Suzuki has been known for its compact vehicles worldwide. In some countries, it sells. In others, it does not. Here in the country, the carmaker ranks at the higher echelons when it comes to its fanbase.
This begs the question, why in a country which puts much premium on hefty vehicles, a small car such as Suzuki’s keeps selling like hotcakes?
Well, this was further brought to the fore when I got to drive the newest Celerio in town.
As we all know, among the Japanese carmaker’s local stable, the Celerio is one of the crowd favorites due to its compact size yet spacious interior space.
At the onset, I find this bright red-colored new Celerio bigger than its predecessor as it sports a three-dimensionally curved surface, now veering away from the boxy-type of old. At the front, it features a mix of silver and black, with its logo protruding right at the center, complementing its headlights and foglamps. The amalgamation of its rear combination lamps on its shoulder lines, together with its flared rear fenders — meanwhile — makes it look wide and well-planted on the road. Further underscoring its stability are its nifty 15-inch black alloy wheels, which are an inch bigger than its predecessor.
Its dynamic vibe from the outside spills over into the inside with a slew of creature comforts. Starting from its instrument panel features all the way to its steering wheel, design cues and seats, it spells youthful and invigorating. Up at the center is its 6.2-inch touchscreen audio unit with Weblink 2.0, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. And just like what it’s known for, there’s ample space for both luggage and occupants with its 295-liter luggage capacity with 60:40 split folding rear seats.
Meanwhile, under its hood is a 1.0-liter K10C Dualjet engine, producing 67 horsepower and 89-N-m of torque. It is mated to a five-speed manual transmission and Auto Gear Shift (AGS) which according to paper is “an automated manual transmission featuring Intelligent Shift Control Actuator that automatically operated the shift and clutch to bring convenience to manual driving.”
For this — though — I find it a bit rough, especially since I’m relatively not used to this kind of tranny technology. But if one might have observed from the previous models that feature the AGS, this Celerio has already improved by leaps and bounds.
I drove this compact vehicle for almost a week. And even though Filipinos are suckers for larger vehicles as these exude prestige and are thus, aspirational, the smaller ones still dominate a large portion of the local vehicle population on the road. Compared to other countries, like the US or Australia, wherein sizes thrive and do matter, here — however — we have much smaller roads and much smaller builds.
That’s why for Filipinos, Suzuki’s like this Celerio I’m driving right now, are exactly just the perfect fit.
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