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|13th October 2009, 12:03||#1|
My PointA to PointB: Alto Lxi 7600 Kms and doing good
I started car-hunting in Dec last year as I had to buy one for my daily commute to office and maybe a trip to nearby places. I didnt start with any budget in mind but wanted something which is affordable on EMI+Fuel+Maintenance. Due to heavy fund requirements on personal front,I had a delimiter on my spending for the only eternal dream of owning a ride of my own. Like a wise guy, I went ahead compromising on my apetite for a Performance car and regretted my hasty decision to sell-off my Lancer back at home for peanuts.
Actually, Alto was an obvious choice plainly because of the Fuel efficiency and less maintenance, I knew it wont offer me a "Riding / Driving experience" very much like any Maruti vehicle. So, keeping this fact aside I started TD any other option available in the market that time. Here is the brief on everything which I test-drove:
Few words - Disappointing bucket seat look-alikes, Boot design and space only enough to fit a Cat, Terrible leg room, Hugely different fuel economy on three ocassions when I test drove the machine. First time it gave me 19, then a surprising 22 and finally 17, all on the same route with same amount of people on board and the same model of the car. With no proper reviews around and outta whole chaotic experience I finally rejected it.
Everything was ok with it, the proven track record and highest sales figures that I could afford to let go the box-ish feel. The biggest disappointment came with the body roll while test driving it on 65Kph, it just lifted-off on a S-bend. It reminded me of my Safari DiCOR @ 75 and gave me creepies so the same end-result..rejection.
Test drove both Lxi as well as Vdi, liked the Ldi due to the runing cost of the car but rejected it primarily due to two reasons a) Mom didnt like the overall look b) I saw the Hyundai Accent (a sedan) available in the market with all the kinds of discounts and costing almost same as Ldi. But still kept the Swift option in consideration.
Always been a choice in my mind due to its comfortable price and a decently powerful sedan, but had to reject it plainly due to the delayed delivery of the vehicle. The Hyundai dealership said the delivery will take atleast 2 months as then the consignments in the pipeline were all i10 and i20s. I was hugely disappointed and since I wanted the car within that month/week, I rejected it.
Great looks, rather the best of all but pricing was discomforting to the fact that conscience didnt allow me to spend that much on a hatch given the fact that it was less powered than Swift. A thirsty vehicle definitely, and hence resulted in rejection.
Was getting a huge Tata Discount and this one was costing me under 4.5L that time, but the interiors and the exceptional noise of the diesel engine killed my wife's intention to utilise her Tata employment. But its a really great deal in that price for a decently powerful engine.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While purchasing a car, avoid taking women along. Sometime they behave as if they know everything and confident enough to reject things.
So far you must've realized about my budget with the kind of cars I test drove. Finally, went with the destiny and bought the Lxi (kept myself contended with the fact that atleast I own the top-end :P ). But then came some personal turbulence and I was under debt to fund an immediate requirement so couldnt think of taking a vehicle loan due to EMI constraint on the salary and here Alto came as a saving grace. Thanks to my prsonal savings and little support from family, that I pulled the machine in two days flat with complete down payment. It costed me a dead 3L all inclusive. The dealership sales and service till date has been really good and surprisingly punctual.
OWNERSHIP (7600+ Kms done so far since Mar-Apr'09)
As stated above, Till now my requirement has been a city commuter with an occasional trip to nearby places which I am quite satisfied with the car. not expecting much out of it, I started driving it very casually from day one and had been on all kinds of terrains (excluding offroadings) like Muddy potholed ones in Mulshi to spotless concretes till Kolhapur to twisties of Pirangut and finally to the hairpins of Bhimashankar and the Car has taken it all in its stride. It gave me all what was surely expected out of it, an amazing Fuel efficiency of 19+ in city and 23+ in Highway conditions (keeping it strict on its diet, only Shell super as fuel). My monthly fuel bill is approx 2700/- since past 7 months now. a simple math would give the average FE in these past 7 months with Shell Super for 7600+ Kms to be approx 21. I am not a regular AC user, use it only in the daytime mostly. Its still a stock car with no problems at all. Some of the general pros/cons which I noticed are as follows:
- Great on fuel efficiency
- Amazing AC and the drop in FE after a prolonged AC usage is also not pocket-pinching at all
- Nice boot capacity
- Serious oversteer but feels good , I do that daily in my office car-park (Its a Multi-level parking lot with all U-turns and one can learn drifting)
- My two free-services have costed me only 1k so far
- Long distance Ride not at all comfortable
After a couple of months, this one would be sent to the hometown and I'll be open to buy anything which could satisfy the long-standing craving for acceleration. I am open to a budget of 7-10L and would definitely want something to work for around 1L Kms with great performance and affordable maintenance. Perhaps this time the Fuel-Efficiency bug wont itch around prominently. So, suggest something guys. Nothing from Maruti this time.
|13th October 2009, 12:50||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Thanked: 5,067 Times
Alto is a fantastic point A to B car, no doubt. How about some pics please ? ICE ?
|13th October 2009, 18:09||#3|
Yep definitely, will post 'em soon. Nothing special though but once I complete a year, i've a few things lined up to bring some spice in the machine, you guys can add/suggest more to the following:
- Michelin XM1 155/65/R13 73H tubeless with 5j alloys C9350/E21240 Aura OR
- Michelin Energy XM+ 145/80 R12, Saw Yokohamas also but vry expensive
- Remote boot assembly from Xcite model
- SAT Nav (saw a few but couldnt find a good deal, also searching for any reviews whether this has been done in Alto). Must be possible as these things are memory based and not really SAT NAVs.
