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Suzuki Alto (09-14) - rated 3 out of 5

If you wanted a cheap, small runaround in 2009 then there was plenty of choice. Even so, it was unlikely that you could have overlooked the Suzuki Alto, such was its outstanding value. 

Promising good fuel economy, low insurance costs and cheap road tax, it was a cut to the bone value proposition which ticked all the right boxes. 

Although it was strongly built and well equipped (for its price) there wasn’t a huge amount of fun to be had in the Alto. Other small cars like the Toyota Aygo and Volkswagen Up were better in this respect.

The cost cutting measures were there to be seen, including pop-out rear windows which did away with the need for winding mechanisms and a rear parcel shelf that had to be lifted and lowered manually.

Bootspace was a bit limited and the Alto didn’t score highly with Euro NCAP, receiving just three stars.