Maruti’s timid-styled Celerio got a mild refresh last year, but so minute were the changes you’d be lucky to spot them at all. However, Maruti followed-up the facelift with the launch of a new version of the car, one that would draw in a few more eyeballs. Called the ‘CelerioX’, the car is essentially a rugged-looking version of the standard car. The X is not a proper cross-hatchback like the Hyundai i20 Active. For instance, the i20 Active rides on a raised suspension setup vis-à-vis the stock i20 while the CelerioX shares its 165mm ground clearance with the stock car. In effect, the CelerioX is a Celerio in trekking wear and no more.
Study one up close and you’ll note the CelerioX shares the same body panels as the updated standard model. It comes with additional matte-black faux body cladding across its sides, a styling element common to all cross hatches, while the front bumper gets a slightly altered design with two faux black bands that run vertically from below the headlights. Higher variants of the CelerioX come with the same alloy wheels as the standard car but get a black finish, while the lower trims come with black wheel caps. The blackened bits do contrast well with the new Paprika Orange shade that is exclusive to the CelerioX. Pictured here is the Arctic white shade.
The CelerioX’s cabin is identical to the standard car save for an all-black theme with silver accents. Carried over from the standard Celerio is the infotainment system. While it does offer Bluetooth/USB/AUX functions, Maruti has perhaps missed an opportunity to differentiate the ‘X’ by giving it the SmartPlay touchscreen unit from pricier models. The touchscreen system could have been a USP in its own right. Also, there is no automatic climate control on offer, even on the top-spec trim.
Mechanically, the Celerio comes with the same 1.0-litre K-series petrol motor good for 68hp and 90Nm of torque. Gearbox choices include a five-speed manual and an AMT. A short spin in the car did not reveal anything new; it was just like driving a standard Celerio. In brief, the petrol engine felt peppy and ride quality was quite decent too.
The Celerio does not have any direct competition as such, and could be, at a stretch, clubbed together with the Kwid, that itself boasts mini-SUV style elements. Interestingly, while the Kwid does belong to a class below, it does better the CelerioX on ground clearance and is also the only one with a touchscreen infotainment system.
All-in-all, Maruti could have done more to give the CelerioX a distinct persona, and it’s only worth the Rs 8,000 over the standard model if you don’t want your Celerio blending in with the crowd.
Maruti has teased an SUV model headed to Auto Expo 2018 that would sit under the Vitara Brezza in the line-up. For those who’d much rather have a high-riding SUV than a cross-hatchback, the production version of the Future S concept could be the model to wait for.
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