Suzuki Alto: Sub-Light Hatch comparison

27 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki Alto: Sub-Light Hatch comparison

Suzuki Alto

: Sub-Light comparison

Suzuki Alto

we liked:

Tractable three-cylinder

Commendable fuel consumption

user-friendly controls

Not so much:

 poor braking performance

value proposition

Sub-par fit and finish


While the may have proved surprisingly overall, its suspension and tyres let it severely where handling and were concerned. The car understeered in the damp conditions encountered on and was the worst performer under From 60km/h the Alto 19.0m to stop, the worst

The body was slow in its reaction to input, which was frustrating the Alto’s good level of feedback. The weighting of the steering, was inconsistent, the hydraulic system heavily at low engine speeds making quick directional (think parallel parking).

A and tractable 1.0-litre engine the Alto with deceptively and impressively linear acceleration. The car was to pull away from low in second gear which is a thing considering that gear was too tall for most Climbing the steep grade on the

Alto had no trouble holding gear (at a low 2300rpm!) with a complement of passengers on board.

zero to 60km/h the Alto 6.8sec, making it the second-best entrant here. The car also one of the best fuel consumption on test (6.9L/100km), ranking behind the Volkswagen up!.

offering less suspension than many of the others the Alto still performed when loaded with proving well composed at speeds. The gearshift felt and quite positive, a shame, the clutch became ‘sticky’ hot.


of its three-cylinder engine, the Alto was able to lay claim as Australia’s economical non-hybrid car. with the advent of the Volkswagen up! and Mirage, that advantage has eroded — although, at a average of 4.7L/100km, the Alto is a gas guzzler.

And it remains the cheapest car here.

the five-speed manual-transmission GL version at $11,790, and the four-speed auto at the latter fits below versions of the Nissan Micra and up.

But don’t go looking for any favours standard equipment is concerned. The has air-conditioning, (non-remote) central and front power windows, but no computer, no multi-function steering and no electric mirrors.

It is also the car here, which is evident in its dimensions, although it is not the lightest: The and the up! have (slightly) fewer to carry. Like all the others the Mirage, the Alto is fitted steel wheels (including the spare), in this case super-skinny 155/65R14 tyres – the in the group.

Although the Alto has the of Australian motoring clubs as the car to own and operate, and comes with a three-year 100,000km new car warranty, it no included roadside assist.

A four-passenger capacity, as well as a ANCAP safety rating, against the Alto’s score,


The didn’t get off to a great start we opened the door. The cloth around the seat height was loose and ill-fitting, not to mention and ragged around the edges.

were already evident on the cards and lower dash too, not a good sign. paint quality is exceptionally too, with heaps of peel, especially on painted surfaces.

The dark grey dash and light grey dash look good afar, but upon close prove there are more a few inconsistencies in panel gaps. The air vents also feel as do the indicator/wiper stalks.

Plastic are another low point. The gearknob in is too coarsely-grained to feel comfortable in the of your hand, and the urethane wheel is similarly unpleasant. The sprouting from the dashboard looks decidedly naff, and visibility for shorter drivers.

The USB port is an obvious afterthought, its poor integration into the Curiously though, the Alto had one of the extensively-trimmed boot areas it’s just a shame there were a few rattly back there.


Despite having doors, Alto only four seats and, to be even that is somewhat of a Alto also suffers a shallow entry to its cargo which holds a group-worst 110 This is expanded to 345 litres the 50:50 split-fold seat in its position.

Although the rear offers some cosseting head, knee and footroom are all at a leaving the front-seat occupants knees in their backs their thin pews incidentally, lack separate Rear passengers do have elbow width, thanks to low arm-rests.

Things improve with a nicely adjustable position and a seat squab could be lowered to give a angle of … on the major Visibility is also good and rear, though the thick A- and and rear door up-sweep, lateral vision.

The centre console is uncluttered and to use, which is handy there are no steering wheel-mounted The biggest negative is the lack of mirrors, leaving the driver to across the cabin when adjustment is required.

On the road the characterful three-pot does when revved, but on initial is very smooth – in fact you be forgiven for thinking it had stalled! once warmed up, the return to (say, at the traffic lights) quite a vibration, which is through the cabin. Otherwise noise is minimal and the ride is enough not to disturb passengers.


The Suzuki ’s technology struggles to compete the competition in our line-up. There’s no connectivity and no multi-function steering controls. The manual adjust also see the Alto on the back before any in-depth investigation has

The Alto’s audio interface (single) CD, MP3, auxiliary and USB controlled through buttons on the stack. The six speakers deliver sound, although the top of dash of the front speakers is questionable for clarity.

The driver and front get electric windows, but the second row are manually controlled. The driver has over all door locks, but cannot control the front window.

The Suzuki Alto is a car that is relatively user-friendly, due to the lack of any modern equipment. to a target market where gadgetry thrills and connectivity is the Alto, sadly, disappoints.

Suzuki Alto (from / as tested $11,790)

Engine: three-cylinder petrol


Transmission: Five-speed manual

4.7L/100km / 110g/km

Wheels/Tyres: / 155/65

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