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The Mercury Cars Guide : July 25th 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au screams for attention Swiftly safer small torque Suzuki Alto Price:GL$12,990,GLX $14,490 (auto$2000) Engine: 1.0-litre three cylinder Power:50kWat6000 revs Torque:90Nmat3400 revs Economy:4.8 litres/ 100km(5.5 litres/100km auto) CO2emissions:113g/km (130g/kmauto) Fuel tank:35litres 0-100kmh:14 seconds Topspeed:155km/h TO keep pace with changing buyer expectations, the $16,790 Swift hatch will be available with six airbags from next month. Devers says the company is responding to demand for more safety equipment. The Swift ‘‘safety pack’’ will cost $700. Airbags over ESL SUZUKI has defended its deci- sion not to make electronic stability control standard on its volume entry Alto GL. ‘‘Our research shows that people in this segment are actually moreinterested in hav- ing the six airbags ahead of stability control,’’ Suzuki Aus- tralia general manager, Tony Devers says. ‘‘It’s a given that they also want anti-skid brakes.’’ tor away from traffic lights the engine will scream its lungs out, but it is a willing, if leisurely, performer. on the road T OZIPPY: At highway speeds the Suzuki Alto is quite capable of keeping up with traffic while the cabin remains impressively quiet and composed. There is plenty of storage, but the The bigger surprise is how refined HISis notastory aboutpowerand performance. The Alto is not that type of car. Instead, you get a reasonably will- ing, three-cylinder city commuter which, even with just 50kW on board, can keep up with peak-hour city traffic. the Alto is over rougher undulating roads. It exhibits a high level of engineer- ing integrity in the way it steers and rides over some of Melbourne’s harsher bumps. The Alto feels more substantial than it really isandthe six standard airbags provide some extra comfort. lack of a proper glovebox lid means valuable items will need to be tucked out of sight. Front seat passengers are treated well with plenty of legroom and surprisingly supportive seats. In the back though, legroom is modest and so is boot space. Fire up the 988cc three cylinder and Perhaps the only downside is that you get a distinct ‘‘heartbeat’’ throb at idle that smooths out once under way. At highway speeds the wee little hatch is quite capable of keeping up with traffic while the cabin remains impressively quiet and composed. Wind noise is low and the car will track true even in the harshest cross- winds. Of course if you mash the accelera- when mated to the smooth four speed auto — expected to be the most popular choice—it is a little slow off the mark. The steering is direct yet reasonably weighty, but not enough to discourage folk who like light-fingered steering. The Alto’s tiny turning circle and size makes it the perfect city car. —3
July 18th 2009
August 1st 2009