Maruti Suzuki Alto completes 20 successful years in India

Written by Parichay Malvankar

It’s been 2 decades since Maruti Suzuki introduced the Alto hatchback in India, and sales numbers are still going strong. The brand claims that the Alto has dominated the budget hatchback space for 16 years, and hardly anyone would challenge that given the number of Alto cars we see running around the streets across the country. The Alto eventually replaced the beloved Maruti Suzuki 800 to become the cheapest and entry-level car for the brand. The Alto till date has a lot of trust from the new car / first time car buyer in India. Launched in September 2000, the Alto has seen a consistent rise in demand over the years and is the preferred choice for those who wish to start their journey on four wheels.

The Maruti Suzuki Alto became the best selling car in India in 2004 and has dominated the overall sales numbers for many years. Only another Maruti Suzuki car has ever raced ahead in the sales race with the Alto. It is also possibly one of the highest selling car model in the Indian car market. At the moment, we have the 2nd generation of the Alto hatchback on sale, and it remains to be a car with the longest shelf life between complete model changes in our market. Only because it sells as is. Reliability has been a key element driving more buyers to the Alto, and not to the new & better looking competition. Maruti Suzuki claims that nearly 76% customers of the Alto are first time car buyers.

The Alto has also met the new BS6 emission norms and offers a high mileage of 22.05 kmpl with the petrol motor and 31.56 km/kg with the CNG kit. For safety, the Alto now comes with driver airbag, ABS with EBD, reverse sensors, high speed alert, seat belt reminder as standard and the small hatchback also complies with the new crash test and pedestrian safety requirements.

The Alto is now sold only with a 796cc engine which is a 3-cylinder block producing 35.3 kW of power @ 6000 RPM and 69 Nm of torque @ 3500 RPM matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The 1.0L K10 variant is no longer available.