In 2015, Suzuki Philippines launched the second-generation Celerio. No longer sporting a cute and bubbly exterior, the all-new hatchback (at the time) featured a more mature exterior design, as well as a more practical and functional interior.
Since its initial release, however, the tiny hatchback has only received subtle updates like a new touchscreen infotainment and reverse parking sensors in 2017. Outside, all remains the same with the Suzuki Celerio. Yes, there was the 2018 facelift revealed in India but we never got our hands on it. That’s because, since 2015, Suzuki has been sourcing the Celerio from Thailand.
But in the coming weeks or months, we will be saying goodbye to the second-generation hatchback. That’s because the first batch of the all-new 2022 Suzuki Celerio has arrived in the Philippines, and it’s now sourced from Maruti in India according to an anonymous source.
First revealed in November 2021, Suzuki completely redesigned the exterior and interior of the hatchback. Not only that, but it’s also bigger than the outgoing generation it will be replacing. The exact specifications of the 2022 Celerio are not yet available. But since we already know what it will look like, we’ve decided to do a design comparo between the old and the new.
Bigger and Bolder
Immediately noticeable between the two hatchbacks are the distinct faces. Whereas the outgoing Celerio features a low-slung front grille paired with square-like headlights, the new-generation hatchback gets a more traditional grille design and teardrop-shaped headlights. It also gets a new front bumper with black body cladding, as well as larger foglights.
Thanks to the redesign, the hood of the all-new Celerio doesn’t slope all the way towards the grille. Meanwhile, the fenders feature character lines that further give the hatchback its own distinct look. Last but not least, the grille comes with additional brightwork that connects the left and right headlights.
While the outgoing model already looked mature, it seems Suzuki wanted the third-generation Celerio to take it to the next level. Looking at the finished product, it seems the automaker was able to pull it off.
Suzuki wasn’t only busy giving the Celerio a fresh new face. Around the back, the automaker also gave the humble hatchback a more stylish rear.
For starters, the Celerio gets a new pair of wraparound taillights. Not only are they bigger, but they get a new design that differs from the vertical stack of the outgoing generation. Also new is the tailgate with the reshaped rear glass and metal panel.
Last but not least is the rear bumper. It gets a more muscular look and shape and comes with rear reflectors for improved visibility at night.
Some might say Suzuki could have done more to change up the Celerio’s rear. Personally, I think the automaker did enough to effect big changes and freshen it up.
For those that think the Celerio’s current cabin looks simple or outdated, you’re in for a surprise in the next-generation hatchback. Just like the exterior, Suzuki has redesigned the interior from a clean sheet.
Both the dashboard and the instrument panel get a brand new look. The center is dominated by a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and is flanked by vertical-style aircon vents. To save on space on the door panels, Suzuki moved the switches for the door locks and power windows to the center dashboard, just below the touchscreen.
Also worth mentioning is a new large steering wheel with media controls, a revised center stack with USB/12V ports, redesigned seat fabrics, and updated corner aircon vents.
Gone is the dash-mounted gear selector on the new Celerio. That’s because the all-new hatchback can now be paired to Suzuki’s automated manual transmission (AMT) called Auto Gear Shift (AGS). This means the Celerio hatchback could lose its CVT option and get the new AGS system.
Hatchbacks are not dead
With the Celerio serving as one of the oldest vehicles in Suzuki Philippines’ lineup, the arrival of the next-generation model could inject new life into the budget-friendly hatchback. And since it’s bigger than its predecessor, it could attract those who are looking at a small yet spacious five-door subcompact.
Crossovers, SUVs, and MPVs may be all rage today, but Suzuki still believes that stylish and affordable subcompact hatchbacks still have a place in the Philippine car market. Will Suzuki be able to attract buyers with the 2022 Celerio? We’ll find out once the automaker officially launches it in the country.