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Old 29th September 2008, 13:27   #1
gpa
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Default Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms

Hello everyone,

I had been driving a second hand Maruti 800-May 1996 model for the past 3 and half years. The car was badly maintained by the previous owner and was ageing, so I decided to trade her in.

I got the M 800 on Sept 20, 2004 with 42,000 KMS on the odo, I drove this car for 3 years, 8 months and finally traded her in at 76,204 KMS for a brand new Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi on May 24, 2008.

Based on this excellent site and the LTO review of akroy and a few others, I decided to go in for the Alto LXi. I booked a Pearl Silver Alto LXi on Saturday May 17 and the car was delivered to me by Mandovi Motors, Lavelle Road, Bangalore exactly one week later on Saturday May 24.

I fitted the following accessories at the dealer itself
  1. MGA Nippon Security System
  2. Sony CDX GT270S CD receiver with Sony front and rear speakers
  3. Door beadings
  4. Teflon coating (Got this as a freebie)
The usualy stuff comprising of floor mats, mud flaps, boot mat, steering grip, Ambipur car perfume and a 5 litre pertol coupon were given as freebies on the day of delivery of the car.

The difference of driving between the old M 800 and new fuel injected Alto was very evident from the start. The car has good power (47 ps and 62 Nm of torque) for its class and is nimble to drive in the city. The power steering feels light when parking and crawling around in city traffic, but firms up nicely at high speeds. Would definitely recommend someone going in for the Alto to buy one with power steering, it is definitely worth the extra money.

Will soon post a detailed review of the KMS completed, including the 2 services, fuel efficiency stats, niggling problems and other data for the benefit of members of the forum.

Mods: Kindly update this thread as I continue to post

Thanks,

gpa
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Old 29th September 2008, 14:59   #2
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Congratulations on the new purchase gpa !! Pls post some pics as well !!

Happy Motoring
Abhi
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Old 29th September 2008, 15:15   #3
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Congrats on the buy, GPA.

How does this fall under the long-term ownership review forum with just 5~ months of ownership?

It would be more appropriate unders the initial ownership experience forum. My 2 paise!
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Old 29th September 2008, 15:44   #4
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Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
Congrats on the buy, GPA.

How does this fall under the long-term ownership review forum with just 5~ months of ownership?

It would be more appropriate unders the initial ownership experience forum. My 2 paise!
Hi HappyWheels,

I have driven close to 6500 KMS in less than 4 months, so I suppose that long enough time spent with her to file this under a long term review. Also, I do plan to continue posting to this thread every 5000 KMS or as and when updates are needed

Have made mention to the mods, to continue updating this thread as I progress.

Cheers,

Pritish
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Old 29th September 2008, 16:15   #5
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...I have driven close to 6500 KMS in less than 4 months...
That is some driving you have done! 1500+kms per month! Even I used to do close to this during the initial days of my ownership of my Alto; 700kms round trip to my home town and another 800 round trip to my wife's home town, on alternate weekends used to the standard. This together with the 22kms round trip to office, 5days a week. Have toned down now.

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...Have made mention to the mods, to continue updating this thread as I progress...
My suggestion / observation was as I think it should have been, but I can be entirely off the mark!

Am sure the MOD's will either move or leave it here, as per the rules.
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Old 29th September 2008, 16:27   #6
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Congrats on your new buy. It is a good city and highway vehicle. Many people will vouch for this in this forum. All the people above are owning Alto cars. Post some pics.
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Old 29th September 2008, 19:51   #7
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Default First Service Update

Hello everyone,

Here's a update on my Alto LXi.

Having bought the car on May 24, my first 1000 KMS were dispatched in less than a month. Gave the car for its first free service to Mandovi Motors, Yeshwantpur, Bangalore with the ODO reading 1106. Regular service plus oil/oil filter change cost me Rs. 636.

Come end June and a rather late monsoon set in on Bangalore with its full fury and immeadiately realized that my headlights were insufficient. The older M 800 had 90/100 W Mico Halogens and after extensive night driving with them, the stock lamps of the Alto lacked illumination. Changed them to a pair of Philips Crystal Visions that I had at home and after about of a month of using them, realized that they were of no use in even light rain, so I bought a pair of Philips Xtreme Power halogen bulbs. Have posted my review on them in another thread on this website.

