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First drive: Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.

First drive: Suzuki Celerio
The Celerio isn't a replacement for the Swift; it gives Suzuki a new entry-level city car.

   



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Suzuki Celerio

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Taking budget and value more seriously than others, the new Suzuki Celerio makes a good case for itself with new engines that offer lower emissions and more distance between fuel stops. The Celerio does lack refinement, but it is one of the most spacious cars in its class.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Suzuki Celerio SZ4
Pricing: 8,999 as tested (range starts at 7,999)
Engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol
Transmission: front-wheel drive, five-speed manual
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 99g/km (Band A, 0 per year)
Combined economy: 65.6mpg
Top speed: 100mph
0-62mph: 13.1 seconds
Power: 67hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 90Nm at 3,500rpm

What's this?

The new Suzuki Celerio is the underdog car that has the potential to upstage some of its better-known competitors. It enters a busy segment, packed with very good cars; however, although the Celerio might not match some of its rivals' overall finish and build quality, it beats them in other areas, one of which is interior space.

The rear doors open to 90 degrees and there is space for three adults in the rear, although, granted it is a bit of a squeeze in terms of width. Nevertheless, it has virtually as much legroom as the most spacious car in the class, the Hyundai i10. Headroom is also good thanks to the boxy nature of the Celerio's design. Adding to the practical side is the boot, which Suzuki claims to be the biggest in the segment with a capacity of 254 litres.

Up front, the view from the driver's seat is a simple enough affair with dashboard features such as a large centrally positioned speedometer and smaller rev counter to the left while the other side has a simple and easy-to-read digital on-board computer display. The centre console is an equally simple layout, which could be instantly forgotten such is the nondescript styling, though all models will feature DAB digital radio and CD player with USB input as standard.

Suzuki has done a decent enough job with the exterior styling, a feat that isn't always easy in the A-segment as the maximisation of interior space is key. The rising contour detail along the side is just about the most elaborate of design flourishes with the rest of the car conforming very much to the small city car philosophy.

The Celerio did come in for some harsh criticism following its NCAP safety test where it only managed to score three stars, mainly because of a poor score from the side-impact pole test. In Suzuki's defence, the car tested, in accordance with NCAP's requirements, was the most basic model sold in Europe, which in the case of the Celerio was one that did not feature curtain airbags. All Celerios sold in the UK do feature these additional airbags as standard, which, as the NCAP report indicated, would result in the car receiving a four-star score.

How does it drive?

From a manoeuvrability perspective, the little Suzuki is highly impressive, thanks mainly to its excellent turning circle - one of the best in class. However, driving the Celerio around town the steering is found to lack any noticeable self-centring. The suspension setup does a reasonably efficient job at softening out the lumps and bumps of town driving. Add to this a very good field of vision all-round and the Suzuki does prove itself as a quite competent city car.

Keeping the Celerio up to speed does require a bit of work with the five-speed manual gearbox, though once that three-cylinder engine is a bit further up the rev range it motors along swiftly enough. There will be two different versions of the engine available, one of which will have even lower CO2 emissions of just 84g/km and further improved fuel economy - up to 78.4mpg on a combined cycle.

Verdict

The overall build quality and refinement of the Celerio isn't the same as in the likes of the Hyundai i10 or even the SEAT Mii (the cheapest of the three Volkswagen Group city car triplets). However, it does do what it says on the tin which, in a segment where budget can be more of a determining factor when it comes to purchase time, makes this is a pretty solid buy.

3 3 3 3 3 Exterior Design

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Safety

3 3 3 3 3 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Powertrain


Dave Humphreys - 7 May 2015



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2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.



2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 

2015 Suzuki Celerio. Image by Suzuki.
 






 

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