Maruti Alto LXi: Long Term Ownership Report


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Hi TAI Petrol Heads,

My association with Alto Lxi is @2.5 years old. The day we got the delivery, it was pet named as ‘Black Beauty’ [:)] Have had many memorable experience with my black beauty till date. It has lived up to the expectation of ‘more per car’. Here is a review about my black beauty-

Purchased as – New
Purchased on – July 2008
Driven till date – 20,000 kms
Economy – City driving: @14-15 kmpl. Highway driving: @18-20kmpl {Am a guy who pushes the car to its limit often (not rash though), so cant expect any better mileage}
Add ons to the car – K&N air filter, Body stickers, Wheel caps, Silencer cap etc. Alloys on my mind.

The history dates back to 2008 when I decided to buy my first car as I had my first job in hand. Since everything was for the 'first' time in my life, my mind was reluctant to settle for a second hand car but had the budget constraint too. Shortlisted Alto and Santro (best available options then. Selection was much easier in 2008 compared to now when there are so many options). And I clearly wanted a car with AC and power steering. Rest of the features came next on my priority list. Santro was costing almost 1L more than Alto Lxi. Hence finally zeroed on Alto Lxi Black colour alias Black Beauty.

I have been driving the car predominantly in the city with @ 2-3 long drives per year. As everyone are aware, city driving is fun and easy with Alto. It can sneak through the smallest space available, easy maneuverability due to very effective power steering, easy to park due to its small dimensions etc.

But what came as a surprise to me was its highway handling despite its small stature. Everybody would be familiar with the pros of Alto in city driving; hence I would like to tell the forum more about its highway capabilities. The car is quite stable upto speeds of 120 kmph. Because of its lesser capacity engine, it takes bit longer to reach 100 kmph mark but once its there, then it can cruse all day long at this speed.

Here is an example of why my Black Beauty brings me smile after long drives- During Diwali 2010, decided to drive down to my in laws place, Davangere situated on Blore – Pune highway and is @ 280 -300 kms from Bangalore. We had to reach the place before 9am for some rituals. To be on the safer side, i started from Blore @4.30am in my Black Beauty. To my surprise I reached the destination before 8.30am!! [clap] So I was able to cover this distance in under 4hrs time including a 20 mins coffee break. For most part of the journey, car was hovering between 100-120 kmph speeds and it showed no signs of tiring which is great for a sub 1 ltr capacity car. Planning for another long drive very soon to Waynad (Kerla), I would definitely ask inputs from TAI once my plan is fixed

Having said about all the positives, every man made items has negatives. Alto is no exception to it. Few of its negatives are low on interior space, tyre size, heavy dip in pick up once the AC is on etc.

Final words: for @Rs 3.25L on road, Alto is a true value for money paid. Of course at this price one cant expect the car to do wonders. Know its limitations, drive accordingly. So lets GO [thumbsup]

Cheers to safe driving. Always wear the seat belt
 

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Akash

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Excellent report carfreak. I too own a 2008 LX model. Your ride looks good except for those wheelcaps.
BTW how much did you pay for those foglamps? I too have foglamps on my ride, but the quality is crap.
 
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Hi Akash,
Me too not happy with the wheel caps. Its a stop gap arrangement. Very soon might be switching over to alloys [:)] Got the fog lamps for @ Rs 900 or so 1.5yrs back. But as pointed out by you quality is bad. So it is existing for 'looks' purpose rather than use[:D] instead i have upgraded my head lamps and am very much satisfied with the lighting now
 

Akash

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Hi Akash,
Me too not happy with the wheel caps. Its a stop gap arrangement. Very soon might be switching over to alloys [:)] Got the fog lamps for @ Rs 900 or so 1.5yrs back. But as pointed out by you quality is bad. So it is existing for 'looks' purpose rather than use[:D] instead i have upgraded my head lamps and am very much satisfied with the lighting now
In that case, you may go for the Old WagonR fog lamps. I had been to MASS few weeks back. He told me that the old wagonR lamps can be fitted on alto.
BTW can you shed details of your upgaded lamps?
 

350Z

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Nice and well-written review of your Alto. I really like the way you have end the review by mentioning, “Every man made items has negatives. Alto is no exception to it”, this cannot be true anymore. Good to know that your small car is serving well on the highways too. I have an 800, which starts shaking quite terribly at 100+ Kmph mark itself, leave alone touching the 120+ Kmph figures. By the way, Did you find any noticeable difference in performance after installing K&Ns? And Thanks for correcting [FONT] tags, Your support is much appreciated. :smile:

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Very well written report Carfreak! Alto still i would say is one of the best VFM cars around! Even i din like those wheel caps , change over to alloys soon! BTW your car looks well maintained! Any pictures of the Interiors?


Am surprised to hear Alto is stable at high speeds!
 
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@ Akash, thnx for the suggestion about Wagon R fog lamps. I will surely check it out at MASS. I upgraded lamps @1year back. As fas as i remember it was Philips 90/100 lamps. Lighting is really good with these lamps. Night driving, especially on highways is much more confident with these lamps.

@350Z, i have used both type of K&N filters (Stock and Performance). Improvement in the performance will be minimal with the stock filter. Only thing is engine breathes much easier. With performance K&N filter, i found a slight improvement in the pick up but due to wrong position of the filter, engine started heating up soon. Also i found the bottom part of the filter getting soft and started to melt. I was uncomfortable with changing the position of filter and all so switched back to K&N stock filter. And there is an increase in engine sound with performance filter.

@Cooldhaya, i will definitely try to post pics of interiors. Alto is pretty stable at 110- 120 kmph with 3 or 4 persons on board. But as Akash pointed out one needs to be carefull while cornering and bad roads.
 
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Good report man! ,

Alto is one good , small car with features loaded!
some times back there was vxi variant with 1.1L engine and other things like power window , rear wash wipe etc.

I have driven alto many a times , only thing i dont like is the space(You shold not expect more in a small car) and acceleration (Again one should not expect them)

The thing i like was the fuel efficiency that it give. My friends one which i have driven did give about 20kmpl with 5 person and ac during his pondicherry - mumbai trip(No i didnt drive!)
 
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Thread Starter #10
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Hi guys,

Sorry for the late reply as i was stuck wit th work and my black beauty was getting pampered at the service station [clap] As requested, here are few pics of interiors. Please excuse me for quality of the images as they were shot using cell phone. Also as adviced by my friends here, have removed the wheel caps [:)]
 

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carfreak,
2.5years and shining.
i liked it much.

looking good and those stickers did not ruin but added to overall appeal -imo maybe because i dont like plane old looks but prefer some grafix and colors.

review is yet to be read but i will go through it soon
with best wishes
cheers.
 
Thread Starter #13
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Thanks for liking the pics. Yeah am bit crazy about the stickers [;)]

@Ilango, most of the times i use the blower with all windows closed and driver's window half - 3/4 rolled up. Even when A/C is not in use, i keep the blower running while driving. Before halting the car, i ensure that A/C button is switched off. But sometimes leave the blower position as it is. Am i missing something here?
 
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2.5 years and still a black car is as good and shining as new , good job! Actually the sticker jobs are too much for my taste!


Any plans to add alloys?
 
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@cooldhaya, thnx for ur feedback. Yes Alloys are very much on my mind. Just waiting for the apt time due to budget reasons [thinking]Idea is to switch over to alloys in the near future and then upgrade my stock tyre to 155/70 R12. Present set of tyres are good enough for another 10,000 kms.
 
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