It may not be the most exciting, but this Maruti is a practical and frugal urban runabout.
Published on Oct 10, 2015 08:00:00 AM
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It literally sips fuel and continues to deliver 16.7kpl despite driving conditions.
The long travel suspension soaks up most bumps ensuring a comfortable ride.
The overall quality of cabin materials and fit and finish could have been better.
While all the diesel hatchbacks in Autocar’s long-term fleet are generally in great demand, with daily tussles for keys breaking out at the close of the day’s business, a new entrant, the Maruti Celerio, has surprisingly not been at the centre of too many disputes. Understandably, not many were enthusiastic about having a 793cc, two-cylinder diesel engine hatchback that makes 47 ponies, as a daily runabout. But unlike my colleagues, I’ve had my eyes set on the Celerio diesel ever since it joined our fleet over a month ago; I dread frequent trips to the fuel station way more than being left behind by swifter moving traffic on the road.
With an ARAI rating of 27.62kpl, I realised the Celerio would be the most sensible choice for my daily commute; a round trip of around 35km. In fact, during our fuel-efficiency tests in typical city conditions, it returned an astounding mileage of 16.7kpl, which, till date, is the highest delivered by a diesel car. Irrespective of whether I was crawling along at snail’s pace during rush hour or driving hard to reach home after a late night at the office, the Celerio’s mileage never dropped below this figure.
Amazed with its fuel-sipping discretion even in the most trying conditions, I decided to give it some breathing space on the weekend. A quick run to Pune was planned and, once again, the Celerio didn’t disappoint; it returned an impressive 20kpl on the relatively empty Mumbai-Pune expressway. An overall economy of 18.35kpl and a 35-litre tank gives it a range of around 640km. Apart from sparing my rather shallow pockets, this also meant fewer visits to the fuel pump and hence, time saved.
However, while driving on the highway, the small diesel engine revealed its drawbacks. As long as you adopt a relaxed driving style, the motor plays along happily and delivers an acceptable performance. It feels best while cruising at 80-90kph in fifth gear and the Celerio diesel can comfortably do this all day long. But if you start pushing it, the engine starts to feel strained and runs out of breath. Also, with the narrow powerband, overtaking manoeuvres need to be planned well in advance.
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