We've been skipping from one launch to another today, but the biggest development this week is the re-launch of India's favorite small car - the Alto.
Maruti Alto 800 petrol variants, ex-showroom prices, Mumbai
- Standard - 2,60,512 rupees
- LX - 2,94,655 rupees
- LXi - 3,17,279 rupees
Maruti Alto 800 CNG variants, ex-showroom Mumbai
- Standard - 3,39,322 rupees
- LX - 3,58,222 rupees
- LXi - 3,77,174 rupees
The Maruti Alto 800 will not replace the currently selling Alto or the K10 variant, it an inclusion to the ever-growing small car stable of Maruti Suzuki. Between 2006-2011, the Alto was the best selling car in India. In 2010 and 2011, it was the best selling small car in the world, beating the likes of the VW Gol, Fiat Uno and the VW Golf.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 filmed inside-out
[can't see the video above? Head over to Youtube]
It is based on the same platform, but what Maruti have done is improved the powertrain to return better mileage, power and torque figures.
The cabin comfort has been improved with better rear leg room (15mm), better head room (roof placed at 15mm over the current model) and the car is 15mm wider.
The car's length has been reduced by 20mm thanks to better engine room packaging.
The car retains the city-friendly driving characteristics with the same ground clearance (160mm) and turning radius (4.2m). Maruti have tweaked the suspension settings to provide a better ride.
The powertrain is the same 796cc, 3cyl petrol mill, which now develops 2PS (48 PS) and 7 Nm (69 Nm) over the old Alto.
[Alto gets driver side airbag as an option for the first time in India, on the top-end LXi variant]
These may not sound like much, but Maruti has managed this and they've improved the fuel economy by 15%.
[Head room, rear leg room and car width have improved marginally]
At 22.74kmpl, the Alto takes back the crown of India's most fuel efficient car in the high-end A Segment.
[Engine consumes less fuel despite having higher outputs; 5-speed gearbox is the carried over and is claimed to shift using less effort]
Yes, the Nano is the baap of all fuel economy claims, with 25.3 kmpl, but it sits in a lower segment.
The Alto 800 sports an all-new body - there are arguments here on the design matching the Figo facelift's, which is also our view. The design is a mash-up of existing successful cars and Suzuki's bigger cars. The design could have been an original attempt, but did you note the prices?
The two base variants of the Alto 800 are priced at 37k rupees, 23k rupees lower than the current model, while the top-end is 51k over the top-end variant which comes with features like power steering, air-conditioning, front power windows (comparing ex-showroom prices, Delhi).
For a new design, new interior, better interior packaging and considerable gains in the economy front, the widest service network in India, tentatively the best resale value in its segment and a price range of 2.44-2.99 lakhs, can a car get any better in the A Segment?
The bettered Alto wins our vote, its certainly a front-running option for not only the second-car buyer, but also for a first time car buyer with a budget of 3-3.5 lakhs.
Maruti Alto 800 official images
[can't see the slideshow above? Head to the Flickr gallery to see all the images]
Maruti Alto 800 Brochure
[can't see the brochure above? Head over to Issuu]