Had a brief, but detailed TD of the Celerio AMT on last Saturday with another Coimbatorean TAI
ger Sai Shibu at Ambal Auto. 1. Looks
: Pleasing and not really funky or overt, but I somehow found the rear design too old and similar to the Altos. 2.Interiors:
Surprising amount of space, especially the boot capacity and rear seat legroom are quite good for a car this size. The dashboard is familiar with the Swift's steering wheel and switches. Quality is average overall, though there are some flimsy bits like the bottle holder at the back of the handbrake and the plastic above the instrument cluster. Seats are decent and the front seats, although not having adjustable headrests, are quite comfortable and supportive. But the rear seats, though spacious, lacks support (for my height). Seat belts available only for four occupants though and a fifth occupant would be a squeeze at the rear. We had a look at the Manual ZXi car also and the equipment levels are quite good for the top-end trim and interiors look better too. Unfortunately, AMT is not available in the ZXi. 3.Features and Equipments:
ZXI had a Bluetooth enabled Music system with USB, AUX connectivity too, powered mirror adjustments, standard driver airbag (passenger airbag and ABS
optional), central remote locking and 14 inch wheels with alloys. VXi gets Power windows, 13 inch wheels, central locking without remote and internal mirror adjustment. LXi gets just the basics AC and external mirror adjustments with 13 inch wheels.
The AMT variants (VXi and LXi) also gets Tachometer and the VXI manual variant gets optional driver airbag. 4.The drive:
The sales person accompanying us first demonstrated the AMT and explained thoroughly. Simply slot into Drive mode and take your foot off the brake pedal to get the car moving! Feels a bit weird after driving manuals all these years. The engine is simply smooth and refined. Most of the times, the gear shifting cannot be felt most of the times when you drive in a relaxed manner, but the gaps can be felt when accelerated in a hurry or in a hard, sporty manner. Absolutely no pressure on the driver during heavy traffic!
The gearbox can be changed into manual mode while driving also. Upshift by pushing the gear lever backwards and downshift by pushing forward. The manual mode is best for highways or spirited driving. While braking, the AMT downshifts the gear automatically according to the speed, even in manual mode. One more thing I noticed is that when in Automatic mode, the brakes feel a touch too quick. At speeds, some amount of road noise and wind noise breaks the calm of the cabin, but they are not an issue if the music is on.
The suspension is quite soft and comfortable, even though the AMT has only 13 inch wheels. The car remains composed even at 60-80kmph speeds. Overall, a very easy, relaxed and comfortable small car to drive and the AMT is really great for the city traffic! 5.Price and value:
The Celerio ranges from Rs 3.7 lac for the LXi manual to around 5.7 lac for the ZXi variant (ex showroom price) which is decent for the equipment levels. Verdict:
The Celerio is a smart, easy and comfortable, no-nonsense small car with the additional convenience of an AMT gearbox, which is a great pressure reducer in our city life.