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Old 8th May 2013, 18:14   #1
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Smile Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

I have been around T-BHP for some time now, however haven't had the thought to pen down my two cents about my 4 year old Maruti Alto Lxi. At-least till now. It has been a hassle free ownership so far. The single hiccup I have had so far was an accident(a cow on the road ) while cruising along from Bangalore to Nagercoil, my home town. Otherwise, I wouldn't blame it for anything. It has stood by me(and wifey and 2 year old son) so far with minumum niggles and problems. The 40,000 KM so far has seen a number of highway trips(primarily Bangalore - Nagercoil and Bangalore - Chennai).

I didn't actually want to buy an Alto. It was in-fact the last car in my heart and mind. Simply because I love to drive. An Alto wasn't meant to be driven the way I loved to. It was a car to take one from point A to B. But its the car which finally landed up in the basement. The conditions about 4 years back weren't ideal for me to get a bigger hatchback. It was finally a decision between Alto and Spark and I decided to go with the former just for Maruti.


Booking and delivery:-
BIMAL at Mahadevpura was the chosen dealer. The process was smooth and the final offer I received was better than what I haggled for initially. I chose the silver color. The only other color available immediately was black. "Brown Earth" looked cool, but demanded at 3 week waiting period. I was given a Rs.17,000 discount which also included Rs.2,000 as corporate discount.
The final cost came to Rs.3,15,000 On-Road.

Ownership:-
I have so far completed 40,000 KM. Usage is mostly in the city currently involving the office trip, the weekend shopping and the occasional friend/family visits. I keep a light foot and hence get a good mileage of about 17-18KMPL in the city. The car is very easy to handle at city and low speeds.
Highway trips were common in the first 1.5 years. This car isn't suited for the highway, however it managed well during the 700 KM trips we had between Bangalore and Nagercoil. During the last 2 years, I haven't thought of taking it again though.

Performance:-
Maintaining 90-100 speeds is no problem at all. However, go even slightly above that and it begins to float. A 796 cc engine isn't one to be pressed hard, and I have never. I usually travel without the A/C and this helps. With the A/C on, almost half the power is drained. City driving is average. You will not be one of the first to start from traffic signal or after a speed-breaker. Gets very irritating when I see bigger, more powerful cars pull through effortlessly, but that's what you get with an Alto.
Performance on highways is also not something dramatic. I am always better-off cruising at 90 to 100KM/Hr. I cannot get further than 120, and have never tried.

Suspension and Steering:-
The steering gets super light and any slight change in direction will throw the car out of control. In-fact, even a small bump or pebble on the road will make one lose confidence.The ride gets very bouncy and we are lucky that we didn't have a 3rd passenger during any of the trips.
City driving is better, thanks to the easy drive and light steering. It is easy to make your way through traffic and parking in tight places is a piece of cake.

Brakes:-
Aren't confidence inspiring at high speeds. They have a very rubbery feel and don't like speeds in excess of 100 KMPH.

Space and Comfort:-
Space is very limited both at the back and front. We never have a 3rd passenger, unless there are visitors whom we have to drop at a station, hence both front seats are at the furthest position away from. Its usually our backpacks which take the back seat.
My height is the biggest dis-advantage. At 6'2", its not easy to both fit myself in this cramped environment. My legs also foul with the steering, which makes it even more irritating. The seats might have been more supportive for a shorter person, but not in my case. The saving grace is that I don't have passengers sitting at the rear seat.
The Air Conditioner is good and it felt more powerful than an Indica V2's. It cools the small cabin quickly However, keep anything above "2" in the blower speed and you will not hear your passengers speak. At 4, it seems like you are in a small tornado.

Build quality and fit & finish:-
This is average fare. The quality of some switches is good. However, most of the other parts have very poor quality. There are also very big gaps and holes on the steering column. We cannot ask for more at this price range. However, Maruti could have at-least looked at polishing some of the rough edges.

Mileage:-
It gives about 17 - 18 KMto the litre in the city. This is mostly without A/C. Traffic isn't usually a problem during my daily ride to work and back.
On the highways, the maximum I have got is 21 KM/L. My highway drives have tapered down in the last 2 years, hence this might have changed.

