When we first laid eyes on the next-gen Celerio, it became apparent that this is a fresh take on the nameplate. Riding on the lightweight HEARTECT platform that also underpins the Dzire and S-Presso, the Celerio looks and feels different from its predecessor. It's larger in nearly every visible metric, and the increased ground clearance makes the vehicle appear more substantial. The revised front fascia is more modern with plenty of black elements. Suzuki also fitted the Celerio with 15-inch black alloy wheels to add to its sportier vibe.
Inside, the hatchback looks ready for today's car buyers with its updated cabin that packs a 6.2-inch Sony touchscreen display. Sadly, the system doesn't come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which are both virtual necessities for the era we're in.
In our time with the Celerio, we immediately noticed the increased overall passenger space. The rear legroom is especially of note, and we think it can comfortably seat three average-sized Filipinos in the back. For the driver and front passenger, Suzuki says the space between them has been increased. That means this hatchback is likely roomier overall than the previous iteration. Cargo space is bigger as well, to the tune of 295 liters or 86 liters more than the outgoing model.
Tech and Safety
Technology-wise, Suzuki didn't skimp, as the Celerio hosts a veritable selection of budget-friendly features. These include an Engine Auto Stop-Start (EASS) system for improved fuel efficiency in heavy traffic conditions, ABS with EBD, an electronic stability program, a rear parking sensor, and brake assist for additional stopping power.
We took the Celerio for a spin recently during one of Suzuki Philippines' media test drives. Members of the motoring press were split into teams of three to see which one could achieve the best fuel economy aboard the Celerio. Suzuki claims it's the most fuel-efficient car in the Philippines, with a rating of 28.25 km/L. Our team and several others went with similar strategies: no air conditioning, light throttle inputs, and generous use of the vehicle's manual mode.
From Suzuki Auto Sucat to the Old Grove Farmstead in Lipa, Batangas, we managed just under 18 km/L over nearly 70 kilometers. We went slowly, hovering around the 60 km/h minimum speed limit on SLEX. The 1.0-liter DualJet engine with VVT performed admirably with three people on board. Its 67-hp output rarely felt lacking, while the new Auto Gear Shift (AGS) transmission inspired flexibility and comfort. Our team didn't win the short fuel economy run, as another team did after doing 60-70 km/h on the highway. They achieved around 25 km/L, or just about what Suzuki says the Celerio can do in the best conditions.
After our short time with the all-new Suzuki Celerio, we can confidently say that it's a much-improved vehicle with a more stylish look, attractive features, and a practical bent. Still, is it worth its P708,000 starting price tag? The AGS model will cost you P754,000, and that's well above the starting price of some of its biggest competitors. Suzuki hopes its technology can sway buyers in their direction, but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, stay tuned for our full review of the all-new 2022 Suzuki Celerio.