To tackle the rising competition, Maruti Suzuki has launched the facelifted Alto 800 with a price tag starting Rs 2.49 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The hatchback competes mainly with the Hyundai Eon and the Renault Kwid, and here is what three of them have to offer in the entry-level segment.
Of the three, the Renault Kwid is the largest. It is longer and wider than the other two and just marginally shorter in height as compared to the Hyundai. The Alto 800, despite the update, is the oldest of the three in terms of platform and hence is the smallest. Even in terms of wheelbase, the Kwid is substantially longer than the two at 2,422mm, while the Eon is just marginally more at 2,380mm compared to 2,360mm of the Alto 800.
The results related to rest of the dimensions aren’t too different. The boot space in the Kwid is about 300litres, which is huge considering the segment. Even the Eon seems acceptable at 215litres, while the Alto 800 offers just 177litres of space at the back.
The cars in this segment are not known for their features, though this notion has started to change recently. The top-end Kwid is equipped with a nice touch-screen infotainment system with navigation – a feature that is rare on cars that cost twice as much. Sadly, there are no safety features on the entry-level variants and the drive-side airbag is available only with the top-end option pack.
The Eon cabin in beige colour is the only exception in the segment. It is well thought of and ergonomic with plenty of bottle and cup holders. The Eon is the only one in the segment to offer all four power windows, tilt adjustment for the steering and adjustable headrests.
Like the other two, even the Alto 800 gets a two DIN music system, but the number of features is limited. The main plus point of the Alto 800, however, is the fact that Maruti offers driver airbag as an option even with the base variant for an additional Rs 6,000.
All three carmakers use 800cc units to power their respective cars, coupled with five-speed transmissions power the front wheels. The Alto 800 has power rating of 47bhp and 69Nm of torque. It is the least powerful of the three and has an ARAI fuel efficiency rating of 24.7kmpl.
The engine in the Kwid is tuned to produce 53bhp and 72Nm of torque, while the Eon produces marginally higher 55bhp and 75Nm of torque. The ARAI figures of the two cars are 25.17kmpl and 21.1kmpl respectively.
Apart from these standard variants, the Hyundai Eon is available with an LPG kit, while Maruti Suzuki offers the Alto 800 with CNG option.
The Alto 800 is priced in the range of Rs 2.49 lakh to Rs 3.76 lakh. The Kwid is positioned in the range of Rs 2.62 lakh to Rs 3.67 lakh. The most expensive on three car is the Eon with a price range of Rs 3.25 lakh to Rs 4.39 lakh.