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Saturday, May 7, 2022

Review: 2022 Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL AGS


At P 754,000, the Suzuki Celerio is the most expensive sub-B segment hatchback in the market. Putting things into perspective, it’s more expensive than the Toyota Wigo TRD S (P 700,000) and the Kia Picanto EX (P 745,000); heck, it’s pricier even than the Honda Brio RS (P 730,000) and that one carries a larger 1.2-liter motor. This seems like madness, but according to Suzuki Philippines, there’s reasoning behind all this, and that’s down to technology. However, after spending a couple of days with this diminutive hatchback, yes, you do see some flashes of brilliance now and then, but they’re never enough to outweigh its rather prohibitive price point.

Like the two generations before it, the 2022 Celerio remains one clean and tidy looking hatchback. Compared to its most immediate predecessor which was nondescript at best, there’s a stronger sense of style here thanks to its use of ovals and curves. Its small frame limits the canvas that designers could use, but exaggerated elements from the swept headlamps, teardrop-shaped taillights, and black 15-inch alloy wheels all impart a cutesy road presence.



That said, it’s still an econocar through and through, and you feel it the moment you swing open the lightweight doors or the trunk that doesn’t even have a built-in grab handle. The rear defogger lines also protrude through bare metal bodywork. The fact that Suzuki considers a bead-less roof panel and door notches “features” says something.

Inside, Suzuki’s done their best to snazz up the interior by adding some contours, and chrome and silver plastic accents. However, the main draw remains its straight-to-the-point execution. Everything is well-bolted together, though the plastics still aren’t textured or finished in a high-class way. Still, it must be said that the well-wearing switchgear and chunky buttons do have a better tactile feel than the Wigo’s. The driver is treated to a giant speedometer and digital tachometer, while infotainment duties are left to a 6.2-inch Sony touchscreen system. The touchscreen, while legible, gets easily washed out in direct sunlight, and sadly, still doesn’t have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It does, however, have WebLink.



The biggest advancement Suzuki’s made this generation is down to interior space. Suzuki’s prioritized in carving out more front legroom than before and they’ve done so by reshaping the lower half of the dashboard, including the glovebox. Even the power window switches have migrated from their usual location to the center console to avoid knees from banging against the doors. Ditto at the back, where the switches have been moved to the floor console just behind the handbrake. All their efforts seem to have paid off making regular-sized Filipinos feel more comfortable. Though the Celerio can technically seat five, given its narrow width, four is probably the limit.

The Celerio also scores high when it comes to cargo carrying capacity. The opening is oddly shaped, but once cleared, the 295-liter space is truly usable. It fits a couple of grocery bags or overnight suitcases with ease, and when needed, the seats tumble in a 60/40 split (it doesn’t fold completely flat though). There are also some cubby holes around the front, including bottle holders on all four doors; and they do their job well enough. However, it must be said that the cup holders situated between the front seats are limited to smaller drinks.



Weighing at just 830 kilograms, the Celerio is amazingly light (it’s lighter than its predecessor), and its overall performance and efficiency follows this trait. The 1.0-liter 3-cylinder motor makes just 67 horsepower and 89 Nm of torque which isn’t a lot, but those are surprisingly enough to pull this hatchback around. The engine is pretty vocal, but it moves smartly. It’s never going to get your heart racing, but it delivers usable grunt, especially in the confines of the city.

The accompanying AGS or Auto Gear Shift transmission requires a learning curve, and it generally involves unlearning well-grained driving behaviors. It does alright on level ground or in stop-and-go traffic. Shift quality has improved tremendously, but it still can’t match the smoothness of a more traditional torque converter. On hilly terrain or more spirited drives though, it behaves more like a beginner driver. Clutch engagement isn’t as rough as it used to be, but the shifting continues to be unpredictable. This can cause unwanted jerkiness which can catch a driver off-guard. The best way to enjoy this drivetrain combo is to set the gearbox to manual mode. With that, there’s no delay in shifting, and it extracts the most out of its modest engine output.



