Suzuki Celerio

Debut: 2014
Maker: Suzuki
Predecessor: Alto (global) (2008)

 Published on 2 Dec 2014
All rights reserved. 

As the domestic K-car market gets increasingly competitive, Suzuki finds it more and more difficult to increase sales. Fortunately, overseas developing markets provide great opportunities. In the past decade or so Suzuki has been especially successful in India through its joint-venture with Maruti. Its Alto – not to be confused with the smaller Japanese market Alto – was hugely popular in India and was also exported to Europe. Now that car is replaced by Celerio.

The Celerio has no ambition to be Smart or Fiat 500, because all it wants is to satisfy the basic needs of motorists in developing countries. It has to be cheap and highly practical to use. Frills and expensive technologies are avoided as far as possible to keep cost down and repairment easy. However, it is not as extreme as Tata Nano. It is designed in a conventional way. Even the exterior styling is plain and conservative. The mechanicals follows conventional wisdom of FF layout, with suspensions consisting of MacPherson struts up front and torsion-beam axle at the rear. It is derived from the wide version of Suzuki's K-car platform. Its rack-and-pinion steering is assisted by means of electric. The 1-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine is the natural choice for fuel efficiency and production cost. Ditto the conventional 5-speed manual gearbox or automated manual transmission. European version gets 6 airbags (including side curtains) and ESP fitted as standard. Nothing really surprises.

The grey interior is duller than the speech of communist party leaders, and the shinny hard plastics are slicker than American politicians. But after all this is a low-cost car and all these issues are forgivable. Cabin space is quite generous for the A-segment. The Celerio has an unusually long wheelbase of 2425 mm, 40 mm longer than a Hyundai i10 or 65 mm longer than its predecessor. Moreover, its 1530 mm height and boxy profile make good use of the footprint to benefit passenger space. 4 average size adults won’t complain for lack of head or knee room, although the narrow body doesn’t allow fitting the 5th. Boot space is class-leading at 254 liters. The driver sits high and have excellent visibility on the road.

The car’s dynamics is decent. The three-cylinder motor codenamed K10C is benefited from VVT and 12.0:1 compression ratio to enhance thermal efficiency. It avoids knock by using dual injectors (which has better cooling effect), revised water jacket shape, piston-cooling oil jets and water-cooled EGR. Further helped by automatic stop & start, the motor achieves an outstanding fuel economy figure of 78 mpg and CO2 emission of merely 84 grams each km. That’s the territory of diesel or hybrid! Power output is a little disappointing at 68 hp though, so performance is average. It has to be noted that Indian customers are served with a cheaper alternative motor called K10B, which comes without VVT, Dualjet and auto S&S. Its horsepower output is the same, but torque suffers a little and fuel economy is less remarkable. Both engines screams loudly when they work hard, but in town they are refined enough. The 5-speed gearbox has a heavy gearshift, while robotic manual is expectedly jerky.

Predictably, the cheap small car is not supposed to thrill its drivers. Its suspension setting is soft so that it can effectively absorb low-speed bumps commonly found on the roads of developing countries. The steering is light in typical city car style, though the car displays decent directional stability on motorway.

Overall speaking, the Celerio should satisfy the basic needs of small car buyers who have limited budgets. However, it can hardly raise our interest from the way it looks or drives. Its closest rival is Hyundai i10, which is a much higher quality product.


Length / width / height
Valve gears
Other engine features
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Max torque
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Celerio 1.0 Dualjet
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3600 / 1600 / 1530 mm
2425 mm
998 cc
DOHC 12 valves, VVT
68 hp
68 lbft
5-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
815 kg
100 mph (c)

Performance tested by: *Autocar

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