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    Thread: Maruti Suzuki Celerio ZXi (O) - The "Official" Unofficial Exhaustive Review

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      Maruti Suzuki Celerio ZXi (O) - The "Official" Unofficial Exhaustive Review

      It's not surprising for a Maruti Suzuki new launch to rake in bookings within no time. After Swift, the Celerio is probably the fastest to get some numbers in a short time. Apart from the Maruti brand name, the biggest contributor for the mad rush is the EZ-Drive moniker - Suzuki's branding on the Automated Manual Transmission. Other than the AMT, is the Celerio just another run of the mill Suzuki? I feel it isn't.

      Celerio is positioned one notch above the likes of A-Star, WagonR etc., and a step below the bigger hatchbacks like Ritz, Micra Active, Grand i10. Suzuki did a rather unconventional design job for the A-Star, and made the clean looking Alto not so handsome, by launching it as the Alto-800. Celerio is a no-frills design that's clean on the outside, spacious on the inside (for the price), and built much better than most other Maruti vehicles.


      A no-nonsense front, with a little bit of chrome (the must-have for any Indian car)
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      Plain looking rear, with tail lamps that appear to have some semblance to the Alto800's tail lamps
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      Closer look at the side:
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      Only the ZXi variants get body coloured door handles

      Sleek Headlamps, with the parklight and indicator lamps getting separate pods, and some amount of black substrate
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      Recessed Fog lamps that appear brighter than the usual Suzuki stuff.
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      ORVMs get turn indicators - a welcome addition, at least in the top-end variant. Only ZXi variants get body coloured ORVMs.
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      A not-so-small yet not-so-big rear glass, with wiper and defogger. The washer jet is located on the right side of the high-mount stop light:
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      The spoiler is a manufacturer-supplied after-market accessory

      Tailgate opener - Suzuki has gone the VW way here. Instead of the monogram, a handle has been provided. The handle was a lot similar to the door handles in Alto:
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      The top variant does not have the keyhole on the tailgate. Other variants have it right above the handle.

      The Celerio and ZXi monograms. The top-end ZXi (O) gets ABS, and the additional sticker as well:
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      14" OE alloys (available only with the ZXi (O) variant):
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      Crappy JK Tyre Vectra 165/70R14 tubeless radials fitted on the alloys (Some cars come fitted with MRF tyres):
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      The insides:

      To start off, the keys:
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      Only two buttons. A silent unlock involves pressing both the buttons together, followed by the corresponding button in quick succession. Another interesting fact about this remote unlocking is that, on the first press, only the driver door is unlocked. A second press is needed to unlock the other doors and boot

      The Seats
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      They are comfortable, but do not expect the comfort offered by the rear seat of an Amby. The fabric is soft to touch. A seat cover would improve the feel and comfort.

      The driver seat gets height adjustment in the ZXi trims.


      The steering wheel, which is the same one used in Swift, and the instrument console
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      Steering mounted audio controls, and Bluetooth controls offered in the ZXi trim. The Bluetooth setup button and the call pick-up & cancel buttons have to be pulled upwards, and this works better than pushing them down - a very novel idea for a budget hatchback

      Steering tilt adjustment:
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      The Instrument cluster, replete with a tacho and MID:
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      A rather clean design, with a silver border for the speedo. The MID can show instantaneous FE, average FE, Range (Distance to empty) and the time, apart from the Odo and two trip meters. The Auto Gearshift variants also have a gear position indicator as well as outside temperature display (wonder what's the big deal in providing the temperature display in the MT variants too!) The backlighting intensity can be adjusted by twisting the right side button/knob provided. I felt these two buttons project a bit too longer than necessary. Shorter ones would've looked better.

      Steering stalks are standard Suzuki stuff - the wiper controls on the left and HL & indicator controls on the right. Rear wiper can be activated by twisting the stalk. Indicator controls also have lane-change function - a gentle shove on the respective side would turn on the blinkers for 3 seconds. The stalks are of very good quality, and they have a nice feel
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      The fog lamp switch and light leveling control are located in a rectangular pod, below the driver-side AC vent. I am not so impressed by the fit and finish of these switches.
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      The AC vent shuts completely, it's also a lot un-Maruti, considering the look and feel. Also seen in a small place-holder for a small wallet or some currency, will come handy while travelling on tolled highways

      The pedals are adequately spaced. They come with black, rubber covers, but these rather odd looking ones on the Clutch and Brake pedals are MGA (Maruti Genuine Accessories).
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      The OBD-II port. Guess that doesn't need further explanation
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      Bonnet unlock lever
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      The rubber mat with Celerio branding is also an MGA.

