I think that the Celerio has always been an interesting product but in a puzzling kind of way. There has never been anything wrong with it, but if given a choice to pick a hatchback to drive, it would probably be at the bottom of my list. See what I mean? I guess its overall lacklustre appeal has been the key culprit. However, with the arrival of the new-gen Celerio, things have changed. The 2022 Celerio has ditched its predecessor’s plain styling for a more funky, new-age design, and with Maruti Suzuki’s new Heartect platform underpinning it, the new Celerio has become a different animal altogether. So, I decided to spend a day with it before our track test to see how it behaves on regular roads.
Once again, visually, the new Celerio cannot really be faulted. However, it is still not the best-looking hatchback in Maruti’s stable. Get inside though, and you will find that the refreshed cabin certainly feels a lot better than before, and a healthy dollop of new features adds to the overall appeal. For me, the interior is also quite good in terms of comfort and space – the seats offer adequate support and the cabin feels surprisingly airy for its size. So, naturally, after witnessing all that, my expectations from its driving dynamics had gone up too.
And I am happy to say that the Celerio did not disappoint on this front. The star attraction of the new Celerio is the new 1.0-litre K-Series engine, which puts out 66bhp and 89Nm of torque. While I always prefer a manual gearbox, our test car was equipped with the five-speed AMT, and all I can say about it is that it is still far from becoming the preferred type of automatic gearbox – the head nod during gear changes remains an issue. However, shifting into the manual mode, I got to sample the 998cc engine in my usual aggressive style. And, to be honest, the motor outperformed my expectations simply because it was more sprightly than I expected. That said, better cabin insulation and a bit more forgiving low-speed ride quality will definitely add further to improving the overall driving experience.
- MARUTI SUZUKI CELERIO (Lap Time – 01:20.4)
|COMFORT / SPACE||5||3|
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||3.5|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||23|