In 2002 sadly a friend of mine was killed in a road accident and as a firefighter at the time my father had to deal with freeing the body from the vehicle, this got my father thinking and he decided to buy me a new car for my 21st with airbags as my old car did not have any.
I was given the option that I could either get a V or Y reg peugeot or other small car or I could have a brand new 53 plate Suzuki Alto, my first car was a Suzuki Alto so knowing that they were decent cars I opted for the brand new car (who wouldn't) Like I say the Alto was selling for the same as much older small cars and was about £5500 new in 2003.
On looking at the cars there were very limited colour options, blue which was the colour of my first car so I didn't want that, black which actually looked my very dark brown which I didn't like, Red which I don't like red cars due to the fact that as they age they often end up looking pink and yellow. I selected the yellow but only for the fact it was really the only suitable option and the car became the banana car.
To say how much this car cost it had extras such as electric windows, driver and passenger air bags, central locking and a CD player all within the price.
The car is a 1 litre at 993cc so getting up to speed can take a little while, 0-62mph apparfently taks 16.3 seconds although I can say that I never actually tried this but on the other hand the car is light and nippy little thing which is quick off the mark.
I drove this car for three years before selling it on to my grandmother, at the time it was just myself and my other half and the car suited just fine, there is limited amount of leg room in the back when your front seated people have long legs which both myself and my husband have and the boot space is also not that great. I sold the car due to wanting to start a family and believing the car would not be very suitable with a baby.
Recently my husband had a crash and as the time we could not afford another car he started using mine and I have lent this car back from my grandmother, now having two children I expected this wasn't going to be the best car for me but we didn't have a lot of choice.
Well I am surprised, yes the car is like a box on wheels but you can get a backward facing baby seat in the back aslong as your front passenger has short legs, you can seat front facing children in the back of the car without any issues on legroom and you can get 2 adults and 2 children in the car comfortably something I never expected from this car. Also surprisingly I found that a large travel system buggy will stand nicely in the boot without an issue although this does mean you cannot go shopping with the buggy as there is then no room for the shopping. This car is actually more suited to a little family than what I expected and as it is only myself and the children which use the car we have found it suits our needs perfectly.
The car has other plus points too, it only costs £30 to tax it for the full years and it is in a low insurance group, it only cost £21 for me to be added as a driver to the car for 10 months. The car is manual, comes in three or five door option and had a warranty for the first 3 years or 60000 miles, the combined mpg is 52.3 and the fuel really does seem to last forever in this car. The tank only costs around £40 to fill and lasts me about 3 weeks with all myh commuting too and from work and the usual running around with a family.
The interior of the car is dark grey with a pattern so it means that marks don't show up to easily and after all these years the car is still relavtively mark free. The seats are comfortable and don't become uncomfortable on long journeys which I like as I do like to take the children to visit Daddy at work which is 35 miles away.
I had forgotten how much I loved this car and I am now trying to convince my grandmother to sell it back to me as she doesn't really drive anymore but she isn't letting go of her "baby"
I purchased my Alto in December and have been really pleased with it. Having 5 doors is great, particularly with a small child as I don't have to clamber about trying to get him in his seat: I can just open the back door. It's really economical to run, which with rising petrol prices was a key consideration choosing a car. A full tank costs around £40 (March 2011) and will last me a couple of weeks driving 10 miles to and from work each day, as well as general running around.
The interior of the car is comfortable and the control easy to use and understand. One thing I don't like however is the rev counter, which looks like it was just stuck on top of the dashboard as a last minute thought. It's something I can live with though.
For a small engine car it is very nippy but as you expect lacks great acceleration, so is good around cities but not brilliant for long journeys. It's also quite loud in side the car when travelling at any great speed.
Having just purchased the 2010 Sz3 alto I am delighted to have finally found a small car that ticked all of my boxes. It is highly economical to run, the cost of petrol for my 200 mile weekly commute is a mere £20, which is cheaper than the local bus service on the same route; it is also cheap to tax, at £20 a year, and in insurance group 1. The 5 doors allow me to comfortably carry two passengers, or my cello. The one major down side is the lack of boot space, as whilst there is a boot it is very small. For carrying larger objects the back seats have to go down. However with the seats in the back down the car is able to carry an impressive load. I would also have liked a proper glove compartment, as the "pouch" displays to anybody who cares to look what I keep there. It does feel like a small car to drive and does sometimes feel underpowered, especially on hills. Even though it is a little underpowered it handles well and is highly responsive making it a very enjoyable drive.