India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki has discontinued not one but two slow selling hatchbacks from its product portfolio for the Indian car market. The A-Star and the Estilo have been pulled off the production line in the face of the Celerio’s launch. The clearest sign of Maruti Suzuki discontinuing these hatchbacks appears on the car maker’s official website, which fails to feature both the A-Star and the Estilo in the “Range of Cars” list. The Celerio hatchback has now replaced both the A-Star and the Estilo, as Maruti’s new B-Segment hatchback.
What does this mean for you, the car buyer?
If you’re a discount hunter, do negotiate hard on the leftover stocks of the A-Star and the Estilo. Maruti Suzuki dealers will be willing to offer big chunks off the cars’ price as the Celerio is already in the market. Also, by discontinuing the A-Star and Estilo, Maruti Suzuki has made choosing a B-Segment hatchback easier for the buyer as a single tall boy exists in Maruti Suzuki’s B-Segment space in the form of the WagonR.
In case you’re wondering, the Ritz is a B+ segmenter. Also, the Celerio’s AMT option makes choosing between the WagonR and the former more easier from a car buyer point of view. Someone who wants the comfort of an AMT will go for a Celerio while the practicality oriented have the WagonR to choose. All in all, the discontinuation of the Estilo and the A-Star was a much needed move.
Enter the Celerio.
The car comes in a wide price band, offering both manual and automated manual transmission (AMT) options, thereby taking place of both the Estilo and the A-Star. Why, the Celerio features the same 1 liter K-Series petrol engine that used to do duty on the A-Star and the Estilo. This motor, good for 67 Bhp-90 Nm, nhas been retuned for better low end torque, and delivers better fuel efficiency with an ARAI rated 23.01 Kmpl. A 5 speed manual gearbox is standard fare with this engine while the 5 speed AMT is offered as an option.
With the Celerio, Maruti Suzuki has addressed two major turn offs of the A-Star and the Estilo – rear seat space and dowdy looks respectively. The Celerio, featuring a design that’s in between low slung and a tallboy hatchbacks, offers much better leg room than the A-Star. The car’s looks are designed to appeal universally, a departure from the youth-centric bug-eyed design of the A-Star and the downright bread box looks of the Estilo. Also, since the prices of the Celerio encroaches upon and A-Star and the Estilo territory, the product planners at Maruti Suzuki have decided that it is about time that the two under performers make way for the new entrant.
The Celerio for its part has started off quite well. Maruti Suzuki has bagged 14,000 bookings of the car in just two weeks of launch. Interestingly, one half of the Celerio bookings are for the model equipped with the AMT. Clearly, Maruti Suzuki’s strategy of going on a marketing hyperdrive for the AMT gearbox (EZDrive Technology in Maruti speak) combined with sharp pricing (AMT variants cost 40,000 rupees higher than equivalent manual gearbox variants) has paid off rich dividends. Here’s an overview of what the Celerio’s AMT gearbox is all about.