Suzuki Celerio arrives in South Africa:

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There’s a new Suzuki in town, and it’s here to replace the entry level Alto that’s graced our roads for some time now.  It’s called the Celerio, and Suzuki are branding it as their ‘Xtra Large small car’, and they’re hoping it’ll do big things… get it?

The Celerio measures just 3.6 metres long and 1.6 metres wide, no doubt a compact city car; but Suzuki SA claim it’s spaciousness as its strongest selling point, with a 2.425m long wheelbase maximising interior space, and clever packaging creating room for 235 litres of luggage space (1034 litres available with the rear seats folded), complete with easy loading thanks to a 69cm high load sill height.

Mechanically, the Celerio relies on its light weight to make use of small engines and maximise fuel efficiency.  It weighs a mere 835Kg, and as such needs no more than a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine to get it moving.  The 3-pot outputs a mediocre 50kW and 90Nm, but it should prove to be more than ample for the featherweight body.  It’ll drive the front wheels via either a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard or an optional 5-speed automated manual transmission (essentially an automatic).  The manual gearbox is good for a claimed 4.7l/100km fuel economy, whilst the AMT (automated manual transmission) shaves 0.1l/100km off that at 4.6l/100km.  Suzuki claims a range of more than 750Km off the 35-litre fuel tank in the Celerio.

Range-wise, there are 2 available spec levels, GA and GL.

The cheaper GA model features black exterior trim as opposed to the GL’s body-coloured bits, halogen headlamps, manually adjustable mirrors, and a rear-windscreen wiper.  Manual air-conditioning is standard, and the GA model features a ‘sound system preparation kit’ comprising of 2 speakers and an antenna for buyers to retrofit a radio system at a minimal cost.  Safety comes standard, even on the GA model, which features dual-front airbags and ABS brakes, whilst security is handled by an immobiliser.

The GL model benefits from the addition of fog lamps, fabric inserts on the door panel interior, electronically adjustable mirrors, and a rear demister.  The instrument cluster also includes a rev counter (absent from the GA model), whilst the steering wheel is tilt adjustable and features audio controls.  A standard four-speaker audio system with a CD player and Bluetooth connectivity also enhances the GL’s spec level, as do electric windows, remote central locking, and a 60:40 split rear seat.  Safety equipment matches that of the GA, but with the addition of an alarm.

Both models have been designed with safety in mind, as both feature crumple zones to prevent the body structure collapsing in an accident.

Suzuki offers the Celerio in a choice of seven paint colours, and both GA and GL models feature 14-inch steel wheels as standard, with optional 14-inch alloys available, both to fit the 165/70 R14 tyres.

Suzuki’s Xtra Large small car is priced to be affordable for the masses, with options available that exclude and include a service plan:

1.0i GA MT (No service plan) *                 R109 900

1.0i GA MT Alloy (No service plan)           R112 900

1.0i GL MT                                                     R124 900

1.0i GL MT Alloy                                           R127 900

1.0i GL AMT                                                  R135 900

1.0i GL AMT Alloy                                        R138 900

*Whilst the entry level GA at R109 900 is still R20 000 more than the Datsun GO – one of its prime competitors – it’s worth noting the GO also goes without a standard service plan, and lacks ABS and dual-front airbags.  The price difference over a typical 60 month payment term is minimal at a mere R340 difference per month.

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