The new Suzuki Celerio is a car that we have been looking forward to testing for some time. Offering lots of value for money with a starting price of just €11,995, the compact hatch has certainly raised a few eyebrows since its introduction in December of 2014. It’s no secret that Suzuki have long been small car experts but with the Celerio getting off to a somewhat shaky start thanks to an early recall, we had to test drive it to see how it stacked up. First off the A segment is a busy place to be but Suzuki are confident that with class leading low emissions of just 84g/km, best in class luggage space of 254 litres, along with a super frugal 1.0 litre Dual Jet Injection engine which sips just 3.6 litres per 100km, they have a serious competitor. The design whilst maybe not be appealing to everyone isn’t offensive and offers excellent visibility when inside the roomy cabin.
Indeed our first drive, after the press conference, many months ago gave us a chance to not only utilise the visibility but also the nimble performance and agile handling of the little hatch. In a break from the norm Suzuki set up a slalom style course in which drivers had to negotiate a serious of obstacles that would allow us to test the incredible turning circle, braking, and acceleration all in a confined space. With the stop watch on it was super easy to get a feel for the Celerio and before long we were posting competitive times for our opponents to beat. In this initial test drive we had no complaints, the three-cylinder K10C petrol engine felt alive and the brakes offered good feel around the twisty slalom course. With this in mind we were baffled when a press release landed stating that a safety recall relating to retraction of the brake pedal affecting only right hand drive vehicles for Ireland, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
It became apparent that there had been a loss of braking experienced by a UK magazine when carrying out an emergency braking test from high speed on a private road test facility at the end of January. Suzuki carried out an immediate investigation into the cause and subsequently issued a Safety Recall at the beginning of February. The recall related to a possible fault in the brake pedal release mechanism but Suzuki was fast and professional about addressing the problem in a 30-minute fix using modified brake components. Suzuki handled the ordeal superbly and was quick to state that safety is of the utmost importance and to apologise to customers for any inconvenience. With all this in the past it was good to have the Suzuki Celerio just recently for a few days test.
On longer drives the manual gearbox felt good although the engine is a little noisy at motorway speeds. Automatic fans will be happy to know that in addition to the 5-speed manual you can opt for “Auto Gear Shift”, Suzuki’s newly developed automated manual transmission featuring the “Intelligent Shift Control Actuator”. This clever gearbox essentially has an electronic hydraulic actuator that operates the shift and clutch automatically for you. As its not a traditional automatic, it provides fuel efficiency on a par with a manual transmission. Two models the GL and GLX featuring various levels of spec are currently available on the Irish roads and neither will be a bad buy. Even in GL trim you still get Air Con, Alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a host of safety features such as front and side airbags along with a curtain airbag, ESP & TPMS. In GLX trim you get front fogs, electric colour coded mirrors, a chrome grill, and extra speakers to name but a few additions. It’s going to be very hard for other manufacturers to beat this level of spec and such a low price point!
Suzuki Celerio GLX
Engine Size – 1.0
Fuel Type – Petrol
Power – 67hp
Torque – 90Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 13.1 seconds
Top Speed – 160km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 4.3L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 99g/km
Road Tax – €180
Base Price – €11,995
Price as Tested – €12,995