By Rebaneilwe Semakane
Recently, I spent time with the revamped, award-winning Suzuki Celerio. It was the Budget Car of the Year winner of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards in 2016. The Celerio is a no fuss, no frill budget car. It sticks to the mandate of being affordable, practical and compact.
On the outside, you are greeted by a new face. The Celerio dons a new redone bumper that houses fog lights, a large black grille with the large Suzuki emblem placed right in the centre. I personally like the size of the headlights; they’re large and striking, and also give a larger illusion to the car.
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It’s Saturday folks and we hope you’ll have a chilled one. We’ll be out and about in the refreshed Suzuki Celerio as we know we can drive up and down the province and fuel will barely move. Three days into the test and only one bar down and there’s been travel between two cities already. So it’s tops in the fuel efficiency department. The ride quality is decent for a small car that’s slightly elevated. We are in two minds about the Siyaya like gear lever. It saves space but takes a while getting used to. On the looks, first car buyers, students or people buying on a budget will appreciate that they money also gives them a car that looks nice and has some personality. One minor thing is the central locking inside is manual so you’ll have to get in the habit of locking your car when driving. Not intuitive but you’ll get used to it. Someone asked about budget hatches to consider: this is one of them! @rebasem #suzukicelerio #suzuki #celerio #hatch #urban #citycar #savings #budget #fuel #car #student #firstcar #affordable #budget #plan #fun #india #japan #travel #drive #explore #saturday #morning
I was surprised to find that the Celerio did not have C-pillar door handles, which was refreshing. One is used to newer cars having those so for the Celerio to go back to basics was quite cool. My test unit had a bright, blood red colour which looked great.
On the inside, you find cloth seats, a modern looking dash and a fairly decent infotainment system. The location of the gear is incredibly awkward, you hand seems to be hovering in the air when changing gears but this will likely be forgotten in a matter of days if you are to be spending a longer period with the car unlike the short 7 day period that the care was in my custody for. Also, the cup holders are positioned too low which I did not like because I always want to have a bottle of water put there. The side door bins are narrow and shallow, hardly enough space for a sunglass case or even my purse.
The interior in essence feels small but it is not cramped. It is decent enough to carry 4 passengers and for them to sit comfortably. My tall friends had no issues in there. The boot space is quite small but would not be problem as this is a city car, it manages to carry some groceries and a whole lot of shoes.
The Celerio is powered by a 1 litre petrol engine which kicks out 55kw and 90Nm of torque. The car tends to whine when approaching a hill making one think that the noise insulation could be better. The car drives comfortably in the city but feels a little unsteady when approaching high speeds on the highway. I experienced a tad bit if shudder while I was driving but this could be as a result of the car moving hands between a lot of drivers than as permanent thing.
The star of the show has to be the fuel consumption. I spent 7 days with it and didn’t even use half a tank; mind you I was zipping up and down Johannesburg the whole time. I genuinely wished the car packed a bit more punch, but that would have to affect its consumption, albeit marginally as its bigger brother, the Swift has more power but is still very frugal.
Ultimately I can say that I see why this car has bagged some awards. It is a proper, affordable car. I reckon it would be ideal for students or first time drivers.
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