Maruti Alto 800 facelift review, test drive
13th May 2016 6:05 pm
The Alto 800 has received a mid-cycle update. We take it for a spin to find out what's really new.
The Maruti Alto 800 so far, did not have any real direct competition. The 800cc Hyundai Eon, also a part of the same segment, wasn’t a serious contender given its high pricing, and the Tata Nano did fail to meet expectations by a huge extent. Today, the entry-level hatchback segment is filling fast with serious contenders. The Renault Kwid has seen massive success, and the soon-to-be launched Datsun Redigo looks promising. As a result, Maruti has given the Alto 800 an update.
The basic design of the car is more or less the same. This means, the Alto 800’s original styling, which includes the high-mounted headlights, a thick C-pillar, and the slightly flared wheel arches are still there. At the rear, details such as the crystal-like tail-lights and some sculpting seen on the hatch are carried forward too. So to find out what’s new, you really need to be an Alto fan.
The updated Alto 800 receives major changes to its nose. The bumper is completely new. A narrow horizontal slit running from headlight to headlight replaces the grille. The headlights now get amber turn indicators in place of the clear-lens units. Also, the trapezoidal air dam has been given a 180-degree flip, making the car look slightly wider than before. There’s a provision for front fog lamps now, but the accessory isn’t offered as standard. At 3,430mm, the updated Alto is now slightly longer than the pre-facelift car, thanks to the new front bumper. Apart from that, the Alto 800’s dimensions remain unchanged.
On the inside, it gets a new fabric for the seats and door pads, rear seats get headrests for the higher variants. However, Maruti has added more equipment to all trims of the Alto 800. The base variant now gets a passenger-side wing mirror, and more storage, while the LXi and VXi trims get child-safety lock. The top-spec Alto 800 VXi gets remote entry as well. Apart from this, standard features on the VXi trim include front power windows, central locking and full wheel caps.
In terms of safety, Maruti offers a driver airbag as an option on all trims, but gives ABS a miss.
The updated Alto 800 continues to be offered with the 48hp, three-cylinder F8 petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. It now delivers a good nine percent better fuel economy at 24.7kpl as opposed to 22.7kpl earlier, thanks to a new thermal ignition system. In contrast, the Nano delivers 23.6kpl and the Kwid does a slightly better 25.17kpl. Our short stint with the updated Alto confirmed that it drives exactly like the pre-facelift model. This means it still has the ability to deliver decent performance for a car of this size.
These mild tweaks do give the ageing Alto 800 a shot in the arm, and this should keep things running until an all-new model arrives in 2018. However, with the increasing competition, the updated Alto will have to soldier on to keep the momentum going.
The updated Alto 800 continues to be offered with the three-cylinder F8 petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. If you want the clutchless AMT gearbox, you will have to shell out more and go for the more powerful Alto K10. Considering that there are no mechanical changes, our short stint with the updated Alto confirmed that it drives exactly like the pre-facelift model. This means its ability to deliver a decent ride quality for a car this size remains. However, the vertical movement on uneven roads also stays. The 48hp engine remains unchanged, but is still good enough for daily city commute. The power steering also feels a bit vague.
Here is a look at how the prices of the facelifted Alto 800 match up to its predecessor
|Variant||Maruti Alto 800 (Old)||Facelifted Maruti Alto 800||Difference|
|Alto 800 Standard||Rs 2,60,394||Rs 2,49,000||Rs 11,394|
|Alto 800 STD(O)||Rs 2,66,447||Rs 2,55,000||Rs 11,447|
|Alto 800 LX||Rs 2,97,223||Rs 2,83,000||Rs 14,223|
|Alto 800 LX(O)||Rs 3,03,275||Rs 2,89,000||Rs 14,275|
|Alto 800 LXi||Rs 3,19,942||Rs 3,09,000||Rs 10,942|
|Alto 800 LXi(O)||Rs 3,25,995||Rs 3,15,000||Rs 10,995|
|Alto 800 LXi CNG||Rs 3,77,514||Rs 3,70,000||Rs 7,514|
|Alto 800 LXi CNG(O)||Rs 3,83,567||Rs 3,76,000||Rs 7,567|
|Alto 800 VXi||Rs 3,33,655||Rs 3,28,000||Rs 5,655|
|Alto 800 VXi(O)||Rs 3,52,152||Rs 3,34,000||Rs 18,152|
Check out the prices of the facelifted Alto versus its rivals, the Renault Kwid, Hyundai Eon and Tata Nano.
|Facelifted Maruti Alto 800||Renault Kwid||Hyundai Eon 0.8L||Tata Nano|
|STD: Rs 2,49,000 ||STD: Rs 262113||D-Lite: Rs 328,502||XE: Rs 207,152|
|STD(O): Rs 2,55,000||RXE: Rs 298422||D-lite+: Rs 354,353||XM: Rs 242,515|
|LX: Rs 2,83,000||RXL: Rs 323279||Era+: Rs 368,558||XT: Rs 262,685|
|LX(O): Rs2,89,000||RXT: Rs 357204||Magna: Rs 399,834|| --|
|LXi: Rs 3,09,000||RXT(O): Rs 367204||Sportz: Rs 424,795|| --|
|LXi(O): Rs 3,15,000|| --|| --|| --|
|VXi: Rs 3,28,00|| --|| --|| --|
|VXi(O): Rs 3,34,000|| --|| --|| --|
(all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi)
Maruti Alto 800 facelift photo gallery