Tata Tiago Petrol MT Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio Petrol MT

Wednesday 18 May 2016, 11:28 AM

Introduction:

The Maruti Suzuki Celerio is the highest selling car in its class; a class that has the likes of the Chevrolet Beat, the Hyundai i10 and the recently launched Tata Tiago. The special bit about the success of the Celerio though is how it has made automatic a buzzword in the affordable hatchback segment. Okay, it isn't a traditional auto but an AMT. However, the acceptance levels for clutchless driving on this model has been phenomenal. So much so that over 50 per cent of Celerios sold are AMTs.

And so, if the new kid on the block, the Tata Tiago has any hope of succeeding, it must convince prospect buyers that it is a better buying proposition than the Celerio AMT. And what better way to find out than to put them head-to-head.

Now, as far as pricing and positioning for the two cars go, these can be seen as upgrades from smaller hatches or as first time purchases. We'd say it’s more of the latter. And therefore, the two hatchbacks here must deliver on a few crucial counts. Pride of ownership, ease of driving, fuel efficiency, comfort, and practicality being the top five. 

Meanwhile, the versions we have here are the Celerio AMT as a VXI (with ABS) and the Tiago in top of the line XZ trim since this is the version that comes closest to the AMT VXI in terms of pricing. Do note, however, that the Tiago can only be had as a 5-speed manual and not as an AMT at all. The Celerio AMT is priced at Rs 5.91 lakh while the Tiago XZ retails for Rs 5.71 lakh, both on the road in Mumbai.

Tata Tiago Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Tata Tiago petrol vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio petrol

Exterior:

The Tiago is the newer car and Tata Motors has done a fabulous job on the design front. Not only does this affordable hatch look more expensive and modern than the Celerio, it looks racier and younger too. The Celerio is all about simple lines, a tall cabin and function dominating form. The Tiago on the other hand is crisper, has a higher degree of detailing all round, and its design is more cohesive and desirable.

Tata Tiago Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Tata Tiago petrol vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio petrol

There are other elements to its design that give it a more premium feel. The ORVMs aren't just body coloured compared to black units on the Celerio, these have integrated turn indicators too. Plus, the tasteful chrome highlights around the fog lamps and grille, not to mention the contrasting black elements on both the front and rear bumpers give the Tiago more visual appeal than the bland Celerio.

Interiors:

The Tata has this one in the bag as well. As with the exterior, the Tiago's insides are certainly younger and more modern. The overall look and feel of plastic as well as the varying finishes – gloss black, textured black and body coloured surrounds – seem of a higher grade than on the Celerio. The Tiago's interiors will most certainly make one feel better about their purchase than the Maruti.

Tata Tiago Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Tata Tiago petrol vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio petrol

And it doesn't end there. The Tata Tiago also packs in more features. It gets steering mounted controls, electric adjustment for ORVMs, height adjustable driver's seat, a tilt adjustable steering, rear parking sensors, driver information system with range, average economy and two trip meters, and a Bluetooth, USB and AUX compatible audio system. All of this is missing on the Celerio VXI AMT. Also missing on the Maruti is the rear defogger and rear wash and wipe. The Maruti is also down on practical and usable stowage spaces.

Having said all of that, the Celerio does redeem itself – somewhat – by offering more room for occupants all round. It has more head and legroom both front and back, while shoulder room on both cars is comparable. And it is the easier of the two cars to get in and out of. It also feels like a bigger, more spacious car once seated courtesy a higher roof and bigger glass area. It has a larger, more convenient boot as well. The Celerio's boot has a wider opening, a lower loading lip height, and a hatch that can be opened from outside. We also prefer the seats on the Celerio. These are flatter and firmer than the Tiago's more contoured and thicker ones, but the Maruti's offer better support and are more comfortable on long runs.

Tata Tiago Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Tata Tiago petrol vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio petrol

Performance:

For all its dynamic design, feature loaded and smart interiors, and a higher desirability co-efficient, the Tata still can't match Maruti's design and execution prowess when it comes to drivetrains. The Maruti Celerio uses a three cylinder, 1-litre engine that puts out 67bhp of max power and 90Nm of peak torque. The Tata Tiago does better in terms of engine specs, at least on paper. It has a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine. Its peak outputs are measured at 84bhp and 114Nm. 

But, on the road, the Celerio runs away from the Tiago. This can be attributed to Maruti's shorter gearing and its lesser weight compared to the Tata. It completes the 0-100kmph run in 15.8 seconds compared to 16.3s taken by the Tiago. The top speeds for the cars are identical at 158kmph, but in the in-gear accelerations – the lesser the time, the easier and quicker the overtakes – the Maruti makes the Tiago feel lazy.

Tata Tiago Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Tata Tiago petrol vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio petrol

It is six seconds quicker in the 20-80kmph run compared to the Tiago and over 12s faster in the 40-100kmph test. That the Celerio is an AMT helps here, but it’s also down to better tractability of the Maruti’s engine. The Celerio doesn't just beat the Tiago on engine performance, it is also more refined; it has a crisper throttle response; and the engine is rev happy and never feels overtly stressed even at the redline.

The lack of weight does, however, affect the Maruti's ride characteristics. Where the Tiago handles bumps, potholes and undulations with the sort of plushness, composure and quietness one generally associates with larger, well-engineered cars, the Celerio’s ride seems lackluster. Its ride in comparison is bouncy, noisy and crashy even. It's also a tad skittish. What's more the Tiago has a lighter, quicker and more responsive steering to further enhance the driving experience. 

In Celerio's defense, it has a better driving position, better visibility and courtesy the AMT, it is a whole lot easier to drive and live with – especially for first time car buyers. As for fuel efficiency, the difference isn’t much. The Celerio returned 13.8kmpl in our city run compared to 13.1kmpl returned by the heavier, taller geared Tiago.

Tata Tiago Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Tata Tiago petrol vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio petrol

Conclusion:

We can see the appeal of the Maruti Suzuki Celerio AMT. It has one of the best-calibrated AMT's on the market. Add to it an efficient and responsive engine, easy ingress, good visibility and Maruti's peace of mind perception, and it's a safe bet for most first time car buyers. But, in the VXI trim, it is pretty basic on comfort and convenience. And even on the safety end, ABS is an optional extra.

The Tata Tiago in that sense is a lot of car for lesser money. It gets ABS and front two airbags as standard on the XZ trim. And it is literally loaded to the gills with features too. Plus, it looks great, and though it might not be as quick or efficient as the Celerio, there's no denying its big car feel, then be it the way it rides or its stability at three digit highway speeds.

Finally, if you want convenience and an easy car to drive and live with, go for the Celerio AMT. But, if you want something more stylish, something emotional, the Tata Tiago would be it.

Tata Tiago Vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Tata Tiago petrol vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio petrol


Photo Courtesy: Kapil Angane

Ad
Ad