Maruti Suzuki launched the Alto 800 last year, as a replacement to the standard Alto. Although the new Alto is largely similar to the old one under the skin, the vehicle gets all new exteriors, which look rather dull and out of proportion. The company offered a driver side airbag on the Alto 800 LXi as an option. We were the first to report about the introduction of the VXi variant which gets a minor feature bump in the form of a rear spoiler, left side mirror, body side moulding, audio system with 2 speakers, rear parcel shelf, accessory socket and central door locking. Maruti Suzuki is now offering an optional driver side airbag on the Alto VXi.
The Alto 800 VXi with driver side airbag is priced at Rs. 3.35 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Thus the driver side airbag costs Rs. 18,000/- which might seem like an expensive bet for first time car buyers. Maruti Suzuki should consider offering ABS on the Alto 800 as it helps tremendously in braking and reduces stopping distance too. ABS being an active safety feature is of more importance than a driver side airbag, at least in our opinion, although both are essential safety features and should be offered, at least as an option on all cars.
Powering the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 is a 796cc, 3-cylinder engine which produces 48 PS of power and 69 Nm of torque. This engine gives the Alto decent performance while being extremely frugal. India’s largest automaker is the leader in the entry-level segment, selling around 16-18,000 units of the Alto every month. The company offers four variants of the Alto 800 – Standard, LX, LXi and VXi. The vehicle is also offered with dual fuel CNG option which reduces running costs even further.