A-star has the funkiest cabin with its two tone finish and side mounted tacho. The quality of materials could have been better for a modern car
In A-star’s presence even the Swift looks a tad jaded. The A-star’s remarkable face both quirky and cute its upswept large headlamps, a gaping mouth and the rising rear window line, give it a more contemporary air.
Understandably, the Alto and the Wagon R which are essentially decade old cars look archaic in this company. Both cars look more like boxes cut out of tin sheets.
It’s a similar story inside. The Alto and the Wagon R with their tacky looking and feeling plastics, age old dash design, and the lack of any sort of opulence, fail to impress.
The seats too, both front and back, lack adequate support.
Like the Wagon R, the Alto too suffers from boring and dated insides. But, basic instrumentation is easy to read
These do nonetheless redeem themselves somewhat by offering far better visibility; the Wagon R more so, as it offers the best in class ingress/egress as well. It also offers decent equipment like electrically adjustable ORVMs and central locking with keyless entry.
The Swift, of course, matches the A-star well; the latter does, after all, use quite a few bits from the Swift including the air vents, the gear shift knob and various switches like those for the power windows. But like on the outside, the Swift looks a bit boring compared to the A-star. The latter with its two tone finish and side mounted tacho comes across as more youthful.
The Swift does have the most spacious and comfortable seats, and the car offers more room than any others car on this test. Once seated inside, it feels like a much bigger and better built car than the rest.
Insides look a little drab in grey, but the design is still fresh three years on. Stereo is not standard on the Vxi trim, but power windows are
If its boot space you are after, the Swift wins again. But, the Wagon R surprisingly, which has a smaller boot on paper, offers nearly as much usable space. The Alto has a tinier boot but the one on the A-star isn’t even worth mentioning. On our shoot we had to carry stuff on the rear seat of the car because it won’tfitin the luggage area either the luggage was too tall, too wide or too long for the miniscule boot.
The Wagon R isn’t enjoyable around bends either. In fact going around roundabouts in the city or even making the right turn into your society gates can scare you. It rolls excessively and has a steering which only a numb person can enjoy.
Insides look bland and dated. It has a few intelligent stowage areas like the tray under the dashboard
The Alto doesn’t have a very talkative steering either, but at least its precise and progressive compared to the formers steering which is like a lottery – same steering angles offer varying and unpredictable degrees of wheel movement. Ride at slow speeds is good, but the Wagon R begins losing its composure over broken or undulated roads with increase in speeds. The Alto is more planted in comparison and within city confines thanks to size and visibility is a superb car to carve through traffic or park in tight spots.
The A-star’s ride isn’t exceptional either. It also comes across as a little confused, to be honest. It rides well at slightly high speeds, but when the going gets slow, the ride turns choppy. Moreover, instead of the suspension working in isolation, it involves the complete car. So over bumpy surfaces, the occupants do get thrown around a bit. Handling though is better. But, it’s the Swift which is in a higher league. It has better road holding, superior body control and the steering too is very likable. It is the most planted car, both in a straight line and around corners. The A-star feels twitchy in comparison. The Swift, though a tad stiff, has the most pliant ride in this lot as well.