifting between D/N/R:

50 km/h and the eager-to-upshift AMT is already in 5th gear! No doubt that the AMT's shift points are tuned for fuel economy:

The "D" next to the gear number indicator changes to an "M", as shown below, when you're in Manual Shift mode:

The USP of the Maruti Celerio is undoubtedly the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) - so let's talk about that before getting to the engine.

How it works is pretty straightforward. Mechanically, the AMT gearbox is identical to the Celerio's manual transmission. What's different is how the clutch is operated and how the gears are shifted. In the manual, the driver is responsible for these tasks. With the AMT, hydraulic actuators located in the engine bay operate the clutch and shift gears. There's no clutch pedal, and zero driver input is required for gearshifts, making it exactly like a conventional automatic to operate. Simply put, the mechanical functions of operating the clutch and gear-lever have moved from inside the cabin to the engine bay.

Maruti Celerio : Official Review-types-automatic-transmissions-compared.png

Starting the engine up must be done with the gear lever in Neutral. You have to press the brake pedal as well, else the engine won't start. There's no 'P' (park) mode or gear unlock button like in a conventional AT. Once fired up, slide the gear-lever to 'D' (drive) to get going. As you release the brake, the car will move forward without any accelerator input. However, it doesn't move too fast and will top out at about 6-7 km/h, without any driver input. When you press the accelerator, you'll notice that throttle response is quite immediate. It's exactly like a pure manual in this respect.

In city traffic is where the AMT truly shines and brings the most benefits. There's no clutch pedal and there's no requirement for the driver to repeatedly shift between Neutral-1st-2nd either. In crawling bumper to bumper traffic, you don’t need to give any accelerator input. Just release the brake a little bit, and the car crawls forward. Start-off is extremely smooth. At these speeds, there is no difference felt between the AMT and a conventional AT. In fact, this is more like a DSG in stop & go traffic since the mechanism is identical (but only between Neutral and 1st gear). Maruti has coined the term 'EZ Drive' to market its AMT; we couldn't agree anymore. Budget car owners will love the fact that their left leg is completely relaxed. The tricky part with the AMT in city driving is parking into tight spots. Unlike a conventional AT where it's possible to ease the car forward very gradually, the AMT is more of an 'on or off' solution, as it tries its best not to slip the clutch more than required. This results in more eager movement, which can be a bit tricky when getting in & out of tight parking spaces.

Gearshift quality is a universal sore point for Automated Manual Transmissions. The Celerio's AMT is no different. Despite the start-off from 0 km/h being seamless, it’s the following gearshifts that are indeed noticeable. First-time automatic drivers won't have any complaints with the AMT. However, those used to smoother AT gearboxes will definitely notice the compromise. The first time you drive off, you'll be accelerating and there will suddenly be a lull in acceleration when the car shifts up to 2nd gear. You can certainly feel this drop in acceleration, as the clutch disengages and engages, especially from the driver's seat. On your first few drives of the AMT, this upshifting and the resultant loss in acceleration can get annoying. Another example: If you're cruising along at 40 km/h in 4th gear, and you press the accelerator to get a little more acceleration, you'll feel a lull before the acceleration actually kicks in - because the gearbox is shifting down to 3rd gear. On each gearshift, you feel your body move forward due to the mismatch of anticipation and reality. The lag in power during gearshifts is more noticeable during uphill climbs, since the drop in acceleration is more pronounced.

Sounds like a disappointment? Fret not. There's a silver lining on this cloud. Firstly, no matter how evident the gearshifts seem to the driver, passengers won't notice them! GTO barely noticed an awkward gearshift when I was driving, and I barely noticed one when he was at the wheel. Passengers just don't anticipate shifts the same way the driver does, and this makes it a smooth ride for them. Secondly, there are some simple driving tips you can apply to make your gearshift experience smoother. If you drive with an extremely light foot, the shifts will be much less perceptible, since the drop in acceleration at each shift won't be as large. Another tip that some might get used to, others will find cumbersome: When accelerating up to speed, let off the accelerator at intervals, and the AMT will cease that opportunity to upshift. E.g. When going from 0-40 km/h, let off the accelerator very slightly at 10, 20 and 30 km/h, and the AMT will take each one of those opportunities to upshift a gear - almost like you told it to! Finally, you'll be happy to know that shift quality gets better between higher gears, and is virtually seamless when going downhill. It's also completely silent in its operation. There's absolutely no noise or clanking when the gears shift.

