The Suzuki Celerio’s an inexpensive small car that’s roomier than most city cars and pretty frugal, but its interior feels dated and you get very little equipment as standard
The Suzuki Celerio is a back-to-basics city car that’s easy to drive and surprisingly spacious. Sure, it’s not quite as exciting to look at as a VW Up but few cars represent such good value for money.
Apple CarPlay? Android Auto? Satellite Navigation? Nope, you won’t find these words anywhere in the Celerio brochure – instead you’ll have to make do with a weedy two-speaker stereo and a Bluetooth connection for your phone.
Thankfully, what it lacks in character and high-tech features it makes up for in passenger space. The Celerio might be small, but there’s room for three people on the back seats, unlike the VW Up, which has only two seatbelts in the back. The back seats are reasonably roomy, too: there’s just enough space for a six-foot-tall passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver.
The boot’s pretty roomy for a small car, too. A baby buggy will fit with enough space left over for a few soft bags. It’s easier to load bulky items than in the Up too, and there’s even room for a bike if you flip the back seats down. The Hyundai i10 still leads the field for outright carrying capacity, however.
The Suzuki Celerio is affordable but slightly mundane – a bit like celery then…
Fill the Suzuki’s boot to the brim and its 1.0-litre petrol engine will have to work hard to keep up with fast-moving traffic. It feels reasonably nippy without any heavy luggage or passengers on board, however, and makes light work of skipping through tight city streets.
You might be tempted by the optional automatic gearbox but it’s nowhere near as smooth as the i10’s automatic and causes the Celerio’s already rather vocal engine to grumble loudly when you accelerate hard. Add to this the unpleasant wind and tyre noise you’ll hear at motorway speeds and it’s quite tiring to drive for long periods.
The Suzuki also loses out to more expensive alternatives in the safety department. You can’t get it with automatic emergency braking or lane-keeping assist, and its three-star Euro NCAP safety rating lags behind the four-star i10 and five-star-rated Up.
Still, if it’s a cheap and cheerful city car you’re looking for that’s big enough to carry five adults on short journeys, the Celerio is well worth a look.
You can read more in-depth info on the Suzuki Celerio in the interior, practicality, driving and specification sections of our review over the following pages, and you can see what sort of savings you can expect on the Celerio our deals page. Or, if you want to see more about some of the alternatives, have a look at our list of The top 10 best city cars on sale or The best small automatic city cars and superminis.