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Suzuki Celerio's 'big' drive to beat city traffic

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Suzuki Celerio - larger than your conventional city car.

Suzuki Celerio - larger than your conventional city car.

Suzuki Celerio's interior.

Suzuki Celerio's interior.

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Suzuki Celerio - larger than your conventional city car.

WE are seeing the resurgence of the small car for a while now, with several new ones here or lined up.

Suzuki's new Celerio is the latest.

And it coincides with growing concerns over the volume of traffic on our urban roads in particular.

Claiming to be bigger than most rivals, the little Suzuki is larger than your conventional city car; think half way to being a supermini.

Unveiled here yesterday, it goes on sale on December 1. It will be interesting to see how people react. It costs from €11,995 ex-works.

It's compact (3.6m long, 1.6m wide, 1.53m tall) but roomy.

And we liked the high driving position. There's a decent boot too. At 254 litres, they're claiming it is the best-in-class (they reckon a lot of people spend more on a larger car just to get a bigger boot).

There was good room across the back seats too - they emphasise it is a five-seater.

Secret to the cabin space is the 2,425mm wheelbase and a roof that stays tall all the way to the back.

You'll also notice how wide the doors open out (90-degress) but there are a couple of stalling points so they don't swing all the way at once - important in car parks to avert hitting the vehicle beside you.

On our drive, the Celerio managed city-centre cobblestone streets well - better and more quietly than many a larger car - and took to the motorway without the engine showing any strain.

Engines

There will be two engines.

The new dual-jet 3cyl 1-litre (998cc) K10C petrol - with 5spd manual and Stop/Start gets here in February.

For now there will be the K10B petrol (998cc) which we drove yesterday. It has a 5spd manual gearbox but does not have Stop/Start.

The former (K10C) emits just 84g/km (road tax €180) and has a claimed 3.6-litre fuel consumption. In GL+ spec, it will cost from €12,995.

The other engine (in GL+ and GLX models) emits 99g/km (€180 road tax; 4.3litres/100km).

Who will buy it?

They expect those who already have a city car who'd like a larger boot; and those who are moving down a bit from a supermini.

Standard equipment includes six airbags (front, side and curtain), 14ins alloys, air con, Bluetooth, CD tuner with DAN and USB, front electric windows.

GLX adds black polished alloys, electric windows, front fogs, electric mirrors etc.

Later on there will be an automated manual transmission which has "creep" drive - handy in heavy traffic.

The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) has a control at the top of the transmission that operates the gearshift and clutch automatically.

As traffic levels increase, smaller cars (and maybe automatics?) would appear to make sense around town.

Let's see how sensible we are - because there is no shortage of small cars.

Irish Independent