Maruti Suzuki Celerio VXi AMT: Ownership Review


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The odometer shows 54,000KM. So I think this is time to share my experience with AMT.
IMG_20181102_153102.jpg

The migration from 3 pedal to 2 pedal happened in Dec 2014. I was driving a Chevy Beat since 2011 and I was so happy with the car that I had planned to drive my Beat to work place and buy another small car at home for daily runs. People at home were not comfortable with manual transmission. So I was looking for a budget automatic and considered i10 AT and A-Star AT. I was a bit reluctant with TC automatics due to reliability issues. In 2014, Maruti introduced new kind of transmission- AMTs. First with new launch Celerio and then came Alto K10. I have gone through all reviews, pros and cons about AMT. And by Oct 2014, when Alto K10 AMT was introduced, I booked one before launch date as I was confident with reviews on Celerio AMT. Once Alto AMT was launched, I went with my family to check Alto K10 and was disappointed by space it offered. More over rear seat entry/exit was a not easy as there was little space left between rear seat and B pillar. So when I checked Celerio Vxi AMT, it was priced around 70,000 more than Alto and offers a lot of space, boot and convenience. So changed my booking to Celerio Vxi AMT.

Cars I have considered:
I never test drive any other cars or even considered any. But a few in my family insisted me to go for a big car instead of Celerio- which I booked just because of AMT. They told me they won’t use the car and automatic is not a necessary thing in new car. Their suggestion was Ertiga. But somehow I did not like that car, until I drove a Ritz. Yes, when I was going for PDI at stoke yard of dealer, they gave me a Ritz car(I was keep on asking Celerio AMT test drive and they always made some story like it went to different showroom , it is under repair, etc. So SA told me to drive Ritz instead of Celerio when I went for PDI :D ) Damn, why the heck I did not test drive or even check Ertiga- that was my first reaction when I started to stoke yard. It was refined petrol and very comfortable seats compared to Celerio’s thin seats. Ertiga and Ritz are of same platform- I guess. So I should have considered Ertiga.


Car delivery:
My Car was delivered on Dec 2014 and invoiced it after a PDI from my side. Delivery experience was not that great. Reminded me my Honda Activa delivery at Bangalore where after payment, security person gave me key and told me to get my scooter from parking and ride. Also they messed up registration with wrong entries (VIN and hypothecation details) which later caused a lot of pain to get it corrected (Though I submitted corrected papers from showroom at RTO, RC was issues with all wrong entries as in temp RC). I got just one feedback call from Maruti which was disconnected due to some network issues and never got any call after that. I was planning to rate lowest, but lost that opportunity as well.
Delivery experience: 1/5

Driving the car (away from all miseries):
The first time I drove an automatic was this AMT car from Showroom to home. I was able to settle down with all controls in car before I reach main road. I made attempts to press clutch occasionally making a foolish grin on my face.
AMT is a blessing. I drove first few hundred KMs in D mode and I was a bit worried as it caused revv counters breaching 2,000RPM. I shifted to Manual mode and was able to adjust my driving style with Manual mode easily and thus I was able to keep Revs within limits. I realized how easy it is to control and drive this car. Appreciate Maruti for such a wonderful car (rather AMT feature).
Driving AMT in D mode is a bit boring and you won’t be engaged at all. But it is a blessing for aged people and those who drive just for the purpose of travelling from point A to point B. Lot of people complaint about unexpected downshifts and upshifts. But AMT shift mechanism works on algorithms and not as per driver’s thoughts, hey that is why you have a manual mode there.
Manual mode is for those who love to drive with fun and easiness. If you upshift at correct RPM and speed, the response will be almost immediate. But When you are driving on steep inclines and if you upshift at high rev count and just above speed recommended for given gear (Say shifted from 1 to 2 at 3500 RPM and at 15kmph), the upshift will take 1-2 seconds and accelerator will be muted and you will land up in lugging engine (may be at 1100PRM, 10kmph and 2nd gear). So it is all about how you adjust your driving with AMT. Once in sync, you can have fun, even at steep inclines (nothing beyond safety marks). Downshifts are pretty accurate and immediate. While doing steep inclines with sharp curves, I feel how easy it is with AMT. I should appreciate the aluminum K10 engine for peppiness it offers and helps my AMT shifts with adequate power needed. What else. I handed over my Beat to my brother and Celerio became my primary car.

