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Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019]

293 reviews | Write a review
Last recorded price : 2.63 - 3.94 Lakhs
Maruti Suzuki has discontinued the Alto 800 [2016-2019] and the car is out of production.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] Review

Ever since its arrival in 2012 as a modern-day equivalent of the original 800, this cutesy looking hatch has played the role of India’s favourite small car. However, what this also means is that the Alto 800 is nearly half a decade old now and that the small car goalposts have well and truly moved over that period. 

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What is it?

If ever there was a car that could be labelled an ‘undisputed king’, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 is it. 

Ever since its arrival in 2012 as a modern-day equivalent of the original 800, this cutesy looking hatch has played the role of India’s favourite small car. However, what this also means is that the Alto 800 is nearly half a decade old now and that the small car goalposts have well and truly moved over that period. So much so that buyers now seek high-end convenience and as many features for as little outlay as possible. Keeping that in mind, Maruti Suzuki has given the Alto 800 a mild facelift, one that comes with a revised front-end look, reupholstered interior, couple of vibrant colours and most importantly, a more efficient engine.

Although photos aren’t exactly a good indication, it’s apparent that this facelifted model is better looking than its predecessor, especially in the ‘mojito green’ shade as seen on our test car. As for the changes themselves, they are focussed at the front wherein you will find a slimmer grille, amber turn indicators, new fog lamp housing and a more gaping bumper. Rather interestingly, these changes have extended the overall length of the vehicle by 35mm. 

From a distance, it would take a steady hold of a magnifying glass to differentiate this facelifted model from the one launched in 2012. If you aren’t so keen on the overly styled Eon or the SUV-esque stance of the Kwid then the refreshed Alto 800 will do the job just fine.

How is it on the inside?

While it looks much the same from the outside, the interior of the new Alto 800 has been refreshed for a decidedly more upmarket look no matter what trim you buy. For starters, the cabin is finished in dark grey and houses new fabric design on the door pads and reupholstered seats. Maruti says the new door trim fabric is a classic touch but to our eyes it’s almost funky. What’s not at all funky though is the design and layout of the dashboard which is where the Alto shows its age. There’s plenty of unforgiving black plastics and the layout of air-con vents and controls is a step behind the rivals as well. Ergonomically, the only redeeming bits are the storage space above the glove box and a large cubbyhole ahead of the gear lever which can easily accommodate a 1-litre bottle. Now although the centrally mounted power window switches aren’t where they belong, they help to liberate more leg space for the driver which is fairly crucial in a small car like this. Speaking of which, the driving position is set noticeably low (compared to something like an Eon) although the view out is still nice and clear with good all-round visibility aided by slim A and B pillars.

Meanwhile, the rear is comfortable but only for two full-size occupants. There’s better-than-average legroom and surprisingly good headroom for such low stance. The seat base though is woefully short and a little flat, meaning you will end up sitting with your knees up and wanting for more thigh support throughout the ride.

One area where the old Alto 800 didn’t earn brownie points was in the equipment. With the facelift, Maruti has attempted at making our lives easier by offering the passenger side wing mirror, rear door child lock and integrated headrests at the rear as all-new equipment. More importantly though, the Alto 800 can now be had with a driver airbag as an option right from the base variant. 

Overall, the cabin is nicer to look at and better specced than before but it still cannot match newer, more premium-feeling interiors of the Eon or even the Kwid for that matter. The 177-litre boot is also significantly smaller than its rivals and realistically, only good for a small suitcase plus a couple of backpacks. 

How does it drive?

The 796cc petrol motor and 5-speed manual gearbox from the old car have been reserved for the facelifted model. This is the same 3-cylinder unit that’s been around for many years and in its latest application, puts out 47bhp at 6,000rpm and 69Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. That doesn’t translate into a rapid, tyre-smoking small car by any means, but the combination fares well where it matters i.e. the daily grind.

There’s considerable torque low down the rev range, so driving in stop/start traffic or overtaking within city limits is not an issue unless the car is fully loaded. The engine is not only suitably torquey in low and mid-range but also very refined – it’s comparatively less noisy under heavy acceleration than the Kwid or the Redi-Go. In fact, the Alto 800’s upper hand in performance was apparent during our small car shootout wherein it was noticeably quicker than the Kwid and the Eon, hitting the 0-100kmph mark in 17.09 seconds and taking just 13.30 seconds in 20-80kmph roll-on in third gear.     

For a micro runabout, the electrically-assisted steering is a bit heavy but there’s a lot of feedback to be had. The Alto 800 handles really well for a budget small car, with the steering being decently responsive. As expected, the car requires small yet constant corrections to keep straight at highway speeds but for the most part, the steering is swift enough to feel agile and nicely weighted for that all-important reassuring feel behind the wheel. As for the ride quality, the facelifted model feels just like old car. What this means is that you get a very flat low-speed ride with minimum vertical movements over poor stretches. Make no mistake, the Alto 800 is stiffly sprung and as you up the pace you can sense sharp jolts over bumpy roads.     

Why should I buy one?

From Rs 2.66 lakh onwards, the Alto 800 facelift brings everything that’s good about its best-selling predecessor, but adds refreshed looks and more equipment into the mix. Yes, the car itself is due for a generation change and it looks like this filler of a facelift will be plugging away until the end of next year but it’s still worthy of a look if you value a deal that includes an after sales service as big and trusted as Maruti Suzuki’s.   

Where does it fit in?

The Alto 800 facelift is sold in the highly crucial entry-level small car segment that’s currently flooded with cars tailor-made for India by global manufacturers. It competes with the likes of Renault Kwid, Hyundai Eon and the recently launched Datsun Redigo.  


Photos by Kapil Angane 

Click here to read our comparison test between Maruti Alto 800, Renault Kwid and Hyundai Eon

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Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] Colours

Alto 800 [2016-2019] is available/sold in the following colours in India.

* Colours shown are indicative and may vary slightly from actual car colours.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] Expert Reviews

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Facelift First Drive Review

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Facelift First Drive Review

Ever since its arrival in 2012 as a modern-day equivalent of the original 800, this cutesy looking hatch has played the role of India’s favourite small car. However, what this...

12 Aug 2016 by Sagar Bhanushali | Read more

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] User Reviews

Nice car

for Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] on 25-Jul-2019 by Arvind Bharti

I drive more than 81000 km, maintenance-free vehicle, very good fuel average, high pickup, AC also good.

Good experience

for Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] on 25-Jul-2019 by ARAVA NARAYANAMURTHY

Good experience ....good maintenance. Best Mileage service maintenance very low family used car driving is very soft and good looking ...this car is best of year in Maruthi...

Superb car

for Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] on 24-Jul-2019 by Anvesh

I have been using alto since 2014, alto was the greatest car for middle class people and the milage was also very good compared to Renault kwid, we gave used alto for very long drives...


for Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] on 23-Jul-2019 by Sayfur Rahman Tapadar

Value for money as well as fuel efficiency . It can give high fuel efficiency for long drive . Very good to see this cars look. Easy to effort this car a middle class people.that's...

i like it

for Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 [2016-2019] on 20-Jul-2019 by ARVIND KUMAR SINGH

very comfortable price for any person and good performance in driving looking so good maintenance and service are very slowest price aroungin all is good for this maruti Suzuki alto...

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