Garry Fabian reviews the Suzuki Alto.
Suzuki has built up an enviable reputation in the small car segment over the decades, and the latest “micro model” the Alto continues along this well established path.
The Japanese brand wants to take on the competition in the sub-compact car segment in Australia and what a way to embark on the challenge.
The Alto, with a price tag starting just below $12,000 for its base GL manual, makes the car the cheapest four door car in Australia.
Aimed primarily at cash strapped 18 to 23 year old’s the Suzuki provides fuss free, reliable motoring to those on a budget.
The 1.0lt engine is surprisingly agile, and the five-speed manual gear box is smooth, and the four-speed automatic is also quite “user friendly”.
The car provides a little bit less room than the Swift but can easily accommodate four and looks stunning from outside (if not a little like a frog!)
Inside there’s ample leg room for driver and front seat passenger, the rear seat leg room tends to be a little less generous, and due to the smaller body dimensions, the luggage space is a little limited, but still adequate unless you travel with lots of luggage.
The list of standard features, considering the price, is quite impressive, with central remote locking, power front windows (rear windows are manual), air conditioning, a good sound system, power steering, rear 50/50 split folding seats, luggage area cover, and engine immobilizer, making it a very well put together package.
While as with all small cars with small wheels the ride tends to be a little uncomfortable when encountering the inevitable “road furniture” or in plain English speed humps, the suspension is quite good and provides a comfortable ride, and good handling.
Safety with six airbags, ABS brakes with ESP, side impact beams is reassuring – this nets the Alto with a 4 star ANCAP safety rating.
All up the Suzuki Alto is a very impressive car for those who want fun, reliability and are on a budget.
NUTS & BOLTS
Engine: 1.0 lt, three cylinders, producing 50 kW and 90 Nm.
Transmission: Five-speed manual, four-speed automatic.
Economy: 5.5 lt/100 km city; 4.8 lt/100km highway
Price: GL manual $ 11,790, GL auto $13,290; GLX manual $12,490; GLX auto $13,490