Jerking’s: Yes, experienced a lot of time. No complaints, because it is expected while moving forward from 0KMPH on steep inclines with no control on clutch. On each service I used to ask service center guys to inspect clutch and update me the status if any wearing observed. Till 50,000KM service, all good. Recently, I observed some kind of jerking or rather shaking on whole car while moving from standstill with AC on. But it used to occur during hot days and my 50,000KM service happened during monsoons and was not able to replicate issue.

On Inclines: Use handbrake to prevent it from rolling back and I guess it may help to reduce clutch wear. on on downhill, use manual mode and stay at lower gears. I use handbrake whenever I stop for 5-10 seconds while keeping D or M mode. I won’t recommend keep car in stand still with D/M mode and brake pedal pressed.

The car: Typical Maruti built. No safety features- ABS, Airbag, etc. This is the main reason I keep my drives within city limits and only on a few occasions made intercity travels. Nothing to talk about built or quality. Thin doors, rattles everywhere, low quality plastics, fittings, etc. Coming from Chevy beat, initial days, I felt like a downgrade, though both cars are entry level hatchbacks. Thin front seats offer no support. All other convince related features are present- 60-40 rear split seat, bottle holders, decent boot space, lane change indicators, power windows, central locking, etc. Yes, gives a good FE- meter shows 20KMPL which is having mixed drive conditions- Bad road, well laid roads. Full tank to Full tank on highways showed up to 23KMPL(With no traffic and on highways)

Service center visits: All services were done at MASS. First two free services (1st month and 6th month) where done at home by same dealership from where I bought the car. Both servicing’s were bad, though these are not major ones. They just came, inspected fluid levels, just wiped the car. Done. From third servicing onwards, I have shifted to another MASS in my town. In fact, they are a bit more professional in handling. Car used to get proper inspection and always handed over in clean state. Service costs where near to 3-4K each time. I have opted for MCP for 12,000 for 20K, 30K and 40K services. They fixed issues reported. Also visited same MASS for repair works- once for Side mirror and then for a Fuel filter replacement due oil leak issue(Filter is kept at bottom and is exposed and might have hit by some derbies on roads).
I do wheel alignment and balancing in every 5000KM from outside MASS.

Other points:

  • Changed OEM tires (MRF) at 45000KM to Michelin XM2 of same size. There was enough thread left on MRF tires while changing. Tire noise and road noise are reduced by 60% (at least).
  • I am not an 'In Car Entertainment' guy. Bought Pioneer basic HU and installed 2 speakers on front door. yes, Vxi comes with blank plates at HU place.
  • I used to damp door pads in every 3000KM with same material which was used for damping by default. I can see it used to get misaligned after 3-5K KMs and causing outside smells, noise etc reaching cabin.
  • Rear hatch pull type handle broke once. replaced same on next servicing.
  • Outside smell always filters into cabin. Do not know the reason. I have installed cabin air filter, but still it comes. I have checked the fresh air intake and it seems to get sealed properly each time it shut.
  • Doors vibrate if you open it while idling.
  • You can easily hear if someone talks you from outside the car with all windows up and doors closed.
 
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I remember test driving Celerio a couple of years back to help a friend in choosing a car. I quite liked the driving dynamics and AMT. The only grouse is as you pointed out is the light build and lack of assuredness on safety. You could have opted for a safety pack at extra cost.
 
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Nice to read a Ownership review of a fellow Celerio VXI AMT owner. Mine is the same variant and I have clocked up around 15000 KMs so far.
Do share some pictures of your car.

And what are the tyre pressure that you follow or followed on the stock tyre and later, on the New tyres? Maruti says 36 psi front and 33 psi rear.
 
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Thread Starter #4
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I remember test driving Celerio a couple of years back to help a friend in choosing a car. I quite liked the driving dynamics and AMT. The only grouse is as you pointed out is the light build and lack of assuredness on safety. You could have opted for a safety pack at extra cost.
Actually when I were in market, Maruti didn't offer optional safety package and AMT was available in Lxi and Vxi variant only.


Nice to read a Ownership review of a fellow Celerio VXI AMT owner. Mine is the same variant and I have clocked up around 15000 KMs so far.
Do share some pictures of your car.

And what are the tyre pressure that you follow or followed on the stock tyre and later, on the New tyres? Maruti says 36 psi front and 33 psi rear.
Sure, I will share pics. I used to maintain 33psi and fill Nitrogen only. I think MRF which comes from factory are having pretty good life, but a bit noisy.
 
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Nice precise review sir.

However, lot of photos and some more technical and driving experiences would have made this post more beautiful, though this in itself is an excellent piece of work.

