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Tata Tiago vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio


With the Tata Tiago now retailing in showrooms with a price tag that ranges from Rs 3.20 lakh to Rs 4.75 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the petrol version, there’s a lot of buzz in the market. Prospective buyers have visited showrooms, and some have even bought the product. However, there are a lot of folks who’re interested in putting their money on the table but are confused about how this car fares in the face of the segment competition.

To clear out the dilemma, we decided to pit the Tiago’s petrol version against the segment leader, Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio. Needless to say, the Celerio hatchback is currently the highest selling car in its segment. However, we need to understand that Maruti’s little star gets that reputation by selling almost 60 per cent of those units in the AMT form. So, effectively, this means that the Tiago now gets its long awaited shot to eat into the available 40 per cent of the Celerio’s pie. But, does it have its guns loaded for the task? Let’s find out.. 

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Visual Impact

Viewed alongside each other, one doesn’t need a lot of convincing to admit that the Tiago has the fresher design that incorporates more appealing and modern lines. Tata Motors needs to be credited for infusing these expensive-feel traits into a product that serves this price sensitive segment. On the other hand, the Maruti Celerio’s exterior is detailed by a simple silhouette that houses a tall stance and less wider footprint. Everything about the exteriors of the Celerio screams functionality and it surprisingly feels bigger than it really is, both inside and outside. 

In fact, when viewed at certain angles, the Tiago, with its thick C-pillar and angular window treatment does show  some resemblance to the latest Figo and Grand i10. Exterior dimensions brought to light that the Tiago is 146mm longer and 47mm wider than the Celerio. But the latter is taller by 25mm and the wheelbase also benefits by an extra 25mm over the Tiago. While the little Maruti’s ground clearance stands at a steady 165mm, the Tiago’s ranges from 165mm-170mm, thanks to the 13inch and 14inch rims that vary depending on the variant one chooses.

Inner sight

A quick tour of both these cabins will put a few things in perspective. Tata has again done a great job of injecting various finishes for the shades of grey and black plastic which also include a fish skin texture. A special mention to the Tiago’s buttons and stalks which have now evolved to be of a better quality. These, coupled with the fresh dash curves and colour coded air vents impart a better feeling of quality throughout the interiors when compared to the Celerio. The latter, however, shows off its subtle, less inspiring grey and black plastics, and in the process does not stand out to attract the younger crowd, even though quality is up to the segment mark. Visibility out of the driver’s seat is better in the Celerio as it is angled towards the front end. It also feels bigger on the inside due to the larger glass panes and the taller roof. Getting in and out of the Celerio is easier too. 

Though the seats on the Tiago offer better contours than the Celerio’s, they are just too soft. The firmer seats seen on the Celerio mean that there is more comfort, especially on those long drives. Having said this, rear seat occupants will have more legroom in the Celerio, and front seat occupants will enjoy more legroom in the Tiago. While thigh support is identical for both cars in the front, there’s more thigh support for rear passengers seated in the Tiago. Also, occupants in the Tiago will enjoy better shoulder room both in the front and the rear, which in the end, will translate into a little more comfort for the third rear passenger. Expect the front passenger in the Tiago to also admit that their seat is a tad too high. The Celerio will bring some relief to taller occupants who will find an extra 5cm and 2cm headroom in the front and rear respectively. While the Tiago’s boot can hold 242 litres, seven litres more than the Celerio’s, it is the latter’s boot that is more usable due to the overall shape of the enclosure. It can also be accessed without a key, unlike the Tiago’s.

A look at the features list of the Celerio ZXi (O) reveals two airbags, ABS, fog lamps, alloys, driver seat height adjust and a four speaker music system with USB AUX and Bluetooth operations. One also gets central locking with an external handle for the boot, power windows for the front and rear, electric mirrors, steering mounted controls and tilt adjustable steering. There’s also a trip computer with distance to empty and instant fuel efficiency indicator, rear wiper, rear defogger, turn indicators on the mirror and a 60:40 split rear seat. What the Tiago XZ gets over the Celerio are theatre dimming lights, a Harman eight speaker music system with navigation features, rear parking sensors, EBD and corner stability control, a cooled glove box and a gear shift display. However, the boot opens only with the key or through the internal boot release, and split rear seats are absent. 

Let's take a spin

Tata’s new Tiago packs the Revotron 1.2-litre three cylinder motor that makes 85bhp and 114Nm of torque. Compare this with the Maruti Celerio’s 1-litre, three cylinder mill that spins out 68bhp with 90Nm of torque, and you may be hard pressed to believe that the Tiago would be better off at the job. Not quite though. Tata has some more distance to cover before it can catch up with the refinement offered by Maruti Suzuki’s engines. While you can hear the Tiago’s motor in the cabin even with the slightest hint of extra throttle, the Celerio’s cabin gets a filtered version of some suspension and most environmental noises. To get to the bottom of the performance test, we strapped both cars to our Vbox testing equipment and found out that the Tiago hits the 100kmph mark from zero in 16.32sec; a far-fetched cry from the Celerio that made it in 14.19sec.

