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Tata Tiago VS Maruti Suzuki Celerio

  • Apr 06, 2016
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[caption id="attachment_18724" align="alignnone" width="1155"]tata kite zica india Tata Tiago front three quarters shot[/caption]

The Tata Tiago, earlier known as the Zica, has been one of the most awaited hatchbacks in the recent times. We drove the car in Goa last year in December and after a couple of delays, the company finally launched it for commercial sale on 6th March – after a good 3 months of its being revealed. But then, the wait has been worth it and that is because of the sticker price. At a starting price of 3.2 lakhs, the Tiago undercuts its rivals by a big, big margin, including the Celerio. But, the Celerio has its own strong points including an AMT and CNG option. So, which of the two premium entry level hatchbacks, or A+ cars should you be looking at? Read on to find out what we think of both these hatches.

[caption id="attachment_20331" align="alignnone" width="600"]Maruti Celerio Maruti Celerio[/caption]

On paper, the Tiago proves to be bigger than the Celerio as it is longer by 146mm and wider by 47mm. It is also shod with wider tyres and better looking alloys. But its not only the dimensions that work well in the favour of the Tiago. Place both the cars side by side and you will immediately notice how modern and fresh the Tiago looks in comparison. The smiling front grille, a well sculpted bumper and a prominent rising shoulder line make it look bigger than it actually is. The rear three quarter profile is really nice and dare we say beautiful. In fact, we believe that the Tiago is definitely the best looking hatchback in the 3-5 lakh bracket.

The Celerio in comparison is not bad per se but it cannot match up to the new Tata. The Celerio too gets a smiling grille with two prominent chrome strips and big headlamps for company. The side profile showcases the height which is more than the Tiago. The rear of the Celerio is a bit odd with small vertical-ish tail lamps . The Celerio also misses out on a spoiler, which the Tiago comes with. Additionally, the Celerio sits closer to the ground with a clearance of 165mm as compared to 170mm for the Tiago. Round one then goes to the new kid on the block.

[caption id="attachment_20341" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Tata Tiago interiors Tata Tiago interiors[/caption]

Step into the cabin of the Tiago and you can immediately gauge the fact that a lot of thought and effort has gone into the making of the interiors. A pleasant surprise was that the fit and finish were at par with the segment leaders. The cabin is peppered with 22 cubby holes to store your knick knacks. The top trims of the Tiago also get a cooled glove-box, which is a definite first-in-class. Tata has gone the Hyundai way and has made solid efforts to pack the Tiago with as many features as possible. The driver information system is comprehensive as it throws up information such as DTE, current economy, trip meters and so on. The best part is the infotainment system. Compatible with smartphones, it can play songs from up to 3 mobile phones, thanks to the Juke Car app. Also, one can download maps from MapMyIndia.com for turn-by-turn navigation. There is provision for Bluetooth telephony as well along with Aux-in and USB ports. But the Harman-Kardon sound system takes the cake. The sound clarity is exceptional for a car with this. If we talk about the space, it is more or less similar to that of the Celerio. The seats are a bit high-set and thanks to large windows, the cabin feels airy. The seats at the rear are scooped out to give than extra bit of space to the rear passengers. So yes, overall, the cabin of the Tiago is impressive.

[caption id="attachment_20333" align="alignnone" width="600"]Maruti Celerio interior Maruti Celerio interior[/caption]

In comparison, the Celerio’s cabin looks a bit run down. It also sports a dual color theme but quality is not a match for the Tiago. Yes, it does offer you features like driver info display, Bluetooth connectivyt and steering controls but missing out on practical touches and a cooled glovebox. Yes is ample space up front and at the rear with the larger windows adding to the airy feel. Its just that the more expensive Celerio feels cheaper. Boot space of the Celerio stands at 235 litres more or less similar to that of the Tiago which is rated at 242.

[caption id="attachment_20337" align="alignnone" width="600"]Maruti Celerio AGS Maruti Celerio AGS[/caption]

The Celerio biggest advantage in terms of mechanicals is the AMT option with the petrol motor as well as a factory fitted CNG kit. These two things are not present in the Tiago. That said, both the petrol and diesel engines of the Celerio do not match up to the performance or refinement of the Tiago power plants. For example, the petrol motor of the Celerio is smaller by 17 per cent, has 20 per cent less power and 21 per cent lower torque than the Tiago’s engine. The Tiago, despite being heavier and with better performance beats the Celerio in the fuel economy department too. Drive the petrol Tiago and it will reward you with a good mix of performance and refinement.

[caption id="attachment_20342" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Tata Tiago petrol engine Tata Tiago petrol engine[/caption]

On the diesel front, both have a 3 cylinder set-up but again, the Tiago’s engine is 32 per cent bigger in terms of capacity, makes 46 per cent more power and 12 per cent more torque. In real conditions, these figures matter a lot and make the Tiago a better companion specially with the air-con running and a load of a couple of passengers. In terms of fuel economy , both cars are on par – expect real world figures of over 20kmpl. The Celerio’s engine becomes very vocal at high RPMs, something that is also present in the Tiago but well damped thanks to excellent insulation.

[caption id="attachment_20338" align="alignnone" width="1200"]The top trims of the Tata Tiago also get cornering stability control(CSC) as standard The top trims of the Tata Tiago also get cornering stability control(CSC) as standard[/caption]

Another area where the Tiago scores is the ride department. This is a typical family car and will be driven on various city and semi urban terrains. The suspension is not on the firmer side and rides over undulations in a very matured manner. On the other side, the Celerio feels a bit firmer but the ride improves at higher speeds. The Tiago also comes with wider tyres and the brakes did a good job of scrubbing off speed.

[caption id="attachment_20343" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Tata Tiago Airbags Tata Tiago Airbags[/caption]

In terms of safety, the Tiago comes with optional dual airbags from the XE version onwards and are standard on the top end XZ version. The Celerio gets dual airbags and ABS as optional across even on the base verison. The Tiago also offers speed sensitive auto door locks, rear parking sensors and follow me home lamps – these three features are not offered in the Celerio.

[caption id="attachment_20335" align="alignnone" width="600"]Maruti_Celerio rear three quarter action shot Maruti_Celerio rear three quarter action shot[/caption]

And finally the price. At a starting price of Rs 3.2 lakh for the petrol range and Rs 3.94 lakh for the diesel line-up, the Tiago undercuts the petrol and diesel Celerio by Rs 80,000 and Rs 86,000 respectively. Even the top end Tiago models are cheaper by Rs 35,000 and yet offer more in almost every parameter.

[caption id="attachment_20334" align="alignnone" width="600"]Maruti Celerio diesel engine Maruti Celerio diesel engine[/caption]

The Celerio has a lot of options for various buyers – AMT and CNG models for example. It has ample space, is easy to drive and comes with Maruti’s trusted engines and peace of mind for a long term ownership. But, buyers today are looking at much more: More in terms of features, comfort, performance. The Tiago manages to offer all of these at a lower price and with better looks. Therefore, the Tata Tiago wins this comparison with the Maruti Suzuki Celerio.
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