On the subject of fuel efficiency, Suzuki says the 2022 Celerio is capable of 28.25 km/L based on a sanctioned fuel economy run test. Although there wasn’t enough time to stretch this hatchback’s legs for a long drive, it manages to squeeze out an impressive 16.4 km/L in the city. This is down to technologies such as DualJet which allows for finer atomization of fuel resulting in a more complete combustion, and the segment’s first idle start-stop.

It’s worth pointing out that the Celerio has 170 mm of ground clearance. Sitting higher than comparative hatchbacks does have it pros and cons, and the cons are generally centered around its handling. Without mincing words, body roll is present and it rears its head each time you execute a swerve. It’s not a deal-breaker, mind you, but not very sporty either. Steering is also less than precise. It’s extremely soft, and requires more twirls to executive a tight maneuver despite its 4.7-meter turning radius. Ride-wise, it behaves like a typical small hatchback with some jarring making its way into the cabin. But, it’s adept enough at clambering through pavements and dealing with potholes that bear a closer resemblance to craters.



Now underpinned by the HEARTECT platform, the Celerio promises improved crash safety, despite not posting any NCAP score. Still, it’s backed up by a full gamut of safety tech including dual SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, and even stability control with hill hold control. The head unit’s also ready to accept a rear camera system, though rear sensors are the only ones that come as standard (they’re cleverly hidden in the rear reflector housing).

Taken in isolation, the third-generation Celerio’s seen some remarkable improvements in a lot of areas, particularly in fuel economy. However, at the end of the day it’s still an entry-level hatchback that targets first-time car buyers. And that becomes a problem, because compared to before, the market has shifted tremendously. At its list price, the 2022 Celerio is quite expensive now. Plus, it faces increased competition not just from a host of equally competitive sub-B segment hatchbacks, but also from a slew of Chinese crossovers as well. Overall, it feels as if Suzuki has taken a step back here. Instead of cementing their position in the small car segment by offering a well-rounded product that elevates above the cheap, no-frills hatchback everyone’s used to in the past; the Celerio ultimately ends up making you feel like you deserve more.



2022 Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL AGS

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Ownership 2022 Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL AGS
Year Introduced 2022
Vehicle Classification Sub-compact Hatchback
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Hatchback
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.0
Aspiration NA
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I3
BHP @ rpm 67 @ 5,600
Nm @ rpm 89 @ 3,600
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission AMT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 16.4 km/L @ 18 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 3,695
Width (mm) 1,655
Height (mm) 1,555
Wheelbase (mm) 2,435
Curb Weight (kg) 830
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Parking Brake Manual
Tires Yokohama BlueEarth FE AE30 175/60 R 15 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Parking Camera No
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 2 + 2-pt Lap Belt
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Hold Control
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes
Auto Lights No
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment (driver) 4-way, Manual
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) 4-way, Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat 60/40
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Rear View Mirror Day/Night
Proximity Key No
Climate Control Manual
Audio System Stereo
USB
Bluetooth
Smartphone Connectivity WebLink
# of Speakers 4
Steering Controls Yes

26 comments:

  1. The perfect bump car.

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  2. Why wasn't the Mirage HB mentioned here?

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    Replies
    1. Because we do not speak of an even worse, overpriced underspecced, barebones car than this Celerio.

      Delete
  3. Add a little more n go for the raize

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  4. Informative review. Most new cars have tremendously increased their SRPs. It seems the pandemic never really affected the demand-side, hence the high prices. Anyway as always, Toyotas and Mitsus offerings will surely trump this latest one from Suzuki.

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  5. Suzuki's stroke of genius is the price, everything else in this car is crappy.

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  6. You'll look a lot smarter if you buy an MG 5 Core Plus instead.

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  7. H a great SMALL car...with a great BIG price...n soon to have a BIG DISCOUNT...LOL

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    Replies
    1. Correct, let's wait for Suzuki Ph to offer P100-P150K discount.
      Still, a lot more sensible to buy a Honda Brio V (1.2 L engine, and fuel efficient).

