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Against the backdrop of major changes and the global crisis, many consumers try to save, and therefore switch to more affordable products. That is why in such a situation, many motorists choose compact cars. These models do not take up much space and have low fuel consumption. A decent offer in this class is Suzuki Alto. It became another “global” car of the Japanese company and it is the hero of our Suzuki Alto Review. It is interesting that the production was established not in Japan and even in Europe, but in India, where the car was called A-Star and sold under the Maruti brand. Suzuki claims that the Indian origin of the model should not scare the buyers – the quality control at the local factory is not worse than in Japan. In addition, Maruti has long sought to get to the European market, and the Alto is a good way to adjust to the standards of the Old World.
The “kid” Alto attracts with fresh and unusual design. Its front end looks especially original. The large headlights make its “look” somewhat naive and sweet. They are well combined with a huge grille, bisected by the bumper beam. The front pillars differ with a large angle, while the rear - are almost vertical. Sloping window line with an elegant bend in the area of the rear doors gives the hatchback a fast moving appearance. The rear end looks tightened, the massive bumper is combined with triangular headlights.
The vehicle is small - 3500 mm in length, but because its wheels are spaced at the corners of the body, the wheelbase reaches 2360 mm. The width is 1600 mm, and height - 1470 mm. The novelty is very streamlined: frontal CX drag coefficient is 0.30. The power elements of the body are made of light but very strong grades of steel. This allowed achieving a good level of passive safety and at the same time it keeps the hatchback weight at 885 kg.
The cabin is predominantly simple and functional, and the finishing materials are sufficiently qualitative for the standards of this class car. The laconic gray plastic is diluted with silver inserts on the center console. Bright red lights look nice against this background. The dashboard is very small, and there is only a speedometer dial. The remaining data is shown either on a small liquid crystal display, or shown through lamps.
Each of the passengers is provided with cup holders, two at front and two behind. Alto is a four-seater, however most of the space is reserved for the driver and front passenger. The steering column is adjustable in height only. Rear legroom and overhead space is limited, but two adults can fit fine. The rear glass on the doors doesn’t slide down, but opens like a small window. The trunk is small, its capacity is 129 liters, with folded seats it is 774-liter compartment.
The Asian versions are not very richly equipped, and it is not surprising, since this is a budget model, and it provides only the central locking and power steering. However, the cars produced for Europe are well-equipped; they have an immobilizer, electric front windows, two airbags, and a radio with CD-player. But the air conditioning is optional, as well as 14-inch alloy wheels, side airbags, anti-lock braking system ABS and ESP stabilization system.
The only available engine is 1.0-liter three-cylinder capacity of 67 hp. It has rather high-spirited nature, but at low revs there is a lack of torque. Its peak of 90 Nm is reached at 4800 rev / min. Acceleration to 100 km / h takes 14 seconds, thus its dynamics suits well for the city drive. The motor has a very small “appetite”: it consumes 5.0 l / 100 km in the urban cycle and 4.3 l / 100 km out of town.
Along with 5-speed manual transmission the car is offered with 4-step “automatic”. However, it significantly impairs the dynamics (17.5 seconds to 100 km / h) and increases fuel consumption - 6.5 liters / 100 km in the combined cycle.
Alto is a nimble and agile car, which feels well in urban environment. The turning circle reaches only 9.0 m. The suspension is quite soft, and therefore comfortably absorbs all the bumps. However, there is a downside: on the high speed the car lurches noticeably in cornering. But this is not a sports car, and it has a completely different focus.
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