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An overall overhaul

Being the largest selling car, the Alto is the most important model for Maruti in India.

autos Updated: Aug 18, 2010 18:31 IST
Ameya Dandekar

Being the largest selling car, the Alto is the most important model for Maruti in India. Now with revamped looks and a new engine, the company has tried to make it more aspirational. Gone is the Maruti 800’s 0.8-litre engine and in comes the Estilo’s 1-litre K-series modern motor. But not only is the new engine big on power, it promises to be big on fuel efficiency too.

The reworked face looks more mature. The angular headlights coupled with the bigger grille give it a bold and purposeful look. Even the restyled rear with its new tail-lights looks modern and gels well with the overall design. Maruti has also increased the length of the car to integrate the broad new motor. As a result, it looks more balanced and nice, in profile.

In the interiors, you’ll find a new steering wheel which grips your hands well. The new dials look more upmarket and easy to read. The dashboard is unchanged but there’s grey plastics and materials look low-rent.

The best point is the 1-litre K-series engine which produces 67 bhp and 9.18 kgm of torque. This new engine is miles ahead of the 796 cc motor. The car’s throttle responses have improved and it pulls well from low engine speeds. Thanks to this, the Alto now feels at home on the highway too. All-round visibility is good, making the new Alto the ideal car for our ever-crowded roads.

The Alto now reaches 100 kph in 15.46 seconds, 4.92 seconds faster than the older car. Twenty-80 kph takes 16.40 seconds, which again is much quicker.
Autocar India