      Delete
  8. If I would be asked between this Celerio and Mirage, I'd rather choose Chevrolet Spark. Heck, even the spark has a lot or comparable features to this Celerio and yet the prices are justified than this Indian-made car.

    Parehas na si Suzuki ng Hyundai (ng HARI) presyong ayaw ibenta.

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  9. Kawawa ang Suzuki Ph at ang Celerio, puro batikos ang inaabot sa iba't-ibang sites/channels.
    Suzuki Spresso na lang na may AT, sigurado bebenta yan. Basta huwag i-overprice ha, Suzuki Ph.

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  10. "according to Suzuki Philippines, there’s reasoning behind all this, and that’s down to technology"
    Heck, there's even no std back up cam? Suzuki thinks Pinoy consumers are fools?

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  11. Dont even have apple carplay n android auto. maybe what they mean is 90's tech

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  12. I bet all you whiners here can't even afford this cheap ass car.

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    Replies
    1. says the celerio sales agent who cannot hit the quota

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    2. H Freedom of specs!

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  13. Underspecced and overpriced car of the year 2021: Mitsubishi Mirage G4

    2022 winner: Suzuki Celerio

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  14. Wala silang low-end variant na ala mirage glx or wigo e para sa ibang buyers na hindi trip ang maraming features. Sana magkaroon in the future.

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  15. They will offer this at zero downpayment and 6 years to pay. Automatic approval with no C.I. Para maka attract ng mga vovo buyers LMAO

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  16. Back in January 2019 the better looking Swift the 3rd gen was offers at 780k it was for me quite expensive back then but worth it for the looks. But this one even if it’s supposedly bigger and prettier than the previous gen Celerio. It still feels expensive. AGS in theory should be cheaper than CVTs now they are pricing this car almost 100-200k higher than the previous generation Celerio.

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  17. Just wow suzuki anyare! I would l rather buy a Honda Brio with 1.2 engine or add 50k and have a Geely Emgrand base model for now. There sis nothing special with the Celerio, so don't fool the people!

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  18. With this wave of more and more Indian-made Suzukis here in the Philippines, I hope they bring in the upcoming new Brezza and price it competitively.

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  19. Ano kaya nasa isip ng Suzuki na e offer to with a manual tranny variant..

    S-PRESSO GL - M/T ₱523,000
    S-PRESSO GL - M/T with ALLOY WHEELS ₱543,000
    S-PRESSO SPECIAL EDITION ₱568,000
    Dzire GA 1.2L - M/T ₱609,000
    All-New Celerio GL - M/T ₱708,000
    Dzire GL 1.2L - M/T ₱758,000

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  20. Suzuki dropping the ball lately.

    Them trying to position themselves as some kind of a premium brand is shooting themselves in the foot. They're NOT. Suzuki has been a bang for buck brand, not some premium brand. And that is not a bad thing.

    Examples are:
    Only positioning the Vitara as a 1.4m 4wd nobody asks for is a mistake in my opinion. They have their Jimny for this. Positioning the Vitara at that price point only gets it shot by all the Corolla Crosses, Mazda CX series, Subarus etc. If they continued to have some A/T variant that is well specced uin the 900k bracket, they could have easily stolen sales off of the Raize.

    Ciaz having only one TOTL variant. Absolutely idiotic given that its size and price point were the ones going for it. Have it only at one price point and at top spec (but not really) puts it squarely with the Emgrand, Almera, Vios, City Variants that for some variants, cost lower but have more

    Swift having only one variant now removes choices from customers wanting an M/T (some actually want the swift in this drivetrain for spirited drives), as well as the sports versions that add some spice.

    Then this Celerio, why would one with common sense pick this over any Dzire variant, which has been selling relatively well(ta-da, because of variants and CHOICES)? Aside from tech, that most buyers do not really look for at the Celerio's category?

    Absolutely idiotic choices recently.



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