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Old 4th November 2012, 07:10   #16
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Again a benchmark review for the hundreds and thousands who would be lapping up this new entry level hatch for our very own national car maker.

Come to think of it, this one is actually old wine in new bottle, with the same engine, platform from the older version, with just skin and cosmetic surgery done to make it contemporary. There could have been changes at least in terms of the heart, with the brilliant K10 family power plant, but the old one still remains albeit with some tweaks to make it more efficient. Even the Eon is more powerful both in BHP terms 55 and obviously in power to weight terms. Perhaps it gives them a chance to launch another variant in the name of all new K10.

Other facts speaking aloud in the review is the skimping of features and some basic creature comforts such as not so great seat design, no remote fuel lid opener in lower variants (come one isn't this a bare minimum requirement!) all leading to customers opt for the LXi in this EMI driven world. IMO the entry level hatch position stays firmly with Nano which is better VFM in terms of featues vs price.

All in all the new Alto or 800 would sell in hordes, just because its a Maruti, just beause it is built well and with low maintenance and high mileage and hassle free ownership.

Last edited by girishglg : 4th November 2012 at 07:33.
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Old 4th November 2012, 07:50   #17
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Awesome review, the best part is its available to everybody free!

The most important take-aways for me were
- For TBhpians, buy the LXi vairant with Air bags
- The Car is good for only <100 kilometers speeds
- Tyres have to be upgraded and left ORVM has to be added at the time of purchase
- Ingress an Egress is going to be difficult and the Car is at best a 4 seater
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Old 4th November 2012, 08:13   #18
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Thanks, Anshuman for the TBHP bench-mark review !

This pic reminds me of the old Dolphin ! (May be the boxy top & the rear window / quarter glass ? )

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post



A parting exterior shot:
Loved the parting exterior shot !
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Old 4th November 2012, 10:26   #19
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Thanks for an excellent review .anshuman.

I can't help but think why MSIL couldn't make the new Alto a little more attractive and thus more desirable. After all, the K10 is a very pretty looking thing.

The chrome strip on the upper grille needs to go. I saw the LX on the road here and the black grille looks much better. Also, the cut on the lower part of the headlight. Doesn't gel with the rest of it and makes the car look cross eyed. I think the car is only a few tweaks away from being attractive.

The rear looks very smart though. I really like the bulged hatch. And the tail lights look good in the dark.
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Old 4th November 2012, 10:48   #20
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

This is indeed the 'most' important car for India. I did not like the single DIN audio space. Even the old Alto had a double din space for stereo. Same retrograde step is seen in the New Safari Storme. Wonder why? Rest you really can't complain much for a car at this price point. This will remain India's no. 1 seller in the near future.

Great review.
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Old 4th November 2012, 11:04   #21
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Fabulous review Anshuman. You've dissected her to a clinical precision. Great help to the thousands and thousands of folks that are going to lap up this entry-level automobile

Disappointed with the puny 145 mm tires and (contrary to the popular opinion) also the uninspiring styling. Surely Maruti could've done better there.
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Old 4th November 2012, 11:43   #22
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

I fail to understand why someone buys the CNG variant alto .
The wagonR On road CNG LXi is on road with discount at 4.15lacs and alto 800 cng is at 3.96lacs .
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Old 4th November 2012, 12:12   #23
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Great review.

Wish I could say that for the car. I don't understand how do I describe this car. Let me take the help of a dictionary.

*Looks up the word Hideous in the dictionary* Aah, here are the right words -

hideous, grisly, grim, repellent, detestable, odious, monstrous, dreadful, appalling, ghastly

And as they say 'a picture is worth a thousand words', i will ask people to look at this car to understand the meaning of these words.

To prove my point, showed these pics of the new Alto 800 to my wife, and she exclaimed, "CHHEEE". Hence Proved.

Last edited by SankalpDesai : 4th November 2012 at 12:16. Reason: Added one more adjective.
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Old 4th November 2012, 13:05   #24
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639

2. I know where the 45mm went in the rear. They removed the rear bumper overhang.
AFAIK, changes in wheelbase affect car handling/dynamics, and reducing overall length to below 4m in India provides tax benefits.

Clearly, none of these is the case for the Alto 800. Why then has the overall length been reduced? It also has the undesirable effect of endangering the rear hatch in case of a rear collision/bump. Any reasons (from MSIL's point of view)?
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Old 4th November 2012, 13:54   #25
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

A great review as usual. Alto is here to stay for another at least five years with this. A good move from Maruti, they have just refreshed their bread and butter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
Saw the car personally today @ a loan mela where the face lifted Alto, Figo, Spark were parked side by side. At the first look the 800's stance felt strange.Mostly due to the unusual height. The Paint quality felt good and the interiors better put together. Its a no-brainer that this is going to sell hard. Although the tyres appeared too puny. One must go for an upgrade.
Yes, I too, had the chance to look at the new Alto at a similar loan-mela in our city. Well, the new Alto does look "mean", with the boxy front grille. I didn't like the sky-blue colour of the car on display though. The sky-blue seemed a bit too pale for this sort of a design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
This pic reminds me of the old Dolphin ! (May be the boxy top & the rear window / quarter glass ? )
Yes, you are absolutely right. I was wondering where have I seen this car earlier? Now that you have told this, I agree with you 100%. This Alto has a striking similarity with the Dolphin.
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Old 4th November 2012, 14:13   #26
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by subratasenn View Post
The sky-blue seemed a bit too pale for this sort of a design.
Spot On! The blue car displayed was a base model with black bumpers and the color shade didn't appear pleasing. Although the quality and fitting of the black plastic bumper felt good enough with no gaps of whatsoever.
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Old 4th November 2012, 14:37   #27
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Great review Anshuman thanks. I was eagerly waiting for this one. This would be definitely one of the most accessed thread in TBHP. I m happy with the pricing sans the CNG part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SankalpDesai View Post
Great review.

