Suzuki Alto

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Suzuki Alto


A modern and cheap car designed for the 21st century suburbs. Lack of originality and verve mark it down next to rivals that offer a better build quality and equipment for the money.

Additional Info

  • Forgettable city-thing that struggles to make a mark in its sector. There are cleverer budget cars out there
  • Top Gear wildcard

    If you’re desperate for a Suzuki, save up and get the Splash

  • Our choice

    Alto 1.0 SZ 5d

    Price £7,199

    BHP 68

    LB FT 66

    MPG 65

    CO2 99

    0-62 MPH 13.50

    Top Speed 96

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What is it?

Suzuki has spotted a not-quite-wide-enough gap in its line-up between the Swift and Splash and filled it with this. A Tata Nano for people who value their legs.


It's best to remember at this point that the Alto is a cheap, urban runabout and not a hot hatch. With that in mind, the sloppy steering, excess body roll and a tendency to crash over pot holes become less of a sin. It does have plenty of grip so it's not all bad.

The Alto comes with a one-litre petrol engine producing 67bhp. It's hardly a ball of fire, taking 13.5 seconds to reach 62mph. That feels just about perky enough through town, but it does need to be driven quite hard to get the most out of it, thus provoking the three-cylinder into becoming loud and thrashy. The five-speed manual is slick, or there's the option of an automatic transmission.

On the inside

At 350cm in length, the Alto was never going to be palatial for rear leg room. Adults will find head room lacking as well, but it's no worse than you'd find in budget rivals.

The boot is on the titchy side even for a city car; at 129 litres that's 100 less than the Hyundai i10's.


The Alto has excellent fuel figures on paper - over 60mpg - but that tails away quickly if you over-work the little engine. And while the C02 figure for the manual of 103g/km is excellent, putting it in VED Band B (£35), it's just three grams away from Band A, which would have been free.

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Latest road tests

4/10 Suzuki Alto SZ4
April 2009

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