Hatchbacks essentially means small cars ideal for city drives. However there are hundreds of hatchbacks in the car market and it is really difficult to choose the best from them. City cars should be first compact and easy to manoeuvre considering the congested roads and narrow lanes in addition to heavy traffic and cramped parking slots. Secondly they are expected to have a smart use of the available cabin space and should also be stylish enough to earn the approval of the uptown populace. Also cars with automated transmission and instant pick up would be truly a blessing while driving in heavy traffics.
Some of the good hatchbacks cars perfectly suited for urban life are Maruti Alto K10, Tata Nano, Honda Brio AT, Maruti Swift, Hyundai i10 and i20, Datsun Go, Nissan Micra, Volkswagen Polo, Fiat Punto, Ford Figo, Chevrolet Beat and the more recent Maruti Celerio and Tata Bolt. However some are poor in cabin space while others don’t have an automated transmission or are not fuel efficient and yet others lack style. After considering all the factors, it seems that the best hatchback for travelling in city seems to be the new Celerio from Maruti stables.
This ideal urban family car was showcased first at the Delhi Auto Expo early this year. As far as looks go, the Celerio has a typical clean and safe Suzuki design which is sure to appeal to a global audience. The roomy interiors offer ample headroom and legroom. There are cleverly planned storage spaces to put away small things like magazines, bottles etc. in addition to a boot space of 235 litres. The seats are well cushioned and offer good support at right places. A modern instrument cluster with USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity, lane-change indicators, gear shift indicator, electrical power steering with audio controls, alloy wheels and electrical ORVMS are some of the praiseworthy features.
A 1.0-litre K-Series engine that churns out a maximum power output of 68 bhp and torque of 90 NM is seen in the Celerio. It is a three cylinder petrol engine with a displacement of 998 cc. The engine is mated to five speed automatic manual transmission while the automatic transmission gets four speed options. The car returns an impressive 23.1 kmpl of mileage. A diesel version is soon expected. The EZ drive technology makes for a hassle free drive and the ABS takes care of the braking situations. The ride is fairly good with the McPherson strut doing its work well. The handling is simply superb and NVH levels have also been taken care of. Especially, the automatic is sure to simplify driving demands in peak city traffics. The steering is commendable and gives good response.