Fuel efficiency is without a doubt what the AMT has been tuned for. This means the transmission will shift up gears as early as possible. Even in crawling traffic, the AMT will upshift to 2nd gear at a fairly low 10-12 km/h. The large 'current gear indicator' of the MID keeps you in the loop as to which gear is engaged. It's quite a novelty and I'm sure will be appreciated by those who test drive or own the Celerio. It adds to that premiumness, as even some of the more expensive cars don’t have this feature. With a light foot, upshifts take place at roughly every 10 km/h. Translated, 20 km/h brings on 2nd gear, 30 km/h for 3rd, 40 km/h for 4th and so on. At 40 km/h, the Celerio was already in 4th @ 1200-1400 rpm. The minute that rpm levels drop to 1100 or below, the transmission will downshift to a lower gear. We'll discuss fuel efficiency some more in the upcoming engine post.

Overtaking on the Highway takes some getting used to as well. The AMT executes the initial half of the overtaking manoeuvre well. The engine gives out a nice blip on kick-down, and it's even willing to drop two or three ratios at a time (e.g. 5th to 2nd). However, the scary thing is that, as you're passing another vehicle and building up the revvs, the AMT sometimes decides to upshift mid-manoeuvre! This results in a break in the acceleration when you need it the most. The shift is fairly slow too, not urgent like it would be if you were driving a manual. The workaround: before overtaking, it's always better to put the gearbox in manual mode, which will then hold the gear all the way to the redline, and prevent a premature upshift. When used right on the highway, the AMT is better than some lazy CVTs in the market (the Nissan Micra's CVT, for example).

Manual Mode has other advantages, especially for the more enthusiastic drivers who want a higher degree of control. Other than the Grand i10 and the pricey Polo TSI, this is the only hatchback to offer a tiptronic-like manual mode below 20 lakhs. On the bottom right of the MID gear indicator, there is a small alphabet: 'M' for Manual & 'D' for Drive, indicating the mode that you are currently in. We recommend shifting to manual mode before overtaking, when you need engine braking and of course, the times that you are in the mood for some fun. In manual mode, the AMT will hold a gear to the redline. Conversely, if the rpm drops too low, the AMT will downshift to prevent the motor from stalling. If you try to upshift at too low an rpm or downshift at too high an rpm, the AMT will ignore your instructions and flash the gear indicator in protest. It's always a good idea to switch to manual mode before your favourite ghat section, because it prevents sudden and unsettling gear changes mid-corner. 0-100 times are also best tried in manual mode, but they certainly won't match up to the true manual Celerio. Why? Because there's no way to dump the clutch and get a hard launch on the AMT, along with the faster gearshifts that a good driver can pull off. An advantage of manual mode is that you can increase the amount of engine braking when going downhill. It's quite effective, although not as aggressive as in a pure MT. A good thing is that the AMT doesn’t ever free-wheel (some dual-clutch ATs do). It always keeps the clutch & gearbox engaged, resulting in better control.

Hill starts require that you use the correct procedure in order to minimize rollback. There's even a sticker on the driver's door advising you to use the handbrake to aid starting on an incline. When starting off on a hill, switching your foot immediately from the brake to accelerator will result in the Celerio rolling back....before it engages the clutch and moves forward. On a steep hill, the car can roll back as much as 3 feet before moving forward. It's dangerous, and also bad for the clutch in terms of wear & tear and overheating. In fact, there's a special 'transaxle overheating' warning light just for this. Thus, it's best to use the parking brake when starting off on an incline. This results in only an inch or two of rollback and a very gradual start-off. A 'Hill Hold' braking function would have been a neat addition to the Celerio.

