Maruti Suzuki has been kept on its toes for some time now by the likes of Hyundai and Tata Motors. With more competition entering this segment of small cars, Maruti had to up the ante and what better way to do that than by coming up with a car with a new look altogether - the Alto 800.
The old 800 had been a car which people loved and the sales of the car speak volumes about its success. With the new car though, Maruti has to bring in something new on the table while also catering to the legacy of the older generation.
To begin with, the styling of the Alto 800 is commendable. The slim front grille, the large air intake and the petal-shaped headlamps really add to the overall look of the car. There are creases along the flank to make it look sporty and even the tail lamps are sculpted in a fashion that it adds to the exuberance of the car.
But there are some elements that Maruti has carried forward from the outgoing generation. It carries over the wheelbase, suspension and brakes. It looks taller too and that means that there is more headroom on offer. And though it is new and has a lot going on for it, it tips the scales at 725kg. Yeah, it's pretty light.
The major change though is in the inside of the car. The dashboard is completely new and you now get coloured seat fabric which works well with the overall ambience of the car. The top-end LXi variant gets a CD/MP3 player, air-conditioning, power steering and front power windows. What it does not get is central locking, and a left rear-view mirror.
The Alto 800 still comes powered by the 796cc, three-cylinder which has been refined. There's also a faster 32-bit processor and this engine is future-proof for BS5 norms too. The engine responds to your throttle input and the gearshifts are typically Maruti Suzuki, well slotted.
Maruti has priced the top-end Alto 800 at Rs 2.99 lakhs and this is truly something significant. They have been able to price it so competitively that the customers have to give it a second thought before going in for a car belonging to a rival company.