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Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 – First Drive Impressions

Maruti Alto 800 First Drive Impression

The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 is the most awaited car of the year, as it will be a replacement to India’s most successful car, the Maruti 800. The Alto 800 is expected to be the top-seller in its segment, thanks to the Maruti Suzuki badging. The vehicle is a prestigious project for Maruti Suzuki and they have ensured not to make any mistake. Autocar India got the opportunity to test drive this entry level hatchback from India’s largest car maker and we share some of the key-points based on their review.

  1. At first look, the design looks more or less similar to the existing Alto, but there have been few visible additions such as high mounted petal shaped headlights, sportier spoiler and flared arches which stands out from the previous generation model. The forward tip design adds sporty touch to the Alto 800. The refreshed crystal like tail lamps add to the appeal of the Alto 800 at the rear. Overall, the exterior design is attractive when compared with the existing Alto.
  2. The Alto 800 shares the same wheelbase of the current Alto and efforts were made to have weight reduction in the new model. Thus the Alto 800 weighs 720 kgs and has a weight reduction of 40 kgs from the current Alto.
  3. Interiors of this car is one area where you will notice a lot of improvement. Maruti Suzuki has improved a lot on the quality of plastics. Silver accents are quite visible at numerous spots on the dashboard and an innovative horizontal aligned bottle holder ahead of the gear lever calls for appreciation.
  4. The seats are slimmer and in terms of comfort, you cannot expect much. There is a slight increase in terms of the space but the vehicle continues to be cramped at the rear.
  5. Improvement has also been done on its 800cc F8D engine, which has increased compression ratio with longer air inlet. It produces a power output of 47 BHP and a peak torque of 69 Nm which is 11 percent better than the previous model. Low end response of the engine has improved and the upshifts are quick and effortless and same goes for the top end response. The engine has a sporty note when the tachometer needle hits the redline.
  6. Throttle is jerky at low revvs making city driving not very smooth. ARAI certified mileage of 22.74 km/l.
  7. The 5-speed manual gearbox is also on the better end and comes with a new cable type shifter. Overall gear shifting is smooth but it scores low when compared to its competitors.
  8. The suspension does a fair job compared to the segment. The 145/80 R12 tyres offers good grip.
  9. Ride is much better for a car in this segment. You can feel some vertical movement on uneven roads though.
  10. Steering is not good and hard cornering is bit difficult for the Alto 800 to handle.
  11. Positives – Interiors, dynamics and performance.
  12. Negatives – Lacks power, vague steering.

Overall the Alto 800 will be a Maruti Suzuki’s fortune for this year and it will record chart buster sales. The Alto 800 would be a family car in the entry level segment and with its launch scheduled for 16th October, just ahead of festive season, you may expect it to be a big success. Autocar India anticipates its pricing to be Rs. 3.15 lakh for base model (LX) fitted with AC.

Source – Autocar India

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  • Amish

    Where the first drive pics? Not there even on Autocar India website! :(

    • Mohit

      hey amish, the pics have been embargoed till oct 16’th by maruti, it means you cant see the real pics untill the company gives a clean chit to media to go ahead and post it

  • S Pani

    This is continuously been touted as a successor to the 800. The pricing anticipated by Autocar definitely doesnt seem to agree with that. This is priced higher than than the present Alto.

    Not a bad effort, but at 3.15L for a base model with an AC, I feel it is overpriced a bit.

    Also, I dont see where this particular variant is stepping in. Is the M800/existing Alto/Alto K10 being phased out?? Or with this Alto 800 just get added to the present portfolio??

    I had expected this to replace the existing Alto, but the pricing anticipated by ACI is about 30thousand costlier than the existing Alto. So will we see a downward revision in existing Alto prices??

    • Faisal Khan

      S Pani, I feel the current Alto (800cc) will be phased out and this will replace it.

      • S Pani

        At prices which are about 30thousand more than the current Alto?? That would be a welcome move for the Nano.

  • Sangram

    It’s taller than Figo!

  • theslayer

    I do understand Motorbeam regulars would want to find all things automotive at a single place, but this is getting tiring. First the Yamaha Ray, then the Chevy Sail and now the Alto. What exactly are we doing here? ACI posts the actual first drive, we post a nice bold title saying First Drive Impressions and then put in an excerpt of the Autocar story, drop the source link at the bottom and argue its now ethically sound?

    If a discussion is what you want, especially considering you have valuable input from members like S Pani, then I think the forum is a better place for articles like these where Motorbeam editorial team’s input is minimal.

    If you’re going to argue that every body does this, do note that most blogs of repute will either put in a single paragraph describing the story and then ask the reader, EXPLICITLY, to head to the source link for the complete story, or sit down, take time to put in at least a couple of thousand words and make a proper story that would add reading material in addition to that in the source link.

    This ‘let me put the story in a nutshell so you don’t have to go to the source link’ thing is something I haven’t seen elsewhere.

    -Disappointed Fan

    • Faisal Khan

      Theslayer, I greatly appreciate your feedback. We take feedback very seriously and implement it very quickly.

      Now coming to the article itself, we never copy pasted their article. We only took reference from there and put key points in our own words. We did this not for hits but for our readers, as the Sail, Ray and Alto 800 are important vehicles. We try our level best to do our own review. When the Quanto was launched, we immediately tried to get the vehicle and did a quick review of the same. Our focus is delivering what readers want. If you feel this article was inappropriate, I can only apologize for the same and assure you such things won’t happen in the future.

      About the forums, I personally take an active part in it and read every comment and give my inputs as well. Our team is active on the forums and we want to have personal rapport with our readers.

      Once again, I am glad you pointed out what you felt theslayer and you will see changes accordingly ;-)

  • Muhammad

    It appears like minimal change and maximum Ho-Halla. It is same 50+ years old 800cc F8D engine with 47 BHP. Only Indians love this old and proven engine – no one else, why? Weight reduction is achieved by adding more plastic and thinner glass like Swift – making it more unsafe. Front has some reflection of Hyundai hexagonal bumper and headlight.

    • Faisal Khan

      Muhammad, this engine is extremely frugal and cheap to manufacture and hence used.


    very nice car, i like thise car