I'd also like to add that the AMT manages the clutch & gearbox a lot better than sub-par drivers out there. There's no doubt that it is more talented than a below-average driver in choosing when to shift, how to shift and what gear to be in.

Understanding the AMT better:

• If you're in Drive and pull up the handbrake (say, at a traffic light), the clutch will automatically disengage. This is far more convenient than shifting to Neutral each time you stop. To start moving again, you need to lower the handbrake and press the accelerator. If you don't press the accelerator, the clutch will remain disengaged and the car could roll forwards or backwards (depending on the slope of the road).

• Further to the point above, for regular usage, there is no need to use Neutral, other than for starting the Celerio. Even when you're stationary in 'D', just engage the handbrake and it's as good as Neutral.

• Ask the gearbox to do anything that it doesn’t want to do, and you'll see the gear indicator blinking. Downshifting at too high an RPM? It will blink. Upshifting at too low an RPM? It will blink.

• If you're not in Neutral with the brake pedal pressed, the engine won't start. Instead, the car will blink the gear indicator and beep constantly.

• If you're in Neutral and shift to Drive without pressing the brake, the system beeps and the car remains in Neutral. The 'N' sign flashes and the brake icon shows up. You have to switch back to Neutral, press the brake and then select Drive.

• There is an audible clunk from the engine bay when you switch between Drive, Reverse & Neutral (but not when it shifts up or down gears in 'Drive' mode).

• If you're lugging uphill (not pressing the accelerator) in 1st gear and the incline or load gets too much for the car, it won't stall like a manual transmission would. Instead, the AMT will just disengage the clutch and you start rolling backwards!

• If the AMT was tuned for comfort or smoothness (rather than fuel economy), it would prevent the transmission from getting confused at times, and having to hunt up and down gears so often.

• Not sure how the AMT will behave once the clutch starts to wear out. Will AMT clutches have to be replaced sooner than MT clutches? Proper clutch service and setting will play an important role with the Celerio AMT. And remember, use the handbrake on inclines!

• Turning off the vehicle with the transmission in Neutral leaves you entirely reliant on the handbrake, when parked on an incline. We suggest you turn your Celerio off in either "D" or "R" instead, which will provide a secondary brake force (just like parking a manual car in 1st or Reverse).

Last edited by Rehaan : 7th June 2014 at 00:18.
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Old 4th June 2014, 09:25   #6
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The Engine & Driving Experience

Engine bay has loads of empty space and can accommodate a larger unit (or perhaps a diesel) in the future. Notice the missing air intake pipe I mentioned earlier (picture for comparison):

Engine: The Celerio is powered by a reworked version of the 998 cc motor used in the Alto K10 & WagonR. This aluminium 3-cylinder unit now has an electronic throttle (drive-by-wire), a different compression ratio, low viscosity engine oil (just like Honda did for its 1.5L i-DTEC) and redesigned valves & springs. While the older gen motor was called the K10B, the Celerio's version is called the K-next engine. The Celerio makes 67 BHP @ 6000 rpm & 90 Nm of torque @ 3500 rpm. The WagonR's power ratings are identical, except that it makes peak power 200 rpm higher than the Celerio. It's important to note that competitors like the Hyundai Grand i10 & Maruti's own Ritz offer an extra cylinder, 20% more displacement and noticeably more power / torque than the Celerio.

Fire the engine up and you'll notice that idle isn’t perfectly smooth. Typical 3-cylinder vibrations are felt, and they do make their way to the cabin. Open a door with the engine running and you'll see it do quite the shake & dance. This 3-cylinder simply lacks the silky smooth nature of the Ritz' 4-cylinder K12 motor, and even the Micra's 3-cylinder 1.2 which boasts superior NVH levels.

The Celerio's light kerb weight of 810 - 830 kilos results in peppy performance. This retuned engine definitely feels more eager than the WagonR's K10. We drove the Celerio on highways & fast corners alike, and it handled them competently. By no means does the car feel slow or sluggish, in both manual and AMT guises. The engine is revv-happy and easily climbs to 6,100 rpm before hitting the limiter. Just like the Alto and erstwhile 800, there's the typical 3-cylinder thrum as you approach the redline; it does sound coarse at high rpms. One anomaly is that, at slow speeds, there is a small amount of jerkiness felt. This is all the more noticeable when you have to vary speeds in urban traffic (a complaint from A-Star owners too).

