Maruti 800

Published: 14th May 2009
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Even after the entry of so many small cars in the India, Maruti 800 still rules the road in terms of number. Simply stated, the Maruti Suzuki 800 is one of the largest selling subcompact cars in India. It is essentially the Indian sibling of the first generation Suzuki Alto and was launched in December 1984 (assembled mostly with imported components). The 800 was the country's leading car until the Maruti Suzuki Alto took over the mantle. The 800 is exported across the globe, to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Chile. It was available in select European markets as well in the periods between 1988 and 1992.

The Maruti Suzuki 800 is equipped with an 796cc In-line 3 engine that shoots out 37 bhp worth of power. Transmission is 4-forward, all synchromesh and 1 reverse. It has a rack and pinion steering. Suspension out front is a McPherson Strut and coil spring; while in the rear, it has a coil spring with gas-filled shock absorbers.
The Maruti Suzuki 800 rolls out in four variants: Standard MPI BS III, AC MPI BS III, DUO Standard BS III and DUO AC BS III; all the variants are available in metallic and non-metallic versions. The Maruti Suzuki 800 satisfies the Bharat III norms (In India, the emission norms that are applicable to vehicles have been named as Bharat Stage III. The maximum speed, at which the vehicle is tested on the chassis dynamo, is limited to 90 kmph) and is the only player in the A segment cars.

Over the years, the Maruti Suzuki 800 has received numerous upgrades, the most noteworthy being the induction of a 5-speed manual transmission. A downward trend in sales though saw the manufacturer looking at new avenues to boost the sales graph. In 2005, the 800 received major upgrades on the exterior as well the interior; technical changes were at par for the course during this re-haul (including enhanced emission norms).

The 800 delivers its promise of value-for-money, low cost of maintenance and great mileage. Its agile performance and compact size make it easy to maneuver in the city.

A new grille stamped with the Suzuki badge adds a touch of excitement to this otherwise staid car. An outside rear view mirror, green tinted glasses, a lockable fuel lid and a back door lock are among some of its standard features.

It now features a 32-bit electronic control unit and a catalytic converter in compliance with Bharat Stage III emission norms. The 800 is apt for the Indian road. Its compact size, lean body and a short turning radius of 4.4 metres make it an ally for city driving as well as cruising on the highway.

Some of its interior amenities include reclining and sliding front seats, head restraints, a glove compartment, sun visors on both sides, front and rear assist grips, a front door pocket, floor and luggage room carpets, a moulded roof lining, a stay type fuel gauge, inside rear view mirror, electrical equipment, front wipers (2 speed + intermittent), cabin light (3 positions), windshield washer, airflow controls, clear lens headlamps and rear combination lamps, halogen bulbs, an air conditioner, safety equipment, side impact beams, a laminated windshield, additional body reinforcements, a collapsible steering column, and front and rear seats belts.

Dual tone interior upholstery brightens up the interior a bit, although the quality of the material is not quite what one would hope for. Seating is as spacious and comfortable as one can expect from a car this size.

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