They say habits are hard to break and with the recently launched Celerio Diesel, Maruti has proved it correct. Mass Indian consumers always look for either the best fuel efficiency, or the best price, and Maruti gave them both - a competitively priced diesel car that delivers the best mileage figure in India - a whopping 27.62 kmpl. Maruti Suzuki Celerio is making a lot of buzz with its efficiency figures and trade pundits are going gaga over it. But mileage figures alone can't make excite us and so we decided to find out if the new Celerio Diesel is all about efficiency or is it more than that in our latest Maruti Suzuki test drive review!
The Celerio Diesel looks exactly the same the standard Celerio part from the DDis badging on the front side fender. The Celerio on the outside, is a proportionally build hatchback that has no bad angle per se. The two chrome slats in the grille, neatly done squarish headlights and chrome infused fog lights makes the Celerio looks matured from the front. The side profile with all the creases and alloys is again a prominent stance. And on the rear, the hatchback dwells a rather tall boy stance. And we can't stop, but notice that the similarity between the Renault Duster and the Maruti Celerio.
On the interior front, the Celerio Diesel again displays Maruti's year's of experience in understanding the Indian consumers. The cabin is well laid and done in beige, it gives a feel of lots of space inside. We found the gear level a bit high for the arm position and the door bins are not wide enough to house any water bottle. You get other cubby holes in the front and there big usable door bins for the rear seats. The instrument cluster is simple and neatly designed to have a better view of the information. The seats in the front are not generous enough in terms of the space, but they are adequate. The rear seats are comfortable and spacious though.
Engine, Performance and Gearbox
This is where the things go interesting for the Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel. This is the first product from the brand to house an indigenously built diesel engine, a brand which has been using the Fiat sourced 1.3-litre DDiS engine for long now. The engine is essentially a 2-cylinder 796 cc unit that produces 47. 5 PS of power and 125 Nm of torque. The power is sent to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox. No matter how less the power is, Celerio amazed us with its performance. Switch the ignition on and with a loud sound and lots of vibration, the engine starts. And that's it - the idle state is the only time when you hear the noise and vibration. Once the rev counter touches pass 1000 rpm, the engine starts settling and at speeds from 50-80 kmph and 1500-3000 rpm, the engine is utterly smooth and quite, even in comparison to some of its rivals. Go past 100-120 kmph, the engine starts falling out of the breath. That said, it is one of the competent city hatchback.
Ride and Handling
The ride quality of the Marutis has always been a plus point and the Swift is a benchmark. And now with the Celerio Diesel, one expects the same level of quality driving. The first thing you notice as soon as you hold the steering is that the added weight due to a diesel motor is carried forward to the steering as well and it starts off pretty heavy, almost like a manual steering. But like in the case of the engine, it settles soon and the handling is not a problem after you start cruising. The hatch soaks the bumps pretty effectively and at no point the car feels like going off the road during the tight corners. Overall, we are pretty satisfied with the way this machine handles and ride.
Safety and Equipment
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel comes loaded with 2 airbags, one for the driver and the other for the co-passenger on the top variant. The top variant also gets an ABS and an EBD, and Traction control, making it one of the safest hatchback in this segment. Among the many features that Celerio host, most prominent are the steering mounted controls for the audio system, and the driver side height adjustable seat. Automatic climate control is not on offer as an option also.
With only a handful of options for diesel vehicles under Rs 5 lakhs, the segment is still wide open. Maruti Suzuki packs and impeccable mileage figure - a 27.62 kmpl number that can put rivals to shame, reliable Maruti badge, spacious cabin and good handling. If only, you are willing to let go the initial start noise and a bit of turbo lag, the Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel can prove to be the best budget diesel hatchback in the market today.