Manual Transmission: Those opting for the MT variant will find the clutch pedal to be incredibly light, with a medium length of travel. This makes driving in stop-and-go traffic very manageable. When moving from a standstill, the Celerio shudders & feels like it'll stall if you don't give it a significant amount of accelerator input. In reality though, the engine is far from stalling. Due to the load on the 3-cylinder engine at close to idle rpms, the vibrations become extremely harsh, making it feel like the motor is about to die out. Fact is, it's possible to start moving without any accelerator input at all. You just need to release the clutch very slowly, (there will be harsh vibrations for a second or two), the ECU automatically raises the RPM a little and the car begins to move as the engine smoothens out. The new 5-speed manual tranny slots into gears easily and eagerly. The only area where you feel significant resistance is when you push the lever left or right from the neutral position. The MT variants don't get that large gear indicator on the MID and they don't get a dead pedal either. The gear ratios (and gearbox) of the Celerio manual and AMT are identical.

NVH: At 100 km/h in 5th gear, the engine is turning over at 3,000 rpm. The 1.0L is barely audible when cruising at a constant speed. However, rolling noise is constant even on a tar road. On rough or concrete roads, tyre noise becomes even more prominent in the cabin. At 3,000 rpm and up, a throaty engine note is heard in the cabin. It's just like the Alto K10 in this respect. Engine, road & suspension noise are prominent on the back seat too. When revving hard, engine vibrations can be felt on the rear seat's floor area.

Fuel-efficiency: Maruti knows how important fuel efficiency is, especially in the lower segments. They did after all coin the 'kitna deti hai' [How much (kpl) does it give] tagline for their advertisements. Most 3-cylinders are inherently more fuel-efficient. Also, apart from cost, another reason that Maruti chose the AMT was for its manual-transmission like efficiency. The AMT clocks in an ARAI fuel economy figure of 23.1 kpl, which is identical to that of the manual transmission. For reference, the Ritz AT & Grand i10 AT have an ARAI rating of 17.16 & 16.7 kpl (respectively).

This is important as several i10 AT owners on Team-BHP have complained about the FE they get (about 8 - 9 kpl in metro cities) : Related Thread (What is the fuel efficiency of i10 Automatic). We drove the Celerio for 270 kms. This was an extremely varied test and included city conditions, redlining in manual mode, 5th gear cruising with light accelerator input and even idling for about an hour. Despite these less than ideal conditions, the average FE recorded was 14.07 kpl (full tank to full tank method). Within the city, the MID was showing 12 kpl & on the highway, we saw a max of 15.9 kpl. Of course, we'll leave the final numbers to our ownership reports.

The AMT runs more efficiently than a conventional automatic or CVT, and is on par with DSGs. With an AMT, sub-par drivers will probably get better fuel economy than they would manage with a manual transmission.

Ride & Handling: The light controls, higher seating position, peppy engine & AMT make the Celerio a delight to drive in the city. When it comes to urban commuters, things don't get easier than this. The turning radius is 4.7 meters and the car feels immensely chuckable in Indian traffic conditions.

The steering feels sharp & direct, and the EPS is well-weighted too. It doesn't feel over-assisted like a lot of other hatchbacks, and yet isn't heavy to operate at all. The Celerio's steering is light in the city and weighs up sufficiently at high speed (no nervousness). One fly in the ointment is that there is virtually no 'play' at dead-center. Translated, the slightest movement of the sensitive wheel at speed will send you wandering (similar to the Liva / Etios). You need to pay attention to your vector, especially on expressways.

The overall handling & road behaviour are neutral. Still, I have to add that the A-Star had superior dynamics and felt noticeably 'tighter' around corners. Body roll on the Celerio is well within acceptable limits for a hatch which is on the taller side. It has decent grip and road manners are as expected of a family hatchback. No nasty surprises here. It's actually better than you'd expect of a budget hatchback. No complaints with highway stability either. Even at 100 - 120 km/h, it felt acceptable. The Celerio is nowhere as nervous as the Alto but of course, this is no European tank.

