Most Economical Car

Economical car data by country & car type

Small Economical Cars - Suzuki Alto / Nissan Pixo

Small economical cars sound very good in theory but when you're inside one driving on the roads in heavy traffic there's always a small part of your mind thinking 'this really doesn't feel like a very safe car, I really don't want to crash in this'. Well the Suzuki Alto is one small economical car that also promises to be very safe.

In fact the Suzuki Alto has a lot more going for it than safety because its one of the cheapest cars you can currently buy. New cars seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper and the price point of the Suzuki Alto is quite phenomenal. The other major point to note is this car's fuel economy. Its amazing - just 4.8 liters per 100km. On paper then the Alto looks like a very good small economical car that has great safety.

The Nissan Pixo, available in Europe, is the same car as the Alto, as is the Maruti Suzuki A Star in India. The Suzuki Alto is a good looking little car with design features that are up to date with the latest styling trends. It definitely doesn't look like a cheap car. The interior is less convincing though. Its not awful, it just looks cheap, but then this car is cheap and there's got to be compromises somewhere.

Another compromise is to be found under the bonnet in the form of a 1.0 liter 3 cylinder engine that's not particularly smooth. It is however extremely fuel efficient as already mentioned and if you work the gears hard enough to keep the revs in the right range, its quite lively. It helps that the car only weighs 885kg because the engine does only have 50kW of power. The engine requires premium fuel which will bump up fuel costs a little bit but at mpg your fuel bill is still going to be ridiculously cheap. The engine outputs a low 113g/km of CO2 so its very environmentally friendly too.

The Suzuki Alto drives and handles well enough on the road. Its tiny size means its a great city car - easy to fit into small parking spots and get through gaps in traffic, and it also has a very tight turning circle. Probably the main disadvantage of the car is rear passenger space which is extremely tight. You don't expect small economical cars to have heaps of space but this car is worse than most of its competitors. Only 2 people can fit in the back and its probably best if their children as headroom and legroom are both severely restricted. The boot is also tiny and again even though you don't expect much room its smaller than the majority of its rivals.

Safety is a real strong point of the Alto compared to its rivals and considering the Alto's rock bottom price full marks go to Suzuki for not compromising in this area when it would have been easy to do. The Alto comes with 6 airbags as standard - front, sides, and curtains. Anti lock brakes and good crash test results further improves safety and the Alto has received a 4 star ANCAP safety rating for its efforts. Stability control is optional on the base model but standard on more expensive models.

Features are good for a budget car and include central locking, air conditioning, electric windows and CD stereo with that all important aux input for iPod connectivity.

Overall if you don't need much in the way of boot or rear passenger space this car is one of the best small economical cars on the market. It can't be beaten on price and has super low running costs thanks to its frugal engine. Insurance of course will be minimal for this type of car. When you factor in its superb safety you end up with an excellent car.