Come July and the Alto's left rear coil suspension setup started squeaking even on slight road undulations. Took it to Mandovi Motors again and they checked up the rear suspension. Everything seemed fine, so the mechanic just greased the bottom part of where the axel where the coil spring sits and the noise stopped.

While I was at Mandovi, I got a 3M underbody treatment done. This comes with a 2 year warranty with 4 free check ups where any damage to the coating will be touched up for free. Paid Rs. 2000 for this. On completing this, road noise has considerably reduced in the cabin.

Also, during the course of the first two months, I've added the following accessories to my Alto
  1. Roots Windtone horns- Rs. 750
  2. Philips Xtreme Power 55/60 halogen bulbs- Rs. 720
  3. Internally adjustable ORVM (RHS)- Rs. 950
More updates to come..

Cheers,

Pritish
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Old 29th September 2008, 20:47   #8
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Default Update--5000 KMS Second Service

Another update.

Hello,

Here's a major update on my Alto..

Come August and the Alto crossed the 3000 KMS mark, having driven hr sadately during the first 1000 KMS always keeping in mind it was the running-in period. I never crossed 70 KMPH, kept my braking in check and never revved the engine hard.

After the first service and oil change, the engine smoothened up considerably. The in-gear acceleration was sharper and power response became more linear.

Almost all of the driving was in the city limits, (Will be posting my fuel efficiency data after this post) with a one off highway trip to Mysore and back..

Come September, and I decided to drive down to Trivandrum. It was a sudden decision and hence we decided that driving down was the best option. We had an option of taking our Santro, but it was due for a 45,000 KMS service and needs a tyre change soon, so decided it was best to take the Alto.

Driving on the highway, the car comes into a league of its own. The tightness of the engine was still slightly apparent at highway speeds. Did the trip with the a/c switched on almost 95% of the time both enroute to Trivandrum and on the way back. I got to test Abhi's (akroy) theory on not switching off the a/c when over taking and I can definitely vouch for this technique and say that it works. Thanks Abhi

The 145/80 MRF ZVTS tyres on the Alto are good at absorbing potholes and bad patches of road, but may not suit more spirited driving. My car had 4 occupants and a full boot and felt well planted and solid at highway speeds. (Top speed achieved was 125 KMPH on the Coimbatore toll road)

Road conditions varied from super smooth roads to extremly rough patches and the car's suspension took it all and did not complain.

The car had just crossed the 5000 KMS mark duringthe journey, so decided to give it for the second free service on returning to Bangalore.

Finally, after a very busy week, gave the car for its second free service at 5962 KMS to Mandovi, Yeshwantpur. Mr. Sathya Prasad, the Asst. Service Manager and service advisor handled the service well.

As the car was driven on the highway, I got the oil/oil filter changed and got an oil additive (Wynn's Super Charge) added to the engine. No other major work apart from cleaning the front disc brakes and tightening of the fan belt that had extra play and squeaked initially when the a/c compressor switch was switched on. This was from the constant use of the a/c for over 12 hours during the BLR-TVM-BLR trip. The total cost for the service came to Rs. 856.

As I had crossed the 5000 KMS mark, I got the wheels balanced, rotated and aligned at Madhus Enterprises on Langford Rd, which costed Rs. 500.

The squeaks of the LHS rear suspension persisted and I pointed it out to them during the second service, but the mechanics said that this case was normal for an Alto when driven by only a driver and has no passengers. I don't quite believe the mechanics. Did a check with Abhi earlier if he had the same problem, but it seems that this is happening just to my car. Any inuts on this guys?

Am planning to change the coil spring under warranty at the 10,000 KMS service if this sound persists.

Next post: Fuel efficiency stats, and pics of my Alto

Cheers,

Pritish
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Old 29th September 2008, 21:17   #9
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Default Fuel Efficiency Stats on Sept 29, 08 and a few photos

Hi everyone,

As promised, here are the fuel efficiency stats, and a few pics of my Alto.

