Suzuki Alto

4 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki Alto

Suzuki Alto


What we liked

Price and

Safety and overall quality

economy and cheerful looks

Not so

Needs premium unleaded

engine revs well but lumpy

Limited rear-seat small boot

Overall 3.0/5.0

Price, Value, 4.0/5.0

Safety: 3.0/5.0

the wheel: 3.0/5.0


Small cars are getting

The sub-light car class, as it is officially is huge in Europe. But we’ve slow to catch on to the trend Suzuki reckons that’s all to change. But haven’t we been before?

Daihatsu had a big go at little for several decades until the Japanese maker left our a few years ago — just as prices started to climb.

calls itself a pioneer in segment, having been a car specialist for the better part of 50 Indeed, the Alto nameplate has around for 30 years, and has clocked up an 10 million sales globally.

But away some of the PR hype and find Suzuki is one of many in the pint-sized end of Tokyo. It’s that it’s the first to this segment locally is due to follow with two sub-light late this year or next year, and Toyota is the same).

So this super-small has a lot riding on its tiny shoulders.

This all-new model is a car for Suzuki. It is made in India and to all points around the globe. it is the first mainstream Indian-built car on sale in Australia.

As with of the journalists on the preview drive, I was highly skeptical of the build but first impressions were I’d put it on par or better than the Korean quality, and equal to Japanese models. Hardly given that Suzuki have been all over the and the car like a rash.

The Alto’s is right, it has enough safety to embarrass its rivals, and it’s enough to drive if all you’re is a city commuter.


Cheapest car on the market with six and a 4.8 fuel rating

There are models in the Alto range: GL manual at $12,490; GL four-speed for $2000 more; the up-spec GLX manual at $14,490 and the GLX four-speed topping the range at $16,490. All prices exclude dealer and on-road costs

Translated, means the Alto has a starting price of $14,990.

Standard on the base GL model includes six anti-lock brakes, air-conditioning, entry, CD player with input socket, power windows, a tilt adjustable wheel, and a covered driver’s mirror.

The GLX has all of the above but gains control, alloy wheels, a hatch release lever the driver’s door (in the base car you use a key in the rear hatch), a height-adjustable seat, a six-speaker sound and a rev counter that’s stuck on top of the

Both models get window on the rear doors (European Alto have tilt-out glass) and manual mirrors.

Economy, not performance, is the key here

The three-cylinder engine isn’t going to get hearts racing. a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of 14 for the manual and 17 seconds for the auto, the is not a car for thrill seekers. But it might a few people by how much they at the bowser.

For the tech heads (or the curious) the engine puts out a 50kW of power at 6000rpm and an more modest 90Nm of at 3400rpm. But it’s worth these tiny numbers perspective. The Alto is as light as a

Depending on the model weight from 880kg to 920kg.

All combines to create an impressive economy rating of 4.8L/100km and 5.5L/100km (auto). The next affordable car with a 4.8 fuel is a $28,000 Peugeot.

There’s one catch: the Alto insists on 95 RON unleaded fuel, which can add $72 to $140 per year to the average fuel bill. At today’s it will cost $3.50 to fill each tank premium unleaded than 91 RON (a quick check shows is currently a 10 cents per litre between the two fuels).

There is a reason for all this, The Alto’s engine not only Euro IV emissions but also the even more stringent V measure — which is yet to be For the record, the emissions ratings 113g/km (manual) 130g/km


All aboard, it’s a squeeze

The Alto is a four-seater and it has doors, but there needs to be co-operation if a full load of plan on travelling anywhere.

an average-sized driver sitting in the front, it’s likely he or she feel a pair of knees in back if someone sits them. You see, the seats are thin to maximise interior and the downside is that they do to disguise who (or what) is behind

To get four in there in comfort, the two occupants need to inch a little. No real hardship on trips. And we’re guessing the audience of young women may up less space than the blokes in the motoring media

They’ll be better looking

The cabin has a reasonable amount of storage, although there is to secure loose items out of The glovebox is an open-top design if stuffed with maps and junk, could obstruct the of the passenger’s airbag.

There is a in the grab handle of each big enough to store a small The rear doors also a single drinkholder each the front doors have map pockets.

There’s space to carry CDs in front of the gear lever and two and a small oddment tray the audio system.

The boot is (a laptop bag and an aircraft carry-on just about fill it) but at there is a full-size spare under the floor. The rear split folds 50:50 to a larger load space.

is reasonable, especially with the mirrors on both sides of the although the rear window is a little high when Fortunately, though, it’s so you’re in little doubt the external dimensions of the car.

Four-star safety and curtain are standard

The Alto scored a three stars in crash by the independent European New Car Assessment But the locals-pec Alto scores an four stars locally it comes with six airbags as on all models.

In a rare example of reversal, Australia actually has the equipped car: in Europe the model Altos only get two This means the Alto is the car with six airbags on sale in today, an impressive achievement.

brakes are also standard. means the Alto has more equipment than its competitors. For the base models of the Holden (four airbags), Hyundai (two airbags) and Kia Rio (two don’t even have brakes as standard.

Only the expensive Alto GLX gets control. It is not currently a stand-alone on the base car. But given the technology will be compulsory in a few we expect to see stability control on the model Alto before too


No direct rival, than the price leaders

The is cheap, but it is not the cheapest car in Australia its starting drive-away price is The Hyundai Getz and Holden are currently thrashing it out at $13,990

But, the rivals are three-door (not five), are about to be and the Alto is much better

For now, though, the Alto has the sub class to itself until the sized Hyundais and Toyotas over the next year or so.

of size, people buy cars on and so the Alto is expected to steal away from the Toyota or Mazda2. You can get an Alto with the for the price of the base models of one of


Anyone who doesn’t this car doesn’t get it

Be prepared for of sluggish performance and ordinary But you know what? The Alto is fine for what it’s to do.

I’d prefer driving than some of the other cut offerings.

I spent most of my behind the wheel of the automatic, as is expected to account for most The test drive was mostly in the in stop-start traffic, so I can’t any firm assessment of its handling But in this class, tight circles and ease of use are more

The steering is light and easy, the circle is tight and the brakes decent.

Acceleration requires a change in driving style. If you need to move in a hurry, you to push the accelerator to the floor to the automatic gearbox into down. It’s good then that the engine loves to rev — you can feel it to get its legs at about 6000rpm.

The requires a bit more shuffling of to make the most of the engine’s torque. I normally prefer but I reckon the auto Alto is the pick. Just don’t be to squeeze the throttle.

The Alto up bumps and thumps without fuss. And the grip from the tyres is adequate providing not trying to set a lap record on your way to up some KFC. (Incidentally, the replacement tyres are pretty with a RRP of about $100 genuine replacement tyres for the Yaris and Mazda are closer to each).

My only real was the engine at idle speeds. I a soft spot for three-cylinder machine engines, as I call but they can be a bit lumpy at idle. from that, I had a surprisingly time.

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Monday, 27 July 2009

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