Well I got the car only for 5 weeks now. But I've driven about a 1000 km with by now, and I must say nothing (except a broken brake-light which was easily fixed) appears to be wrong with it so far...
The ODO-meter says 46000 km, but I think the actual distance it has covered in the 17 years it has lasted by now is more likely to be 146000 km :D!!!
Then the seats, well I don't know if you should call them seats... But they don't sit very well, and I won't advise anybody to drive in this car for more than one hour at a time. But then again, I don't think it's a bad thing that the seats aren't comfortable anymore after 17 years.
The doors are quite rusty on the underside. I think this is because rainwater gets into the doors and collects in the door on the bottom. This happens because the rubbers have dried out and don't touch the window glass anymore. But again, no hard feelings, what do you expect after 17 years and considering this car is made out the most flimsy materials you can think of :P.
The engine makes a lot of noise cruising at 100 km/h. Talking to your passengers is possible, but one must speak loud and clear.
No major malfunctions so far!
Driving in this car is really an experience, and the first time you drive one is likely to be a shock!
One thing I really don't want to hold back from all of you who read this: Don't forget to turn off the shoke after a minute or so!!! I was driving 90 km/h on the freeway wenn I found out: "Hey, I'm not touching any pedals anymore! Freaky car!" But wenn I got home I noticed the choke had been "on" all the time.
Another thing I found out when I first drove the car: When I wanted to switch to the fifth gear, I noticed it had no fifth gear!
The brakes are a little scary, they work fine, but your steering wheel will shake a lot if you have to brake really hard. The steering wheel also shakes quite a bit around 110 km/h.
Top speed is 120 km/h downhill with 3 people on board (including myself). According to the specs I found on a website it should be capable of 130 km/h. But I think it is dangerous to try it. The engine is not made for that. The engine is quite raw and has a bit of a diesel-character. Being a small car you really feel like going 200 km/h when your only doing 120 km/h... The small size if this car is also very handy living in Amsterdam, parking space is precious and this little car fits almost anywhere!
To all of you who intend to purchase an Alto: Be careful these cars good and sturdy, but not sturdy if it comes to accidents! So don't buy one if you're not a careful driver! Don't kill yourself!
The gas mileage is great!!! Especially on long trips. 20 km on 1 liter of petrol is possible (50 miles per gallon)
All in all I fine car if you keep in mind what it is made of...