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ECO CAR! Designed to make city living easier, Celerio is the perfect choice for the budget conscious and environmentally aware. Compact and stylish, Celerio puts a lot of big features into a small package and sips fuel. With a high driving position and fantastic all-round visibility, you’ll always feel in control.
Some cars have cool names. Dynamic names – like “Mustang”, or “Charger”. Even “Falcon”.
The Suzuki Celerio does not. Celerio is the latin name for a moth, an insect whose prime instinct is to headbutt lightglobes.
But unfortunate name aside, the Suzuki Celerio is actually quite a good little rig for something that costs $12,990, drive-away. It certainly shames its predecessor, the thoroughly unremarkable Alto.
After a few days behind the wheel of the base model Celerio manual, we found it gave a lot and wanted for little. Of the sub-light offerings currently on the market, it’s easily the best to get.
Quality: Don’t expect much, and you won’t be disappointed. Hard plastics rule this roost, and build quality – though generally good – isn’t amazing either.
We found a rattly kick panel on the driver’s side, and the doors and hatch make a tinny clunk when closing.
Comfort: It’s a narrow car, but two adults can sit up front without too much elbow-rubbing.
The gear lever position is another matter – given the proximity of the passenger’s legs, be prepared for some occasional awkward hand-knee interaction.
The steering column adjusts for tilt but not reach, saved by the upright seating position that doesn’t put you too far away from the wheel.
Seatbelt height is also adjustable to help accommodate taller drivers, and the driver’s seat base can ratchet-up for shorter drivers.
The seat cushions aren’t the most supportive (especially the firm n’ flat ones in the back), but that’s not exactly out of the ordinary in this segment. Same with the rear legroom, which isn’t massive.
And, should you be cruel enough to wish to squeeze in a fifth passenger, you just can’t. There are only enough seatbelts for four occupants.
Equipment: It’s definitely a step up on the old Alto.
Despite its bargain-basement price, the Celerio comes with front and rear power windows, power-adjustable wing mirrors and Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming as standard
There’s also a USB audio/charging port and a single-disc AM/FM/CD headunit with four speakers (two more than what’s standard at this end of the light car segment)
Cruise control isn’t available though, and though there’s a trip computer in the dash it only measures fuel economy in the confusing km/l metric, rather than the accepted standard of l/100km.
Storage: Seats-up, there’s a modest 254 litre area for groceries and the like, or a small suitcase.
A full-size bike can be squeezed in if you drop the rear seats (which creates a 726 litre load area, or 1053 litres if you stack everything to the roof), but like most light hatchbacks the Celerio is not a natural load-lugger.