Stability and efficiency for those mean city streets
As an alternative to the Mini, Suzuki has done well with its latest urban offering
With the ever increasing urban sprawl it is no wonder we are being spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing the sub- super-mini "city" car. T
The VW group has three in the family; the Up, the Mii and Citygo go under the Seat and Skoda badges; Hyundai has the i10; and Kia with the Picanto are among the many others eyeing what is expected to be a big growth area in coming years.
Suzuki has a long history of producing sturdy 'city-sized' cars. The Alto has flown the flag for many years but now it will be replaced by a very modern-looking and much improved new model called the Celerio.
It is aimed at both young and old, with an entry price of €11,995. Older drivers will appreciate the easy parking, high driving position at a comfortable hip level, extra wide opening doors to 90 degrees, high gear shift and the option of an inexpensive automatic transmission. The Celerio is on sale from tomorrow and although it has compact dimensions it is roomy - above the average size of a city car, according to Suzuki, thanks to the long wheelbase and high roof line which does not taper off at the rear. It has boot space of 254 litres and the rear seats are designed to take three passengers.
Standard equipment includes six airbags, 14" alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth, DAB radio and front electric windows. A mistake is not having electrically operated wing mirrors; it is a struggle to reach the passenger side to adjust for parking and hopefully this will be rectified in future production models. A GLX version adds more expensive alloy wheels and fog lights. Under the bonnet there will initially be a one-litre three-cylinder 68bhp petrol engine with 999g/km of C02 and a claimed 4.3L/100km fuel consumption in mixed driving.
In February, a more efficient one-litre 68bhp petrol dual-jet three-cylinder engine with Stop/Start will arrive, with marginally more torque and an improved fuel consumption figure of 3.6L/100km with a lower 84g/km of Co2 output. This version costs €12,995.
In a brief test drive around Dublin, the Celerio handled rutted streets, tarmac and concrete with ease, and not excessive road noise. The light steering and easy five-speed manual shift makes light of city traffic.