The New Alto 800 or should we call it Maruti’s Ram Baan, so aptly launched, on the first day of the Navrata, of 2012.
The car seems to have become a block buster even before its launch with over 7500+ bookings. This was expected as Maruti has been starving the market for last almost 2 months when they stopped production of the old Alto. Alto used to do around 18 to 20,000 cars/month, this means that there was a pent up demand of at least 40,000 cars and if one was to subtract Alto customer lost to EON, Spark, WagonR and other comparable cars, then we at www.ecardlr.com believe that a minimum of 30,000 cars was there for the New Alto 800. So mathematically speaking the New Alto 800 should not do less than 70,000 cars in next 3 months for the corridors of Maruti to be decorated for a night long party.
Maruti on their part seems to have, no stones left untouched with the New Alto 800. Maruti Engineers seems to have understood Indian cars buyer’s obvious penchant for space (as is seen for the ever increasing preference for Compact SUV’s and MPV’s like: Ertiga, Duster, Quanto over comparable sedans like: SX4, Verna, Vento, Rapid, Fiesta, Sunny etc) and designed the New Alto 800 accordingly. The design philosophy, simply seems to be driven by the fact that a Small car needn't look small and the New Alto 800 does look big visually as compared to the old Alto.
The New Alto 800 does look tall and wide as compared to the old Alto. New Alto 800 with an Overall width of 1490 mm Vs 1475 mm of old Alto is 15 mm wider, means more shoulder room inside the car. New Alto 800 with a height of 1475mm Vs 1460 mm of the old Alto is again 15 mm taller, this means more headroom inside the New Alto 800. The old Alto 800 however was longer by almost 100 mm over the New Alto at 3495 mm length; wheel base however of both Old Alto and New Alto 800 is 2360 mm which means both cars have similar cabin space.
Both Old Alto and New Alto 800 has are driven by 796 CC engine, however, with the refinement that Maruti has done on the engine under new Alto 800 makes the car feel and drive quite differently as compared to the Old Alto.
The New Alto 800 is even lighter than the Old Alto, Standard Variant of New Alto 800 is lighter by 35 Kgs vs Old Alto Std. New Alto 800 Lx and Lxi is lighter by 15 Kgs and 20 Kgs as compared to same variants of Old Alto. This has helped the new Alto deliver a higher ARAI Mileage of 22.74 Kmpl vs 19.73 Kmpl of the old Alto. New Alto 800 also has 11% more Pick-up (Torque) and has 2 horses (Power) more than the Old Alto. On a short drive, the engine felt responsive and eager to deliver. However, the real nature of the Engine will be assessed only on a proper test drive by our expert test driver.
Alto 800 Lxi variant also comes with front two power windows with switches placed in the floor panel. Power Steering is also available in Alto 800 Lxi as it was in case of old Alto.
In terms of safety the New Alto 800 offers Airbags as an add-on in its top-end variant the Alto 800 Lxi. Ribbed roof on the top is an added safety feature.
Visually the New Alto 800 looks more like the A-Star thanks to its protruding headlamps, taller stance and rear wide bumper. We at www.ecardlr.com however, could see lots of resemblance to the Hyundai EON in design terms. The New Alto 800 looks so good that even the Alto K10 looks pale and jaded in its presence, This aspect of the New Alto 800 is bound to hurt the sales of the Alto K10.
The Alto 800 will compete directly with the Alto K10 in-house and with EON, Santro, Spark and Nano from competiton cars. It will also affect sales of the WagonR, i10, Beat to some extent.
To summarise, The New Alto 800 as against the Old Alto is:
More Quicker (Basis 11% Higher Torque)
More Safer (Alto Lxi with Optional Airbags)
In effect a competent and capable entry car option for those Indian car buyers looking for one and a much improved version as compared to the old Alto.