Suzuki Auto SA has announced a package of updates to its Alto — including the addition of a new entry-level model.
The newcomer makes purchasing a new Suzuki Alto more affordable than before. The new Alto variant will be badged the GA, and is joined by the newly rebadged GLX. Together, the duo replace the previous GL and GLS models.
At R97 900, the new Alto GA is the most affordable Suzuki on the local market. It also gets styled steel wheels, while the interior features a cubby-hole, new trim colours, and a more contemporary fabric for the seats.
Standard equipment remains similar to the outgoing GL model, and includes air-conditioning and power steering, while dual airbags, inertia-reel seatbelts and head restraints ensure high passive safety standards.
With the rear seatback folded down, luggage space sits at 754 litres.
While the Alto GA is Suzuki's new budget-beater, the new GLX retains the previous GLS model's higher level of comfort and convenience features. It also benefits from the same, fresher interior execution, and costs R112 900.
The Alto GLX boasts an array of standard features, including remote central locking, electric front windows, and an integrated CD player with four loudspeakers. Air-conditioning and power steering remain part of the package too.
Safety is both actively and passively addressed via ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic braking assistance (EBA) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), as well as dual front airbags, inertia-reel seatbelts and head restraints.
The exterior and interior dimensions are identical for both models, but the GLX runs on smart 14-inch alloy wheels, shod with 155/65 R14 tyres.
Both the GA and the GLX retain the same mechanical underpinnings as their predecessors. A lively three-cylinder, 996cc engine is credited with 50kW of maximum power at 6000rpm, while the torque peak of 87Nm is reached at 4500rpm.
With a five-speed manual gearbox and a kerb mass of just 850kg, the Alto delivers peppy performance and frugal fuel consumption. Top speed is 145km/h, while the Suzuki needs only 5.7 litres of unleaded petrol for every 100km/h covered in the combined cycle.
The Alto colour palette has been adapted for 2012, with the deletion of Desert Brown metallic and Azure Grey Pearl metallic from the choice of hues, and the addition of Glistening Grey metallic, taking the number of colour options to nine.
Both Suzuki Alto models are covered by a three-year or 100 000km warranty. In addition, the Alto GLX comes standard with a three-year or 45 000km service plan. Service intervals are at one-year or 15 000km intervals.