Alto 800: The commuter's companion
Introduction: It is the child of the long living legends of Maruti Suzuki and the kings of the Indian automobile market, the Maruti 800 and Alto. There has been a complete change given to the looks of the vehicle, discarding the boxy chassis. The vehicle looks pretty much like the earlier Alto. There are some much needed additions to the feature list too. Styling: The Alto 800 has looks similar to that of the earlier Alto. The vehicle looks small, cute and babyish. We cannot call the looks all new or something really out-of-the-box, but it has something to present. The front has a thin grille that looks good and fits in well. The headlights give a nice, chubby look to the car. If we jump to the rear, the taillights resemble the new-gen Alto K10. The rear has got nothing new to present. The wheels look very small and give a slight styling disadvantage to the Alto 800. Interior: It is plastic that rules the interiors, and not top quality plastic. The dashboard looks plain and very dated. The blower control and other knobs are the same standard Maruti design which have been now used for ages. The driver and passenger vents have been exactly taken from the A-Star. The centre vents look good and look just perfect for the car. The glovebox is not very big and can hold the vehicle papers and other very small things. The overall seat height is very low, and poses another disadvantage to the taller passengers. Performance and feel: The Alto 800 runs on a 0.8L mill that generates around 47bhp@6000rpm, which is not the all powerful engine. This therefore makes the vehicle less fun to drive. But, if we the take the practicality under consideration, such a hatchback is not meant to have a powerful engine. The steering feels light and is pretty good at handling. The clutch is also very light and gives no trouble to the driver. The gear lever feels really good and is an important factor as shifting is needed in Indian traffic, and no one wants a bad feeling gear stick. Comfort: The vehicle is pretty good when it comes to comfort. It would have been better if the cabin could have been a bit wider. The vehicle accommodates four passengers with ease, and everyone has enough space for themselves. But, with five abreast, the space becomes tight and uncomfortable. There is ample legroom in the front, and is suitable for most people. But the rear turns out to be cramped. Another bad news for the tall people, the rear just does not have enough headroom. Therefore, when it comes to bad roads, your head has a big chance of hitting the roof. The driving position is not very comfortable and the steering is low (and not adjustable). The steering touches on to the driver?s legs. There is one point which is very good about the vehicle that is its visibility. The driver visibility is excellent. Top-spec variant gets a driver airbag. The Verdict: So, on an overall, the car is good, not the best in its segment. It has a good value for money and gets what it needs for the price. It is good as a first car. We can call it a small family car and a budget friendly vehicle.
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