      The dash panel sits comfortably, and the finish is good. The 2-DIN head unit and the AC vents remind me of some higher segment cars. The HU can play off Radio (AM & FM), CD, USB storage as well as Bluetooth.

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      The gear lever is the same one used in Ritz.
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      Located ahead of the gear lever is a very useful pocket to hold the phone, and the AUX-in, USB port and 12V socket.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      The USB cable and the charger plugged in are after-market.

      The remote control
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      RHS door has the controls for mirror adjustment, central locking and the 4 power windows (only the ZXi trim is offered with all 4 power windows).

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      The fabric inserts are soft to touch, and the colour goes well with the interiors.

      LHS door panel:
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      The front doors have a map pocket each, but no bottle holders
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      LHS vent, and a small recessed space to keep a small pouch or a vanity bag:
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      That's where the passenger Airbag pops out from
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      Passenger sun-visor has a vanity mirror
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      The IRVM is of a decent size. The rear glass can be seen completely. Also has Day/Night option
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      Last edited by silversteed; 30th Jun 2014 at 22:25.
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      Continuing from the previous post...

      The dome lamp, along with two microphones for Bluetooth telephony

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      BT works really great. Excellent voice clarity


      Hand-brake lever, and a bottle-holder, with its cover down

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      The bottle-holder revealed. Can hold a 1L bottle.

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      Rear doors have a bottle-holder each, along with the map pockets

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      With the driver seat pushed back completely, and the passenger seat moved to front-most position, this is the available leg room for rear seat passengers:

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      A fairly large sized boot, with a rear parcel tray. The loading lip is a good 3-4 inches above the boot floor, concealing the actual capacity

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      Under the Hood

      The 998cc K-Next engine. Suzuki has brought the drive-by-wire concept to this price bracket as well

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      The transmission:

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      In the AMT version, these cables are replaced with a Magneti-Marelli sourced actuator system.

      ABS unit, from Bosch. Only in the ZXi (O) version

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      Shot taken from the top, at the edge of the front grill:

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      See the large gap between the engine and the frontage? A small Garrett or TEL unit can find a place in this area. The diesel version has already been caught testing, so I am guessing that Maruti has already put this space to good use.

      The battery, from Panasonic:

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      The coolant reservoir and the security alarm hooter can also be seen

      Fuse box...

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      ...and the cover, with spare fuses

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      A few more snaps of the MID:

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      The seat covers (MGA, again):

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      Last edited by silversteed; 30th Jun 2014 at 23:52.
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      Driving Impressions

      After entertaining/boring with the pictures, it's time to pen my view of the road manners of this little car.

      The car is light, and it shows in the way it picks up speed. You won't realize before it hit 80kmph. The engine is very very silent, and there's hardly any NVH inside the cabin. The gearshifts are just average. I find the Alto (not the Alto 800 monstrosity) to have a far smoother gearshift. The 90Nm torque can be put to use only if we revv the engine. The bottom end is very weak. I also suspect a slight, noticeable lag in the drive-by-wire setup - the engine takes a moment to realize that we've stomped on the A-pedal, and rev up.

      Steering is very light at low speeds, and weigh up nicely once the car picks up speed. Though an EPS, it's not like the dead, super-light i20-ish system. For the price, it's great. Body roll is controlled, and does not upset you as in a tall boy. Considering handling, the weak link here, IMO is the tyre. The stock JK Tyre Vectras are crap. Neither do they offer any grip nor are they silent. So, what's the solution?

      Click image for larger version. 

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      Bridgestone Potenza G3, 185/65R14.

      Is it an overkill? Well, maybe. But the improvement in grip and braking is phenomenal. Especially wet-grip, thanks to the tread pattern. The improved stance is also worth mentioning.

