The Maruti A-Star, also known as the 7th generation Suzuki Alto in the international market, was rolled out in the country in December 2008. It has got some minor tweaks and an automatic gearbox too! The A-Star has very good exterior design – cute, bubbly and cheerful would be the best words to describe this car. At the same time though, ‘unusual’, is the first word that many have in mind when they see this car in flesh. Huge, popped out headlamps reminiscent of a frog’s eyes, an enormous bumper with an equally humongous central air dam – the A-star is a big departure from your regular City hatch. The lip for the unusually small bonnet is unusually high, a big Suzuki ‘S’ fills in for the missing grille. The front overhang of the car is pretty short and lends it a sporty look. Step in and immediately you notice the space, infact, the lack of it! Though tall people can sit up front without an issue, doing so leaves room at the back only for kids! Further, you also notice the narrow width once you start rubbing shoulders with your co-passenger. However, if you neglect this, the cabin of the car is pretty decent. The A-Star is built to a price and hence keep in this in mind while touching the panels or looking at the overall design. The A-Star gets the smaller KB10 unit that has a displacement of 998cc and puts out 67PS of power along with 90Nm of torque. The talking point here is the overall weight of the car, between 860 and 880 kilos. This makes the A-Star a peppy performance and the engine responds very well for city usage. The 5-speed manual gearbox is joy to use. The A-Star also comes with the option of a 4-speed automatic gearbox. On the economy front, the manual car has an ARAI rated economy of 19kmpl which means getting 14kmpl in city is easy. As per ARAI, the auto A-Star, at 16.98kmpl, has an efficiency drop of over 10%.The speed sensitive steering is another highlight, making this small hatchbacks fun to drive in city, on the highways and around hills or corners. You can really enjoy the A-Star in all forms of driving and the small size means squeezing into gaps is a child’s play. The overall feel with this car is very positive. Driving through bad roads does shake up the cabin quite a bit. A starting price of Rs 4.10 lakhs ex-showroom makes the A-Star a fun small car. The A-Star shines in a lot of areas. It is good to look at, great to drive and a worthy buy for those who are you are young at heart and need a fun to drive vehicle. The engine is punchy, responsive and efficient. The trouble is that such customers are far and few and the A-Star, as a middle class family car does lag behind in a few areas, the main being the lack of space – for passengers and for luggage. Though it is also the cheapest automatic you can buy in India and the discounts being offered on the manual versions these days by dealers is terrific and can make you fall for the car! For a detailed analysis read below..