Suzuki Alto PKDM 2001 model, first hand use from 2001-2013 pictures and review
So we bought this Alto in 2001, in Kashmiri Pearl color. The tires were changed instantly to Bridgestone B70s 185
Its as good as new (MashaAllah)
It was the time when Pak Suzuki had just launched the Alto, and this is one of the firsts to roll out of the factory which means there were no cheap/substandard part suppliers in Pakistan for Alto. So this one had all the parts imported either from Japan or Thailand.
These pictures are taken in 2013. To this day this car is neat and clean and rides like a new car. Driven only 55,000 Km
Islamabad, Multan, Murree, Shograan (Siri & Paey) for those people who have gone to Siri and Paey, you would know there is a very very steep climb upto Shogran which this little powerhouse of a car took very easily with 4 Men and luggage on board. CNG was never installed in this car.
``Oil filter and air filters regularly changed before their due date.
``Never needed to change any belts 12 years and going strong (this shows parts are genuine, plus i have been spraying the rubber parts with preservative to keep them flexible and increase life of rubber)
``Changed Spark Plugs after 6 years, they didnt need changing but still i felt like changing them.
``Tires: first set was bridgestone B70s awsome tires. I do not mess with the car so they kept going strong and gripping for 10 years after that they got punctures and i decided to change them for Yokohamas its been about 3 years and one puncture, they look new. 185 size. wheelcups were changed but still factory design is used.
``Installed autolock system, i was expecting it to fail some time because it was good quality chinese, but it has'nt so far. 5 years and doing ok.
``Installed rear speakers, genuine Kenwood 2200W, no amp but strong enough beat.
``seat covers: handmade cloth pochish, i want to change them now because its been 12 years but theres nothing wrong with them so i dont have any excuse to do so.
``new model backlights (worth 8000Rs, genuine suzuki)
First it has been a very very low maintenance car. apart from oil and filter change i had to do nothing to it. Even engine tuning did not seem like an urgent thing but i still had it done regularly.
Now this is interesting. People say Alto is a small Suzuki Jeep and amazingly thats the most accurate description. It has the same torquey engine of SJ410 Suzuki Jeep (Potohar in PK) a 4-cylinder,970cc R10a Suzuki Carbi Engine mated to a 5 speed transmission. What that translates to on the road? it has Pick with a capital P. Really. you can go from a standstill, in 2nd gear, and there would be no hesitation or knocking. The gear box though has some strange curves to it. You would find yourself quickly going from 1st to 2nd to 3rd and 3rd gear is when it gets comfortable in cruising from 40km/h upto 90 km/h.
This 2001 model had the best shocks of any model. The later models had local springs and dampers and those are not very good. this one is awsome. it does not let any bumps to reach the passengers and has a ride strangely like old american cars which on pakistani roads is a bliss. it would be wafting along on a bumpy jumpy road like nothing happened...just a slow up and down movement. (compared to my altis 1.8 2009 it sometimes has better suspension it is a very tall claim for the people who know this corolla but its true)
Ride height is almost as tall as the suzuki jeep i had to tackle rough terrain where my corolla couldnt go and this did it just fine. the shorter wheelbase and high torque helps in offroading too.
Racing: i never really did racing. just once did a drag with old 97 model corolla. won that.
AC: ac is chillling and makes you seem cold even in hot weather but it puts lot of weight on the engine. i just turn it off after 15 minutes when the cabin gets chilly.
Steering: now this is crazy. i have installed thicker tires on it than factory (185). the steering is amazingly soft. new altos cannot even compare. a frend with 2009 alto once drove it and commented "ma to soch b nai skta k itna soft halka steering hoga'' i usually find myself turning lock to lock with one hand (bad habit from corolla) its not power steering but almost as well as it.
gearchanging: its good and gear change can be made seamlesly during driving . passengers cant even feel it. i always had trouble engaging the reverse though. takes two tries some times.
Rear seat space is quite less. I have stuffed 6 frends in the car from time to time but still the space is short for a long journey. newer altos had thinner front seats to provide space in the rear.
Its a carby engine. so mileage is not as good as efi, 10 to 11 is expected and it gives just that.
tape deck is good but antenna reception is very bad. cant listen to radio so i bought a tape modulator put it in the pre, connected my ipod to it and voila...ipod enabled system!
So its a low mileage car 55000 in all these years, it has given me great, reliable service through these years.
I drive very carefuly so never needed any repainting or denting. only major accident was when i was standing on a red light signal and some college guys on motorbike couldnt brake and broke the rear light.
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