Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Features, Performance & Test Drive
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Overview
It is not easy to step into the niche spot of an iconic model that had been loved for long. Introduced in 2012, Maruti Alto 800 successfully overpowered the image of the model it replaced. A mid-life facelift version of the mini-hatchback was launched in 2016 encompassing cosmetic tweaks on the outside and inside. Changes made to the hatch are subtle; the range is now available from Rs 2.49 lakh and goes up to Rs 3.76 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Under the hood, the 800cc petrol engine has been retained, which has been tuned to return 9 % higher fuel economy. Feature list has improved in retrospect; in fact the change is evident across segment. Maruti is known for making viable mini hatchbacks, but over the years some really good rivals have defied Maruti’s dominance in A segment. What really works for Maruti hatchbacks are factors like affordability, low running cost, reliability and thickly spread after service network that help them maintain their ace in A segment. Coming back to Alto 800, the hatchback is available in petrol and CNG fuel options at an extremely competitive price. Unlike its K10 sibling, Alto 800 lacks the AMT version and is available only with a manual version. Book a test drive for Alto 800 in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Design
Visually the Alto 800 is a completely new car. The all new front end is, well, all new and looks a lot like the A-star. The headlights are mounted higher now and has black detailing inside. The grille is very Ford Figo-esque and has a chrome strip running right across the middle. Under the small grille is the large expanse that is the air dam. Given an all black treatment the air-dam and the sculpted bumpers give the front a sporty feel. The A-star inspiration is again evident at the rear with the new tail lamps and bumper which give the car a very distinctive look. Rather than looking like an evolution from the previous Alto, the rear looks like it was inspired more from the A-star. What I don’t get however are those two little kinks on either side of the Suzuki badge. To me it looks like two dents and kind of hinders the flow of the rest of the bootlid. The side profile is again similar to the A-star. The rear window has become a bit smaller and the entire car has grown significantly taller.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Cabin
Maruti Suzuki has done a good job with respect to Alto 800. The newer version seems a completely advanced form of the original Alto. The increased dimensions allow more space and comfort, and make the car look more spacious and airy as compared to its predecessor. To make the offer better, Maruti offers Alto 800 in two tones: grey and brown. The quality of plastics used for dashboard and doors is average, and well explains the cost-saving strategy of the domestic maker. The dashboard of the car looks contemporary with a little more touch of chrome and new instrument panels. The steering wheel and gear shift look better while the accelerator pedal, armrests and door pockets look cheap and below standard. The AC seems borrowed from the old Alto. The power switches and plastic inserts in pillars give a standard look to the cabin, and provide sufficient lateral and rear view.
The seats are good and comfortable, and offer better headroom than the original Alto. The car carries an extended capacity to accommodate five adults in one go. The upholstery looks acceptable as per the car’s price. The front seats are adjustable and can be shifted back in case the back seat is vacant.The three-spoke steering bears a stretched horn pad but lacks tilt adjustability and mounted audio controls that are in vogue these days. The internally-adjustable ORVM is available at the driver’s seat but offered as an option on the passenger’s side in the LXi variant. Maruti also offers a cigarette lighter and a 12V power socket below the steering as a part of the accessories package. Other comfort add-ons include an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Conditioning) unit; single DIN music system; option to install speakers; storage spaces like bottle holder on the front, map pockets, and a deep and wide glove box; a foldable rear seat; and a boot space of 177-litres, which is sufficient to store your luggage for short journeys.
The biggest changes however are under the bonnet and in the interior and let’s start with what makes the car tick and should help purr its way to continuing the legacy of its predecessor. Mind you, this is not the modern K10 engine which yet continues in the Alto K10 model (carries on unchanged in familiar guise) and also the A-star but given its sharp focus on costs, simplicity, return on fuel efficiency and what have you, the product planners have stayed faithful with the same F8D engine as in the outgoing Alto but this has now been subjected to a major revision. Friction busting was one of the main aims behind making the small 796cc three-pot 12-valve engine stay compatible with legislation yet without being dumbed down on performance, driveability or fuel efficiency.
For starters, the compression ratio has been bumped up, the induction system has longer and angled intakes for more ram effect, and reciprocating masses have been lightened with short skirt pistons with new type low tension piston rings. Lightened connecting rods and crankshaft lobes are other key details in the revised F8D triple. Helping cut the frictional losses further has seen the adoption of narrow width crankshaft bearings coupled with a micro-groove to operate in.All these changes have resulted in the engine delivering big on torque and this is exactly what you crave for in not just this class of car but also the environs which it will be operating in. Absolute power and torque figures have increased and both of them are now made at slightly higher engine speeds, those lightened and better balanced reciprocating masses helping in this regard. Torque has been bumped up by a massive 11 per cent, from 62Nm at 3000rpm in the previous Alto to 69Nm at 3500rpm, while max power developed by the revised motor is 49PS at 6000rpm as compared to the original F8D’s 47PS made at 6200rpm. What comes across is a better breathing small mill eager to rev yet big hearted enough to pump out the twist force which delivers big rewards in driveability and by extension the fuel efficiency.
The same five-speed manual gearbox is used but this also has been given the make-over with a new cable-actuated shift mechanism which helps in even slicker and smoother shifts. To help make downshifts from fifth to fourth, there is a new DSA (down shift assist) mechanism incorporated into the gearbox as is the new DPT (Detent Pin Technology) which further helps slash friction during shifting. Overall clutch pedal feel and pressure are just the same light and positive aspects from the previous car but along with the new changes in the transmission system, the entry level user now gets many technologies which have filtered down from a class above.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Driving
One factor where Maruti Suzuki gets full marks is the pickup and acceleration that it has blessed Alto 800 with despite placing it in the small car segment. Powered by the 0.8-litre F8D engine, the car can easily glide from 0 to 100 kmph speed mark in 16 seconds. The maximum speed that this car can achieve ranges from 140-145kmph. The CNG version, on the other hand, takes 17-18 seconds to slide from rest to the 100 kmph speed mark. A McPherson strut suspension system, accompanied by a disc and drum braking system, provides improved handling to Alto 800. The power and torque output delivered by the petrol as well as CNG versions of the car is equal, while the mileage is very good, which makes it the best option in small car segment.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Safety
Safety features are very basic, but there is an option for driver side airbag on the entire range. Apart from that, the hatchback gets central door locking, tubeless tyres, collapsible door locking, front wiper & washer, immobiliser, head light levelling and immobiliser. Outside rear view mirrors are fitted on driver and co-passenger side, but they lack electrical adjusting function. A three-position lamp is present inside cabin and the floor is covered with a carpet. Seats are covered with fabric upholstery. Inside door handles are finished in silver and fabric trims are present on doors. Accessory socket is provided in front and rear parcel tray is present at the back.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 2,61,301/- (Alto 800 Standard) to 3,86,914/- (Alto 800 LXI CNG Optional). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in Chennai. Check for Alto 800 price in Chennai at Carzprice
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Verdict
So overall, the Alto has become a fresher, more contemporary package. At a time when the competition (read Hyundai Eon) was starting to eat away at a lot of the numbers that the Alto had for itself, the update is just what the doctor ordered. Now the only thing that remains is to see how Maruti will price this baby. If they get that right, this king will still remain atop the hill. But we’ll have to wait till 16th of October when the launch is to find that out.