The Alto was the go-to choice for the first-time car buyer, and in some rare cases, the Eon or the Nano found a space in the garage. But the low refinement levels and the jerky nature of the engine work against it. Though, the gearbox does hamper the experience as it feels relatively spongy and lacks in feel. The prominent front nylon spandex fabric grille flanked by two sleek looking headlamps, a large front bumper with plastic cladding and a contoured bonnet give this hatch an SUV like appeal. Engine and Performance Both cars come with engines with similar capacities and three cylinder layouts.

 Also, the driving experience isn’t as great as you would expect. Ride and HandlingThe ride on the Kwid is nothing short of great considering its price and size. But, with the Kwid, the segment has turned into a two-horse race. The Alto on the other hand has a slightly stiffer setup which makes the ride not as pliant as the Kwid’s at slower speeds but is far more composed at higher speeds. The chrome inserts on the AC vents give the cabin a more upmarket feel. The suspension has been well set up for the city and the car swallows up almost all undulations with minimal fuss.7kmpl.VerdictThe Kwid is the quirkier looking of the two and it makes great use of the in-cabin space and also offers the best-in-class boot space and claims to be the most efficient car in its class. The space in the rear too is ample and you seldom feel uncomfortable despite the lack in kneeroom. 

There are silver accents on the steering wheel and on the centre console along with fabric door inserts on all four doors. But the fuel tank capacity of the Alto stands at 35 litres compared to 28 litres for the Kwid which means the Alto will go farther on a single tank of fuel compared to its French counterpart. It’s no tarmac scorcher but a fun drive nonetheless. The entire cabin is bathed in different shades of black and is made of plastic. The instrument cluster is an all digital affair which looks rather good and gives a slight motorcycle-esque feel though it is devoid of a tachometer. So, which one to pick Read on. Also there is no satellite navigation like on the Renault. 

Then there is the brand value that Maruti Suzuki enjoys which also contributes to a better resale value and the fact that Maruti has one of the most extensive dealer networks in the country also helps the Alto’s case by a great degree.The new updated Alto, on the other hand, stays mostly true its design since 2012 barring minor aesthetic changes to the front facia and the rear bumper. Space in the rear though is adequate only for two and taller occupants will feel the lack of headroom. For someone upgrading from two-wheels to four, or for someone eyeing their first car, these two cars come across as go-to options.