The Celerio's ride quality is basic yet compliant. Within the city, few will have any reason to complain. It tackles urban irregularities competently. Rough roads at 50 km/h were handled fairly well for a 4 lakh hatchback. Sharp ridges though come through to the cabin easily, sending a jolt to the back. Rear passengers won't complain as long as the road is flat. At speed, the car's rear end can get bouncy on imperfect roads. The rear seat has a lot of vertical movement on uneven tarmac. The base variant should offer a softer ride as it has 13" wheels with taller sidewalls.

Braking: The Celerio's brake pedal has a sharp bite. This applies at higher speeds too and some drivers will take time to get used to this over-eager response. For an AT car, the brakes are good and do the job expected of them. I wish Maruti offered ABS on the mid-variant, at least as an option.

The underside of the hood isn't painted in the same metallic shade as the exterior. This is a cost-cutting measure:

Felt-like damping material on the firewall:

The battery gets neat looking connectors & fuse holders:

At speed, the Celerio is nowhere as nervous as the Alto but of course, it's no European tank either:

Last edited by Rehaan : 7th June 2014 at 00:24. Reason: Correcting K10A to K10B.
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Old 4th June 2014, 09:25   #7
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Other Points

• This review has been jointly compiled with GTO. Thanks for the additional points and pictures.

• Maruti mentioned that a lot more models will be offered with an AMT, looking at the terrific response it got with this launch.

• The AMT is the 4th type of Automatic to be offered in India, after the traditional torque-converter type, dual-clutch AT & CVT.

• The Celerio will be joining people's garages as a 2nd car in more than half the cases. Interestingly, 55% of Celerio buyers are women (Source).

• While AMTs are a good solution for budget vehicles, they fall short in terms of refinement & speed, hence we probably won't see too many of them in premium cars. Customers will expect a dual-clutch or torque converter auto in the more expensive rides.

• The doors auto-lock once you start driving. You can customise the door locking in some ways (e.g. choose whether all doors unlock when you unlock the car, or only the driver's door does). You can set it up such that, turning the key once unlocks just the driver's door, and turning it twice unlocks all the doors. Also, the shock sensitivity level of the ZXi's security system can be customised.

• Standard warranty is for 2 years / 40,000 kms. You can pay 5K for extending the coverage to 3 years / 60,000 kms or 6.5K for 4 years / 80,000 kms. Extended warranty, as always, is highly recommended by Team-BHP.

• AMTs are also referred to as "Single Clutch Automatics" or "Robotized Manuals". They range from the homely Celerio to the beefed-up automated manual of the Lamborghini Aventador.

• Little known fact: the difference between the erstwhile A-star MT & AT versions was only about Rs. 50,000. The A-Star AT also had ABS!

• The Celerio's Thai version uses a more expensive CVT automatic.

• Maruti has been sourcing diesel engines from Fiat. It now gets transmission components from Magneti Marelli which is a part of Fiat. Magneti Marelli's first ever AMT made an appearance on the Ferrari 355 F1!

• Now that Maruti knows the AMT has been well accepted in India, it will support Magneti Marelli's efforts to localize AMT production in the near future. Both companies were sitting on the fence and preferred to import AMTs, as the mass market can be very unpredictable.

• Maruti is rumoured to be working on an 800 cc diesel engine, which it plans to use in the Celerio and Eeco. More info.

• The CNG version of the Celerio arrived recently. The CNG Celerio 'Green' is priced at Rs. 4.68 lakh (ex-Delhi). It's available only in the VXi trim with a manual transmission. Would've really been something else to have a CNG AMT though. More info. The CNG was introduced as Maruti has cleared the booking backlog of the MT variant. You can get spot delivery of the MT, but the AMT has a waiting period.

• Ground clearance is an acceptable 165 mm, and it never caused any issues for us during the test drive.

• The fuel-tank capacity is 35 liters.

• The AMT gets the job done with this 3 cylinder 1.0L. However, it might just work better on a larger engine with more torque on tap.