Wish I could say that for the car. I don't understand how do I describe this car. Let me take the help of a dictionary.

*Looks up the word Hideous in the dictionary* Aah, here are the right words -

hideous, grisly, grim, repellent, detestable, odious, monstrous, dreadful, appalling, ghastly

And as they say 'a picture is worth a thousand words', i will ask people to look at this car to understand the meaning of these words.

To prove my point, showed these pics of the new Alto 800 to my wife, and she exclaimed, "CHHEEE". Hence Proved.
Come on. This is not that bad at all. This definitely does not qualify for so many negative adjectives. Of course Maruti can not give you all the best of the world with this price range. We all know there is more to life than looks. This is a super choice for a family of four who can not afford those fancy hatches which struggle to sell 1000 pieces a month in Indian markets.

This CHEEEE car is putting the auto market on fire and it will continue to do so
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Old 4th November 2012, 15:11   #28
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_boy View Post
Come on. This is not that bad at all. This definitely does not qualify for so many negative adjectives. Of course Maruti can not give you all the best of the world with this price range.
Actually, Maruti has given you all the best of the world - A star, Figo, etc although the outcome is debatable. If I want a base car, I'd prefer the old Alto or 800 to this. This car looks confused to me.
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Old 4th November 2012, 17:23   #29
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Wink Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

Folks, I forgot to mention these in my previous post. Hence adding here:

I appreciate the points mentioned below my .anshuman in the review. They say a lot about the car and they matter a lot to the buyer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
...

Heavily reworked F8D 3-cylinder engine. To start with, the compression ratio has increased. The connecting rods & camshafts are made of lighter materials and there is a plastic air intake (instead of aluminium). Additionally, short skirt pistons and lower friction bearings have been utilised. This 12 valve engine makes 47 BHP (@ 6,000 rpm) and 69 Nm of torque (@ 3,500 rpm).
...
The biggest area of improvement is the peppier bottom end. The Alto's earlier jerkiness is nearly gone, and the engine feels livelier at low speeds. This makes the Alto 800 far easier to drive in urban traffic. The car pulls cleanly from idle speeds and is quick to respond to throttle input. In-city driveability & behaviour have greatly improved.
...
Where the previous Alto's gearbox was vague, the new transmission with "detent pin" tech is a joy to use. It has positive, sure slotting shifts that don't require much effort. The gears slot nicely and the throw isn't too long either. Importantly, the gear lever doesn't shake and dance with vibrations, like that of the Hyundai Eon. Gearshift quality feels great for a car of this price.
...
The tweaked suspension and tall tyre sidewalls cushion bad stretches in an excellent manner. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this car was gliding over broken roads, even absorbing large potholes adequately well. Few entry level hatchbacks are known to offer a comfortable suspension.
...
Being a raised car riding on puny tires, I expected the handling to be disappointing. In reality, the Alto's road manners are at acceptable levels and will keep the masses happy. Behaviour is predictable and the handling is safe enough, with no nasty surprises. The Alto is agile and a lot of fun to throw around at low - mid speeds. The small 4.6 meter turning radius is a boon, with the Maruti feeling as easy as a toy to drive within urban India.
...
160 mm of ground clearance may sound conservative on paper. However, the Alto has a short wheelbase. Usable clearance is generous and you can drive this car on bad roads without worry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolman View Post
.anshuman, Very nice review of a very nice car...
400 points for the review and another 400 for the car = 800!

...

The aspects that let me down were:
  • R12 Sized Tyres
  • Average backseat comfort (both seat and backrest)
  • Lack of Power Steering in mid variant
  • Outdated pull / push type door lock knobs
...

To sum-up, Maruti Suzuki doesn't really go wrong in this segment. And I don't think that this new Alto 800 will let them or for that matter let the first time car buyer down. And with the K10 engine in (hopefully by 2013) this might attract non-first time car buyers too.

Thanks,
C_
Additional points of interest:
  • I like Anshuman's mention of the Eon's dancing gear lever! Eon with its dancing gear lever and big brother i20 with its gang-nam steering column will be an awesome hideous pair!
  • Not sure if I was the only one to notice, but when I drove the Eon, my elbows were brushing against the co-passenger's elbows on more than one occasion. First of its kind.
Thanks,
C_
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Old 4th November 2012, 18:24   #30
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Default Re: Maruti Alto 800 : Official Review

I have a doubt here. Recently there were some rumors floating around that the front door pads in this car are the same as the old Alto. Can anybody confirm this?

The reason I ask this is because if that were indeed true, then old Alto owners can buy these door pads and fit bigger component speakers as the old Alto stock location holds only 4" speakers. No messy door pad cutting business then.

Also, I HATE the grill..!! Hated the design on the facelifted i10 also. Somehow this grill or the hexagonal design of the i10 has not gone down well with me.

Owning previous generations of both these cars, it is my personal opinion that the grill completely ruins the front profile. Seems like a gaping open mouth, and makes me feel that the only thing missing here is a tongue hanging out..!!

Also, both the old Alto and the K10 have no rear quarter glass. The rear window runs all the way to the back, and this, IMHO, was a much better (though uncommon) design than the more popular one, with a quarter glass.

Last edited by swarnava.m : 4th November 2012 at 18:32.
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