SUZUKI in the Philippines has always been known as the country’s compact car specialist. Now, to be fair, it has some offerings that don’t fit the bill (take the Vitara and XL7, for example) but even a quick look at the brand’s portfolio does indeed reveal subcompact/compact options that have been minted for their segment and their price – proposals defying the points.
The Suzuki Celerio is certainly one of them. The nameplate made its world debut in 2008, although it appeared as a rebadged Alto (remember that one?) or an A-Star in some markets. In 2014 it was finally transformed into its own model to completely supplant the A-Star.
In the local market, the Alto was quietly pulled from Suzuki showrooms. Perhaps it turned out to be too small a vehicle – with the current iteration spanning 3,395 millimeters – for the needs of the average Pinoy car buyer.
The new Celerio is here to prove that the company’s aspirations in the segment are alive and well. The outgoing second generation of the Celerio spanned from 2014 to 2021, but not before, according to Suzuki chief engineer Kazushi Uchiyama, building a “favorable reputation” for class-leading cabin and luggage space, energy efficiency and ease of use and driving.
Mr. Uchiyama said in a statement that those same values that resonated in our market are now making a return in the third-generation Celerio, and are complemented by qualities that Suzuki believes will capture the attention of more riders. browsers and, of course, buyers. In fact, Suzuki Philippines expects to sell 400-500 units per month. SPH GM for Automobile Norihide Takei said the car has “evolved into a compact car that will make people’s lives easier”, offering both functionality and individuality. He added that the Celerio represents an effort to provide as much space as possible in a small vehicle. As for the much-vaunted fuel economy, Suzuki Philippines said a test observed by the Automobile Association Philippines yielded a thirst rate of 28.25 kpl for the subcompact.
The all-new iteration of the Celerio increases in length (over 95mm to 3,695mm), height (over 15mm to 1,555mm), width (over 55mm to 1,655mm) and the ability to wheelbase (over 10mm at 2,435mm) – and even clears the ground more (over 25mm at 170mm). These figures also translate into increased space in the cabin, providing more shoulder and leg room for front and rear occupants. The hold is enlarged by 60 liters for a total of 295 litres; with added capacity offered by the 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
Under the hood of the Celerio is a 1.0-liter Dualjet (good for 49kW [around 66hp] and 89Nm) which is claimed to offer “full thermal efficiency benefits”, leading to improved compression ratio and reduced friction. The dual-injection system, Suzuki reported, makes fuel “more easily combustable,” which improves performance. The K10C three-roll mill replaces the old K10B.
New to the model is an Automatic Engine Stop and Start (EASS) system, which turns off the engine when the vehicle is stationary. This has a positive impact on fuel economy and reduces air pollution. The EASS is automatically engaged depending on the “electrical load of the car during standstill”.
Suzuki’s so-called Auto Gear Shift, already seen in the Dzire, also makes its debut on the top variant of the nameplate. The feature is essentially an “automated manual transmission” with a smart shift control actuator that operates the gear shift and clutch. The manual transmission gets a five-speed that Suzuki says has an optimal gear ratio for less torque loss.
Meanwhile, audio control buttons make an appearance on the steering wheel – a price bonus. These allow the driver to control a Sony XAV-1500 system with an anti-glare touchscreen, Weblink 2.0, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
The Celerio rides on the Heartect platform – a stiff, lightweight chassis that promises to deliver improved fuel efficiency and driving performance, with reduced NVH. In the event of a crash, the platform should disperse impact energy better – also aided by the company’s proprietary Total Effective Control Technology (TECT). The front airbags will also deploy in the event of a collision, while the front seat safety belts are equipped with pretensioners and force limiters.
In addition to safety, the Celerio now offers pedestrian injury mitigation measures. The hood, front wiper area, front bumper and other parts will absorb impact energy in the event of contact with a pedestrian, with the aim of mitigating head and foot injuries. legs.
The all-new Celerio is also equipped with electronic stability program, brake assist, hill hold control, anti-lock brakes and rear parking sensors. A MacPherson strut and rear torsion suspension system should make for a smoother ride.
The all-new Celerio’s brake booster is one inch larger than the previous eight inches. The front wheels receive discs, while the rear wheels have drum brakes. The sedan can muster a tight turning radius of 4.7m. Coupled with its small profile, the Celerio will prove a breeze to maneuver and park.
On the outside, the Celerio has an elevated appearance similar to its S-presso sibling. Suzuki added that its dynamic look “makes the model look (larger) than its actual size.” Lots of curves on the metalwork also translate to a sexy, sculpted posture. Flared rear fenders and rear lights pushed to the sides also help to exaggerate the width.
The all-new Suzuki Celerio is available in Fire Red, Speedy Blue Metallic, Arctic White Pearl and Glistening Gray Metallic at 72 Suzuki dealerships nationwide. It comes in two variants – the GL MT (at P708,000) and the GL AGS (P754,000). — Cape Maceda Aguila