The all-new Suzuki Celerio flaunts its fuel efficiency

The Suzuki Celerio may be underrated but it has been known for one thing – a really fuel efficient small hatchback. The all-new model that arrived boasts of a new engine and transmission that Suzuki claims is more fuel efficient than the previous model. Pretty astounding since the former model was already very frugal.

To remove any doubts about its statement, Suzuki Philippines invited select members of the motoring media for a not-so-simple drive to Lipa, Batangas. They’ve appointed three people in each Celerio and we had to go to the location with the best fuel efficiency figure we can. My colleagues got pumped up, especially since we’re known as heavy on the throttle. I wasn’t excited because I’m heavy, so my team was already at a disadvantage. But let’s save that for later, let’s get into other details first. Just note that this is not a full review since I only had the car for less than a day.

I used to drive the previous version of the Celerio until very recently so to me, this new design is certainly very polarizing. Gone are the prim and proper lines of the previous generation. It’s such a significant shift in aesthetics that there’s no middle ground for this new model’s circular accents and dimples on the sides – it’s either you love it or you don’t.

The same goes for its interior. The dashboard was redesigned to have more sculpts on the dash, with the touchscreen still being the center of attention. I just find the passenger side a bit of a waste since there could’ve been a useful cubby hole above the glovebox, instead of just making curves on it. I’m also not a fan of the new gauge cluster that cramped all information in one small circle, with the speedometer taking up the bulk of the panel.

They’ve also thinned out the door panels by repositioning the buttons. The controls for the door locks and front passenger windows are on the dash, under the touchscreen, while those for the rear windows are on the center console. This move made the interior a bit wider for all occupants since there’s less panel sticking out, especially for the rear occupants.

Out on the road, I felt the new Celerio is marginally better than the old one in terms of suspension and noise suppression in the cabin. The springs are not as stiff, and it’s just quieter all around. This is complemented by the additional space you can feel inside, especially at the backseat. All in all, Suzuki made significant improvements where it matters most and it’s very much appreciated.

The biggest change was in the power section. The Celerio has a new 1.0-liter Dual Jet engine that’s equipped with an Engine Start/Stop system. It also ditched the CVT for Suzuki’s own Auto-Gear shift which is a manual with an automatic clutch. I’ve experienced this with the Dzire before and the one in the Celerio is better, in one way. Shifts are smoother in cruising speeds and act almost like a traditional automatic. Suzuki Philippines confirmed this as they say the AGS in the Celerio is tuned differently compared to that of the Dzire.

So with a new design, engine, and transmission in tow, how did the all-new Celerio fare in terms of fuel efficiency? Suzuki Philippines said it was capable of up to 28.25 km/l during the launch of the small hatchback. In our media drive, the winning team managed to get 25.66 km/l with three people inside the car. It might not be as good as Suzuki’s internal result but still mightily impressive because with the previous Celerio, my best highway run with me alone in the car is only at 22 km/l.

The all-new Suzuki Celerio starts at P708,000. There’s no difference between the manual and ‘matic variants except for the transmission. Still, it’s a pretty steep jump from the previous model but Suzuki backed it up with a lot of improvements inside and out. It’s design and other amenities might be in question, but there’s no doubt this small hatch still sits at the top of fuel efficient hatchbacks in the country.

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