      Before winding up for now, a sneak-peek into the much awaited Maruti speciality: Fuel efficiency. As can be seen from the MID snaps, the car had run 444km in all, and about 274km after tanking up. The fuel tank has a capacity of 35L, and only a little over 30% has been burned. This translates to about 20kmpl of FE, in close agreement with the MID value. It wasn't a long drive at all, and involved a lot of short trips, most of them inside town, with stop and go traffic. Is this a frugal engine? Hell yeah!
      Last edited by silversteed; 30th Jun 2014 at 23:31.
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      The Celerio Buying Experience

      To some, this might seem like putting the cart in front of the horse. But let it be. Here goes. My parents were growing wiser, and they deserve some more creature comforts, without going way over the "small car" expectation. Yes, mom is still scared to sit in my Ritz' driver seat. Dad, after an accident, is not too comfortable with the turbo push, and was happy with the M800. I was eyeing the A-star automatic, because it's not too big, has an AT and because it's a Suzuki, service support in my hometown, Palakkad, is one of the best. Moreover, it's got a 1L engine that delivers decent performance and FE. Good for the town/city commutes and the occasional highway trips that rarely cross 200km one way.

      One fine day, a salesman from the newly opened Nissan showroom visited dad, and asked him to try out the Datsun GO. I was not at all impressed with the car, and suggested that he bring the Micra Active instead. The car he brought was the top end variant, but no ABS and airbags. The test drive car was a battered and abused one. It had rattles and vibrations and all sorts of weird noises. But it handled beautifully. My folks were not impressed. Another reason why it got rejected was the view from the driver seat. While test driving, we passed Car Craft, the MASS where we get our cars serviced. Ended the Micra TD, and got inside. We saw a Celerio VXi that had come for pre-delivery service. The dealer personnel were also present. One of them happened to be the guy who'd handled my Ritz delivery. After exchanging pleasantries, we had a good look at the car. It ticked most of the boxes. My folks were booked. And SAI Service got another booking. They were trying to sell the VXi variant, with AMT, but we insisted on the fully loaded, top of the line variant. Neither dad, nor mom (surprisingly at that) wanted to go for an Auto, and they wanted to enjoy the manual shift. And that's how the Celerio ZXi(O) came home...

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      That's Mr.Shaji, of SAI Service, Palakkad. This time, he didn't screw up with the date of delivery, and ensured we were happy with the whole process.

      FOOTNOTE:

      This thread will be updated with more driving impressions and details. Stay tuned
      Last edited by silversteed; 1st Jul 2014 at 00:06.
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      silversteed - That's a very good review. Thanks for putting it on the site.

      Few questions from me.

      1. Did you consider any other car apart from Celerio? If so, then it will be helpful if you indicate for reasons for choosing Celerio and ruling out others?
      2. What was the OTR price?
      3. Does Zxi trim have airbags?
      4. You have said that the bottom end is weak. Does that affect the in-city driving experience and does it require frequent gear shifts? I have read in various reviews that the 3 cyclinder K-Series engine requires frequent gear shifts for in-city driving.
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      Congrats silversteed.

      Quote Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
      Crappy JK Tyre Vectra 165/70R14 tubeless radials fitted on the alloys (Some cars come fitted with MRF tyres):
      The JKs aren't bad actually. But that size is severely under-tyred for the Celerio.
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      Quote Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
      Another interesting fact about this remote unlocking is that, on the first press, only the driver door is unlocked. A second press is needed to unlock the other doors and boot
      Can you try this and report? : Just press the lock and unlock button for 5-10 seconds together. After that, just press the unlock button. Do all the doors unlock at one go?


      Quote Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
      The AC vent shuts completely, it's also a lot un-Maruti,
      So, good or bad? I didn't really check on this.

      Quote Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
      there's hardly any NVH inside the cabin.
      I would disagree with this. Do you mean only the engine noise or overall NVH? Cause the overall NVH is pretty poor.

      I had a chance to drive this very variant just a day before the official launch. Personally, was pretty disappointed, given the fact that I am used to Ritz. The only thing I liked about the car was the drive (which I suspect was good only because this is a very very light car). I have to concur that the bottom end torque is pretty poor. I have always been a fan of suzuki speed consoles, and this one is no different.

