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Old 30th March 2014, 14:41   #1
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Post Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Mod Note: Team-BHP's Official Celerio Review has been uploaded at this link (Maruti Celerio : Official Review).



NOTE: This is not an official review by team bhp. Facebook group team gujarat on team bhp was invited by maruti Suzuki to test drive and review Maruti Suzuki Celerio on behalf of team bhp. Would like to thank Nanda Automobiles Ahmedabad for their support.

What you'll like:
- looks modern from the front
- The AMT makes celerio the cheapest automatic available.
- identical fuel economy of manual and AMT models.
- decent 235 liters boot space
- suspension absorbs all bad roads and bumps.
- peppy, responsive and rev happy engine

What you won't like:
- AMT model available only in 2 trims lxi/vxi
- Manual transmission doesn't feel fun to drive.
- Long waiting period (6-8 months) for AMT model.
- looks identical to the alto 800 from the rear.
- No ABS/airbags in AMT model.
- Vibration at idle.

Fuel effeciency
Maruti claims a fuel efficiency of 23.1 Km/l in both the AMT and MT models. We could not test the Fuel economy for the manual model but the AMT model returns 18 Km/l in the city and 20 km/L on the highway.


Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-opening.jpg

The celerio comes as a replacement for the ageing estilo and the A-star. Celerio was codenamed the YL7 hatchback which was developed on the A wind concept and is the first car in India to get an "automated" manual transmission or AMT which Maruti calls the "EZ Drive". AMT was earlier seen in some bikes but then were stopped due to unknown reasons. Maruti has taken the first mover advantage by introducing the transmission early. Tata is also going to introduce the AMT in its soon to come zest compact sedan.

Maruti known best for its small cars has yet another winner on their hands with 14000 booking within 2 weeks of launch which is an astonishing feat with 51% bookings for the AMT. The waiting periods which were 10 - 15 days at launch has now rocketed straight to 6 to even 8 months in some places. Maruti has even considered doubling the production of the car to meet the demands.

The car looks good with the large chrome strip in the front and sharp aggressive headlights but what lets you down is the rear which looks a lot like the alto 800. The pull type door handles give it a nice touch and also feel good to use.


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Celerio is by far the cheapest automatic car in india and also has the least difference between its manual and automatic variants. The next closest rival in terms of automatic transmission is the i10 which is more than a Lakh costlier. Maruti has done a brilliant job by offering the AMT in the base lxi trim this makes it affordable for people looking for the convenience of an automatic at a budget. However, to keep the prices low they have decied to not give the zxi/zxi(o) trim in the AMT model which means that it will NOT get airbags and ABS which is a big disappointment. However, sources from Maruti claim that once supply of the AMT gearbox increases they might introduce the ZXI variant also.


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Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-engine.jpg
No sound proofing under the bonnet.


The celerio dervies power from 1 liter 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 feels peppy. The engine will pull to the redline if you push it hard but does get audible above 4000 rpm where you feel it is being strained. On the test drive we felt that the Manual transmission even though having the same engine felt underpowered and jerky but the AMT model gives a much better power delivery giving no feeling of lack of power. The AMT reached triple digit speeds easily in the Manual mode without any jerks.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-amt.jpg

The AMT doesn't have any Park mode.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-actuator.jpg
Notice magneti marelli inscribed on the unit.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-actuator-1.jpg
Clutch cable in the AMT model.

The AMT is made by italian company Magneti Marelli which is a fiat subsidiary. The transmission is based on a hydraulic shift actuator and ECU which do the job of engaging and disengaging the clutch for you.

As soon as the gear lever is slotted into D and the brake pedal is left the car starts moving forward without any accelerator input. This is known as the creep mode which makes the car go upto 7 km/h without any accelerator input. The AMT sometimes does get confused and hunts for gears. On the drive it suddenly changed to 2nd gear at 50 km/h instead of 4th and in a second again changed to 4th. While climbing slopes and for enthusiastic driving the manual mode is the best, gear changes happen quickly though not as quick as a dual clutch transmission. In D mode the car keeps up shifting and downshifting on its own at about 2200-2500 rpm, the transmission acts just like a manual and changes gears if you leave the accelerator at appropriate speeds. keeping the accelerator pressed also does the job but if you floor it the transmission takes a moment to get going. It is like the rubber band effect of the CVT but on a very small scale. Gear shifts happen smoothly without any noise or jerks. The drive mode is configured for maximum fuel economy so it keeps upshifting 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 upshifting 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 Manual transmission isn't as much fun to drive as the AMT, the car jerks in 1st and 2nd gear a lot and needs quiet a lot of accelerator input for initial pickup in 1st. The car feels as if it was designed for the AMT and the Manual transmission was an add on later. Among all 6 of us that drove the Manual by taking turns all of us felt it was somehow underpowered.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-boot.jpg
The 235 liter boot.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-seating.jpg

