That starting price compares to the Alto's nominal list price of $11,790 plus on-road costs for the manual and $12,990 plus on-roads for the auto (though the company did run driveaway pricing campaigns of $11,990 for the manual and $12,990 for the auto during the life of that car). Suzuki has stated that it intends to retain the title of "Australia’s most affordable car to own and operate".
The company has stated that capped-price servicing will be available for the Celerio, and while pricing is not yet available, it is expected to mirror the program offered for the Alto (servicing every six months or 10,000km, average cost $217 per visit) as well as being eligible for a five-year/140,000km warranty.
Along with the name change, production of the Celerio switches from India (for the Alto) to Thailand.
The Celerio retains the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing 50kW of power (at 6000rpm) and 90Nm of torque (at 3500rpm), and is available with a five-speed manual gearbox or optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic.
The manual model has claimed fuel consumption of 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres, while the auto uses a claimed 4.8L/100km. The previous model was more efficient in manual guise (4.5L/100km) while the old four-speed automatic used 5.2L/100km.
The new model is larger but lighter than the car it replaces - the previous model weighed in at 895 kilograms in manual guise and 920kg as an auto, while the new version is 830kg as a manual and 860kg as an auto.
The new Celerio retains the four-seat layout (with rear ISOFIX child-seat anchor points) of the Alto despite the fact it has grown in size. The Celerio measures 3.6 metres long (up 0.1m), 1.6m wide (identical to the existing model) and 1.54m tall (up 0.7m). The wheelbase is also longer, spanning 2.42m (up from 2.36m).
According to the company's website, the cargo capacity has increased from the existing 110 litres to a more capacious 254L, which Suzuki claims is "best in class" when compared to its nearest rivals the Mitsubishi Mirage (235L) and Holden Barina Spark (170L). The company also claims to have improved cabin storage, with larger door pockets and extra cup-/bottle-holders.
In terms of kit, the Celerio gains a range of additions over the car it replaces, including power windows for all four doors and power mirrors, not to mention remote central locking. The stereo system has also been upgraded, with the four-speaker system offering integrated Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and USB input.
Safety kit for the Celerio includes six airbags (dual front, front side and full-length curtain 'bags) as well as electronic stability control. In Europe the car garnered a three-star crash rating, but the local arm insists the car sold here will achieve at least four stars (bringing it in line with the car it replaces, which also had a four-star rating).
As for an on-sale date, that remains to be seen: the car was due to be available to buyers as of this week, but a high-profile brake recall - stemming from a test in the UK which saw the brakes fail at 80 miles per hour (128km/h) - has forced the brand to halt its introduction of the model. No Celerios will be sold until a dealer fix is performed on all cars.
2015 Suzuki Celerio pricing:
Manual - $12,990 driveaway
CVT auto - $13,990 driveaway