• The Celerio is available in 7 colours: Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, Grey, Silver & White.

• Strangely, only the AMT versions of the LXi & VXi get a tachometer. Conventional logic would indicate that a tacho is more useful on the manual version instead.

• Want to dress your Celerio up? Here's the Official Accessories List with pricing. Thanks to BHPian Gannu_1 for sharing.

Last edited by GTO : 5th June 2014 at 11:11.
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Old 4th June 2014, 09:25   #8
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

The Smaller yet Significant Things

LXi & VXi variants get a standard key:

Triple-jets of water from each spray. Sweet:

We flipped the driver's seat forward, so you could see how thin the seatback actually is. This minimizes material (i.e. cost) and maximizes space:

ZXi variant gets steering tilt adjustment. VXi gets a hole!

Underbody view. Plastic fuel tank is located under the rear seat:

Flaps below the front bumper aid aerodynamics:

A single cabin lamp, and it's at the front! Don’t know why Maruti hasn't placed it in the center. That would make it more usable for all:

Rotary air-con vents (on the sides) can swivel and even shut. The center vents however are the rectangular type and cannot be closed:

Looks awkward to have 2 large stalks protruding out of the meter console. Both control the MID:

Navigating through the settings:

Adjusting the console brightness levels (6-stage). Adjustment for only when the headlights are on:

Instructions on accessing the advanced settings (via the MID):

Passenger's sun visor has a mirror; driver only gets a ticket holder:

These cup-holders can accommodate liter bottles:

Seatbelts aren't height-adjustable:

To open the bonnet, you have to pull this lever from the side (rather than use it like a latch):

On the other hand, the fuel-flap release has a conventional design. No boot release lever here:

Metallic finish door handles look nice. It's interesting how these small aesthetic changes increase the perceived value of the interiors:

Thin map pockets of the front doors:

Even the ZXi (O) MT doesn’t get an alloy wheel spare. It's a full-size steel wheel:

Long radio antenna mounted at the front. Looks a bit outdated:

Suggested tyre pressures. The front, especially, looks to be on the higher side:

RFID tag on the windshield. Authorities have begun to use these as an identifier for vehicles & their info:

Incredibly long waiting periods don't seem to have changed since thedragonreborn captured this 2 months back:

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th June 2014 at 10:29.
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A look at the Celerio ZXi MT variant

5-speed manual gearbox is easy to slot into gear:

The MT gets well-spaced pedals, a light clutch, but alas, no dead pedal:

On the MT, the gearshift & clutch pedal are connected to the transmission via the cables shown here. On the AMT, these cables (coming from the passenger cabin) are eradicated; the AMT controller bolts on here instead:

Steering-mounted controls, along with a set of 3 pull-type buttons dedicated to bluetooth functions:

Audio system looks upmarket and has impressive sound quality for a budget car:

The USB & Aux inputs are conveniently located just above a small niche which also houses the 12v port:

The ZXi's remote key:

Height-adjustable seat (ZXi Option Pack) goes from high to extremely high! The stock upholstery is also visible here:

The rear seat's short base doesn't provide a lot of under-thigh support:

Connectors on either side of the rear defogger. Much more of the exposed wire becomes visible when the hatch is opened or parcel shelf removed (additional pic by thedragonreborn):

The alloy wheels offered on the ZXi Option Pack. This test car had JK Vectras instead of MRFs:

ORVMs get integrated blinkers too:

Rear wiper looks to be of the rugged variety. Sweep isn't too wide:

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th June 2014 at 12:44.
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

Chief Competitors of the Maruti Celerio

Hyundai Grand i10

What you'll like:
• All-rounded package in a contemporary design. Improved over the old i10 in nearly every way
• Interiors have best-in-class fit, finish & quality. Increased cabin space & boot capacity
• Fuel-efficient, practical diesel & peppy petrol. Smooth gearbox too
• Loaded with features (keyless start & go, electric folding ORVMs, rear air-con, cooled glovebox etc.)
• Comfortable ride quality and predictable handling. No bumpiness
• Hyundai's fussfree ownership experience & excellent after-sales service
• Priced lower than chief competitor, the Maruti Swift

