2010 Suzuki Alto SZ-L 1.0

Summary:

Bargain

Faults:

Nothing yet, but it is only 1 month old.

General Comments:

I recently decided to downsize my car after being faced with high fuel bills on a 55 mile commute to work.

I looked at a range of other small, economical cars (KA, FOX, PANDA etc), after which I came across this little car from Suzuki.

The test drive was surprising. The 1.0 litre 67 bhp engine feels punchier and more refined than I expected, even brisk, although the weight of the car is only 800kg, so it doesn't feel strained at all. It has a great balance between ride and handling - the suspension is on the softer side and soaks up bumps brilliantly, but neither does it go sideways in a tight bend. It doesn't feel jittery or bumpy at all - quite the opposite - it feels very planted.

It will happily cruise along quietly at 70 on the motorway all day, without leaving you exhausted. I actually think it is a better car at higher speeds, because it does need a steady input of revs when pulling away or driving around town.

I like the fact it has 5 doors and yes - it will seat 4 people in comfort. This is not a g-wiz style citycar, it's a proper 5 door hatch.

I notice that certain reviews are damning of the interior, but I like it, and it feels very well put together, no rattles etc. To be honest, a soft touch interior will only ever be important to me the day I plan to live in it - and I don't.

What tipped it for me was the price: £5800 with an old trade in - brand new! For that you get air conditioning, electric windows, Special edition trim, front fog lights, MP3CD, 4 x airbags, remote central locking, ABS, EBD, emergency brake assist, 3 year warranty, 65mpg and road tax of 20 quid a year.

This is a far superior car to my old C1. I can fit the family (+ car seat and pram!) in easily. For motoring on a tight budget, there aren't many cars I can think of that rival it at this price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th October, 2010

1999 Suzuki Alto 1.0

Summary:

Tin can motoring

Faults:

Nothing ever went wrong.

General Comments:

Cheapest possible running costs.

Full review:

The cheapest way to go motoring nowadays since the demise of the Eastern European Lada 1200, the Skoda rear engine, Wartburg Knight etc, is a car like this. Made in Hungary, so Eastern European, not a Japanese car. Suzuki are famous for outstanding motorcycle design, but played it safe with this model.

It's a blue five door hatch - a very small and real mini car. But unlike the Mini, it's able to fit four people, not at much of a squeeze, but quite comfortably. The boot is tiny - only a few shopping bags will fit in, but as the seat folds down and rear door opens, it will become a small estate car. It has very basic instruments, a radio, heater, glove box, all adequate for the 21st century, but no luxuries.

Powered by a small 50hp 1.0 liter engine, it is adequate. 90mph comes up quite easy. It is noisy.

Its 0-60 will keep up with the traffic - less than 20 seconds needed. Motorways can be tackled with confidence.

What it does not like is poor road surfaces. Driving through Brixton, the small wheels fall down pot holes with a crash.

Maintenance costs are as small as possible. Service every 12K. Insurance group is one of the low ones, and tyres last for ages. Run for five years, the car never gave any problems, but was not exciting or stimulating at all. Just a machine for A-B travel. No fuss, no bother, good for most journeys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2006