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Old 5th May 2010, 16:43   #1
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Smile 8 Years with the Best-Seller (Maruti Alto)

It's been just a bit more than eight years that flew by! Not that I have a supercar to describe in such manner! But it's still our first car. It's the ALTO ! Choosing a car wasn't a headache at that time. A handful of hatchbacks,unlike today's! Finally there were three contendor's; Alto, Santro and Palio. Note, ALL ending with O's.
The reason of choosing these cars : All were fresh in the market.
Why Zen and Wagon-R were left out? Zen : A bit older compared to the rest, Wagon-R : The boxy design was pleasing none!
We could have bought a used, but, well maintained Maruti 1000 way back in 1997, but parking was a problem then! Coming back, these three car's caught us in dilemma.
First, the Santro. It was my li'l sister's favourite. Not that she knew driving the car or she appreciated the monospace design, simply because, SRK was the brand ambassador! I simply hated the way Santro's rear looked. Infact, I was in love with the Italian beauty! But i didn't force Dad to buy that car. I gave a thumb's up to the Alto! Why? Simply because it ticked all the boxes.
New car in the market - check
Good mileage - check
Easy to maintain - check

So, finally we booked the car on my mom's birthday and a couple of day's later the key's were handed over on 22-02-2002.
Colour : Miami Gold
Variant : LX
On-road price : 3,35,000/- with some accesories.

Straight from the flash back to the present. We havn't changed our car yet! Reason: Mileage done : 41500 . The car runs predominantly in the city, low maintanance cost,easy to park, still great mileage. The only thing we miss is, space, particularly when we visit our native place, when the car is loaded with people and with luggage. That's the reason the car is still with us!
I've learnt driving a car on this particular car. So, it's special to me. I like the low seating, the small steering and perky engine in the city. It's fun to drive in the city, simply because you can carve out the road space due to it's compact dimensions!
There is reason for Alto being a best-seller. It's because it's got all the basics right for being a good city car and a good first car!
Now, enough of good words! No car is perfect and so too is Alto! Like all the maruti's of that time, the rattling problem is pretty much there. Nowaday's the car rattles like anything. There is too much of a load on the engine,when the AC is turned on. The car has lost some steam through out the time. Low ground clearance. If the tires are not well maintained, the steering gets tough to muscle. And finally the space, not only the rear, sometimes the front too feels cramped.

Some more facts:
Car met with an accident : a couple of times
Tire's replaced : Once, six months back
Mileage : City :15+
Highway : 18+
Maintanance cost : 1500/- - 1800/- per annum

The car is pretty much going to be with us,as my sister and mom are going to learn the driving, and I can't take the risk to hand over the new car(which is due) for quite a some time. It's been a stressfree period with the car, and also some wonderful moments. Despite being out-dated, I would suggest The Alto to someone,who want's a frugal car in tight budget.
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Old 5th May 2010, 21:53   #2
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IMHO; the best go kart like car for that price. I love the way it handles. Once the rpm hits 60kmph, its fun to drive and still gives decent mileage.

And even the new ones rattle within an year!
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Old 7th May 2010, 22:48   #3
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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
IMHO; the best go kart like car for that price. I love the way it handles. Once the rpm hits 60kmph, its fun to drive and still gives decent mileage.

And even the new ones rattle within an year!
Quite true. The sweet spot on 5th gear where the NVH in an Alto is minimum is between 60 and 70 kmph.

I have an Alto Lxi, which has been with me for 5 years and done over 51k kms. I'll be writing about it shortly. IMHO it's been the least expensive and most practical car for me (since I live in eternally crowded Mumbai) in the past 5 years (shall complete 5 years on May 12th).

And I recently converted it to CNG and now my fuel running cost is lesser than Re. 1 per km . In fact I was to buy a Pulsar 220 and just cancelled my booking because of the sheer low cost and convenience of running the car...
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Old 20th June 2010, 16:29   #4
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Good to hear from someone who managed to hold on to Alto for eight long years. Congratulations fz_rider. My Alto's first birthday is due in August 2010. Till now no problems whatsoever.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 19:59   #5
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Default Re: 8 Years with the Best-Seller (Maruti Alto)

Old but still loved ! Our urban warrior has completed 10 years this very day ! Wonder how times fly by ! Will post some pictures soon .
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Old 4th April 2015, 23:31   #6
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Default Re: 8 Years with the Best-Seller (Maruti Alto)

Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't I?
A drive in quite hours and I again go into the dilemma. Man! I am going to miss the low seats and go kart like handling. It darts around the way I want, dances to my tunes. Anybody who has owned a low powered low seated Maruti would know how fun is it to drive. And hence it sometimes seems foolish to give it away for a paltry sum. It feels solid, better built than new Maruti's, has taken quite a few beating.I find it the best city car city usage. Hence I get confused, should I really give it away!
13 long years, and everybody wonders why we still have it! The answer, very low usage. It is showing its age now. Front suspension are gone ( Yet I feel it fun to drive, it just sticks to road ), AC has developed some problem, vibrations at the time of idling. I worry that the problems will just keep up coming.
Even if I decide to keep it, with the repairs done, I think the biggest problem will be non PS. To come back to non PS car after driving the car with PS, becomes tiresome.
Sigh, every time the thought of giving away makes me sad, especially because I learnt to drive on this very car.
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