Maruti Celerio Diesel Long Term Review
The Maruti Celerio diesel is a great workhorse for city usage returning excellent mileage
The deregulation of diesel fuel prices and the reduction in price difference between petrol and diesel fuel has slowed down demand for oil burners but in spite of that, Maruti Suzuki has bravely plonked in a small capacity diesel mill in its Celerio. The A-Star replacement has the smallest diesel engine in a passenger car in India and the motor is the only 2-cylinder unit too. Clearly on paper figures don’t impress when one talks about the Maruti Celerio diesel but living with the car everyday has changed our impressions for the better.
Our long term Maruti Celerio diesel comes equipped with the chrome pack which does make the hatchback look a bit noticeable. Being an entry level diesel hatch, it’s really the practicality which shines through. There is decent space inside the cabin and although not segment leading, good enough to seat four in comfort. There is plenty of equipment too so we have a Bluetooth audio system which could do with better sound output, powerful foglamps, steering mounted audio controls and multi-information display which keeps you smiling all the time.
That’s because the ‘kitna deti hai’ meter is always proudly displaying 21 km/l and above mileage. What this means is, the Celerio diesel is as frugal as frugal can get, sipping each drop of diesel with utmost care. A 35-litre fuel tank might sound small but is good enough to give it a tank range of more than 600 kms, it also means a full tank ends up costing no more than Rs. 1300/-, sweet. Mind you, this mileage is with normal driving, no easing off the gas or lift and coast antics. With some patience, 23 km/l isn’t a far fetched number but with such low running costs, does one really care about extracting more economy from the two-pot mill.
Where the Maruti Celerio diesel doesn’t fare very strongly is the NVH. There is plenty of diesel clatter and driving this car without an audio system is a self deemed punishable offence, punishment to the ears. At idle and stop go driving, the noise and harshness is evident but vibrations are well contained. Things smoothen out on the highway as the motor feels more relaxed in the mid-range while road and wind noise do dull the sound from the oil burner.
The twin-pot mill is itself small without much output to boast off and there is some lag lower down, the juiciest part of the small capacity mill being the mid-range. Top end as expected is weak and revving the engine beyond 3500 RPM is absolutely pointless. This means that with the right shifts, the Celerio diesel is quick enough for the city and doesn’t feel underpowered at all. On the highway too, there is decent grunt for cruising but downshifts are needed for quick overtakes. What makes the drive experience good is the light clutch and gears which engage smoothly.
The Celerio offers confidence inspiring stability, even on the highways
The Maruti Celerio diesel has good handling and doesn’t feel light, the steering having decent feel. Although not a car to go fast around corners, the Celerio still pleases by being an engaging drive and doesn’t feel nervous, remaining stable at triple digit speeds too. The ride quality is good although the rear feels a bit bouncy. Braking performance is good and the tyres too offer decent grip.
Small capacity diesel engines aren’t very famous in India but Maruti Suzuki might just kick start this trend as the Celerio diesel is a city workhorse, offering good practicality too. Without doubt the highlight of this car is the mileage, so if low running costs is what you seek, it’s difficult to beat this hatchback. As a first time car purchase, the Celerio diesel ticks the right boxes but we are yet to put this long termer through a more rigid routine, post which we will have a clearer picture on India’s small capacity diesel car.
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