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    Maruti Suzuki Celerio ZXI Plus AMT Long Term: Features and Equipment

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    Bilal Ahmed Firfiray

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    Introduction

    It’s been a month since the new-gen Maruti Suzuki Celerio joined the CarWale long-term garage. Being a frugal runabout, with the convenience of an automatic, decently long features list, and peppy and comfortable ride, this hatch has brewed quite a demand in the office. But while comparing notes, we noticed that the new Celerio had gotten seemingly expensive over the older one.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    To put things into perspective, the last recorded price of the ZXI (O) AMT variant of the previous-gen Celerio was Rs 5.58 lakh, ex-showroom. Meanwhile, the current Celerio ZXI Plus AMT that we have here carries an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 7.00 lakh. That’s a hike of around Rs 1.42 lakh! But understandably, a significant chunk of this amount has gone into the new K10C engine; so the new Celerio, in fact, does offer a lot of bang for its buck. So we have decided to take a look at the features and equipment it has on offer in this report.

    What we like?

    Front Fog Lamp

    We particularly love this Caffeine Brown paint on our Celerio, which is the same as the S-Cross 1.6 owned by our colleague Siddharth. Speaking of which, our parking attendant couldn’t differentiate between the two. Moreover, I am a massive fan of blacked-out alloy wheels, and the Celerio’s wheel does go well with its tall-boyish stance.

    ORVM Blinker

    The large bulbous headlamps and provision of fog lamps have proved useful in the torrential rains we have received over the past month when no sun shone, and mid-day felt like late evening. And it might not seem a big deal at first, but the turn indicators (and blinkers) on the ORVMs do come in handy.

    Front Door Handle

    At first, the keyless entry button looked odd to me, placed next to the door handles and with a bright chrome-finished key insert. But using the request button has proved to be a convenience which is usually reserved for more expensive cars. Moreover, you get a keyless entry button on both front doors, so the passengers don’t need to wait outside if the key is in the vicinity – saving them from getting drenched running up towards the car on the pavement.

    Wiper Stalk

    Another helpful feature of the Celerio is the electric folding ORVMs. It also gets an electric adjustment below the steering, next to the engine start/stop button. It also has electric folding, which is a surprisingly good feature to have because we have seen a few expensive cars on which the ORVMs don’t fold automatically when locked.

    Front Left Door Pad

    In terms of practicality, the Celerio has two cupholders in the centre console, and each door pad gets a space large enough to fit a one-litre bottle easily. There’s some space in the centre console as well, but it’s not particularly useful to place your phone. So you’d either need to put it away in one of the cup holders or keep it awkwardly stacked in the little place below the circular space for the USB/12Volt ports.

    Infotainment System

    Now, the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen is placed oddly at the top of the centre dash. Nonetheless, it has all the necessities covered in terms of connectivity and information on display. Even the touch response is smooth and without any delay. However, sometimes I found the USB port causing connection issues when using Android Auto, especially when the phone is kept in an unusual position. This needs to be looked at closely, so more on it in the following report.

    What we don’t like?

    Dashboard Switches

    Lastly, we come to the one feature that has gotten our goat – the dashboard-mounted switches for the windows and central locking. The central locking doesn’t unlock the car when the engine is switched off. And so you’d find yourself opening the door after turning off the engine only to find the door lock ineffective. Then you’ll search for the unlock button on the door, but it’s not there. After which, you will have to search among the five buttons on the centre console to open the door. All of this could have been avoided easily. I mean, there are conventional switches in the WagonR, so why not in the Celerio?

    Rear Power Window Switches

    Moreover, the switches for the rear windows are placed between the seats a little behind the handbrake. It’s another inconvenience where you’ll have to scour through to find the buttons while driving. Now consider that this Celerio comes at a cost where a few years ago, you could have gotten yourself a decked-up Swift (with its conventionally placed switches). So the button placement in the centre console doesn’t cut it anymore.

    Conclusion

    Our Celerio long-termer might be one of the budget segment hatchbacks, but it has many small yet useful features that make living with it a comfortable affair. In the subsequent report, we’ll see how it performs in city commutes. We’ll be taking a closer look at its fuel efficiency since it’s claimed to be powered by ‘India’s most fuel-efficient petrol engine’. And we’ll also see how the passenger experience of the new Celerio is.

    Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi

    Product Details

    Make: Maruti Suzuki

    Model: Celerio

    Version: ZXI Plus Automatic

    Kilometres on the Odo: 3,035km

    Price: Rs 8.15 lakh (on-road Mumbai, when tested)

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