ALTO

NZ Today - - ON MOTORING -

I started with the baby of the range the Alto 1000cc 3 cylin­der 50kW 90Nm that has been called a sew­ing ma­chine on steroids, some­what un­kindly and as it turned out quite er­ro­neously.

I wasn’t orig­i­nally go­ing to drive the baby Suzi, but Gor­don Hol­land kindly lent it to me so was able to reac­quaint my­self with what I al­ways felt was a town only Quad. How wrong can you be? It does han­dle open road speeds and sur­pris­ingly is more com­fort­able on the open high­way than some city streets. That’s due to bet­ter sur­faces with less ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and the tall gear­ing. Still the lack of power is only ev­i­dent on the steeper hills where the en­gine does work no­tice­ably harder. That said, I man­aged to squeeze 5.2 l/100km out of the Alto on the high­way and had I been kinder on the throt­tle, could have bet­tered it.

There is room for five as there are five belts, the rear pas­sen­gers need to be good friends or they will know each other well by jour­ney’s end.

I liked the cute styling of the Alto that with a wheel at each cor­ner de­sign, al­lows for max­i­mum space and sta­bil­ity. Colours such as the pink I drove will en­dear it to some and are likely to be spurned by oth­ers. Avail­able in man­ual at $14,990 it is one of NZ’s cheap­est ve­hi­cles. The auto; add $2000.

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