Maruti Celerio Diesel Review: First Drive in the new 800 cc wonder
Maruti Celerio was officially launched in India at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. India was the first country to receive Celerio hatchback (today the car is also sold in other markets like UK, Sri Lanka, etc). Even before it was launched in India, Celerio created a buzz amongst car buyers in the segment – owing to the availability of an AMT option.
Celerio is the first car to be offered with AMT – Automated Manual Transmission in India. This system is as simple as a conventional automatic transmission, but at the same time is cheaper and delivers more fuel efficiency than a conventional AT. For eg – price difference between Celerio petrol MT and Celerio AMT is Rs 50,000 ; and the mileage both claim is 23.1 kmpl.
This proved to be a success. Till date, Maruti has managed to sell about 1 lakh units of Celerio, and 50% of these have been AMT units. To make the offering even more exciting, Maruti has plonked their first ever homegrown diesel engine inside the Celerio; and this is what we have driven recently. Below is our Maruti Celerio Diesel Review.
Exteriors and Interiors
There is no visible change on board Celerio diesel, which can differentiate it from the boxy looking Celerio petrol, except for the DDiS badge on the side. It is offered in the same six colour options – Blazing Red, Sunshine Ray, Cerulean Blue, Pearl Arctic White, Glistening Grey and Sily Silver.
Interiors too remain same with black and beige dual tone dashboard, beige and grey fabric seats with integrated headrests. Legroom and headroom on offer are decent, while comfort levels are average. Travelling with five adults becomes uncomfortable over long distances.
Dimensions, Weight and Storage
These figures too remain same. Celerio is 3600 long, 1600 mm wide, and 1560 mm tall. It has a wheelbase of 2425 mm and a ground clearance of 165 mm. Turning radius stands at an impressive 4.7 mm. Suspension setup in the front is McPherson strut while rear gets coupled torsion beam.
Storage space remains same. Inside the car you get glove box, some cubby holes below the centre console on dashboard, on the doors, file holder behind front passenger seat, five cup holders, and a boot space of 235 litres. You can also fold the rear seats to increase luggage space. Rear seats can be folded individually as well (60:40).
The only change is vehicle kerb weight. Diesel engine has increased the weight of the car to 880/900 kgs, as compared to 810/830 kgs of petrol variants.
Engine, Transmission and Mileage
The engine is the talking point of the new Maruti Celerio DDiS 125. The all-new 793 cc twin cylinder unit is the first ever diesel engine which is built in-house by Maruti Suzuki since they first began making cars about 31 years ago. It is built at an investment of Rs 900 crores.
This engine churns out a not-so-impressive 47.6 PS @ 3500 rpm. What makes up for this low power is the torque. This small engine delivers a punchy 125 Nm @ 2000 rpm. This means, it delivers more torque per cc when compared to Swift’s 1.3L MultiJet engine.
Unlike petrol variant of Celerio, which is offered in both 5 speed manual gearbox and Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), Celerio diesel is only available with 5 speed MT.
Mileage claimed by Maruti Celerio diesel is 27.62 kmpl (ARAI certified). This makes it the most fuel efficient car in India. During our test drive, we were able to extract a mileage of 20+ kmpl in city driving condition, with air condition on.
Features and Safety
The top end variant of Maruti Celerio diesel, ZDi (O) comes loaded. Features exclusive to this variant includes alloy wheels, height adjustable driver seat, front fog lamps, security system, dual front airbags, and ABS.
The quality of speakers is decent, and so is the air conditioner, which cools the cabin quickly on a hot summer day.
Other notable features on board Celerio diesel include day night IRVM, floor carpet, 5 cup holders, 4 speakers, keyless entry, electrically adjustable ORVM, steering mounted controls, seat belt warning lamp, power steering, climate control, rear windscreen wiper and demister.
The new Celerio diesel competes mainly with other entry level diesel cars – Hyundai Grand i10 and Chevrolet Beat. Below is a techspecs and price comparo of all three.
How is it to Drive
The smallest diesel engine which claims 27.62 kmpl mileage – this statement is enough to keep some of the enthusiastic drivers away from the Celerio diesel. We too were expecting an under-powered car with lots of vibrations and diesel clutter inside the cabin. But what we really experienced, was nothing less than a huge surprise.
This tiny 793 cc engine is not only frugal, but is also very responsive and punchy. Just like other diesel cars, this one too is noisiest when started, as you see in the video below.
The engine vibrates dangerously, just after it is started, but then it settles in quite well. In spite of being a diesel engine, this one does not have that distinct diesel clutter, but something which is a notch below other diesel cars. Though, the engine is not as refined as the Grand i10’s 1.1l diesel mill, there is not much to complain about this one either.
Inside the city, you do not need to change gears much, second gear is good enough for speeds in the range of 10 to 60 kmph. Its best to drive the car in between 1500 – 2500 rpm, which is also when you get the best possible fuel efficiency as well as engine power and torque.
If you are in an enthusiastic mood, this car will not impress you much. You will need to change gears quite often, as the car easily redlines at a little below 5k rpm; plus the accelerator pedal does not offer much travel.
Turning radius of 4.7 metre and lighter steering allows you to manoeuvre the car into tight corners and be the first to get out of heavy traffic. Its small size also helps to find parking spaces easily.
The suspension setup is on the smoother side, taking in the potholes and bumps inside the city without much complains.
On the highways, the car easily cruises at speeds of 110 kmph. Acceleration from 0-100 kmph is achieved in about 20 seconds, while braking too is effective. ABS kicks in at the right time to give a good braking performance.
Maruti Celerio diesel is for those who commute a lot on a daily basis, but do not have a huge budget to buy expensive diesel cars. With a single tank (35 litres) of fuel, you are good to drive for at least 700 kms inside city, and about 850+ kms on the highway – and this with a car which costs less than Rs 5 lakhs.
Not only the Celerio diesel is the most frugal, but is also the one of the most affordable diesel car in India. Priced almost Rs 1 lakh less than the best selling Grand i10 diesel, and Rs 40k less than Beat diesel, Celerio diesel has offers a very impressive package.
Techspecs of Maruti Celerio Diesel
Variant-wise Price of Maruti Celerio Diesel
Maruti Celerio LDi – Rs 4.65 lakhs
Maruti Celerio VDi – Rs 4.95 lakhs
Maruti Celerio ZDi – Rs 5.25 lakhs
Maruti Celerio ZDi+ – Rs 5.71 lakhs
All prices ex-showroom New Delhi.