The Celerio is Suzuki’s new city car, designed to replace both the Splash and Alto, which end production in December and March respectively. To dovetail with the outgoing models, the Celerio won't go on sale in the UK until February 2015, but it appears to have a lot going for it.
First and foremost, the boot is comparable to the best in the A-segment, with room for 254 litres of luggage, while the main cabin is distinctly spacious. There's plenty of headroom front and rear and even decent legroom for the two outer rear seat passengers.
Access to the back seats is made particularly easy with doors that open wide to 90 degrees, which should make loading child seats a little easier too. All passengers sit high up, which means a great view out. Indeed, visibility is noticeably good in the Celerio, which the driver will find a boon in town.
Complementing that, and easing parking, is a tight turning circle and small overhangs. Saying that, the steering is a little slow-witted and light, plus there's a lack of self-centring that makes it less satisfying to drive than the best in class. Nonetheless, the 1.0-litre petrol engine compares well with those in other current city cars, remaining relatively quiet around town, if less than inspiring away from urban confines. Likewise, its suspension copes well with lumps and bumps in town.
Efficiency was one of the main targets of this car and official figures of 65.7mpg and 99g/km will help with keeping running costs low. Indeed, Suzuki has confirmed that an even more economical 1.0-litre engine will be launched in the summer with an emissions rating of 84g/km. At the same time an optional automatic gearbox will be introduced, called 'AGS'. It's claimed that there will be no fuel consumption penalty with this transmission.
Speaking of options, the Celerio is well equipped as standard. Air-conditioning, alloy wheels, DAB radio and Bluetooth are included on all models - though Suzuki has yet to confirm the range structure or pricing. On the safety side, stability control and six airbags are fitted as standard.
It's worth pointing out that the Celerio scored a disappointing three stars in its Euro NCAP test, but that was attributed to the fact that the test car did not have side airbags. All Celerios sold in the UK will have these.
Suzuki will reveal the model range and pricing in the New Year, but it will compete head-on with the likes of the Hyundai i10, and be priced from just under £9,000.
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