Here is a car which proves you don’t need power and prestige to have a good time. The Suzuki Alto is a small car which does all the things very small cars used to do simply, honestly, without frills and with a lot of interactivity.
Suzuki’s primary intention at the design stage was probably not to engage the driver; rather the idea was to provide decent, convenient, reasonably stylish transport at a low price. But the Alto’s straightforward nature means that its driver quickly bonds with it, making a journey a lot more fun than it would be in many an insulated, oversize executive car, as well as considerably cheaper.
That’s where the Alto scores for us, just like its Hyundai i10 arch-rival.
The Alto also does some of the sensible supermini things rather well – there’s okay space for four people inside, even if luggage space seems something of an afterthought, while the cabin design is as funky as the exterior looks.
Don’t go expecting high quality here – you won’t get it. The rear-view mirror doesn’t even dip, the rear windows don’t wind down and the badly-fitting parcel shelf feels like it’s made of cardboard. The plastics inside are hard to the touch, but at least Suzuki has made them look interesting.
The Suzuki has all the equipment you’ll ever really need, it’s cheap to run, it looks good and it’s fairly well made. The Alton isn’t that cheap though – it’s left that trick to the Nissan Pixo – but it still makes a charming and cost-effective supermini choice.