What you won't:
• 1.1L diesel lacks the top-end punch of competition. Ordinary highway performance
• Missing climate control, adjustable front neck restraints and dead pedal
• The Swift and Brio are more fun to drive. Grand i10's steering & dynamics aren't to an enthusiast's tastes
• Rear defogger, ABS & Airbags only on Asta trim level. Should have been optional with the middle variant
• More suited as a 4 seater, rather than 5
• i10 Automatic's city fuel-efficiency leaves many owners wanting. Remains in the single digits

Honda Brio

What you'll like:
• A thoroughly contemporary Honda at a sub-5 lakh rupee tag
• Entertaining performance, sweet i-VTEC engine & healthy power-to-weight ratio
• 5-speed torque-converter automatic
• High quality interiors for the segment
• Light controls, slick gearshift and easy maneuverability for in-city commuting
• Honda's reliability & fuss-free ownership experience

What you won't:
• Quirky rear-end styling is a hit or miss
• Automatic gearbox can end up puzzled on mid-throttle input
• Basic, unsettled ride quality on imperfect roads. Gets choppy on uneven highways
• Small 175 liter boot
• Ordinary space for back seat passengers. Rear seat-back too short

Nissan Micra

What you'll like:
• High quality, well-designed interiors
• Driver airbag standard across the range (including base variant)
• Diesel engine offers stunning driveability. Fuel efficient as well
• CVT is smooth, seamless and effortless to drive in the city
• Compliant ride quality. Suspension tuned for comfort
• Gizmos : Keyless entry & go, engine start / stop button, electric folding mirrors, climate control

What you won't:
• Ordinary three-cylinder petrol engine. Dull to drive
• Inexistent under-thigh support from the rear seat
• CVT is a lazy highway performer. Prominent rubber-band effect
• Quirky design may not be to your taste
• CVT automatic is more expensive than direct competitors
• Nissan's sub-par dealership experiences

Maruti Ritz

What you'll like:
• A practical "Maruti Swift"
• Well-packaged interiors
• Outstanding petrol & diesel engines
• Composed handling for a tall boy
• Maruti’s after-sales service

What you won't:
• Weird rear styling is a deal breaker
• Ride quality at low speeds can get bumpy
• Interior part quality isn't as good as the Hyundais
• Getting long in the tooth. Over 5 years old now

Hyundai i10

What you'll like:
• A well-rounded city hatchback
• Good interior fit, finish and quality
• 1.1L petrol has excellent torque for city driveability. A sprightly performer
• Light clutch, gearbox & steering. Incredibly easy to drive
• Hyundai’s excellent after-sales service quality

What you won't:
• Unsettled ride on less-than-perfect roads. Rear (especially) gets bouncy
• Narrow width makes it a strict 4 seater. Unwelcome 5th adult
• No longer available with higher trim levels or that sweet 1.2L petrol
• Severely under-tyred. An upgrade to 175/70 R13 is highly recommended
• No diesel variant available

Maruti WagonR

What you'll like:
• The same successful formula, now improved
• A practical value-for-money package
• Better road manners, especially urban ride quality
• Improved interior space
• Precise gearshifts, unlike the older lousy transmission
• Optional ABS & Dual Airbags on the VXi variant
• Maruti's stellar after-sales quality & network

What you won't:
• Higher NVH levels, inherent to 3 cylinder engines. Average low rpm throttle response
• Iffy build & interior part quality
• Smaller boot compared to the outgoing gen. 180L capacity
• Looks aren't as contemporary as other recent launches

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th June 2014 at 09:32.
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Old 4th June 2014, 10:14   #11
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review


An exhaustive, unbiased, informative & entertaining report as always. Thank you for this review. Rating thread a full 5 stars.

The Celerio isn't much different from what one would expect of a 4 lakh Maruti. It's standard fare in that respect. As you rightly pointed out, if it weren't for the AMT, the Celerio would've sunk without a trace. The AMT is the car's USP. You have to give it to Maruti for launching a new product in an immensely crowded space, and still emerge with bookings in the 5 digits....at a time when the market is going through a lean period.

