Long Termer

2015 Maruti Celerio diesel long-term review, final report

The dependable diesel Maruti became the fuel economy champion during its stay with us.

DETAILS
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The Celerio diesel, with its tiny 793cc, twin-cylinder diesel engine, wasn’t really one of the most sought-after cars in our fleet. However, in the long time it spent with us (since June 2015), the Celerio delivered an astounding figure of around 17kpl in Mumbai city driving right from day one, and on the highway, the numbers were even better. The diesel Celerio’s ARAI-claimed overall fuel efficiency figure is 27.62kpl and in real-world testing, it managed to hover around that mark, and that is a big deal.

Sure, the fuel economy numbers from this lightweight two-cylinder diesel engine were fantastic, but a big downside is the refinement. Yes, this car is noisy, both inside and out. The shiny new Celerio received dubious stares from my neighbours every time I brought the engine to life, thanks to the commercial-vehicle-like engine note. Despite all the additional sound-deadening material that Maruti says it has added, there’s a fair bit of engine noise that creeps into the cabin. You don’t expect this from a car that costs almost Rs 7 lakh. 

The Celerio’s styling may not be eye-catching, but is simple and practical.

On the highway, I realised that the engine loses breath when pushed hard. It feels best while cruising at 80-90kph in fifth gear; the Celerio diesel can do this the whole day without complaining. But it’s in the city that the Celerio feels most at home, with enough poke to keep up with the flow of traffic. Also, the clutch is quite light and doesn’t tire you out in stop-go traffic. The electrically-powered steering, however, is heavy for such a car, unlike the petrol-powered Celerio which requires noticeably less effort to steer. Also, over time, the gearshifts became notchy, and slotting it into reverse gear was quite a task.

The model we had was the top-spec ZDi (O) variant. It gets a decent four-speaker music system with USB, AUX and Bluetooth. And being a top-spec trim, it’s got steering-mounted controls as well, even for Bluetooth telephony. Safety is taken care of by ABS and dual front airbags. It also comes with a height-adjustable driver’s seat, power wing mirrors and a rear wash/wipe which make the features list quite decent for a car in this category.

Fact File

General

Price when new Price Rs 7.14 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Test economy 17.5kpl (overall)
Maintenance costs None
Faults None
Distance covered 18,500km

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notSet

The Celerio’s styling may not be eye-catching, but is simple and practical. Single-piece seats placed well and are high on comfort too. Delivered more than 17kpl, even in heavy Mumbai traffic. Slotting gears requires some effort over time. The 235-litre boot was wide enough to hold my grandmother’s wheelchair.  Steering on the diesel Celerio feels a lot heavier than that of the petrol car. A big turn-off for many prospective buyers.
Our reviews of the Tata Tigor, the Honda WR-V, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, comparison of the Audi A4 diesel and its rivals and plenty more await you inside.
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 212 | Autocar India: April 2017

Our reviews of the Tata Tigor, the Honda WR-V, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, comparison of the Audi A4 diesel and its rivals and plenty more await you inside.
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