      All in all, I think this was a very safe choice for your parents. I would have picked up the Nano, but I think the A.S.S. might have been the deterrent?

      Congratulations, and wish you and your parents a very very happy journey.

      Thanks,
      Simple_car

      P.S. I have to agree with Rahuul. The JK's are pretty decent tyres. I think it's just the width which has been reduced to keep the F.E. high. My brother's ritz came with the JK's and I had a ball of a time with them. Not the best, but certainly not the worst.
      Last edited by Simple_car; 1st Jul 2014 at 19:11.

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      Quote Originally Posted by roadracer View Post
      1. Did you consider any other car apart from Celerio? If so, then it will be helpful if you indicate for reasons for choosing Celerio and ruling out others?
      The decision went like this:
      Used WagonR >> New WagonR >> A-Star auto (my suggestion) >> (Just some car - almost postponed the buying decision indefinitely) >> Datsun Go >> Nissan Micra Active >> Celerio

      To be honest, this buying decision was influenced by (in that order):
      1. Brand (One reason was the MASS, and never heard anybody in our circles have such good reviews for any other ASC in the area)
      2. Budget (it was around 4L in the beginning, stretched by another 1L, and then, we just pushed it one step lower)
      3. Features, creature comforts
      4. Ease of driving
      Quote Originally Posted by roadracer View Post
      2. What was the OTR price?
      All inclusive, it's about 5.6L (this also includes the tyre upgrade, spoiler, sill-guards, corner protector, seat covers, PVC floor carpet, 4 piece floor mat, rain guard and mud-flaps)

      Quote Originally Posted by roadracer View Post
      3. Does Zxi trim have airbags?
      Yes. Driver and passenger airbags (The SRS Airbag moniker can be seen on the steering as well as on the dash, on the LHS)
      Quote Originally Posted by roadracer View Post
      4. You have said that the bottom end is weak. Does that affect the in-city driving experience and does it require frequent gear shifts? I have read in various reviews that the 3 cyclinder K-Series engine requires frequent gear shifts for in-city driving.
      That's kind of true. Not really a good proposition for city-only use, involving bumper-to-bumper traffic and crawls.
      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      Can you try this and report? : Just press the lock and unlock button for 5-10 seconds together. After that, just press the unlock button. Do all the doors unlock at one go?
      Sure thing. Will do it over the weekend, when I'm at home
      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      So, good or bad? I didn't really check on this.
      Good, IMO. Mom has the problem of wheezing and it's so bad at times that even a slight cool breeze can get it started. The vent that closes completely is a boon for her.
      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      Do you mean only the engine noise or overall NVH? Cause the overall NVH is pretty poor
      I have a different opinion, as I find the cabin pretty silent.
      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      The JKs aren't bad actually. But that size is severely under-tyred for the Celerio.
      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      The JK's are pretty decent tyres. I think it's just the width which has been reduced to keep the F.E. high.
      Quite possible. I'm used to the Bridgestones on my Ritz, and in relative terms the JKs were a lot less grippy and noisy.
      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      I think this was a very safe choice for your parents. I would have picked up the Nano, but I think the A.S.S. might have been the deterrent?
      Things that worked against the Nano:
      1. The auto-rickshaw like engine note (might sound trivial, but yes, that's one of the reasons why the HQ rejected Nano)
      2. Service, as you mentioned
      3. Lack of features/creature comforts that my folks were looking for
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      Quote Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
      Just press the lock and unlock button for 5-10 seconds together. After that, just press the unlock button. Do all the doors unlock at one go?
      Tried it. Pressing and holding the lock & unlock button together for more than 5 seconds triggers the alarm. Unlocking all doors at one go requires programming the system by way of some sequence of pressing the MID buttons.
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      Nice review. Congratulations on the buy and happy driving. I am considering selling my i10 Grande and getting the Celerio. Reason being I am bored with i10s of all shapes and sizes. My last car was the original variant of the i10. And Hyundai A.S.S is so so.I am also planning a month-long or even longer pan-India road run to the south and north-east, stopping in several places, so Maruti service might come in handy in case of breakdown. Does anyone think the Celerio Vxi trim doesn't have good enough features? Me think Celerio is a bit overpriced. Anyway will go for a test drive. Eyes set on Zxi (O).

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