Maruti Suzuki Alto till date is the most preferred entry level car with its high reliability, best mileage, decent styling and above all the dense service network. Maruti Suzuki Alto and 800 both have the same 796 cc 3 cylinder engine. However, the one in Alto produces 47PS while that of the 800 makes 36 PS.
Undoubtedly Alto has grabbed a huge market with its power and mileage. Maruti 800 is in market for more than 20 years and has been a very successful throughout its tenure. It recently got discontinued from the metros with the application of the BS4 emission norms.
Earlier this year, Hyundai entered the mass car segment with its fluidicly designed Eon featuring a 3 cylinder 814cc engine delivering a power of 56PS. Eon banked on its fluidic design in addition to a more powerful engine which is a fresh change in the entry level segment.
Hyundai Eon and Tata Nano were the fresh entry level cars compared to the ones Maruti Suzuki was offering. As Maruti Suzuki was losing market to the newbies, they decided to reincarnate the 800 cc segment. Cashing on the brand of Alto and offering a car with better styling than the conventional 800, the Alto 800 was launched. Will the Alto 800 set a new benchmark for entry level cars is what we find out in our review.
Maruti Suzuki Engineers refer the new front face as “wavefront” design. The Wavefront design is mainly the raise in body language from the front to the rear. The Alto 800 has petal shaped clear lens headlamps. The new headlamps also have the indicators embedded in them with a prominent black partition to separate the two.
Front bumper looks wide and new contours are introduced on the same to give it a modern look. The black front grille has provisions for air circulation to flow on to the engine for cooling purpose. The bonnet design has been elevated in comparison to that of the Alto to give it a more solid feel.
Side profile of the Alto 800 looks very similar to the earlier Alto although the new design has been made with more contours and lines flowing to the rear to distinguish it from the earlier model. The tail gate design has also been changed with jewel finish rear combination lamps which make the rear profile look bolder.
Some of the other things that one can notice are the newly designed window panels; they have been given a nice look by making them curvy at the end which is in sync with the wave front design.
The interior of the Alto 800 has been improved too. The dashboard central panel is now oval in shape which scores more than the simple design of the earlier version of Alto. Also, the cabin is more spacious now. Between the front seats, an additional provision has been given for storage which can now hold a 1 liter bottle.
Inside the new Alto 800, passenger comfort and convenience has been given due importance. The 3 spoke steering wheel has silver accents, which give it a premium feel. The front dashboard has easy pockets for keeping small items like mobile, remote of music system etc.
Compared to the Alto, the new car features better headroom and legroom and also a better lumbar for front row seats. Fabric upholstery is used in the LX and LXI variant while double vinyl upholstery can be seen in basic variant.
Contributing to the nice overall fit and finish of the cabin are the upholstery texture of seats and that on door panel. Top of the line variant LXI also features optional Airbag which is fantastic especially as the Alto never had one.
It has a 3 cylinder 796cc engine which produces a power of 48PS at 6000 rpm and a torque of 69Nm at 3500 rpm. Alto 800 comes with a 5 speed manual transmission with an all new cable type gear shift. Also going with the latest and strict emission norms all the variants not come in BS4 versions.
The first most prominent change that one notices seated inside the Alto 800 is the improved height of the car. Thus even for taller passengers, it is not that difficult to get in and move out. The headroom and the legroom have been revised and also the seats have been made wider and offer greater seating comfort.
The driving view has also been improved with a taller ride height. The new engine gives a very positive feedback with its peppy performance. Also the new engine promises of a better fuel efficiency.
Gear shift has been made smoother with the new cable type gear shift. Handling of the Alto 800 has been improved even if not substantially but then one can feel the difference while driving the new car. The Alto 800 with its design boasts of a better street presence.
Call it smart marketing or a true attempt, Maruti Suzuki deliberately chose not to name the car as an all new product but instead name it under the Alto brand. The Alto from the time of its inception has been a runaway success. The connect and the loyalty that this brand enjoys is unparallel. On the other hand the 800 too has enjoyed a cult following. So with the Alto 800, Maruti Suzuki wanted to retain the support and confidence of its buyers in the new model too.
|Power in PS/RPM||48/6000|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||69/3500|
|Tyre size||145/80 R12|
|Fuel Tank capacity (L)||35|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Minimum turning radius||4.6M|
|Claimed Mileage||22.7 KMPL|
|Features||STD||LX||LXI||LXI With Airbag|
|Ex showroom Price Bangalore||255654||288733||311613||323598|
|On road price Bangalore||315724||355359||382607||400852|
|Front power windows||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Music system with 2 speakers||No||No||No||No|
|Body coloured bumpers||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Ex showroom Price Bangalore||382607||358472||206024|
|Engine Displacement||796/3 CYL||814/ 3CYL||624/2 CYL|
|Power in PS/RPM||48/6000||56/5500||35/5250|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||69/3500||75/4000||48/3000|
|Tyre size||145/80 R12||145/70 R13||135/70 R12|
|Fuel Tank capacity||35||32||15|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Minimum turning radius||4.6M||4.8M||4.0M|
|Claimed Mileage||22.7 KMPL||21.1 KMPL||23.6 KMPL|
|Front power windows||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Music system with 2 speakers||No||No||No|
Tata Nano, Hyundai Eon have been the only entry level cars. With the Alto 800, Maruti Suzuki has again attempted to grab its dominance in mass car segment.
Maruti Suzuki has all the pros in its favor which ranges from brand royalty, customer confidence and the superb dealership network. In the small car market Maruti Suzuki has always launched models which have set benchmarks for other manufacturers to follow.
However with the Alto 800, the only risk is that of its brand name. The novelty factor of a new car won’t be as much the reason being it being an extension to the Alto family. Although, it is a very subjective decision.
Maruti Suzuki already is enjoying fantastic booking numbers of the small wonder and hopes to keep the trend like this for a long time and regain the lost number 1 position in entry level segment