The AMT does the job, plain & simple. It's perfectly suited for the Indian market, keeping its low cost, fuel-efficiency & simplicity in mind. The refinement & shift quality might not be on par with torque converter ATs / DSGs, but the Indian customer would prefer a cheaper, fuel-efficient AMT over other more expensive-to-own options (in the hatchback segment). As always, the end customer judges with his rupee on the trade-offs and which car offers the best value proposition.

What I like most about the AMT is that it's going to bring those ever-elusive automatic diesel hatchbacks (under 10 lakhs) to the market. I also like the Celerio's interior packaging. The way they've carved out space from such a small car is sheer brilliance. Excellent urban ride quality too. Equally, I might add, when we were recently considering an AT hatchback for the house, the Celerio didn't even make it to the shortlist. IMHO the Grand i10 AT is worth every paisa of the price differential if budget isn't a constraint. On the other hand, for someone looking at a manual transmission family hatchback, the slightly cheaper WagonR & slightly more expensive Ritz are far superior. It is for AT customers on a budget that the Celerio AMT is ideal.

Last edited by GTO : 4th June 2014 at 10:19.
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Old 4th June 2014, 10:48   #12
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

Hi Rehan, thanks for a well written and comprehensive review, enjoyed every bit of it. It seems 'AMT' is the new cool of the season with Celerio sales catching up rapidly. It would be interesting to see the gear box performance after wear and tear starts. Moreover, with Tata contemplating to launch Zest and Bolt with AMT options, it seems AMT does have a long way to stay in the Indian car market.
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Old 4th June 2014, 10:49   #13
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Engine: The Celerio is powered by a reworked version of the 998 cc motor used in the Alto K10 & WagonR. This aluminium 3-cylinder unit now has an electronic throttle (drive-by-wire), a different compression ratio, low viscosity engine oil (just like Honda did for its 1.5L i-DTEC) and redesigned valves & springs. While the older gen motor was called the K10A, the Celerio's version is called the K10B or the K-next engine.
The earlier engine was also called K10B. K10A is 4 cylinder engine and was never sold in India. The new one is called K-next engine.
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Old 4th June 2014, 11:11   #14
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

Great review, Rehaan! This car will prove to be a game changer for sure. MUL should next bring out a diesel mated with an AMT which will definitely be a bigger hit. I'm keen to see what ownership reports say when it comes to FE and the gearbox in the long run.
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Old 4th June 2014, 11:22   #15
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Default Re: Maruti Celerio : Official Review

A brilliant review and a much awaited one indeed. And thanks for Peter & Jainita for sharing their car. Shame on you MSIL!

We are looking at an automatic to replace our A-star ZXi MT which got sold last week and I am sitting on the fence with Celerio due to the following reasons.

1) Lack of ABS/ EBD on all variants. MSIL gave it along with the A-star VXi Automatic. Then why not on the Celerio with the cheaper AMT unit when compared to the more expensive auto transmission on the A-star?
2) The Celerio feels very poorly built. Our A-star was solid. The sheet metal thickness of the A-star will shame the Swift, even though that is not saying much. There were no rattles from anywhere and I don't think the same can be said about the Celerio. It simply doesn't feel built to last.
3) The lack of hill hold is a concern. I don't want the clutch to wear prematurely due to slipping. Will clutch replacement cost be similar to MT? Any pointers will be helpful.

Where Celerio AMT trumps the A-star Automatic is with visibility and space at rear. Also, the steering wheel of the A-star is placed too high making it uncomfortable for short drivers. And as mentioned everywhere, the AMT will be much more efficient and fun to drive around. I doubt the general public will complain too much on the smoothness of the shift.

So, I am looking around for an used A-star Automatic as of now. No unsold units with any dealers at the moment. And maybe, even book a Celerio as plan B as the waiting period is anyways too high.

And if you're listening Maruti, a Wagon R VXi (O) with AMT will be god-send.

Last edited by deetjohn : 4th June 2014 at 11:25. Reason: typo.
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