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April 10, 2018

Review: 2018 Suzuki Celerio CVT

You can’t expect much from a sub-compact hatchback such as the Suzuki Celerio; after all, this is as close to basic motoring as you can get. Yet, it easily stands toe-to-toe not only against its direct rival, the Toyota Wigo, but against other slightly more expensive choices such as the Kia Picanto and Mitsubishi Mirage. In fact, strip its “basic transport” label and you end up with one of the best bang-for-the-buck choices in the market.

For one, it actually looks clean and tidy. Although it doesn’t stand out as much in a parking lot (well, except for its bright shade of Cerulean Blue), at least it also doesn’t look too much like a caricature. It’s well-proportioned with a good amount of glass area for an airy look and feel. An added bonus here is the amount of stuff that you get for the price: front foglamps, alloy wheels, and even a rear wiper and washer system.

The interior pretty much echoes the exterior. Though there are some bits of design pizzazz here and there (rounded A/C vents, the sweeping two-tone look), the main draw here is how straight-to-the-point it is. A large gauge cluster, chunky buttons, and well-wearing switchgear. Everything seems well bolted together though the plastics aren’t exactly textured or finished in a high-class way. Still, at least everything works as it should.

In terms of space, there’s nothing to complain about. The front seats offer plenty of head- and legroom, and with seats that offer a generous amount of slide, it makes even taller passengers feel comfortable. At the back, though the Celerio can technically fit three, they have to be slender. It’s much better to think of it as a four-seater and at that point, it’s roomy.

As a sub-compact hatchback, the Celerio scores high with a truly usable square-shaped cargo hold. Fitting a couple of suitcases or grocery bags is easy and when needed, the seats tumble in a 60/40 split to accommodate bulkier items. There are some cubby holes around the front as well and most do the job well enough. However, it must be said that the cupholders situated between the front seats are close to useless.

With its diminutive proportions, getting to grips with the Celerio’s unique ergonomics requires some time. The first thing you notice is how you feel like your legs extend beyond the front wheels and with no front overhang to speak of, this fundamentally changes the way you treat corners. While that part is adjusted for in about three days, the rearview mirror (with no day/night function) makes everything look too magnified that it can make the driver feel nauseous after just a few glances.

It would be unreasonable to expect a P 598,000 car to be the last word in refinement, so you won’t be surprised to learn that the Celerio’s 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine is pretty vocal and rough, especially at idle. Poke it though and it has some surprising power. A small displacement engine coupled with a gearless CVT may sound like a recipe for snail-paced driving, but it actually does a great job of motivating this 860-kilogram hatchback. It’s not going to get your heart racing, but it handles highways just as well as city roads. Plus, it does a decent 12.04 km/L.

The electric power steering itself is precise and becomes nicely weighted at speed to give the Celerio some surprisingly good high-speed manners. There’s a slight hint of wind noise and lots of road noise at 100 km/h that a decent conversation over the hands-free Bluetooth is close to impossible. The suspension is on the firm side so you do feel more bumps around town, but more effective shock absorbing means that the ride remains composed as obstacles are quelled quickly rather than causing the car to fidget around.

As one of the most affordable cars in the market, the Celerio stays close to Suzuki’s philosophy of providing excellent value for money. Not only is this the most affordable automatic transmission car in the country, but it also comes reasonably loaded with a touchscreen audio system, dual SRS airbags, and even anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution.

From an enthusiast’s point of view, it’s hard to really get excited about entry-level cars such as the Suzuki Celerio. It’s certainly not the fastest, most luxurious, or even the most premium set of wheels money can buy. But from a practical perspective, it actually does well. For those on a budget or those looking at their first brand-new car, this Suzuki not only provides room for a small family, but it’s actually a decent drive and is speced enough as not to relegate it into the penalty box. It’s a worthy look, even when you’re considering cars about P 100,000 more.

