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Old 26th March 2012, 17:40   #1
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Default Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

Maruti is famous for cheap cars. But how cheap can one go? Dad bought an Alto Lxi(800cc) three months back, with a cash discount of 27K. Hyundai Eon (Delite+) was similarly priced, except that discounts are not applicable.

This 27K (discount) was the only differentiating factor that tilted Dad's decision in favour of the Alto.

Did he make a wise decision? Let me compare my 4 year old Alto Lxi (800cc) with this new model.

Last edited by jinojohnt : 24th June 2012 at 01:02.
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Old 26th March 2012, 20:08   #2
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

1. Ash Tray removed: I feel the Ash Tray is not much of a necessity, given the small percentage of public who smoke in cars.
2. Small pocket (for storing mobile phones) just below the middle a/c vents is removed: This pocket was actually very convenient.

New vs Old:
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Old 23rd June 2012, 23:04   #3
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

3. Seats are thin: While this translates to more leg room for rear passengers, the seats are noticably harder and less comfortable. Also, the base anchors of the seats are flimsier.
4. Front Head rests are not removable or adjustable: It just stands like an ugly tip of the ice-berg.
(Kindly excuse the dirt inside, the car was just back from transporting plants).

New vs Old:
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Last edited by jinojohnt : 23rd June 2012 at 23:37.
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Old 23rd June 2012, 23:17   #4
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

5. Rear Seats shortened to increase rear leg room: There's literally no under-thigh support, infact only half length of the thigh's touch the seat. Cushioning is also very less, the ride is noticably bumpier.
Also notice the difference in thickness of the front seat.

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Last edited by jinojohnt : 23rd June 2012 at 23:39.
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Old 23rd June 2012, 23:33   #5
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

6. Front seat slide adjuster changed to a small lever like that in the Maruti800. Old Alto had a meaty easy-to-use full lever.

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Last edited by jinojohnt : 23rd June 2012 at 23:41.
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Old 23rd June 2012, 23:46   #6
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

7. Sun-visors are very thin (old Alto had thicker ones), and have a wire lining through the boundary. Better not to keep the visor in this position, to avoid injury in case you brake suddenly and lean forward.

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Old 23rd June 2012, 23:52   #7
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

8. Plastic lining of the hatch opening replaced with carpet: No words to say. Be careful while unloading luggage from the boot, to avoid tearing this carpet lining.
Also notice the poor quality rubber beading.

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Old 23rd June 2012, 23:59   #8
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

9. Passenger door lock missing. Come on Maruti ! What are you thinking? This means if I park close to a wall on the driver side, I'll not be able to unlock from outside the passenger door.

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Old 24th June 2012, 00:11   #9
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

10. Side a/c vents can be fully closed (an improvement). Center vents cannot be fully closed, though.
A noticable difference is that the plastic of a/c vents is flimsier.

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Old 24th June 2012, 00:19   #10
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

11. Engine temparature guage is missing. Now you may know about engine-over-heating only when a flashing light appears (and by that time it may be too late).

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Old 24th June 2012, 00:27   #11
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Default re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

12. Interior Plastic quality has generally come down.
13. OEM Tyres are now tubeless: The customer stands to gain, though this is actually a cost cutting (wholesale prices of tubeless tyres are less I think, and also less hassles for fitting a tubeless tyre to the rim).
14. Thinner metal, evident from the way the door closes. Heavy body panels typical of old Alto is gone - now the metal feels the same as that of Maruti 800.
15. Windows have an irritating rattle (prominent while closing the door), even for a new car!
16. Rear door child lock removed! But coming to think of it, I have never used the rear-child-lock because I am not comfortable with leaving kids alone in the car.
17. Sound dampener carpet between the spare wheel and the bootfloor removed. The boot-floor-board is screwed to the spare wheel "Maruti 800 style", to prevent rattles.

I was thinking of exchanging my old Alto (when it becomes 5 years old) and buying a new car. Will I buy the new Alto? A big NO. Here are my reasons.

1. The new alto gives me a feeling of extreme cost cutting.
2. The new alto feels as flimsy as the old Maruti 800, probably because of thinner metal.
3. When Alto was exported to Europe, it had some build quality. Now that export to Europe is stopped, I feel the quality would degrade further on a year by year basis (signs are showing up already).
4. I feel that the step by step quality reduction is aimed at finally placing the Alto as the new Maruti800.

Do point out if you notice any other difference between the old and the new Alto!

Last edited by jinojohnt : 24th June 2012 at 01:01.
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Old 25th June 2012, 09:50   #12
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Default Re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

One more point to add. In my 2005 Alto, the sides of the boot area had plastic cladding along with the opening of the hatch. In 2007 onwards this was replaced with carpet as well. This is the area above the rear wheels in the hatch just below the rear seat belts. It was all moulded plastic cladding earlier but replaced by carpet later on.

The overall quality has gone down a fair bit for all plastic parts post 2007. My 2005 Alto is still running well with the new owner.
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Old 25th June 2012, 10:48   #13
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Default Re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
14. Thinner metal, evident from the way the door closes. Heavy body panels typical of old Alto is gone - now the metal feels the same as that of Maruti 800.
This had became apparent right from the time when the first facelift appeared. Our 2004 Alto felt (and still feels) much more solid than say, a Santro and the 2008 Alto is noticeably flimsier. Once a moron in a Sumo had left a deep dent on the front fender of the latter while waiting at a signal and I was able to set it right with a 15 cms ruler !! It felt as thin as a mineral water bottle !!

Last edited by prkiran : 25th June 2012 at 10:49.
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Old 25th June 2012, 10:54   #14
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Default Re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

Nice observations. Cost cutting was a part of demoting the alto F10 to the level of the 800 and making some space for the K10. Once the Euro-IV norms were in place, there were ads in TV that said Alto starts from ~~2lakhs. This is how they cut the price. But interior bits and pieces have lost quality. I felt that the new alto has lost weight too, as it was very zippy at low speeds. Maybe you could verify this from the user manual of both the cars.
The steering has become thinner too, if you havent observed!
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Old 25th June 2012, 11:16   #15
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Default Re: Going cheap, the Maruti way : Comparing the Maruti Alto versions

@ jinojohnt: Excellent thread. I really appreciate your inputs and commend on the keen observations made.
Somehow I was never able to make out these differences on my own.
However the thinner seats are very common these days in many cars and are used to free up some interior space. But yes, that could have some downsides like you mentioned.
Has the weight of the Alto reduced compared to the older versions?
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