The Suzuki Alto is about to become even more economical and cleaner with a new heart under the bonnet.
Already one of the least expensive, most environmentally friendly cars in the New Zealand market, the latest seventh generation front-wheel-drive Alto makes further progress in reducing the cost of motoring.
Despite a relatively small 35 litre fuel tank, the 2012 Alto is capable of driving from Auckland to Wellington on a single tank of petrol.
Aligned to last year’s specification upgrade and the latest enhancements, the Alto GLX five-door hatchback is even better value for money.
The new double overhead camshaft Suzuki K10B engine now has variable intake and exhaust valve timing (VVT), providing better overall performance.
An advanced all aluminium three-cylinder, 996 cm3 engine, the fuel-injected K10B has an offset crankshaft for better fuel atomisation. It runs a high 11.0 to 1 compression ratio, boasts plastic intake manifolds to reduce weight and suction losses, and has a distributor-less ignition with dedicated plug top coils.
Both 5-speed manual gearbox and 4-stage automatic versions of the Alto VVT use less fuel and have lower CO2 emissions than their predecessors.
The new facelifted Alto is 6 per cent more economical and emissions are 5 per cent lower, making this smallest Suzuki something of a benchmark in the environmental field.
In manual gearbox mode, the Alto VVT averages 4.5 litres/100 km (62.8 miles per gallon) compared to 4.8 litres/100 km (58.8 miles per gallon) for the outgoing version.
The Alto VVT automatic returns 5.2 litres/100 km (54.3 miles per gallon) while the previous model averaged 5.5 litres/100 km (51.4 miles per gallon).
CO2 emissions are down from 113 grams/km to 107 grams/km for the manual Alto, and from 130 grams/km to 124 grams/km for the automatic model.
Other revisions include new interior trim colours, new seat fabrics, a USB socket for the audio and a day/night mirror. Glistening Grey Metallic paint replaces Desert Brown, and the Alto is also available in Arctic White, Fortune Rose Pearl Metallic, Paradise Blue Metallic and Silky Silver Metallic.
Standard equipment includes eight-spoke alloy wheels, front fog lamps, body colour door handles and exterior mirrors, air conditioning, electrically operated front windows and centralised door locking. The Alto also has 4 star safety rating and is equipped with ESP.
Recommended retail prices, including all on-road costs, have risen to $17,250 for the Alto 1.0 GLX manual, and $19,550 for the GLX automatic version.
“However, for the limited time we are offering to pay the GST content on new Alto models so the customer only pays $15,000 for the manual model and $17,000 for the automatic,” “This makes Alto one of cleanest running, most economical and most affordable small cars available in NZ” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.
Suzuki has the lowest CO2 emission levels of the top 12 selling brands in New Zealand, based on the industry sales for 2011 from the NZTA database. Its CO2 average of 157.4 grams/km compared with 163.6 grams/km for the second best make, Honda, and 165.1 grams/km for third ranking Volkswagen.
“Suzuki’s average emission levels are already lower than the government’s proposed 2015 standard of 170 grams/km,” said Tom Peck.