2004 Suzuki Alto GL 1.1

Summary:

Cheap as chips to run

Faults:

Passenger electric window failed when window was iced up - will need to remove the door panel and fix it at some point.

General Comments:

As part of a new job, I was looking for an economical car to cover the 80 mile round trip. Looked at several diesel models, but as I had a limited budget, the cost of road tax, insurance, and fuel costs put me off.

Wasn't looking for the Alto at all, but came across it at a local dealership. One owner, ten years old with just over 30,000 miles on the clock.

The car averages 55 MPG. The road tax is £30 a year. It's nippy around town and will sit at 70mph on the motorway, although it will take time to get up to speed. A performance car it's not, but then I'm after fuel economy.

I have driven many cars and vans over the years, so I would say it isn't the most luxurious I've driven, but it has central locking, power steering, ABS, and unlike my motorbike, keeps me warm and dry. I worked out it's actually cheaper to run than my bike.

Positive bits - good road holding, great economy, easy to park. Low insurance band.

The negative bits - no steering wheel adjustment. Seats are very unsupportive. Gets blown all over the road in a cross wind. Isn't the quietest of cars at speed. Handbrake occasionally won't release properly. Not the largest of boots, but then it's a city car.

On the dual carriageway I sit at 60mph and watch the world fly past me, only for me to catch them all up at the next queue.

Totally reliable car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd March, 2014

2010 Suzuki Alto 1.2

Summary:

Fantastic value, zippy engine

Faults:

Paintwork scratched easily

Seat belts difficult to snap in

General Comments:

Really great price for such a reliable car that sips at fuel. It's like running a 50cc moped, I barely notice the needle go down after long journeys.

My favourite thing about the Alto has to be the colour changeability for the interior trim. If you have one, get over to Car Accessories Plus (http://www.caraccessoriesplus.co.uk/manufacturer/suzuki/car-accessories.html). At the time of writing (17/12/12) they have a really good sale on these, down £20 in some cases.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2012

2010 Suzuki Alto SX3 1.0

Summary:

Cheap

Faults:

Rear de-mister does not clear the window.

Gearbox is very clunky.

Electric windows judder.

General Comments:

The car is as cheap as chips to run - but don't expect comfort. The rear view mirror doesn't even flip up to prevent 'dazzle'. The wing mirrors are manual.

There is a very worrying noise coming from the front driver's side wheel. This is especially noticeable when the engine is very cold. The heater takes forever to heat up, and trying to find reverse is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Basically it's just cheap, and it feels cheap.

I wish I had gone for the Hyundai i10 'style' instead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th December, 2010

4th May 2014, 17:31

I wouldn't be too quick to wish you'd gone for a Hyundai i10... I was going to get an Alto in Sept 2012, but there was a few weeks wait for one, so I went for an i10 Classic instead.

I've had a lot of problems with both the car and the dealers. It's honestly been the worst car I've owned in 23 years of motoring, and I have just traded it in for a Dacia Sandero, which will hopefully be better.

The Hyundai had pin-pricks of rust coming through in various places, splitting paint around the rear window, was drinking coolant before I got rid of it, and had engine management problems with it over-revving. It was a horrible car to drive.

I used 2 dealers for servicing, and both of them were at it - telling me that my brake pads & discs required replacement when my own mechanic measured them with vernier calipers against Hyundai's own tolerances and found them to be only 40% worn. The second dealer also damaged my Bluetooth Parrot Hands-free kit (which they had no reason to even touch!).

I hired a Suzuki Alto in Greece a month ago, and it was a much nicer drive; so much so that as soon as I returned home, I decided the Hyundai had to go.

5th May 2014, 06:25

Keep a close eye out for rust on the Dacia. Apparently RHD model Dacias are made in India, unlike the European built LHD models. There are lots of reports of rusting along the seams of Indian built Dacias.

6th May 2014, 18:10

Rust is merely a cosmetic issue though. It doesn't actually affect the performance or safety of the vehicle. If the rust bothers the owner, a can of paint and paintbrush comprise a quick, easy solution.

7th May 2014, 06:47

No, I meant brand NEW RHD Dacias are suffering rust, plus it is a safety issue if the chassis develops too much of it!

8th May 2014, 10:24

If you paint over it, the rusty parts are no longer exposed to the elements, and the truck will be fine. It's all cosmetic. A body shop can paint over it cheaply if you don't want to do it by yourself.