We drive it fast, slow, crawling in a traffic jam and at above 100 kmph on the highway. The overall fuel efficiency just doesn’t drop below 20 kmpl. And the car is powerful, only that it looks a little boring
The new Maruti Suzuki Celerio feels so quick and powerful (for its size) that you may think it is consuming a lot of fuel. But no matter how and where you drive it—fast, slow, crawling in a traffic jam, or on a highway at speeds above 100 kmph—the overall fuel efficiency figure (as displayed on the trip computer) just doesn’t drop below 20 kmpl.
And if you are a good driver (driving fast isn’t good driving), the new Celerio might just return an actual fuel efficiency of 22-23 kmpl even within city limits! At a claimed figure of 26.68 kmpl (AGS), the Celerio is India’s most fuel-efficient petrol car. We drive it fast, slow, crawling in a traffic jam and on the highway.
What makes it so fuel efficient?
CV Raman, chief technical officer, Maruti Suzuki India, told me this is due to five engineering changes: Reduced weight by 15 kg (as compared to the previous generation model), idle start-stop technology, using lower viscosity engine oil, reduced wind resistance, and lower rolling-resistance tyres.
How does it look?
The previous generation Celerio wasn’t a head-turner. This one looks better (the front grille section brings a lot of freshness to the car) but calling it a head-tuner might be taking things a bit too far.
How is the cabin?
It’s surprisingly spacious, and five adults can sit comfortably. The leg room is great. The top-end variant I drove has most features expected of a car in this price range (Rs 5-7 lakh). These include 7-inch Smartplay Studio screen with smartphone navigation, engine push start-stop button with smart key, gear-shift indicator, electrically-adjustable and electrically-foldable ORVMs, comfortable seats, and so on. The luggage space is also good.
How does it drive?
In its price range, the Celerio could just be the best driver’s car. Be it the AGS model or the manual gearbox one, it’s a delight to drive. Acceleration from any speed to any speed is almost-intense, and braking inspires confidence. I once had to do emergency braking and the car didn’t lose its line by even an inch, and stopped safely.
Steering feedback—mechanical signals that the front tyres send to the steering wheel—is so accurate that you get to feel most bumps and dips on the road via the steering wheel. This leads to safer driving.
That brings us to fuel efficiency.
—In the AGS model, driving across a traffic jam in Udaipur for about 30 minutes and 10 km, it returned 22 km/litre.
—Driving on a six-lane expressway at above 100 km/h for 15 km, it returned 21 km/litre.
—Driving on a two-lane state road (with almost no traffic) for about 80 km, it returned 23 km/litre.
Should you buy it?
Priced from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6.94 lakh (ex-showroom), the new Celerio does seem a tad expensive, but it’s a very practical car to own and run. In case you are not a fan of the SUV body shape (keep in mind that most SUVs under Rs 10 lakh are simply raised hatchback cars, not really sport utility vehicles), the Celerio makes good sense. It’s neat, easy to manoeuvre, exciting to drive, can navigate narrow lanes, and can also be driven above 100 km/h on a highway for hours. The fuel efficiency is for real and this may lead to marginally lower running costs. But it turns few heads.