The Celerio diesel has been priced very competitively but also comes with the least power output while the Grand i10 offers a higher return for your money.
Small capacity diesel engines are the new rage as manufacturers are trying to capitalise on the said fuel’s affinity in the market at present. While Hyundai and Chevrolet have already been existing in this segment, the latest automaker to join the bandwagon is Maruti Suzuki with its homegrown 793cc twin-cylinder 4-valve diesel engine that has made its debut on the Celerio earlier today.
Boasting of an impressive torque output and fuel efficiency figures, the Celerio looks promising for the cost conscious buyer who wants low running costs from a diesel heart without incurring the escalated maintenance bills. With Hyundai’s Grand i10 and Chevrolet’s Beat already an option, we pit the three against each other to see which oil burner is worth your attention.
Styling – Compared to the petrol version, Maruti has made no changes to the design language on the Celerio diesel that continues to look mundane, but now with an oil burner. The overall styling seems one-dimensional on the Celerio as the chunky headlamps and the twin-slat chrome grille up front do not really engage you in terms of looks. The rear with its resemblance to the Alto 800 emerges as disappointing.
In contrast, the Hyundai Grand i10 and the Chevrolet Beat are the stars of the show. The Beat diesel has aged since its arrival in 2011 but still manages to look fresh and young. The radical and bold styling with the twin grille, sweptback headlights and the two-door look certainly appeals to young buyers but is something the older folks wouldn’t want to be seen in. This is where the Grand i10 steps in offering the striking balance with the fluidic design philosophy that emerges as more premium over the rivals. The Hyundai easily looks the freshest here with some rather favourable elements like the body moulds, hexagonal grille and the wraparound tail lights with sculpted boot lid that make the hatch stand out.
Dimensions – The Hyundai Grand i10 gets the largest footprint, followed by the Maruti Celerio and then the Chevrolet Beat. The Celerio though does sit taller than the Grand i10 providing more headroom but the Beat and Grand i10 aren’t really bad per se in this department. The Beat offers great front seat legroom but misses out on rear seat space while the Celerio has been designed to maximize rear-seat occupancy given the market demand.
The Grand i10 and the Celerio sport the same wheelbase at 2425 mm, but the Korean has scooped out more space here at both the front and rear seats and also accommodates 3 passengers with ease at the rear, courtesy of the extra width over rivals. The Beat’s smaller wheelbase translates into lesser boot capacity as well which stands at 170-litres while the Celerio diesel continues to offer the same 235-litres. The Grand i10 offers best luggage capacity at 256-litres.
Interiors – The overall fit and finish is much better on the Hyundai Grand i10 while the plastic feels excellent. In comparison, the Celerio has a pleasing cabin with a lot of components shared with the Swift but is not as premium looking as the Korean. The plastic quality could be better. The Beat’s cabin has always been known for its funky nature with the digital instrument cluster and sports good plastic quality but is limited in features.
It is hard to outnumber a Hyundai when it comes to equipment and the Grand i10 comes loaded with a plethora of tech including start-stop button, automatic climate control, 1 GB internal memory storage for the audio system and gearshift indicator which are not available on the other two models. Both the Celerio and Grand i10 feature Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity, keyless entry, electrically adjustable ORVMs, auto-lock function, all of which are not available on the Beat. All the three models do get steering mounted controls, dual front airbags and ABS on their respective range-topping versions. The Celerio and Grand i10 though also get EBD and parking sensors.
Engine – All the three cars come host the smallest diesel engines in the country and it is the new Celerio diesel that holds the credit for plonking the smallest motor possible. The Maruti comes with a 0.8-litre two-cylinder unit churning out 47 BHP and 125 Nm of torque. Both the Beat and Grand i10 use 3-cylinder engines with the Chevrolet drawing power from a 1.0-litre unit with 56 BHP and 150 Nm while the Hyundai’s 1.1-litre unit makes 70 BHP and 158 Nm.
The three engines are turbocharged with the Maruti getting the smallest turbo possible and come paired to a 5-speed manual transmission. Designed for city performance, the Beat and Grand i10 are equipped with the needed power output while the Celerio despite the small engine; benefits from the lightweight body (900 kgs fully loaded) which should keep your right leg happy. Fuel efficiency figures are the highest on the Maruti returning 27.62 km/l, followed by Chevrolet at 25.44 km/l and Hyundai at 24 km/l.
Price – Maruti Suzuki has priced the Celerio diesel well that starts at Rs. 4.65 lakhs for the LDi version going up to Rs. 5.71 lakhs for the ZDi (O) trim. The next more expensive proposition is the Chevrolet Beat that starts at Rs. 5.05 lakhs for the LS trim and tops out at Rs. 6.28 lakhs for the LT Opt. trim. But losing out on several essential features, the VFM factor seems missing on the Beat. The most expensive offering, the Grand i10 is priced from Rs. 5.52 lakhs for the Era version, going up to Rs. 6.74 lakhs for the Asta Opt. trim. The Hyundai though is loaded up to the brim and also boasts of a better quality materials. (All prices, ex-showroom Delhi)
Verdict – Clearly, the Beat falls short on several departments including space and features but excels in styling, dynamics, fuel efficiency and power output. The Grand i10 is an extremely pleasing proposition with a peppy 3-cylinder motor and loaded features making the ideal choice in the segment. Being most value for money offering till now, there is very little that can be said against the Hyundai. However, Maruti has priced the Celerio DDiS125 extremely competitively as it undercuts the rivals by a healthy margin. You do lose out on power, curbing high-end performance but get a decent amount of equipment for the price. That said, the Grand i10 looks a lot more plush in every sense and feels every penny for the extra Rs. 1 lakh you spent over the Celerio, making it our pick in this comparison.