The best-selling car in the country, the Maruti Suzuki Alto is about to go through a sea change. The first model change in 11 years, the Alto has been made better in every way, taking some of the learnings from the outgoing model as well as the ultra successful K10 version that hit showrooms just two years ago.
So let's clear some things first. The Alto 800 won't replace the Maruti 800 - the old workhorse will continue to soldier on in the BS-III form. Secondly the Alto K10 too will continue in current avatar. That leaves the 800cc version of the Alto and that's what this one will replace. It will come in a total of seven trims, three of which will be offered with CNG but more on that later.
On the outside the new Alto 800 looks strikingly similar to the A-Star and seems to have borrowed a lot of design cues from the current Japanes Alto. The bug-eyed headlamps and the huge black grille along with the thin chrome moustache on the grille lend it some newness, though familiar. Strangely enough, there is some resemblance to the upcoming, facelifted version of the Ford Figo as well, though we believe it's more coincidence than anything else. The large expanse of metal on the flanks, the tall roof and the thick C-pillar are all in keeping with the Japanese version. Move to the tail-end and you find new, stylised tail lamps clear lens and dimples on the boot that are more to add stiffness to the whole package. The roof too gets stiffeners to add to the overall vehicle's rigidity while keeping it light. Riding on 12-inch wheels, the Alto 800 looks a bit under-tyred at first and there is a certain sense of missing proportion, but then again it is designed for a purpose - inexpensive commuting.