1999 Suzuki Alto 1.0 from UK and Ireland
Tin can motoring
Nothing ever went wrong.
Cheapest possible running costs.
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