Thanks all for your comments and wishes.
I tried to gather some more points for our Alto 800. Styling and Design:
As I already stated above, the car is a basic one and not launched to win any beauty contests. The looks are "inspired" by many cars some from Suzuki and other manufacturers as well. The best part of the design is Maruti have raised the roof height, hence head room is more as well as getting in and out out is easy. However, Maruti has not overdone the curves here like the Hyundai Eon. Finally, the roof scoops down at the rear which gives it a nice sporty look. Also, note that the roof is ribbed to strengthen the chassis framework. Ground clearance is very good for city roads full of potholes. Build Quality, Fit and Finish :
Like any other Maruti car (maybe except Swift/SX4) the build of thin sheet metal. But they have done a good job in fit and finish. Bodylines are clean. Panels fit neatly and I could barely find any inconsistent panel gaps (unlike TATA ...aahh). As far as the build and strength of panels are concerned, door panels seem strong and won’t buckle/dip when pressed hard with the finger. Interior Styling :
The interiors look plane and cost cutting will be evident at every corners. The quality of plastics are "OK" types but not bad at the price point. I have to say better than Nano. I have not sat inside Eon, so can't draw a comparison. Interiors are offered in 2 colours – dark grey and dark brown. The former is better of the two. Good that Maruti doesn’t have a beige option!
The newly launched VXi variant comes with OEM
Audio set up and some other bells and whistles in a very good effort to freshen up the interiors. Neat lines run through the dashboard and make it seem less cluttered and more functional. The instrument cluster has silver linings , there is ODO meter, digital fuel gauge but no temperature meter. Space, Seating & Comfort:
When compared to the Zen Estillo and A Star, the rear seat leg space was little more and the car feels roomier. Unless you are over 6 feet tall and are sitting behind a driver who happens to be over 6 feet tall, you won’t have a problem with the legroom whatsoever! The front leg space is much better than old gen Alto and comparable to Wagon R/Omni. The seating will be perfect for 4 adults and 1 kid. The boot space is disappointing though. It can fit 1 big suitcase or two large travel bags. Also there is no parcel shelf in LXI and below versions.
Engine Performance, Fuel Economy and Gearbox, Ride Quality/Handling :
Though it is the old Maruti 796cc engine block it has nicely been tuned for city drives. The power output is 48 BHP but you can pull upto 80 kmph effortlessly. It’s got good low end torque too. It’s very easy to drive about in B2B city traffic. With the AC on and off and it does not show much problem with the AC on. You can pull the car easily with AC on and 4 adults on board. Second gear in AC, the car pulls also. The gearbox is bit notchy, like the old gen Wagon R. Steering is light as a feather and is a joy to drive at city speeds. EPS makes parking and maneuvering easy in city traffic. There is minute body roll when you turn sharply but not as evident as Wagon R. FE is promised to be about 17-18 kmpl in city conditions. Maruti claims a fuel efficiency - 22.7 kpl in ARAI tests. Overall PROs-
Good City and Highway FE figures
Nice handing in City traffic
Good suspension set up
Excellent Value for Money
Low cost to own & maintain Overall CONs -
Power Window switches behind gear lever
No Left key hole
No Parcel Shelf (in LXi)
No Power Socket
No Fog lamp provision
No Central Lock (in LXi)
Small Boot Space
PS - The views above are purely based on my test drives and limited drive on new Alto 800. Any suggestions are welcome.