We dug deeper to find out how these motors behaved while driving in real life situations like overtaking, and pulled out the in-gear acceleration times these cars registered. Maruti’s Celerio was markedly peppier and it turned out to be faster by 2.42sec in the 20-80kmph run, and held on to the medal for the 40-100kmph run by clocking it 3.89sec faster than the Tiago’s. Shifting through the Celerio’s gearbox was a smoother affair, and it has a more positive shift along with a light clutch. On the other hand, the feel from the Tiago’s gearbox was not trailing far behind, and it has a similarly weighted clutch too. We put both cars through a series of fuel efficiency tests. And finally got a city fuel efficiency of 13.8kpl for the Celerio vis-à-vis 13.1kpl returned by the Tiago. On the highway, the Tiago gave us 17.5kpl while the Celerio went slightly further by delivering 17.7kpl. What goes in favour of the little Maruti is the shorter gearing, refinement and a weight reduction of 120kg to start with. 

The Tiago’s extra weight did pay off by turning into an advantage when we were checking out the ride quality of these cars. Tata’s new hatch conquers road undulations with the sort of poise seen on bigger, more accomplished cars. It also handles marginally better. Maruti’s Celerio is no match in this arena, and with the inherent stiffness, has quite an unsettled ride with suspension noise filtering into the cabin. Also, Tata has done a good job in lending a light but predictable steering to the Tiago’s package. It is more direct in comparison but tends to feel numb around the centre as speeds rise. Though the Celerio’s steering feels more responsive around the centre as you pick up velocity, it is still shy in all aspects of the overall feel from the Tiago’s steering. Our braking tests revealed that the Tiago, with its extra 180kg, is marginally better than its counterpart.

What will it be then?


Tata Tiago

Final score: 357/600

Price: Rs 5.71 lakh, On-road Mumbai

Tata’s Tiago trails behind the Celerio in this comparison test. While the Tiago benefits from more equipment, superior feel of quality, better ride and handling, a generous warranty and the feel-special quotient at Rs 30,000 less than the Celerio. All these factors were just not enough to beat the Maruti Celerio which is a much more rounded product.



Maruti Suzuki Celerio

Final score: 363/600

Price: Rs 6.01 lakh, On-road Mumbai

Maruti’s Celerio inches ahead of the Tiago by six points due to a more refined engine that’s more frugal and packs in better performance. It also has more space at both ends of the cabin, decent ride and handling, is easier to get in and out of, and has better visibility from within the cabin. The boot enclosure also has more useable space. In the end it is the Maruti Suzuki Celerio that wins this test as it is overall the more practical car to buy here.   


Pictures: Kapil Angane


Tata Tiago road test review

Tata Tiago long term report 1

Tata Tiagi first drive



CAR NAME Tata Tiago
Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Variant XZ Petrol Manual
ZXi (O) Petrol Manual

Test Data

CAR NAME Tata Tiago Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Variant XZ Petrol manual ZXi (O) Petrol manual
0-20kmph 1.19s 1.25s
0-40kmph 3.44s 3.20s
0-60kmph 6.44s 5.92s
0-80kmph 10.09s 9.07s
0-100kmph 16.32s 14.19s
0-120kmph 23.64s 20.99s
20-80kmph in 3rd gear 16.32s 13.90s
40-100kmph in 4th gear 24.39s 20.50s
80-0kmph 27.1m 27.6m
City 13.10kmpl 13.80kmpl
Highway 17.50kmpl 17.70kmpl
Tank size 35 litres 35 litres
Range 458.9km 473.8km
Legroom(Max/min) 740/550mm 770/565mm
Headroom 940mm 990mm
Shoulder room 1280mm 1260mm
Backrest height 580mm 500mm
Legroom(Max/min) 850/650mm 830/610mm
Ideal legroom 630mm 660mm
Headroom 920mm 940mm
Shoulder room 1290mm 1250mm
Seat base length 490mm 440mm
Backrest height 540mm 450mm
Boot 242 litres 235 litres
Length/width/height 600/900/525mm 570/1020/480mm
Loading lip height 750mm 690mm

Score Sheet

Parameters Max points

Tata Tiago

Maruti Suzuki Celerio

Steering response 20 11 11
Directional stability 25 16 15
Engine characteristics 25 14 15
Gearbox 20 14 14
Visibility 10 7 8
Intermediate results 100 62 63
Front Space 25 11 12
Rear space 25 10 11
Feeling of space 20 10 11
Boot space/flexibility 20 9 10
Payload 10 5 6
Intermediate results 100 45 50
Comfort equipment 25 10 9
Operatibility 15 10 9
Feel of quality 20 12 11
Front seats/ingress 20 15 15
Rear seat/ingress 20 14 14
Intermediate results 100 61 58
Acceleration 25 12 14
Top speed 10 6 6
Driveability 30 15 18
Braking 25 19 19
Environment 10 6 7
Intermediate results 100 58 64
Ride quality 30 22 20
Turning circle 15 14 14
Handling 20 12 11
Manoeuvrability 15 12 13
Safety 20 4 4
Intermediate results 100 64 62
Price 45 35 34
Resale 10 6 7
Warranty 10 5 4
Fuel efficiency 35 21 21
Intermediate results 100 67 66
Total 600 357 363
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