Maruti Suzuki has officially launched the Celerio hatchback at the 2014 Auto Expo today. The Celerio was showcased as the A-Wind concept at the Thailand Motor Show in November last year and this marks the international debut of the car. The Celerio is replacing the old A-Star as well as the Zen Estillo in the A-segment space and will be India’s cheapest car to be offered with a semi-automatic transmission.

Maruti Suzuki has retained the design cues from the A-Wind concept but the Celerio gets slightly toned down styling. The hatchback measures 3600 mm in length, 1600 mm in width and 1540 mm in height, while the wheelbase measures 2425 mm and a ground clearance of 165 mm. The front has been toned down compared to the concept, but retains a friendly appearance. The two slat chrome grille is wide and integrates well into the wrap around headlamps giving the car a broad and clean appearance. The bumper has been revised and has scooped circular fog lamp housing.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi; introductory) –

  • Celerio LXi – Rs. 3.90 lakhs
  • Celerio VXi – Rs. 4.20 lakhs
  • Celerio ZXi – Rs. 4.50 lakhs
  • Celerio ZXi (O) – Rs. 4.96 lakhs
  • Celerio LXi Auto Gear Shift – Rs. 4.29 lakhs
  • Celerio VXi Auto Gear Shift – Rs. 4.59 lakhs

The side profile has a strong presence with the shoulder line starting from the front fender up to the rear window of the Celerio, whereas another crease runs below adding more depth to the side profile. The doors are fairly large making the ingress and egress easier for the passengers. The car also receives pull handles for the doors and blinkers on the door mirror. To be fair, the rear is very reminiscent of the Alto 800. The windscreen is large and offers good view, while the bumper is big and chunky. The tailgate is rather simple yet brawny with the Suzuki logo in the centre and the boot-lid at the bottom. Suzuki has also provided a corrugated roof for added strength and the top end variants get 14-inch wheels.

The interiors of the Celerio offer good space and the level of quality is average but much better than the cars it replaces. A rather simplistic design, you can see a lot of parts being carried over from the Swift. The tall boy design sure makes for plenty of headroom. The two-toned dashboard is simplistic and also integrates the gearbox allowing more space in the cabin. The gear lever for the AMT is carried over from the A-star. The centre console houses the music system with USB and AUX connectivity on the top end ZXi trim. The steering wheel is from the Swift as well and gets audio and Bluetooth telephony steering mounted controls. The new instrument cluster is easy to read with the speedometer and a MID screen, while the tachometer is restricted to the semi-automatic variants.

The front seats come with integrated headrests and are tall and comfortable, while the rear bench comes with decent cushioning and should be able to seat three in comfort. The rear also offers more leg and knee room, making it easier for tall passengers as well. The Celerio receives a dual-tone interior, while the large windows make the cabin feel airy. The boot offers a decent 235-litre of space and can be expanded further with 60:40 split folding rear seats. Maruti has cleverly added map pockets, cup holders and several cubby holes for storage throughout the car.

The Celerio is powered by the highly acclaimed 1.0-litre K-Series engine that has been updated and uses aluminium in its construction. The engine is capable of producing 68 PS of power and 90 Nm of torque, mated to 5-speed manual and 4-speed EZ AMT transmissions. Maruti Suzuki is also working on a 2-cylinder 800cc engine which is speculated to be launched by the end of this year with the Celerio. The claimed mileage on the Celerio is an ARAI certified 23.1 km/l with the manual and EZ AMT transmissions, making it India’s most fuel efficient automatic as well. The main USP of the Celerio is the introduction of the automated manual transmission (AMT). The 4-speed transmission is called the EZ-Drive by Maruti Suzuki. You get regular R, N, D modes; push the gear lever to the left and the manual mode is located with the ‘+’ and ‘–‘toggles. What it misses out on is the P (Park) mode.

The Celerio is available in four trim levels namely Lxi, Vxi, Zxi and Zxi Option. However, the automated manual transmission will be available only on the LXi and VXi trims, while the Zxi and Zxi Option is available only with the manual transmission. The Zxi variant gets features such as Driver side airbag, immobilizer, body coloured door handles and mirrors, keyless entry, electrically adjustable ORVMs, tilt steering, driver seat belt warning light, electric power windows at the front and rear; while the Zxi Option trim is equipped with dual front airbags, ABS, security system, fog lamps, rear window wiper and washer as well as rear demister. You also get driver seat height adjuster on the Zxi Option trim. The gear shift indicator is restricted only to the AMT variants.

The Maruti Celerio is available in seven colour options that are red, yellow, blue, silver, grey, black and white. The Celerio is a huge departure from the A-Star and Zen Estilo and is sure to put up a tough fight (in terms of sales) against the Hyundai Grand i10, Chevrolet Spark and the upcoming Datsun Go in its segment.

Also read our comprehensive Road Test Review of the HERE.