Best Priced Cars below 4 lakh in India - New Maruti Alto vs Spark
So what is your choice?
Below 4 lakhs price tag, which one is better Maruti Alto or Chevrolet Spark?
I own a November 2003 model Maruti Alto and my cousin brother has a Chevrolet Spark. Alto's advantage is fuel economy and ownership experience. As I am an Alto owner, please do not think that I will give all the credits to Alto. I will give both cars the credits they deserve.
Mileage difference between Spark and Alto is just 1 to 2 kilometers per liter max.
If a person is looking for a car at a price range of around 3 lakhs and is ready to sacrifice these 1 to 2 kilometers per liter for better comfort, handling, and more responsive engine, then Spark is an ideal choice. It also looks sporty as compared to Alto.
You take a tape and measure it. I did it for Alto and Spark. Outside length is same at 3495 mm. Width wise, the Spark is just 10 mm wide than Alto.
When it comes to inside look, Spark is more spacious when compared to Alto. Leg room is better than about 30 mm in Spark. That's all. Width wise, it has just 10 mm wide seats.
Spark with a clear advantage over Alto. No matter how peppy Alto's engine may be, Spark's unit is much more modern and more powerful and it shows.
Spark no doubt resembles the Daewoo Matiz closely but think over it world over, Alto has been replaced by Maruti A-Star while Spark still sells in current avatars everywhere.
Sparks' cab forward stance makes it more spacious inside than the Alto despite being marginally bigger from outside. The plastic quality again is miles ahead than the Alto.
Fuel Efficiency and Maintenance
Alto is a clear winner here and General Motors can only dream of matching the Maruti's after sales currently in India but it is not that bad a deal with Spark as you get excellent warranty options.
Alto again is an advantage here for people who sell their vehicle within 3 to 4 years, but not many people in India actually sell their vehicles within 5 years and so it does not make much a difference overall.
Cheap to Buy and Maintain
Alto is cheap to buy and cheap to run and maintain when compared to Spark and resale is also good. In this case, again Alto stands out as a clear winner which is confirmed by its sales figures in India.
General Motors Survey of Spark
Spark in metro cities provides a max of 12 kmpl. When a GM's survey in Delhi arrived a few months back, my brother filed a case in consumer forum regarding Spark's with A/C mileage, so in reply the company/service manger regional gave a petition that the figures they claim are on an average basis and depending upon traffic and driving conditions also which I guess may be one reason my brother is getting low mileage on his Spark.
At the end, I would say both cars cater to same category, so driving pleasure is at par as pickup timings and top speed do not matter in a car priced below 4 lakhs and the only thing is Spark has gas-filled shock absorbers which Alto does not have, so ride comes comfy for more technical stuff.
Another point is that Spark has harder suspensions than Alto, so on small potholes, Spark cannot glide as good as Alto which has softer suspension base but huge craters are an issue in alto which is not in Spark and that is what I felt when driving both of them.
Both Alto and Spark are no doubt good cars but that extra 40 k for Spark (I am comparing the Alto LXi and Spark LS) is not worth it.
I would like to say again that Alto's length matches Sparks at 3495 mm and the Spark is just wider by 20 mm. So space wise, there is nothing to compare, both match out and when it comes to equipment list, the only difference is that Spark LS has got the body-colored bumpers and power windows.
Of course, the Spark is more powerful @ 63 PS compared to the Alto's 47 PS, so if you think that you can spend that extra 40 k, then go for the Spark; otherwise, go for Alto and if a person is ready to spend for the Spark, then one can also consider the Santro Xing GL which comes at 3.36 lakhs and the Spark LS at 3.23 lakhs. Santro Xing is definitely a far-far better buy than the Chevrolet Spark.