Just when you thought Suzuki couldn’t cram another vehicle into the entry-level hatchback market it’s gone and done it with the new Celerio. This now means that if you want a small Suzuki you have a choice between the Celerio, Splash and Swift, all of which you can buy for around R130 000. So should you save a bit of money and buy the Celerio instead of the other two? We spent a week with it to find out.
What is a Celerio?The Suzuki Celerio falls in under the Splash as a slightly smaller four-door hatch at a slightly lower price point. The Celerio gets a smaller engine, the proportions are marginally smaller and the boot size is pretty much the same size as other Suzukis.
One-Litre Three-CylindersAs mentioned the Celerio has a smaller engine and that comes in at one-litre with 50 kW and 90 Nm, which is quite similar to what German rival the VW up puts out. Despite the lack of power the Celerio hasn’t got much weight to lug around, the gear ratios are quite tight so the Celerio stays on the boil the whole way to fifth gear. On the freeway the short ratios don’t really help as it sits at 4000rpm at 120kph, that’s not good for fuel economy or your ears as the Celerio plays quite a noisy tune at that rpm.
What’s Inside?Suzuki has done a good job of getting all the modern day essentials packed into the Celerio. For starters front airbags for driver and passenger are standard, so is ABS and EBD making it a pretty safe car for this segment. Moving on to the nicer things to have in your car, there’s electric windows, CD player, a USB and Aux port, steering wheel mounted controls for the radio and Bluetooth. So you’re pretty well catered for inside, but everything feels a bit low rent. The plastics are scratchy and hard and the seats don’t offer great lateral support.
The soundproofing isn’t great either as the three-cylinder growl intrudes into the cabin in more of an irritating manner than an inspiring or exciting way. While the price point is lower than many of its rivals, it shows it in the quality of the materials used. Space inside is particularly generous for front and rear passengers, and the boot is quite large for an entry-level hatch at 235-Litres.
On the GoWhile it’s a bit noisy to drive around in the Celerio is relatively comfortable on the road, there’s a bit of lean in the corners but nothing too scary. The springs are quite soft in the suspension so it deals with potholes and bumps in a soft cushiony way rather than ironing them out. The steering is made for city driving where turns are abundant as the wheel is super light and can be swung with the lightest of touches. Out on the open road though it could do with more weight to it, in strong winds the Celerio gets buffeted around a bit and the light steering doesn’t inspire much confidence.
VerdictThe Suzuki Celerio offers good value at its price point, it’s equipped with reasonable safety features and ticks the right boxes on the gadgets list for a modern city driver. It lacks the build quality and refinement of its sibling the Swift and the new Volkswagen up! If you can stretch your budget just a little bit the Swift is the vehicle you want from Suzuki.
Suzuki Celerio - PricePricing for the Suzuki Celerio starts at R109 900. Our model on test was the GL spec that comes in at R124 900. There is also the option of an automatic GL that costs R135 900.
Second OpinionThe Suzuki Celerio is a car that's jam-packed with specification, gadgets and offers generous interior space. However its lacking a little refinement and I suspect the engine may be slightly underpowered with four people onboard. Still, for the price and value, it's fair. - David Taylor
We Like: Interior space, safety and value
We Don't Like: Not great build quality, noisy, lacks fun factor
Also Consider: Volkswagen up! Kia Picanto, Chev Spark
Suzuki Celerio Quick Specs
|Engine||1.0-Litre 3-cylinder petrol|
|Wheels||14-inch alloy wheels|
|0-100km/h||N/A seconds (claimed)|
|Top Speed||N/A kph|
|Fuel Economy||4.7L/100km (claimed)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||35 Litres|