• Monday, July 28th, 2014

The Suzuki Alto was first introduced in Japan in 1979 as a city car that combined fun, affordability and low running costs. These values remain at the heart of the new seventh generation model. The Suzuki Alto will appeal to those who are turned off by boxier city minis as its smooth lines and elongated headlamps give it a neat look. The car is powered by a small 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. The Alto makes the best use of the 67bhp available thanks to its low kerb weight which allows it to offer both reasonable acceleration and some impressive fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emission figures. The Suzuki Alto’s punchy power delivery and narrow construction help it to find gaps bigger cars will miss in town – and the engine sounds surprisingly good when revved hard.


The Suzuki Alto may be a city car, but it uses space well so that four adults can be accommodated in the casual-looking interior. They will have less luck with any luggage they bring with them however as the boot space is tiny. The rear seats can be folded down for larger items and they can be split on the range-topping model. The Suzuki Alto is built in India and has been designed to withstand the challenges of Indian roads, so it should be more than tough enough to cope with those that Britain has to offer. The cabin is well built and feels solid although some of the plastics used are shiny and hard. On the passenger side of the cabin the bottom of the instrument panel incorporates a pocket with capacity for six 500ml drink bottles, handbags, magazines and similarly sized items. As far as running costs are concerned the Alto should be one of the cheapest cars on the market thanks to a low insurance rating, miserly use of fuel and reasonably priced servicing.

Life Style

The Suzuki Alto offers a smooth flowing profile from the windscreen to the roof line. This combines with wedge-shaped side windows to give a sporty look. The door mirrors further promote aerodynamic efficiency with heir slinky shape. The positioning of the wheels at the four corners of the chassis coupled with eye-catching wheel arches creates a strong presence on the road. At the front end, a ‘face’ based on a single-frame grille, communicates a bold, sporty personality. The pronounced headlamps reinforce the sporty image. The Suzuki Alto is a refined beast for a city car putting in a decent shift on what passes for roads in Britain these days. The handling won’t be giving hot hatches any sleepless nights but its predictable road manners, zippy responses, competent chassis and accurate steering make it fun to drive in town or country. The Suzuki Alto offers good sound insulation and pliant springs which means that unlike some rivals it is well up to dealing with motorway journeys. The car has excellent green credentials although it’s a shame that CO2 emissions just miss out on breaking the 100g/km barrier. However it will still be high on the list for the increasing number of buyers judging what car to buy on how little it impacts on the environment.

Security and Safety

The Suzuki Alto has the usual security features plus a fully integrated audio system and a visible vehicle identification number that makes life harder for thieves’ intent on stealing your pride and joy. As far as safety is concerned every Alto has ISOFIX child-seat mountings, twin front and side airbags, plus anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution. Curtain airbags and stability control are fitted as standard on the range-topping model. The Suzuki Alto’s body shape reflects Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology concept in the form of crushable structures that absorb impact energy, frames that disperse impact energy away from occupants, and a strong cabin design.

The Finishing Touches

Levels of equipment on the Suzuki Alto are respectable with all but the most basic version getting air conditioning. The entry-level SZ2 trim comes with a radio/CD player that offers plenty of volume, and electric front windows. Upgrade to the SZ3 if you want air-con while the range-topping SZ4 offers front fog lamps, alloy wheels and a rev counter.

Review Summary
The latest generation of the Suzuki Alto is made for the urban jungle thanks to its small size and tight turning circle. It offers great fuel economy, doesn’t cost a lot to insure and comes with plenty of safety equipment as standard.

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