Storage and Luggage:-
There isn't much you can pack either. Luggage room is very restricted. You could probably pack a couple of small sports bags and back-packs. Space is further restricted because there is a rigid parcel tray housing the speakers. I find this irritating because I cannot load further luggage during long trips.

There are a couple of holders in-front of the gear lever which can house small 500 ml bottles.

Major issues/problems so far:-
After an accident where the wind-screen crashed, the shards entered the A/C ducts. The initial service done at a local dealer didn't solve the problem. When the A/C was switched on, glass pieces were blown into the car. We immediately gave the car again to BIMAL service who overhauled the entire A/C and the ducts.
Another issue I had recently was with the suspension. Any minor broken roads or pebbles would cause server rattling and noise. This was solved at a recent service.

Observations so far:-
- An OK City car. Easy to drive(without A/c)
- Reliable.
- Very easy to maintain
- Good A/C
- Fuel efficient. Returns an average of about 18KMPL
- Turning radius is good
- No power absolutely with A/C
- Room at the back. I am 6'2" and my seat is at the farthest postition. This car isn't meant even meant to be 3 seater.
- Not a highway car at all
- Bumpy ride especially at the back
- Very little boot space. A couple of backpacks will empty it out.
- Very low seating

There are of course a lot more negatives than positives, but the main reason I am happy is because I haven't had to worry about it anytime.

The accident I mentioned above was a horrendous experience. Little did i expect a cow to jump on to the highway near midnight and out of nowhere. I swerved and hit the median. I lost the windscreen and the roof bent in. My left index finger was broken at different places and My wife's right arm had glass shards all over. It was pitch dark(around 11.30 PM) and I had about 1 hour left to get to Nagercoil. I managed to get to the nearest toll gate where we rested for my father-in-law.
Back in Bangalore later that week, we decided never to venture in the dark again on our highways. Its been about 2 years and we still haven't.

Of-course, I am looking forward to get a bigger, better car(probably a diesel sedan), however, I am willing to live with the Alto for another 1.5 years. I don't want to give it up just yet.
Some pictures of my car.
Attached Thumbnails
Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms-img_0514.jpg  

Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms-img_0515.jpg  

Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms-img_0631.jpg  


Last edited by Rehaan : 16th August 2013 at 17:03.
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Old 14th August 2013, 16:08   #2
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Default Re: Maruti Alto Lxi long term ownership - 38000 KM

I am planning a longish journey tomorrow(August 15th through the next 10 days). Starting from Bangalore at about 0400 and hoping to reach Nagercoil at about 1300/1400. Then, a couple of trips between Nagercoil and Trivandrum over the weekend.
The return to Bangalore will be sometime next weekend and it will be a long one since I have to first go to Chennai for some work.

Musings of the journey, my Alto and pictures will keep flowing on this thread.

Last edited by aneezan : 14th August 2013 at 16:12.
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Old 16th August 2013, 17:03   #3
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th August 2013, 10:14   #4
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Completed the travel from Bangalore to Nagercoil on 15th August. Started from home at Whitefield at about 0530. Took the Sarjapur-Attibele route, which is shorter than the ORR. There was some delay at the Attibele signal.
The 6 lane road till Krishnagiri has almost been completed, save for a few stretches where work is still going on.
Reached home in Nagercoil at 1445. A/C was used full time after Madurai. The car performed without any trouble throughout the journey. Managed to keep it at about 100km/h where it was safe to do so. Progress was slower after Madurai because of the A/C.
Overall, was very happy with the journey. This was the quickest time I have traveled this route in the Alto.

Last edited by aneezan : 19th August 2013 at 10:16.
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Old 19th August 2013, 15:52   #5
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

A number of trips between Nagercoil and Trivandrum over the past 3 days has seen the odo tip over 41,000 Kms.
The car was fully loaded(5 occupants with some luggage) throughout all the trips. Needless to say, these are the times when I really feel I need a more powerful and bigger car. Not because its small, but the roads are terrible.
The car need not be blamed. It handled the load and the roads well. The recent service fixed the suspension issues I had earlier, hence the broken patches were not as bad as before.

The Nagercoil-Trivandrum highway is notorious for its pot-holes and traffic. The heat made it a must for the A/C to remain on always, which further drains all the power.