Cheers,

Pritish
Attached Thumbnails
Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-ferange.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-fe-bar-graph.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-alto-01.jpg  

Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi Ownership Review : 7 years and 70,000 Kms-alto-02.jpg  

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Old 30th September 2008, 08:17   #10
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Nice stats and pics gpa.

I see you got a FE of 24+ and 26+ on two occassions. Were you driving those 400 odd kms at 60kmph / 5th gear?

Just wanted to know which is better for night highway driving: Phillips Xtreme (60/55) or Phillips Rally (100/90)? I have never tried the former, always used the latter so far!! Will it be worth trying it in future? As you mentioned, the former ones are quite costly though (720 for 2 bulbs).

Try upgrading the tyres, you will see marked difference in handling at high speeds.

Abhi
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Old 30th September 2008, 08:30   #11
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Quote:
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Nice stats and pics gpa.
Try upgrading the tyres, you will see marked difference in handling at high speeds.
Abhi
Abhi, what tyre upgrades do you suggest?
Also, I feel that the pick-up in my alto is a little less. When 2 people sit in the back, I find that I need to shift to first gear when climbing an incline. It just dies if I am in 2nd gear.
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Old 30th September 2008, 08:59   #12
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gpa, great post - so much info posted in a day!

Congrats on your buy and enjoy your drive.

Alto is a great VFM car. Dificult to be beat Maruti here - this is a segment that others have not dared not challenge Maruti.
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Old 30th September 2008, 09:22   #13
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Originally Posted by sridharps View Post
Abhi, what tyre upgrades do you suggest?...
I went from the stock tubed tyre (it was a JK) to tuberless on the stock rim and the change in handling, road grip and minimized bumb when going over pot holes was evident immediately!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sridharps View Post
...When 2 people sit in the back, I find that I need to shift to first gear when climbing an incline. It just dies if I am in 2nd gear.
Sri, this is a 796 CC engine. Expecting anything more of this well tuned engine is not fair!
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Old 30th September 2008, 10:44   #14
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Originally Posted by sridharps View Post
Abhi, what tyre upgrades do you suggest?
I run on 155/65 R13 Michelin XM1 and its handling is exceptional. Pls read my LTO, lots has been discussed there, specially on wet roads and during cornering at high speeds.

Even upgrading to Michelin tubeless or Turanza 145/80 R12 also makes a lot of difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sridharps View Post
Also, I feel that the pick-up in my alto is a little less. When 2 people sit in the back, I find that I need to shift to first gear when climbing an incline. It just dies if I am in 2nd gear.
Sir, it is relative, all depends on incline to incline and initial speed. It is recommended to use first gear on any car while starting an incline from stop. read my ooty travelogue. My car took segur ghat with 4 adults (330kg) + load (30kg) with first/second gears.

Abhi

Last edited by akroy : 30th September 2008 at 10:46.
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Old 30th September 2008, 10:48   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Nice stats and pics gpa.

I see you got a FE of 24+ and 26+ on two occassions. Were you driving those 400 odd kms at 60kmph / 5th gear?

Just wanted to know which is better for night highway driving: Phillips Xtreme (60/55) or Phillips Rally (100/90)? I have never tried the former, always used the latter so far!! Will it be worth trying it in future? As you mentioned, the former ones are quite costly though (720 for 2 bulbs).

Try upgrading the tyres, you will see marked difference in handling at high speeds.

Abhi
Hi Abhi,

Thanks for the wishes!

Yes, those two high mileage figures were achieved on my drive from Bangalore to Trivandrum with the a/c on 95% of the time. My speeds averaged between 80-110 KMPH.

As far as highway illumination during the night is concerned, I suggest you stick to the Philips Rally. The only reason, I upgraded to the Xtreme Power bulbs from Philips was because I didn't want to cut any wiring or add in an extra relay.

As for a tyre upgrade, I plan to change to tubeless and alloy wheels once this set is worn. As I do most of my driving in the city with a one off highway trip, I am very satisfied with the cushioning of the current set of MRF ZVTS tyres.

Cheers,

Pritish
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