2018 Suzuki Celerio CVT
Ownership 2018 Suzuki Celerio CVT
Year Introduced 2015 (Refreshed: 2017)
Vehicle Classification Sub-compact Hatchback
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Hatchback
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.0
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I3
BHP @ rpm 67 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 90 @ 3,500
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission CVT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 12.04 km/L @ 15 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 3,600
Width (mm) 1,600
Height (mm) 1,540
Wheelbase (mm) 2,425
Curb Weight (kg) 860
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Dunlop Enasave EC300 165/65 R 14 S (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Other Safety Features None
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights No
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control Manual
Audio System Stereo
# of Speakers 4
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Lame peasant car segment.

  2. Oh rich kid alert, hey feeling rich kid, if u r not interested in this segment u will not bother to read this article, so the mere fact that u did maybe means that u r that lame peasant u r talking about, stop pretending that u are so freaking rich, though u'r not

    1. Butthurt peasant.

    2. Insecure hypebeast, look at that usage of r and u, so peasant like.

  3. do the manual variant still get the touchscreen audio system?

  4. Replies
    1. in terms of power, on paper the suzuki celerio's engine is better because peak torque is available at 3,500 rpm.

      in terms of aesthetics(exterior and interior) it depends upon the buyer.

    2. Either is fine, they are perfect as a coding day car or a student driver car. Plus since they are both quite affordable, you won't really care much for dings, scratches and stuff. Celerio is from maruti/india while the Wigo is from daihatsu/indonesia if that is any concern.

    3. These are disposable cars. Who cares about the exterior and interior.

    4. How about the handling? Do you think the celerio handles better than the wigo?

    5. Who the hell cares about handling, performance, etc? This is a cheap car whose sole purpose is to get you from point A to point B, and minimizing the hassle of parking and fuel consumption.

    6. Honestly, you should care about handling. At least make sure it’s safe and stable especially if you’ll drive it every day.

      And yes, the Celerio does feel much more secure than the Wigo whether it’s in the city or highway.

    7. These noobs do not know how important handling and power are even in daily driving. Quick maneuvers? Overtaking?

    8. LOL, good luck overtaking with this car.

  5. You just got trolled!(to the guy who doesnt care about handling) Btw thanks sir uly

  6. On other reviews, there were comments on delayed steering. Does it still have it?

    1. Delayed mean something like understeer? If that’s what you’re talking about, then yes.

  7. They could have just skipped the touch screen, stuck to the stock 2-DIN radio and kept the price lower. Nasty NVH insulation anyway (you can hear outside noise pretty well), so you're not going to enjoy the entertainment.

    Otherwise, still the best in class.

    I think PH Celerios are from Thailand, not Maruti (India). Swifts and Dzires are, on the other hand.

  8. kaya ba neto umakyat ng baguio? w/ 4-5 people inside and a ton of other stuff?

    1. i wanna know din po, kunin ko this week,..waiting to release

  9. Kaya po ba nito sa mga hilly na lugar? and para saan po yung Button na may "S" sa lower part Lever shifter saan po ginagamit yan?

  10. Is the kia picanto better than the celerio?

  11. eon vs celerio vs alto MTs which is the better car?

  12. my celerio will be release this week,. ok po b sya sa babaeng driver? at pwd rn po b here in Baguio?

  13. I think kaya nya naman baguio. Na test drive ko sya nung nakaraan and sufficient naman power ng celerio sa uphill. Atleast i have no qualms abt it. Ewan ko lng sa iba. I like it. Maingay lang tlga ssakyan na to. :)

  14. For those concerned about the power of this mini hb, get the MT. It's better matched to the engine vs. the CVT na walang manual mode. Only 's' lang.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. have you ridden this car?
    Its a really light and nimble car. acceleration is super quick due to its weight and CVT. It would probably beat most cars at short distances (ex, from traffic light to traffic light)

  17. Superb car..sports mode was insane when activated..cvt 2020


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