Still searching for:
- a ECU or likeable support for RPM display in-dash
- K&N (Wil be arriving soon but only stock ones and nothing performance specific)
- Heard that someone in Jaipur has done Front Disc + Strut braces + Automech assembly and a bit more in a Zen so going to find it
Right now, the pics wont be that attractive as its purely stock right now.
|13th October 2009, 18:40||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jan 2008
Thanked: 402 Times
Since Alto does not have lighter socket, you need to get that added.That would power the SatNAV device (PND).
Device itself goes into holder that would be attached to windscreen with suction mount.
|14th October 2009, 09:16||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2009
Thanked: 3 Times
Absolutely agree with you about not taking women along. BTW, they think the same when we guys tag along shopping with them. No offence to the several female Team BHPians but they are few and far between.
I am surprised about your review about the A star. The accent would indeed have been a great buy , but nowhere as light on the fuel bills. Didnt try out the Spark ? I am a huge fanboy of that little beauty
|14th October 2009, 10:28||#6|
I test drove Spark LT. Financially it was an amazing deal definitely, but the whole GM crisis backing it, I was in a dubious state of mind. Although the dealer / sales service is fairly decent, I live in an area which is perfectly suitable for a TD as it has 6 lane smoothie as well as a steep uphill and a rugged patch, all of this within a periphery of 2 Kms, So I drove Spark BUT it behaved same like an Alto / M800 on the uphill and the rugged terrain however it was quick on the smoothie, but here in Pune (since its a IT destination), the Information superways are robust and smooth but the Tar highways are actually "Distress"ways, all the time one will be dancing inside the cabin due to unevenly smooth roads. I did a simple psychological weightage of Spark Vs Alto, and somehow Alto won.
Last edited by AltoHoncho : 14th October 2009 at 10:30.
|18th December 2009, 13:55||#7|
Also got the quote for the following.
Either of the two:
- K&N Extreme Filter: 5.5k
- K&N Alto recommended: 3k
- NGK Iridium Spark Plug: 2k for the set of 3
- Koni Struts for Front suspension (Alto specials): 6k
- Michelin XM+ Energy 145/80 R12 (I think 69T): 2k each
Either of the two:
- Remus Exhaust (stainless steel Tail only): 5k
- Complete Automech FFE assemply (Alto special): 12k
Not yet thought of going with all of the above right now, but will do a gradual upgrade.
|21st December 2009, 16:35||#8|
Got the Remote Boot Lid Opener done from Tune Up Plus in Baner. I am very much impressed with the work quality. Coming up would be a K&N air filter along with NGK Iridium spark plugs.
|21st December 2009, 19:46||#9|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2009
Thanked: 1,122 Times
Just saw your thread. Saale thread create karne ke baad ekbar bata nahi sakte ho?
Anyway, a few words of advice:
1. For the tyre upsize, I'd any day suggest going for 155/70 R13. A 65 profile on a 13" would be less comfortable. Michelin XM1s are available in 155/70 R13.
2. I'm surprised to know you found the Yoko A-Drive more expensive than the Mich. In most markets, they have only a Rs 100-150 difference, the Yoko usually being CHEAPER. Get a quote from another tyrewalla. I vouch for the quality of the tyre.
3. (I know this will spark off many debates) Avoid fitting a K&N filter. It wont give you any real performance upgrades in a 800cc engine, and will also void your engine warranty.
4. The NGK Iridiums are really good, but make sure you find the correct model.
5. (Again controversial) Your whole report shows you place a lot of importance on fuel efficiency. Why bother at all to go for performance upgrades then? Trust me, your car wont turn into a rocket! Plus you'll lose fuel efficiency.
Why not just save the money and go for decent ICE, or (better) a Brand New Car?
|22nd December 2009, 13:08||#10|
Thats true dada, I totally agree with the latter part of the last sentence
The problem is that for this year atleast I donot have a financial bandwidth to make another purchase. I just recently bought an i10 Magna for dad and who knows I may keep the Alto for a longer term, future is uncertain.
For K&Ns, the guy said that coupled with NGK Iridiums, will definitely improve the low end torque, debatable again, but before making any decision on making any engine changes, I'm doing a thorough read on these things. I have seen the products by myself, both the K&Ns and NGKs FOR Alto Lxi.
Personally, these things didnt appeal much to me also for a machine like Alto, it anyways gives me a FE of 24+ on highways and 20+ on city conditions with Shell Premium.
Tyre upgrades I'll do later, I dont think thats required right now, and surely I would check out other vendors for better quotes on MICH and YOK.
|14th January 2010, 15:27||#11|
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanked: 38 Times
I am also in the same situation as your AltoHoncho.
In a dilemma to decide between the Santro ECO GLS and the ALTO Xcite.
Btw, I've been out of the forum for quite a long time, was curious about what the abbreviation for ICE is?
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