With the December holiday looming, I was cut in two — which Suzuki will I take on my journey to Hartenbos, my Jimny or long-term Celerio? In town, I’ve been having a blast in the latter. The Celerio made for a commendable companion as a city runaround since I was handed the keys to the small hatchback. Its diminutive dimensions made it a cinch to park in tight spaces. Its luggage capacity was more than sufficient for loading the weekly groceries … and it proved its worth when it was taken out of its comfort zone when we had to haul some items when we moved into a new apartment (but more about the latter in chapter three). I considered a couple of things as to which Suzuki I should choose.

Ultimately, I decided that the Jimny would have to wait for another long-distance trip … and that would be a long one, one to the Free State. The destination — Clarens, where the upcoming Jimny Gathering would take place. So, ultimately, I decided it was time to make some memories in the Celerio and take it on its first road trip. Loaded with my luggage and Christmas gifts, it was my sleigh to the buzzing coastal town. In addition, this allowed me to improve the average fuel consumption figure recorded while zipping around the Mother City.

Before setting off, I activated Apple CarPlay by plugging my smartphone into the fore USB port (sidenote: as it’s located low down in front of the gear lever, I found it not as easy to access the port when it’s dark outside, even when the cabin light was switched on). With my location set in Google Maps, I pressed “Start”, navigated to Apple Music and pressed the “play” button. With Rage Against the Machine playing, it was time to kill some kilometres, Zack de la Rocha’s vocals keeping me thoroughly awake for the trip.

Cruising in fifth gear at the national limited, the drive was comfortable. Although producing only 49 kW/89 Nm, the (830 kg) Celerio’s power and torque outputs were sufficient on the stretches of even tarmac, and, here, overtaking didn’t require as much calculation. However, when a fork appeared on an uphill piece of road, trying to overtake a string of slowly moving vehicles, including trucks, wasn’t as easy. And it was best to stay in a lower gear and wait for the opportune time. But, when the road cleared, the Celerio was back in its stride.

Thanks to the low fuel consumption figure, I could complete the trip in one go and then some. The Celerio could easily make additional trips, most of which were to the beach with our umbrella on the back seats and beach bags in the boot. Then, with the tank refuelled, we headed to Buffels Bay, one of our favourite spots. That’s where this picture was taken.

Then it was time to head back home, the Celerio, this time, fully loaded with my and some of my girlfriend’s luggage. What a lovely trip it was. And, as mentioned in chapter one, a long-termer is a vehicle in which many memories will be made. And, on this trip, memories were most definitely made.

  • Chapter 2/6
  • Distance completed: 1 257 km
  • Fuel consumption: 5.6 L/100 km