Suzuki Celerio SZ4

Suzuki Celerio, front
Suzuki Celerio, front, static
Suzuki Celerio, side
Suzuki Celerio, rear
Suzuki Celerio, interior
Suzuki Celerio, boot, seats up
Suzuki Celerio, rear seats

THE Celerio is the latest offering from Japanese manufacturer Suzuki.

It replaces two models that have had decent success in the UK - the Alto city car and the Splash supermini.

With the new Vitara having just arrived, the company's UK range is now in good shape and the brand is hoping the Celerio will recover from the original launch recall snag.

The Celerio has a starting price of £7,999 and offers a substantial amount of space for the money.

The interior is capable of seating five thanks to the roomy cabin which has been created by a longer wheelbase and a high roofline.

City cars never offer huge boots but the Suzuki is larger than the average with 254 litres being available for luggage or the shopping.

Two powertrains are currently available both in 1.0-litre form. The more expensive Dualjet technology engine offers greater torque and performance with a claimed 78.4mpg and emissions of just 84g/km.

This car came with the cheaper 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with low CO2 emissions of 99g/km and a claimed fuel consumption figure of 65.7 miles per gallon.

The Suzuki Celerio isn't going to win any beauty contests but it is better looking than the models it replaces. It cannot match some of its rivals for style but it does offer a high level of standard equipment so personalisation options are limited largely to the colour you choose.

All models - even the basic SZ3 - come with alloy wheels and body coloured bumpers, while the top-spec SZ4 tested adds colour-coded mirrors, a chrome grille and front fog lights. Inside, all versions get DAB and Bluetooth, as well as air conditioning, a USB connection and CD player.

The plastic materials used in the cabin are on the cheap side to keep costs down but everything is well screwed together and the instruments and controls are clear and easy to use.

The Celerio is not as much fun to drive as its Swift sibling but it is a sound choice for people who want a no-fuss, usable city car. The elevated driving position gives you a good view of the road and it does have a great turning circle, making it ideal for town use.

The ride is quite smooth, although you do feel it suffers when you hit larger bumps. The steering is light - if lacking in feedback - and it is easy to manoeuvre in tight spots.

It takes the 67bhp 1.0-litre around 13 seconds to reach 62mph and it has a top speed of 96mph. It feels surprisingly fizzy around town but it needs to be worked fairly hard to get up to motorway speeds. You do feel the lack of power on hills but otherwise it is responsive and quick enough to keep up with town traffic.

The Celerio is available in a choice of six colours, five of which are metallic optionsand one solid colour. Its low emissions mean no road tax and only a £1,000 differs the entry-level SZ3 model from the top trim SZ4.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki Celerio SZ4

Price:£8,999

Mechanical:67bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:96mph

0-62mph:13.0 seconds

Combined MPG:65.7

Insurance Group:7

C02 emissions:99g/km

Bik rating:13%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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