Suzuki Alto

Why Did I Keep the Alto?

Most people upgrade their car, usually looking to improve on specification, performance, or in some cases simply something newer with less miles. That was also my intention when I purchased my Kia Cee’d.

It was an undiagnosed handling issue with the little Suzuki that prompted me to look for a different car, later diagnosed to be a small bulge on a rear tyre. As I was doing longer journeys, a more powerful diesel was the preferred option, with the Kia ticking all the boxes.

I never intended to rush through the sale of the Suzuki, and had always intended to find the right buyer for the car. Being my first car, I truly cherished the car, and did want the potential new owner to have the same experience. Those feelings never left, and every time I jumped in the drivers seat, I was reminded how brilliant the little Alto is.

The Suzuki Alto is a basic car. There’s no air-con, no front fog lights, no built in sat nav or fancy infotainment screen, no traction control, no trip computer, and not even an outside thermometer. In fact, compared to even the most basic modern cars, the list of things it doesn’t have is probably longer than the list of things it actually does.

It may seem odd, but the Alto is exactly the car I like. The straight forward approach and lack of most electronics gives a very precise handling characteristic. It absorbs the bumps well, but you feel connected to the road. Being able to understand what the car is doing at all times gives great confidence.

There’s more. The simple cab layout means there’s little to distract from the road. There’s only two beeps, a series of beeps to tell you you’ve left the key in the ignition, and a static one to remind you that you’ve left the headlights on. Neither of which will occur while driving and neither will cause a distraction. There’s no fiddly buttons on the streering wheel, and the heater controls are simple sliders.

Despite this, it still has electric windows in the front, and still has a radio CD player. The latter did get an upgrade to Bluetooth and DAB+ among other features (though I wish I didn’t bother with the latter, as DAB+ sound quality is dreadful). Everything I need or want is there, with nothing that I don’t.

That’s why I kept the Suzuki Alto. I just love the straight forward nature of the car. It (or should I say she) has never let me down (well once thanks to corroded shock absorbers, but that’s more age/road condition issue). The little car even stepped in when my mum and dad’s car was off the road awaiting minor accident damage repairs, and can easily manage 200-300 miles traveling each week.

I’ll finish this post be addressing on last word, regret. I recently watched a Drivetribe video presented by Mike Fernie, in which he said that many petrolheads regret selling their first car. I know, that if I ever sold the Suzuki Alto, I would always regret doing so. I really don’t want to join that club.