Alternate fuels seem to be a new trend in the global car markets and while everyone is looking at electric cars as the future (which they are), the new hottie in India seems to CNG. Once looked down upon as it was and still is the fuel of the fleet market and public transport, today with fuel costs at an all-time high, CNG seems to have cropped up on the radar for people who want their cars to be lighter on their pockets.
In this new lot, two that have caught our attention are the newly launched Hyundai Santro and the Maruti Suzuki Celerio. They are entry-level B-segment models and are pretty much the new entry-points in the market. In this comparison we are looking at the Santro in the Magna CNG trim and the Celerio in the VXI (O) trim level. They are priced very similarly and have roughly the same level of features.
Both these vehicles are mid-level trims so they don’t get all the bells and whistles that the model offers. The Santro is defined by its quirky looks, chrome rimmed face and tall boy looks. The Celerio on the other hand is a bit more subtle in terms of design and does not stand out as much as the Santro. It’s a safer design than the South Korean car with softer lines and lacks the tall boy appeal of the Santro.
The Celerio in the VXI (O) CNG gets all four power windows, dual front airbags and ABS with EBD. In the case of the Santro, you get only a driver’s airbag but there are rear AC vents and ABS with EBD. Otherwise both cars have a very similar layout and since their dimensions are the same, they offer similar levels of interior space too.
Engine and gearbox
The Santro’s motor is a 1.1-litre four-cylinder unit and with CNG power it produces 58bhp/84Nm and is offered with a five-speed manual. The Celerio’s engine is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit producing 59bhp/78Nm and is offered with a five-speed unit. The all-important ARAI-specified fuel efficiency for the Celerio is 31.79kmpl per kg of CNG while for the Santro it is 30.5km per kg of CNG.
The Santro in this Magna CNG trim is priced at Rs 5.24 lakhs (Ex-showroom Delhi) while the Maruti Celerio in this VXI (O) CNG trim is priced at Rs 5.31 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).