The all-new 2022 Suzuki Celerio has officially been launched, and it aims to compete in a competitive segment that consists of the Honda Brio, Toyota Wigo, and Mitsubishi Mirage. Unlike its competitors, though, the Celerio has been redesigned from the ground up. But what exactly does “all-new” entail really? Let’s find out during our first look and experience with the vehicle.
On the outside, you will notice a lot of differences and design changes compared to the older generation Celerio. The car is now curvier and rounded compared to the boxy design of its predecessor. A good mix of chrome trim and blacked-out areas in the front fascia give the car a more aggressive look despite its size and the smoothly designed rear end with integrated taillights are a great way to accentuate the overall design of the car.
The body has more defined curves and arches are a perfect match with the gloss black 15-inch alloy wheels. Apart from just looking different from its predecessor, it’s actually physically larger too. When comparing the dimensions of the previous model, the all-new 2022 Suzuki Celerio now measures 3,695 mm long (+95 m), 1,655 mm (+55 mm) wide, and 1,555 mm tall (+15 mm). For more interior room, the wheelbase has been stretched by 10 mm to 2,435 mm.
It also has an increased ground clearance giving you more confidence and maneuverability passing through some slightly rough and patchy terrain. Having said this, you are gifted with more storage space in the rear, 295 liters to be exact and if that’s not enough, the 60:40 folding rear seats will give you a space boost.
Getting into the car, the increased size of the car also results in more shoulder room up front and legroom as well. Sitting in the driver’s seat, you are treated to a contoured dashboard and center console. A no-frills and large gauge cluster, simply made up of an analog speedometer paired with a digital rev counter in the center greets the driver. You can also control audio functions using the steering wheel-mounted buttons which is a nice touch as well.
For the infotainment system, the 2022 Suzuki Celerio comes with a 6.2-inch touchscreen media display from Sony. It comes with your standard AM/FM radio feature, Bluetooth, USB, and Weblink 2.0 for mobile phone connectivity. Below that, you will also find the central locking and front window controls below the infotainment system for a more efficient driver and passenger experience. Pretty complete if you ask me.
Now, what powers this little guy? All variants of the 2022 Suzuki Celerio come with the new 1.0-liter K10C three-cylinder engine that makes 66 hp and 89 Nm of torque. It doesn’t sound like a lot, I know, but driving the car all the way from Sucat to Lipa in all kinds of traffic and even a bit of steep inclines and winding roads combined with heavy rain too, I felt confident all throughout.
The new engine now comes equipped with Dual Jet technology. This allows the three-cylinder engine to have two injectors per cylinder to give the car better thermal efficiency thus resulting in overall improved efficiency. To make this car even more efficient, the all-new 2022 Suzuki Celerio also comes with an engine start/stop feature that is designed to prevent unnecessary fuel consumption, lessen emissions, and limit engine noise–the first in its class to have such a feature and the first Suzuki in the Philippines with such a feature.
The all-new Celerio comes with two transmission choices–a 5-speed manual gearbox, as well as a new 5-speed automated manual transmission called Auto Gear Shift (AGS). What we drove during this media drive is the model with the AGS, which aims to combine ease of use and fuel efficiency–claiming to be similar to that of a manual transmission. The driver also gets a more direct feel and control when shifting the car into manual mode.
In practice, however, the AGS isn’t as refined as you might think. I noticed that there is a bit too much of a manual “feel” so to speak, causing a bit of delay in gear changes and power delivery. As a result, there’s a bit of lag between depressing the accelerator and getting actual acceleration. Since this is technically a manual with a self-actuating clutch and not a traditional torque-converter automatic, its ideal operation is to lift off the gas when you think the transmission is going to change gears. Otherwise, expect a jerking motion every time the car changes gears.
Where Suzuki had made strides in the Celerio is in terms of safety tech. It’s the only one in its class to come with electronic stability program and hill-hold control, and this comes on top of dual SRS airbags. There are also rear parking sensors, plus the car itself is built on Suzuki’s Heartect platform which is a continuous frame that replaced the segment frame of the previous platform combined with Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) results in increased stiffness and effectively absorbs and disperse energy upon impact in the event of a collision.
The 2022 Suzuki Celerio comes in 4 colors, Arctic White Pearl, Fire Red, Glistening Gray Metallic, and Speedy Blue Metallic. The GL manual is priced at P708,000 while the GL AGS goes for P754,000. That also poses quite a problem for the Celerio, because it is now one of the most expensive superminis in its class. Suzuki says this is because the Celerio has class-leading technologies, and while that’s certainly true, it’s still a steep asking price when you consider that a bigger, locally-made Toyota Vios is equipped with most of these features as well.
Is it worth it? There’s no doubt that it drivers much better than before, and the safety features are indeed comprehensive, but its pricing puts it dangerously into subcompact sedan territory, especially more affordable ones from China. The 2022 Suzuki Celerio is a great supermini hatchback, but preferably at a more attainable price tag for its target market, which is first-time car buyers.
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