Variant-by-Variant Review of Maruti Suzuki Alto 800

Published on: Dec 20, 2016
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 (Petrol) – NOT RECOMMENDED
only for a certain extraordinary usage pattern as given below:

[1] Alto 800 ‘STD’, ‘STD O’, ‘LX’ & ‘LX O’: NOT RECOMMENDED
Why AC & Power Steering are indispensable in India?
India being a tropical country, almost all its regions suffer from heat and humidity, some more than the others. The urban areas also suffer from dust and pollution all of which can be mitigated if you have an Air Conditioned cabin. In case of the steering, tight parking spaces and novice drivers, both are found in abundance in our country. Secondly, the difference between the EMI of AC-PS and non-AC-PS variants is extremely small and it is almost completely compensated by better resale value of AC-PS variants, in the used car market. Therefore, we
do not recommend any car without AC & PS to our prospective buyers.

[2] Alto 800 ‘LXi/LXi O’ (Petrol) – NOT RECOMMENDED 
The Alto 800 'LXi' costs 10,400 Rs. per month (EMI 5600 + Petrol 4800).
(Assumptions: Rate of Interest = 10.5%, Down Payment = 15%, Loan Tenure = 5 Years, Fuel Efficiency = 75% of ARAI & Petrol = 71.11 Rs/Litre, Yearly Running = 15,000 km)

That is identical to Datsun Redi Go ‘T’ costing 10,400 (EMI 5650 + Petrol 4750) and tantalizingly close Kwid ‘RXL’ costing 10,750 per month (EMI 6000 + Petrol 4750). For just 350 Rs. more than the Alto LXi, you get the Kwid ‘RXL’, which is a much more practical vehicle, with more spacious cabin, bigger boot etc. as detailed in our Alto 800 vs Kwid Comparison, which is why we do not recommend the Alto 800 ‘LXi’ Petrol.

[3] Alto 800 ‘VXi/VXi O’ (Petrol) – NOT RECOMMENDED 
The Alto 800 'VXi' costs 10,800 Rs. per month (EMI 6000 + Petrol 4800), which is just 550 Rs. or 5% more than the Kwid ‘RXL’ costing 11,350 per month (EMI 6600 + Petrol 4750). Compared to the Alto VXi, you get a 7-inch Touch-screen Navigation unit, more spacious and practical interiors etc. as detailed in our Alto 800 vs Kwid Comparison. That is why we cannot recommend the Alto 800 ‘VXi’ Petrol to our dear readers.

The Alto 800 'LXi' CNG has an EMI of 6700 Rs. requires only 2000 Rs. worth of CNG every month, plus around 650 Rs. worth of Petrol, bringing the total to 9350 Rs. per month. As a family car, it has the added limitations of badly reduced boot-space over petrol cars as well as the long queues and frequent re-fuelling required for a CNG vehicle. For an average person who uses his car for 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers every year, a used car makes more sense.

The question of ‘new’ vs ‘used’
Used i10s, WagonRs, Santros or even Altos make way more sense as a first car compared to the Alto 800 CNG. Firstly because they cost less. Consider the case of an Alto (Petrol). A well, maintained, 40,000 km driven specimen is available for 1.5 Lakh Rs. Considering a 4% higher interest rate than the ‘new’ Alto 800 CNG, its monthly cost works out as 8200 Rs. (EMI = 3000 + Petrol = 5200), which is 1150 Rs. or 13% cheaper than the CNG.

Only if your usage is extremely high:
If you have intra-city commutes of over 80 kilometers per day, then an Alto CNG will cost you 12,000 Rs. per month (EMI 6700 + CNG 4000 + Petrol 1300), which is 1400 Rs. lower than a used Alto’s 13,400 Rs. per month (EMI 3000 + Petrol 10,400). This is the only scenario, in which we would recommend the Alto 800 ‘LXi/LXi O’ CNG as the best available offering in the Indian car market for you.

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