It was 16 months ago that Maruti Suzuki took the step to bring out a car which would sit between the Alto and the Swift. The Celerio was the answer to fill that gap. It also boasted of being the first car in India to come equipped with the Automated Manual Transmission; a trend that is catching up. This meant that it was the only small car to come with a (sort-of) automatic transmission.
Clearly this was a big hit and having sold 95000 units of the car till date, Maruti Suzuki rolled out the Celerio in the diesel avatar. Mind you, the Celerio was already available in the petrol and CNG variants.With the Celerio diesel; Maruti Suzuki has rolled the dice and created a stir, but how different is it really from its petrol cousin. Here's our comparison.
The exteriors of both the cars are the same and there are no changes at all. Both get the Cico styling, the alloy wheels, turn indicators on ORVMs and the same fog lamps. You can't tell one from the other and it is only when you look at the badges at the rear do you realise that it is a diesel.
The interiors of both the cars are similar too and Maruti Suzuki didn't need to change anything in this department. It still comes with the dual-tone black and beige interiors and has a sweeping wave dashboard design.
Engine and Transmission
Well there's a lot that is different in this department; as one is powered by petrol and the other by diesel. Let's talk about the petrol first. It gets the K-Next Engine and Drive-by-Wire technology which helps with both mileage and power.
The 998cc engine churns out 67bhp and develops 90Nm of torque and it is the flat engine torque and the Drive-by-Wire technology that keeps providing the engine with the power needed for a peppier drive. The company has also worked on optimizing compression ratio, reducing frictional losses and re-designing valves and springs which lead to better fuel efficiency. The petrol returns a fuel efficiency of 23.1 km/l and is available with both - the AMT and the 5-speed manual transmission.
Just when you thought that Maruti Suzuki cannot outdo itself; well the diesel turns on its charm. Powering the vehicle is a 793cc, 2-cylinder diesel engine that has been developed locally by Maruti with an investment of over ₹ 900 crore. The cylinder block of the small engine is all aluminium and gets a compact fuel distribution system along with a turbocharger.
It's all about torque when it comes to diesel engines, and though this small displacement engine churns out just 47bhp, the torque figure it develops stands at a massive 125Nm which is higher torque per cc (0.16Nm/cc) than the 1.3-litre multijet unit that powers multiple Maruti Suzuki cars including Swift, Dzire and Ciaz. The Celerio diesel is also the most fuel efficient car in the country with the company claiming that it returns 27.62km/l. This is truly the biggest USP for the car and Maruti Suzuki will look to cash in on it. The company is not offering the diesel avatar with an AMT, rather the engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
Both the petrol and the diesel Celerio are available in four variants. Most of the features in the Celerio diesel have been carried forward from its petrol cousin. So the car features a digital clock, front & rear power windows, central locking, audio system with Bluetooth, steering mounted audio controls, electrically adjustable outside rear-view mirror (ORVM), keyless entry, rear wiper & defogger, tilt-steering, alloy wheels and height adjustable driver seat. There are safety features too but only on the top-of-the-line variant and this includes airbags for the driver and co-driver as well as ABS.
While the starting price of the Celerio petrol was under the ₹ 4 lakh bracket - ₹ 3.90 to be precise, the base variant diesel is ₹ 75000 dearer ( ₹ 4.65 lakh). But considering how it is positioned, the Celerio diesel will give the likes of the Hyundai Grand i10 (which is the closest small car available in diesel) a run for its money. On one hand, the company is set to give other manufacturers stiff competition but on the other will we see the Celerio diesel affecting the sales of the Swift? We don't know yet but will know more soon.