From £6,4907
Spacious, well equipped and appealing on price, but lacking in charm and performance vim

Our Verdict

Suzuki Celerio

Does Suzuki's new city runabout have what it takes to succeed?

24 December 2014

What is it?

It's the Celerio, from Suzuki, offering us more choice within the growing city car class.

This five-door hatchback will initially be sold alongside the Suzuki Alto and Splash, but it clearly overlaps with their remits. Suzuki refers to the car as an  'A+ compact', suggesting it sits between the likes of the Toyota Aygo and larger models such as the Ford Fiesta. The Celerio's dimensions back that up. It measures 3600mm long and 1600mm wide with a 2425mm wheelbase.

Luggage space is quoted as 254 litres with the rear seats occupied, or 726 litres with the seatbacks folded. That all compares favourably with one of the most spacious cars in the segment, the Hyundai i10, while a tall roofline also means that headroom is distinctly generous front and rear. A flat cabin floor unintruded by a transmission tunnel makes it possible for an adult to sit in the middle rear seat if necessary. On top of that, access to the back seats is made easy by wide-opening doors.

Euro NCAP awarded the Suzuki Celerio a below-par result of three stars this November, mainly due to a poor score in the side impact pole test. However, the crash-tested car did not feature curtain airbags, which are fitted as standard in the UK. It is thought that these could have altered the final score. Suzuki also fits airbags in the front for the driver and passenger, plus side airbags in the seats.

What's it like?

Up front, the driver and passenger sit upright and high up.

This makes getting into the car easier, but also enhances visibility in all directions. At parking speeds the light steering and other driving controls are a boon, although on the move the car's overall lack of weight means it's difficult to accurately place it on the road.

Exacerbating the issue is a near absence of self-centring through the steering system. Continuing a similar theme, the clutch is so light that it's impossible to feel the biting point. At least the five-speed manual gearbox is relatively slick and unobtrusive to use, though. This is mated to an economical engine, but not a powerful one. Our low-mileage test car felt particularly underpowered, even around town.

On the plus side, the three-cylinder unit is remarkably quiet and refined, being all but inaudible at idle. While the column stalks are a little flimsy (and that's not unusual in this class), the heating and ventilation controls and infotainment buttons are reassuringly solid and tactile to use. It stands up well next to the Suzuki Swift's cabin in that respect, even if much of the plastic trim feels durable rather than soft-touch.

A generous level of standard equipment enhances the ambience no end. Two trim levels will become available when the Celerio goes on sale in February 2015: SZ3 and SZ4. The full suite of safety systems will be standard at the entry-level price of £7999, including ESP stability control and a tyre pressure monitor.

On top of that are ISOFIX child seat anchor points, electric front windows, air conditioning, DAB radio with USB input, Bluetooth and 14in alloy wheels. The SZ4 adds subtle upgrades inside and out for a £1000 premium, including electric rear windows and electrically adjusted door mirrors.

Should I buy one?

While the Celerio may not appeal to those that want a little personality in their city car, the pricing and equipment are compelling reasons to take a closer look.

Backing the low purchase price up are decent efficiency figures. The 1.0-litre petrol engine emits 99g/km and returns 65.7mpg, but Suzuki has already confirmed that a new and more efficient engine will become available in summer 2015, as will the 'Auto Gear Shift' automated manual transmission, which comes with an emissions rating of 84g/km and 78.5mpg economy.

The Celerio offers sensible new car motoring on a tight budget. Its interior quality and space are above average and running costs are extremely low, but it is lacking in charm.

Shane O'Donohue

Suzuki Celerio

Price from £7999; 0-62mph 13.1 sec; Top speed 96mph; Economy 65.7mpg; CO2 99g/km; Kerb weight 835kg; Engine three cyls, 998cc, petrol; Power 67bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 66lb ft at 3500rpm; Gearbox 5-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
15

24 December 2014
Looks terrible. Suzuki will end up with the image of Proton and Daewoo if this is what it offers.

24 December 2014
Everything about this car screams 2004 Hyundai Getz...

24 December 2014
The best one can say about this car is that it makes the new Vauxhall Viva look rather good. It also makes Dacia look even better value: for the quoted £7,999 entry price you gan get a Sandero in top spec Laureate trim. Like the Nissan Micra and Mitsubishi Mirage, this looks like a model developed for Emerging Markets and represents a disappointing backwards step for its maker. One particularly jarring detail is the side rubbing strip, which looks like a bad aftermarket accessory. Moreover, it appears to be positioned in the hollow of the doors, which makes it practically useless as well.

24 December 2014
To this website? It used to be possible to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

24 December 2014
owenmahamilton wrote:

( What have Autocar done) To this website? It used to be possible to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Between that, the growing VW bias and the fancy pants writing that seems to be taking over their reviews i'm seriously considering skipping them.

 

 

24 December 2014
tuga wrote:
owenmahamilton wrote:

( What have Autocar done) To this website? It used to be possible to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Between that, the growing VW bias and the fancy pants writing that seems to be taking over their reviews i'm seriously considering skipping them.

VW bias from Autocar? More like glaring, and quite frankly embarrassing, anti VW, anti-German bias in the comments sections.

25 December 2014
tuga wrote:
owenmahamilton wrote:

( What have Autocar done) To this website? It used to be possible to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Between that, the growing VW bias and the fancy pants writing that seems to be taking over their reviews i'm seriously considering skipping them.

Good. We'd all be glad of your leaving.


25 December 2014
Winston Churchill wrote:
tuga wrote:
owenmahamilton wrote:

( What have Autocar done) To this website? It used to be possible to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Between that, the growing VW bias and the fancy pants writing that seems to be taking over their reviews i'm seriously considering skipping them.

Good. We'd all be glad of your leaving.

Awww... And a happy Up Yours to you too Winnie. Stay dead :D

 

 

24 December 2014
owenmahamilton wrote:

To this website? It used to be possible to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Agreed - website gets poorer by the day. Auto Express are winning hands down on this front. Autocar need to sort it out.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

26 December 2014
owenmahamilton wrote:

To this website? It used to be possible to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Since the web page update things seem to have gone backwards, why change something when it weren't broken.

Optima2

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