How much did you pay for Celerio VXI in Dec 2014 ?

I repented for having hastily bought my Santro Xing in 2013 March, only a year before Celerio with AMT came in the market. Actually my wife is not comfortable with manual transmission, as she shifts gears as if it is a task / activity, taking view and attention away from the road, everytime this happens, my pulse raises..:frown:

She's very comfortable with automatic transmission, be it a dual clutch DSG, CVT, or conventional Torque Convertor slushbox and even AMT. She once drive a Honda City with CVT in Anna Nagar with a lot of traffic in Chennai. Once in Bangalore she easily managed an Octavia DSG Diesel, a D segmenter car....

Women always prefer conveniences over practicality.....[clap]
 
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As suggested by fellow members, I am attaching some photos taken on my Mobile. Sorry for low quality pics as my mobile camera is just basic. Blue shade on pictures due to tarpaulin sheet over the car parking.

The AMT gear shifter. Easy to hold and organised. No P mode as in other Auto boxes. Also no back lighting.
GearShifter.jpg

Front seats are not supportive at all. Cost cutting is evident. Integrated headrests, no side bolstering, etc. Maruti could have provide some better seats here. I think AltoK10 is having better seats than Celerio.
Frontseat.jpg

Front door pads are budget quality. Hard plastics everywhere. No bottle holders on front doors. It can hold some papers or documents. Not much useful in my usage.
FrontDoorPanel.jpg

Driver side door gets Power Windows controls for all doors, Central lock button and Windows up-down lock. Driver side gets Auto down function. Driver side power windows button is back-lit. No ORVM controls for LXi and VXi variant hence got a blank cover.
DriverSwitches.jpg

Cabin lamp is placed next to IRVM. It is again a basic lamp. On-Door-OFF modes. It has got theater dimming effects.
Cabinlamp.jpg

Passenger side sunshade gets a vanity mirror, but no illumination. Driver side does not have any mirror.
Sunshade.jpg

Steering is same Maruti one which is used on almost all Maruti's(Including Breeza and S-cross). No Silver inserts for VXi. Also no Audio controls, No Driver-Airbags.
Steering.jpg

Instrument cluster has Tachometer along with Speedometer. Tachometer was available only on AMT variants and then on ZXI model at that time. The MID shows two trip meters, Avg fuel efficiency, Inst. fuel Efficiency, DTE and outside temperature. Two stalks on Instrument console is used to swap between different readings. Also it shows the gear which is slotted currently. D or M shows whether in Manual mode or Auto mode.
IMG_20181112_111739.jpg

Light stalks has basic light controls. No fog lamps in VXi. It is just Parking lamps, Low beam and high beam. Indicator has lane changing function(A tap will cause three blinks. I think it can be programmed)
LightCntrl.jpg

Wiper stalk has Int, Low and High marks. Also you can pull the stalk for wash and wipe feature- there is no delayed swipe(Where a third swipe will come after sometime to keep the windscreen clean- like in Chevy Beat which I had).
Wipercntrl.jpg
 
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Standard manual AC control knobs. Sliding lever for FreshAir/Re-circulation mode selection. No complaints here. AC is just good enough to keep entire cabin cool (No rear AC vents) even on hot summer days, though it will take its own time.
ACControls.jpg

Vxi gets manually Adjustable ORVM. It works as expected. I wish they could have provided electrically adjustable on Vxi. ORVM provides adequate view.
ORVM.jpg

Dashboard is again hard plastic and budget quality in terms of fit and finish. Again no airbags for passenger side.
BlankAirbag.jpg

Rear seats provide good support comparing to front ones. No adjustable head rests. Under thigh support is just average and as expected from this segment. There is enough legroom and head room, but not as good as Wagon-R. Shoulder room is adequate and better than Wagon-R,but it is best for two adults and a kid. Floor hump is minimal.
Rearseat.jpg

Rear door gets a bottle holder.
BackDoorPanel.jpg

Rear doors also gets power windows buttons. All plastics are again hard.
BackdoorCntrol.jpg

There are three bottle holders on handbrake area. One can be accessed from rear seat as well as front seats.
BottleHldr.jpg

Boot space is 285 ltrs. Adequate for normal runs. The space is easy accessible. Got parcel tray on VXi model.
BootSpace.jpg

rear seats are 60-40 split seats.
SeatSpli.jpg
 
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Front grills are again typical Maruti. Not an eye-catching design. Chrome slats on grills available on Vxi and Zxi.
grill.jpg