Next long trip coming up on Wednesday, 21st August from Bangalore to Chennai.
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Old 19th August 2013, 16:29   #6
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Default Re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 41,000 kms

Couple of pictures of my Alto, resting at home.
Attached Thumbnails
Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms-tbhp5.jpg  

Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms-tbhp6.jpg  

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Old 19th August 2013, 16:35   #7
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Sorry, this should be Nagercoil to Chennai

Quote:
Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
...
Next long trip coming up on Wednesday, 21st August from Bangalore to Chennai.
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Old 19th August 2013, 22:09   #8
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Quite a nice looking Alto you have there! Liked the wheelcaps.

A frankly written review. Do continue posting about your car on a regular basis.

PS: I have an 800 and an A-Star, two different generations of the Alto!
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Old 20th August 2013, 13:44   #9
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Would anyone know how much would be the right pressure for the tires in Alto? I usually keep it at 33psi, however, i found that reducing it to 30 felt more comfortable and the ride was less bumpy.
Also, how much would be apt for long journeys?
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Old 22nd August 2013, 05:00   #10
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Completed the Nagercoil to Chennai journey yesterday. It was a tiring experience, mainly because of the truck traffic after Trichy. The A/C was fully on during the whole journey. The car was almost fully loaded. Bags in the boot and some more in the rear seat.
Started at 0600 in the morning and arrived at 0530 in the evening. Almost 12 hours, but that was because of a 2 hour break at Trichy. No complaints or issues on the car throughout the journey.
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Old 22nd August 2013, 17:14   #11
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
Would anyone know how much would be the right pressure for the tires in Alto? I usually keep it at 33psi
The correct pressure is 30 psi, however I usually fill it at 32 psi for highway trips since it is better to be slightly over inflated than under. Also my trips usually has only two persons in car hence I guess higher pressure is fine.
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Old 26th August 2013, 13:48   #12
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Completed the journey from Chennai to Bangalore on Saturday. It was a tiring and regrettable one. My decision to take the route through Chittoor from Wallajahpet turned sour . We were stopped at the Andhra border and told to go back since it was a bandh day. Ended up adding another 80 Kms to the odo. Rather than the journey, i felt irrirtated and cursed myself for taking this route.
The journey started at 0800 in the morning from Chennai and reached home in Whitefield at 1630.

Sunday Morning: More bad news. Front left tyre had a flat. Spent an hour replacing it.

The whole Bangalore-Nagercoil-Trivandrum-Nagercoil-Chennai-Bangalore journey took approximately 2100 Kms. Over a week, this is the longest I have travelled in the Alto albeit with a number of stop-overs.

I really fet the need for a bigger car during this journey. Be it the extra person, the extra luggage, the A/C, the unwanted extra Kilometers, it all added up to my urge to replace the Alto.
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Old 26th August 2013, 14:19   #13
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
Couple of pictures of my Alto, resting at home.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
Would anyone know how much would be the right pressure for the tires in Alto? I usually keep it at 33psi, however, i found that reducing it to 30 felt more comfortable and the ride was less bumpy.
Also, how much would be apt for long journeys?
Nice review Aneezan. I advise you try and put either black colour steel wheels or get them painted or paint them yourself. It is a DIY as the wheel caps you have as suiting the car but the silver wheels are not gelling with the wheel caps so if you blacken the wheels it would rock.

Here is the link to the DIY!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...erience-4.html (My Silver Maruti Ritz (Petrol) : Ownership Experience)

Regarding the tyre pressures you can use 30 or 31 psi in the City but for long drive fill in 32-33 psi.

Anurag.
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Old 26th August 2013, 16:01   #14
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Nice review Aneezan. ....
Regarding the tyre pressures you can use 30 or 31 psi in the City but for long drive fill in 32-33 psi.

Anurag.
Thanks a4anurag, will try to do it myself. Yes, the steels really get dirty after long journeys. Blacks would do wonders.



42500 Kilometers completed. The tyres look worn out. How long will they trudge on?
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Old 26th August 2013, 16:07   #15
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Default re: Maruti Alto LXi @ 52,000 kms

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Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
42500 Kilometers completed. The tyres look worn out. How long will they trudge on?
The tyres are almost on its end of life. Whether the tyres have thread left or no it is best to change them at 50K kms.

So get them changed at 50K kms.

Anurag.
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