Maurti has learnt its lesson from the A-star and has given much better boot space in the celerio. In fact it is the largest boot space in this comparison. Not only the boot but the overall space management is much better than the A star. We were able to fit a person with the height of 6 feet 1 inch in the rear seat with a 6 footer in the driver's seat with no extra knee room remaining after that. The rear seats can be either dropped completely or can also be split in 60:40 arrangement.

The front seats are comfortable and hold you in place well. The under thigh support is also good but the front seats lack good lumbar support which will definitely give you a backache on long drives. The vxi AMT model that we had was not equipped with height adjust which makes visibility difficult for short people.

The air conditioner cools effectively but towards the end of the test drive it stopped cooling properly and was working intermittently. The A/c couldn't cool properly in Ahmedabad heat of above 40 degree celcius because of this. Maruti stated it as a problem with the specific car.

Last edited by GTO : 4th June 2014 at 10:36. Reason: Adding link to official review :)
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Old 30th March 2014, 18:40   #2
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Default re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-gauges.jpg

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

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-instructions.jpg

The following sticker shows instructions on how to start the AMT model. 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.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-shot.jpg

The celerio comes with Mcpherson Struts with coil springs in the front with coupled torsion beam axle with col springs at the rear. The car handles really well and absorbs all the harshness and bumps on the roads pretty well. The steering is accurate and well weighted even at triple digit speeds. 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 faces problems when the surface is uneven due to which the steering keeps changing direction which makes you up put a lot of input to correct. We tested the car by putting it in various potholes deliberately but never did it feel that it was crashing or the bumps were filtering through.


Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-alloys.jpg

Only the zxi(o) variant come with 5 spoke alloy wheels.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-steel-wheels.jpg

Lxi/Vxi/Zxi all get steel wheels. The Lxi gets only center wheel caps though.


Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-head-unit.jpg

Celerio is the first Maruti to get steering mounted Bluetooth controls. The sound quality is good at the price point. The head unit comes with 4 speakers and can play CD, Aux in and and USB port.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-headlamp.jpg
A close look at the headlamps.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-driver-door.jpg
The top model gets electronic adjustment for the ORVM's. The stalk feels brittle and doesn't feel like it will last the distance.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-dash.jpg

The Plastics are hard but don't feel cheap. The beige and black combination gives an airy feel to the cabin. The doors get fabric finish near the door handle. The steering feels good to hold and feels similar to the one on the swift. There are 5 bottle holders present which can store 500ml bottles each.

Last edited by rockporiom : 31st March 2014 at 13:36.
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Old 31st March 2014, 00:38   #3
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Default re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Other points:
  • On talking to a few customers it seems that AMT is more fuel efficient than the manual.

  • In most of the dealerships Manual variants are readily available for purchase. A dealer had 10 Manual cars lying with him.

  • The car vibrates a lot, the doors can literally be seen vibrating when open.

  • Maruti says service cost for the AMT will be low.

  • celerio has rear and front body cladding.

  • the hump in the rear is low so doesn't hamper the comfort of the person in the middle.

  • service interval is 10000 kms or 1 year which ever is earlier.

  • First 3 services are free of labor cost which come at 1000/5000/10000 or 1/6/12 months.

  • The celerio has a 35 liter fuel tank with claimed fuel economy of 23.1 km/l

  • Same key as swift and ertiga.

  • The celerio comes integrated headrests on all seats.

  • The Manual transmission variant doesn't get outside temperature display.

  • Driver's power window has one touch down feature

  • Thanks to bhpian teknophobia for the photography session

  • Thanks to bhpian ramkya1 for choosing the location for shooting.

  • Comes with 2 years/40000 kms with the option of extended warranty

  • No body coloured mirrors/door handles in AMT models.

  • Bhpian's ramkya1, rockporiom, lionell, khalil_khan, teknophobia and sagar_kothari had reviewed the celerio.

  • No Fog lights in AMT models.