Basic head lamps. No foglamps for VXi. Turn indicators and parking lamps are placed at inner side of head lamp cluster. These are still OEM and is really a pain during night drives. I did not upgrade these as I don't want to blind on-coming traffic and I also do not prefer to drive after sunset (OEM bulbs makes me to stay home after sunset).
Headlamp.jpg

Tail lamp cluster. Got parking lights, Brake lights, turn indicators and reverse lamp on each cluster (Good to see two reverse lamps). No rear fog lamps.
Taillamp.jpg

High Mount Stop Lamp- It seems multiple halogen bulbs.
Stoplamp.jpg

Hatch opening handle in black color for VXi model. I am OK with this color combination (Black handle on gray car). But this handle is pretty bad in quality. It was replaced on my car after 2 years.
Hatchopen.jpg

Mudflaps were added as accessories. Costed around 400 for all four.
Mudflap.jpg

Rear parking sensors(4nos)- again an add on costed around 4,000.
rearParkingSensor.jpg

OEM tires were MRF and lasted for 45,000KM. Changed to Michelin XM2 of same specs and it ran 10,000KM so far. Change in tire noise is evident after changing to Michelin. Steel wheels of 14 inch. 165/70 R14 tires.
Tire.jpg

Wiper and spray jets. Jets are concealed. Wipers were replaced by OEM make only. Never felt these are adequate. Need to change to Bosch ones. But cannot get same specs on Bosch.
Wiper.jpg

The engine- K10. Peppy and efficient. At the same time Noisy and lot of vibrations. Yes, engine bay looks dirty(Something is hanging on firewall too). I prefer to clean engine bay at MASS only. It clocked 5000KM after last clean up.
Engine.jpg

The change- AMT from Magneti Marelli.
AMTUnit.jpg

I found it difficult to check coolant level due to the placement of coolant tank. May be just for me.
Coolant.jpg

Issues on going:
famous AMT juddering. Shown MASS SA. He said Clutch unit has to be replaced and may cost around 12K. I didn't take his word. Since it was a holiday, regular SA was not present. Once he is available, I will go there again and will check the issue. He only confirmed me on my 50,000KM service that clutch and other components are all ok and no issues with those.
 
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Thread Starter #9
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How much did you pay for Celerio VXI in Dec 2014 ?
OTR(Kerala) was around 5.2Lac without Extended Warranty and Accessories. No discounts were offered on those days. Dealership offered some basic accessories like mudflap, Steeringwheel cover, floor mat- but all went out of stoke on delivery day(As per dealer) [evil] except floor mat.
 
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Thanks for responding with adequate photographs.

Kindly throw some more light on AMT behavior when you ride in city traffic, in D mode, M Mode, and on highways, inclines, etc. How many clicks have you clocked on your odo? What future you have for your car since it's 4 years done now? (may be keep the car for half more decade, or may be upgrade after a year or two ahead)?

Would love to gather your ownership experiences and opinions.

Regards
Kumar

Front grills are again typical Maruti. Not an eye-catching design. Chrome slats on grills available on Vxi and Zxi.
View attachment 251015

Basic head lamps. No foglamps for VXi. Turn indicators and parking lamps are placed at inner side of head lamp cluster. These are still OEM and is really a pain during night drives. I did not upgrade these as I don't want to blind on-coming traffic and I also do not prefer to drive after sunset (OEM bulbs makes me to stay home after sunset).
View attachment 251016

Tail lamp cluster. Got parking lights, Brake lights, turn indicators and reverse lamp on each cluster (Good to see two reverse lamps). No rear fog lamps.
View attachment 251017

High Mount Stop Lamp- It seems multiple halogen bulbs.
View attachment 251018

Hatch opening handle in black color for VXi model. I am OK with this color combination (Black handle on gray car). But this handle is pretty bad in quality. It was replaced on my car after 2 years.
View attachment 251019

Mudflaps were added as accessories. Costed around 400 for all four.
View attachment 251026

Rear parking sensors(4nos)- again an add on costed around 4,000.
View attachment 251020

OEM tires were MRF and lasted for 45,000KM. Changed to Michelin XM2 of same specs and it ran 10,000KM so far. Change in tire noise is evident after changing to Michelin. Steel wheels of 14 inch. 165/70 R14 tires.
View attachment 251021

Wiper and spray jets. Jets are concealed. Wipers were replaced by OEM make only. Never felt these are adequate. Need to change to Bosch ones. But cannot get same specs on Bosch.
View attachment 251022

