The Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel hatchback has just been launched in India. Prices start from 4.65 lakh rupees for the LDi trim, ex-showroom Delhi, making the car about 75,000 rupees pricier than its petrol powered sibling. This starting price also makes the new Maruti Suzuki offering the least priced diesel car in India, and the world. In India, the next lowest priced diesel car, the Chevrolet Beat, is about 40,000 rupees pricier.
The diesel iteration of the Celerio features a 793cc, twin cylinder engine, which happens to the smallest production diesel engine powering a car in the world. This motor makes 47 Bhp-125 Nm, and is the lightest diesel engine in the country, weighing just 89 kilograms.
The lightness of this engine means that the Celerio is only 70 kilograms heavier than its petrol powered sibling. Notably, this engine doesn’t get common rail direct injection. Instead, Bosch has developed a new, low cost diesel injection system for the 793cc twin cylinder motor, which uses 4 valves per cylinder and twin overhead camshafts.
Transmission duties are carried out by a five speed manual gearbox. The car will be sold in four variants – LDi, VDi, ZDi and ZDi (Opt). The top end ZD (Opt) variant gets twin airbags and ABS+EBD. The VDi variant is pegged at 4.95 lakh rupees, the ZDi at 5.25 lakh rupees and the ZDi (Opt) at 5.71 lakh rupees.
The Celerio Diesel’s unique selling proposition will be its fuel efficiency. ARAI certified to deliver a mileage of 27.62 Kmpl, the hatchback is the most fuel efficient budget car in the country, beating the Maruti Dzire Facelift, which clocks 26.2 Kmpl.With a 35 liter fuel tank, the new car can theoritically hit 960 kilometers on a single tank.
This small diesel hatchback is all about fuel efficiency and not much about straight line performance. As the initial reports have indicated, the car is reasonably peppy on city streets but runs out of breath on highways, which was expected. A consummate city operator that will deliver great fuel efficiency, is what the Celerio Diesel is all about.
Is the Celerio Diesel the car for you?
If you’re primarily looking for a city commuter diesel that is compact to drive and park, extremely fuel efficient and quite affordable, the Celerio Diesel will suit you. However, you need to understand that this is a city car that is best kept at speeds in the vicinity of about 80-100 Kph.
Sure, the car will do higher speeds than this, even pushing the 120 Kph mark when kept on the boil, but an underpowered car means overtaking at higher speeds could be patently unsafe. At the price of the Celerio Diesel with ABS+Airbags, more powerful, discounted diesel offerings such as the Chevrolet Beat and Renault Pulse are available.
Initial reports also clearly indicate that the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels of the Celerio Diesel are higher than that of larger engined hatchbacks. So, if you want a smooth diesel car that isn’t noisy, this hatchback is not for you.
Will the Celerio Diesel go AMT?
The Celerio is aimed mainly at city hatchback buyers. However, this doesn’t mean that Maruti Suzuki has any plans of offering the automated manual transmission (AMT) on its latest diesel powered hatchback. Only the Celerio Petrol will be sold with the AMT for the time being.