  • No dead pedal even in AMT model

  • zxi gets abs and driver airbag whereas the option also gets passenger airbag.

  • Lxi variant comes with 155/80 R13 tyres.

Last edited by GTO : 31st March 2014 at 16:26. Reason: No need for disclaimer :)
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Old 31st March 2014, 16:27   #4
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Test-Drive Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 31st March 2014, 16:37   #5
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

THE TEAM
The team that did the test drive of celerio

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive-team.jpg
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Old 31st March 2014, 17:04   #6
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Nice work Rockporiom.

Celerio AMT is already on a roll now. Give it a few months till the backlogs are cleared and then we will be able to ascertain the actual numbers the Celerio brings for Maruti.

As you say that all are BHPians, it would be nice to introduce them in the last photograph.
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Old 31st March 2014, 17:19   #7
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

A+ work guys!

I'm sorry, I couldn't make it, but looks like you guys cracked it

Great review and looking forward to many more reviews on bigger and better cars.

As for the Celerio, the AMT is what is going to sell in numbers. Suzuki has got yet another winner on its hands.
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Old 31st March 2014, 17:34   #8
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Nice work Rockporiom.

Celerio AMT is already on a roll now. Give it a few months till the backlogs are cleared and then we will be able to ascertain the actual numbers the Celerio brings for Maruti.

As you say that all are BHPians, it would be nice to introduce them in the last photograph.
At the front is me. From the driver's door is Sagar behind him is Ramkya1. Passenger side front is Teknophobia and behind him is Khalil_Khan.
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Old 31st March 2014, 17:41   #9
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Super duper review. Sorry i couldnt make it; but looks like you guys had an absolute blast!!! The first thing i recognized (even before i saw the car) was Sagar Kothari in his trademark military camo t-shirt .

I am thinking of buying an AMT for my sister. Or an Alto 800 (coz she is fine with a stick shift and drives her husbands i10 1.2 currently). But now after this review, you have set me thinking if these 'rules to follow' while starting/shifting/stopping etc are going to be too difficullt and confusing for her to understand .

Last edited by rahul4321 : 31st March 2014 at 17:42. Reason: typo
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Old 31st March 2014, 17:54   #10
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4321 View Post
Super duper review. Sorry i couldnt make it; but looks like you guys had an absolute blast!!! The first thing i recognized (even before i saw the car) was Sagar Kothari in his trademark military camo t-shirt .

I am thinking of buying an AMT for my sister. Or an Alto 800 (coz she is fine with a stick shift and drives her husbands i10 1.2 currently). But now after this review, you have set me thinking if these 'rules to follow' while starting/shifting/stopping etc are going to be too difficullt and confusing for her to understand .

Its simple and just like any other auto transmission where the car would start only if the brake lever is pressed. The only difference is that in auto's the lever doesn't move without the brake being pressed whereas in this the lever moves even if brake is not pressed.
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Old 1st April 2014, 16:06   #11
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

A nice and crisp review.

How is the space overall. Is it comparable to Ritz,I10??
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Old 1st April 2014, 16:15   #12
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Great review guys, had been wondering why no Zxi variant for the AMT, with all the safety equipment, alloys & ICE, I feel it will attract more buyers.

Could possibly eat into the Grand i10 & i10's share I believe.
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Old 1st April 2014, 16:59   #13
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkat_Figo View Post
Great review guys, had been wondering why no Zxi variant for the AMT, with all the safety equipment, alloys & ICE, I feel it will attract more buyers.

Could possibly eat into the Grand i10 & i10's share I believe.
The reason for the absence of zxi variant as shortage in supply of AMT transmission. Once the supply imoroves they might come out with the zxi also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InControl View Post
A nice and crisp review.

How is the space overall. Is it comparable to Ritz,I10??
The overall space is better than the zen, A-star and wagonr. It is not as much as the ritz.

Last edited by rockporiom : 1st April 2014 at 17:01.
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Old 1st April 2014, 17:16   #14
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Thumbs up Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

This has the potential to become the most sought out entry level car.

Excellent mileage! Who needs diesel for city drive?
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Old 1st April 2014, 17:23   #15
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Celerio: First Drive

I had a chance to sit in the Celerio AMT for a short while over the weekend. Could say a slight improvement in space compared to Alto. The front seat space and comfort were also better. Had my doubts on the boot space. Was told that the fuel efficiency is about 20km/l.
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