The engine- K10. Peppy and efficient. At the same time Noisy and lot of vibrations. Yes, engine bay looks dirty(Something is hanging on firewall too). I prefer to clean engine bay at MASS only. It clocked 5000KM after last clean up.
View attachment 251023

The change- AMT from Magneti Marelli.
View attachment 251024

I found it difficult to check coolant level due to the placement of coolant tank. May be just for me.
View attachment 251025

Issues on going:
famous AMT juddering. Shown MASS SA. He said Clutch unit has to be replaced and may cost around 12K. I didn't take his word. Since it was a holiday, regular SA was not present. Once he is available, I will go there again and will check the issue. He only confirmed me on my 50,000KM service that clutch and other components are all ok and no issues with those.

OMG. Magnetti Marelli pic...... I thought the AMT was a small kit with mechatronics and hydro electric actuators, but never thought it would be this big in size. :stupid:

Is that the AMT kit alone or the entire gearbox ?
 
Thread Starter #12
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Nice and detailed review,[clap]
very useful as all the Pros & Cons you have written is after driving 54000kms with the car.
Thank you


Thanks for responding with adequate photographs.

Kindly throw some more light on AMT behavior when you ride in city traffic, in D mode, M Mode, and on highways, inclines, etc. How many clicks have you clocked on your odo? What future you have for your car since it's 4 years done now? (may be keep the car for half more decade, or may be upgrade after a year or two ahead)?
AMT is purely convenience. It is jerky, slow and and confused sometimes. But for me it is a winner because I can drive through worst traffic congestion's without much pain on leg and that encourages me to take this car to city than my scooty. I used M mode most of the time. D mode is good on Traffic and straight roads. Whenever there is an incline or turns, I switch to M mode as I can control gear shifts.
Odo is at 55,000KM now. I have no plans to sell Celerio now. It is a perfect city car. Only concern is that Extended Warranty will expire by Dec 2018.
And on side note: I may not buy AMT equipped car again because - We have OLA and UBER now to beat driving worries in traffic and with an AMT I am not confident to drive through Himalaya's(My dream destination) as I got trans-axle warning(Clutch overheating) two times while driving through Nilgiri hills.

OMG. Magnetti Marelli pic...... I thought the AMT was a small kit with mechatronics and hydro electric actuators, but never thought it would be this big in size. :stupid:

Is that the AMT kit alone or the entire gearbox ?
It is just AMT kit alone. It is actually a small box, you can compare the size from picture where I posted Engine where you can notice this AMT unit on right side of the engine.

Update: Changed Clutch plate at 55,000KM. reported shuddering and jerkiness to MASS. They suggested Clutch plate replacement as it has already clocked 55,000KM and as per those guys, it is a good mileage for AMT equipped car. Costed around 6500/- as I told them to do Wheel balancing and alignment, washing, brake cleaning etc. I can still feel jerkiness while crawling through traffic. But no complaints as it is expected behavior of AMT. No shuddering issues noticed after that.
 
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Thread Starter #14
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Cool then. Any updates on mileage ?
Sorry for delay in reply. The mileage is much better on highways. The last trip which clocked 500+ KM, the MID shows 25KMPL- Driving condition was a highway trip(90%) and bad raods/traffic(10%).
On my daily use, MID used to show 20KMPL. I hope it would be near to 18.5KMPL (I never tried FullTank to FullTank).

Update: Car has clocked 56300KM now. I have not experienced juddering issue post clutch plate change. I m not very sure if it is clutch plate replacement or Lathe work to fix some imperfections on flywheel resolved the issue. But still I can feel issue may re-appear soon- because car starts shaking sometimes for 1-2 seconds and comes back to normal. Previously also it used to shake and then it continues and no accelerator input was taken until I power off AC.
 
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Sorry for bumping up an old post. I've bought a used 2015 Celerio zxi (Manual) with 83500kms on odo. It has complete service history. But, I am curious about how many kms does Celerio engine lasts before requiring a rebuild? It is also giving me 14-15kmpl in city driving condition with AC always ON. On highways, it can bump up to 18kmpl. I also faces clutch vibrating issue (not sure if to call it juddering) on 1st gear. This car has clutch replaced once in 45K. Is it tough to repair this issue - when releasing clutch on first gear, the whole car starts vibrating, clutch seems to have lost the smooth release, at least on first gear.
how many kms does Celerio engine lasts before requiring a rebuild? Will this car serve another 60-70K kms without any power loss.
 

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