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Statistics

How much? £7,000
On sale in the UK: March 2009
Engine: 996cc 3cyl, 67bhp @ 6000rpm, 66lb ft @ 4800rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 14.0sec 0-60mph, 96mph, 62.7mpg, 103g/km
How heavy / made of? 855kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3565/1470/1600
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Handling

Rated 2 out of 52

Performance

Rated 3 out of 53

Usability

Rated 3 out of 53

Feelgood factor

Rated 3 out of 53

Readers' rating

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Suzuki Alto (2008) CAR review

By Ben Oliver

First Drives

20 October 2008 15:30

Less than a month after the new Suzuki Alto and Nissan Pixo twins were unveiled at the 2008 Paris motor show, CAR Online has been to Delhi to drive the Suzuki version. Why Delhi? This is where they’ll be built. Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary Maruti is easily the country’s biggest car maker, building more than 750,000 cars here each year and targeting a million by 2010.

Almost all are currently for India’s booming domestic market, but successfully exporting this car to Europe is a big part of the growth plan. The big question is whether the quality of the new Suzuki Alto is up to European expectations.

Why shouldn’t the Suzuki Alto be up to scratch? Aren’t you just being snobbish about Indian cars?

Absolutely not: the Maruti bosses themselves say they fully expect to have to earn the trust of European buyers, in exactly the same way as the Japanese and Korean car makers did when they first started exporting.

Unlike some of the Chinese makers, who offer hilarious, appalling-quality clones of Western cars in some European markets, the Alto is a properly designed and engineered city car with some impressive stats.

They’ve done it once before, selling the Indian-made, last-generation Alto in Europe, but in very small numbers. And this car will be sold alongside Suzukis and Nissans built in Japan and Europe; there should be no perceptible difference in quality.

Click 'Next' below to read more of our Suzuki Alto first drive

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Average rating: Rated 2.5 out of 52.5 (91 votes)

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Suzuki Alto (2008) CAR review

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Batty

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Batty says

RE: Suzuki Alto (2008) CAR review

Does anyone else think that Ben Oliver looks very similar to Dom Joly in the above photo, or is it just me?

23 October 2008 03:01

 

-Joe-

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-Joe- says

RE: Suzuki Alto (2008) CAR review

I'm sorry but is that pink metal I can see on the inside. In this modern age should that really be on show in the vast majorities it is. And the rear seats its just not really good enough really. Don't get ne wrong I like sme Suzikis, like the Seift which I really want, but is so good its not depreicated enough for me when I need a cra.

21 October 2008 15:57

 

jacomoseven

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jacomoseven says

RE: Suzuki Alto (2008) CAR review

I'm surprised the packaging is so poor. It might be aimed at young drivers in Europe, but in India it will serve as family transport. I'm NOT surprised it undercuts the Aygo, which is a much more desirable, more polished car. This lacks the charm that all great small cars have.

21 October 2008 10:39

 

JohnSpencer

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JohnSpencer says

RE: Suzuki Alto (2008) CAR review

@JohnnyBimmer - nowadays supercar launches are at least three days apart, so car blogs have to put *something* up on those slow news days in between. -- but kudos to Car for giving this roller skate headline treatment, while other Earth-shattering stories like the eagerly anticipated first driving impressions of the new Vauxhall Insignia are mysteriously relegated to a minor video list. Must be a nod to their "Small Car" origins in the 1960s -- which I hasten to add I do not remember myself.

21 October 2008 08:36

 

JohnnyBimmer

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JohnnyBimmer says

RE: Suzuki Alto (2008) CAR review

It comes to something when CAR puts a Suzuki Alto as lead article on its webzine. I doubt they'd push with this shopping trolly on the hardcopy magazine to try and grab consumer sales on newsagents magazine shelves! And CAR rates this blockbuster a 3 star. It's a real sizzler isn't it? Is CAR treating its internet readers differently to those floating wallets in newsagents? How did we get a shocking pink shopping trolly to hold our attention and magazine readers get a Ferrari Calironia to grab theirs?

20 October 2008 23:14

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