Indian customers prefer small petrol cars for daily use as they are most convenient in the congested city roads. The middle class also prefer such a car as the first car to own. There are many such entry level hatchbacks in the market. The Chevrolet Spark launched in 2007 has been refreshed in 20012. The Alto from the Maruti Suzuki India Limited is the bestselling car in India. The Maruti Alto launched in 2002 has been re-launched as Alto 800 in 2012.
The Spark comes in 3 petrol variants the Base 1.0, LS 1.0 and LT 1.0 priced Rupees 3.61, 3.89 and 4.18 lakh respectively. The Alto 800 comes in 6 petrol and 1CNG variants priced Rupees 2.50 to 3.66 lakh. Both the cars have manual transmission only.
The Spark has better looks than the Alto. The Chevrolet corporate grille, head lamp fittings with trendy fog lamps and new rear bumper and tail lights make the Spark very attractive. The Alto features petal shaped headlamps with black accent and a two part chrome grille with Suzuki logo flanked by two chrome strips.
The Spark and the Alto 800 has similar cabins with minimum features. The Alto 800 has a spacious cabin with new accents, quality plastics and has better features. The standard features of the Spark include a manual AC, child lock facility and internally operated ORVMs. The top variants of the Spark have power windows, power steering, internally operated ORVMs and a 1 Din music system. The basic features of the Alto include an engine immobiliser, child lock facilities and a single externally operated ORVM. The top variants of the Alto have 1 air bag, a manual AC, internally operated single ORVM, tilt adjustable power steering and a 2 Din music system. Air bags are missing in the Spark.
The Alto gives better mileages of 22.74 kmpl with 796 cc engines. The 995 cc engines of the Spark give mileages of 18.29 kmpl. The Spark takes 16 sec for 0 to 100 kmph acceleration and the top speed is 151 kmph and the Alto takes 18.5 sec and the top speed is 138 kmph.
The 3495 mm long Spark has a wheel base of 2345 mm and a ground clearance of 170 mm. The shorter 3395 mm long Alto 800 has a wheel base of 2360 mm and ground clearance of 160 mm. The tyres are R12 type for both the cars. The suspensions are McPherson struts and torsion beams for both the models.
The Chevrolet Spark has better style and more ground clearance. The cheaper Maruti Alto 800 has more features, lesser maintenance costs and better fuel efficiencies.