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					                                                          Hobart Mercury
                                                          21/11/2009
                                                          Page: 6                                                  Page 1 of 3
                                                          By: Keith didham
                                                          Section: CARS Guide
                                                          Region: Hobart Circulation: 47123
                                                          Type: Australian Capital City Daily
                                                          Size: 487.00 sq.cms
                                                          Frequency: MTWTFS-




                         Pocket-sized fun
                                               from Alto
                                 WHEN I was a kid we
                                  used to play a game
                                  to while away the
                                 hours of long, bor-
                    ing road trips called Spotto.
                                                                                                  small torque
                       Think of it as a version of the
                    better known I Spy. The aim was
                    to be the first to spot number                                                  Suzuki Alto
                    plates starting with a certain
                    letter, or an orange car or a
                    driver wearing a hat. You get the
                    picture?
                                                             arse efl                            How much: From $12,490
                                                                                                 Engine: 3-cylinder, 1-litre,
                       There's a modern-day ver-                                                 driving front wheels; 50kW
                    sion: trying to guess where a car           with KEITH DIDHAM                @6000rpm,
                    is made. It's not an easy game to        didhamk(dbl.newsltd.com.au          90Nm@3400rpm
                    play. Australia now imports ve-                                              Claimed fuel economy:
                    hicles from at least 27 countries.    ton's Satria ($14,990). Some offer     4.81/100 (manual),
                    Some are bleedin' obvious like        drive-away or special deals so         5.51/10km (auto), 113g/km
                    Japan, France and Sweden. But         pricing is a guide only.               co2
                    try China. Turkey. Spain.                Suzuki's claim to fame as           Rivals: Holden Barina (from
                    Slovak Republic, the Czech Re-        being the cheapest will soon be        $14,790); Kia Rio ($14,990);
                    public and Brazil and you get an      shot down by Proton whose S16          Hyundai Getz ($14,990).
                    idea of just how global we have       sedan will be priced at $11,990
                    become in our car tastes.             drive-away when it goes on sale
                       Which neatly brings me to          next month.                           hatch is built to a price point so
                    Suzuki's Alto, the pint-sized            So it is no surprise to see        it's no surprise so find plenty of
                    hatch which is cheap and cheer-       Suzuki fighting hard to get the       hard plastic in the cabin. It's a
                    ful and affordable to run? No, it's   Alto name up front in the mar-        small car so backseat leg room is
                    not made in Japan, but India.         ketplace. The company recently        compromised and the seats are
                       Small car specialist Suzuki        entered the micro in the Global       lacking in support.
                    has neatly shoe-horned the Alto       Green Challenge, a gruelling             Standard kit is a bit of an odd
                    into the light car market, one of     3000km fuel economy run from          nlix. You get manual door
                    the fiercest battlegrounds where      Darwin to Adelaide.                   mirrors (and I can't remember
                    car sales are won or lost on             At one point it returned a         the last time I drove a car with
                    price.                                remarkable 21/100km and the           those) but Suzuki wisely has
                      While there's a bevy of cars        whole journey, according to           ticked the boxes for most of the
                    which sell for under $20,000,         Suzuki, cost    less than    $160.    desirable stuff like air-
                    there are six which break the         That's getting down to the fig-       conditioning, central locking
                    $15,000 barrier. The Alto has the     ures you would expect to see in       and power windows.
                    honour of being Australia's           a hybrid. Amazing stuff.                You get power steering, disc
                    cheapest car for now at $12,490.
                                                          on the road                           brakes up front and old-
                    Other cheapies are Hyundai's                                                fashioned drums in the rear and
                    Getz and Proton's Savvy So is the Alto, for the price,                      a basic suspension design.
                    ($13,990). Holden's Barina            cheap and nasty transport?               The entry $12,490 GL model
                    ($14,790) and Kia's Rio and Pro-         Far from it. but the little        gets remote central locking.




Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy                                                                                     Ref: 00060477817
                                                           Hobart Mercury
                                                           21/11/2009
                                                           Page: 6                                                Page 2 of 3
                                                           By: Keith didham
                                                           Section: CARS Guide
                                                           Region: Hobart Circulation: 47123
                                                           Type: Australian Capital City Daily
                                                           Size: 487.00 sq.cms
                                                           Frequency: MTWTFS-

                                       There are also storage bins, split    should mean the performance is
                                       folding back seat and luggage         handicapped but Suzuki has
                                       load cover.                           been quite clever with gear
                                          On the safety front, there are     ratios for both the five-speed
                                       six airbags, two child seat           Manual and four-speed auto to
                                       anchorages, anti-lock brakes and      provide the best fuel economy
                                       an engine inunobiliser.               while still retaining some zip.
                                          Spend two grand more for the          The Alto only has a 35-litre
                                       GLX and you add alloy wheels,         fuel tank, but with a claimed
                                       fog lamps, tacho (an odd looking      fuel consumption of under
                                       thing stuck on the dashboard like     5.51/100km it is going to win
                                       an after- thought), four-speaker      many friends who are looking
                                       audio, height adjustment for the      for cheap city transport.
                                                                                Being a triple pot the four-
                                       driver's seat and stability and       seater Alto shows all the vices of
                                       traction control.                     the design - the out of balance
                                          The Alto is powered by a           engine design shakes at idle,
                                       buzzy three-cylinder (yes, they       there's ample torque steer
                                       still make them) 1-litre engine       through the front wheels and it
                                       which is good for 50kW and            sounds like a sewing machine.
                                       90Nm of torque.
                                          The numbers, on paper,



                                        Quick quiz
                                        Do you know where these cars are
                                        made?
                                        1 VW Jetta                                              elsAeleW S
                                        2 Holden Captiva                                         pUel1egi j7
                                        3 BMW 3 Series                                      eoijjV UTnoS E
                                        4 Honda Accord                                      eaaoyl 44noS Z
                                        5 Proton Savvy                                            oolxaW T




                                   ECONOMICAL: The Suzuki Alto is cheap and cheerful and affordable to run.


Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy                                                                                    Ref: 00060477817
                                                          Hobart Mercury
                                                          21/11/2009
                                                          Page: 6                                         Page 3 of 3
                                                          By: Keith didham
                                                          Section: CARS Guide
                                                          Region: Hobart Circulation: 47123
                                                          Type: Australian Capital City Daily
                                                          Size: 487.00 sq.cms
                                                          Frequency: MTWTFS-




                                               CUTTING COSTS: The Alto's interior is heavy on plastics.




                                                          CLEVER DESIGN: Suzuki's Alto




Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy                                                                            Ref: 00060477817

				
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