2022 Suzuki Alto debuts in Japan – ninth-gen kei car gets fresh new design and mild hybrid technology

2022 Suzuki Alto debuts in Japan – ninth-gen kei car gets fresh new design and mild hybrid technology

The eighth-generation Suzuki Alto has been around since 2014 and will finally be replaced with this, the ninth-gen model. Revealed in Japan recently, the new kei car sports a fresh design and will be offered with a mild hybrid powertrain – more on the latter later.

The latest Alto retains the boxy shape and proportions as its predecessor, although the design has been softened and is quite a bit more rounded than before. The trapezoidal-shaped headlamps are a good example of this, and each cluster also sports additional detailing as well.

The new face also forgoes the four vertical inlet bars of the previous model in favour of a small opening beneath the Suzuki logo, which is accompanied by a small chrome bar. Meanwhile the lower intake is set on a slightly recessed section of the redesigned front bumper and features a rectangular-shaped element in body colour.

Along the sides, the wheel arches have been tidied up for a flatter look, while the lower portion of the doors now feature small humps. The rear door handles in particular have also been placed in a lower position than before, necessitated by the reprofiled side windows – the rear ones are larger than before and have a less aggressive rake.

The transformation continues at the rear, as the bumper mimics the “sunken” look seen at the front. More substantial are the taillights, which are now positioned in a more conventional position rather than being placed low down on the eighth-gen model.

Like the exterior, the latest Alto’s interior has also undergone a significant revision, with notable changes being a layered dashboard that gets splashes of colour on it. Suzuki has also given the Alto a new steering wheel and a more stylised instrument cluster panel, while a front storage cubby has been carved out just above the glove box.

The general layout isn’t that much different from the outgoing model, with circular air vents placed at the corners (we spot a static cupholder on the front passenger side), while the infotainment system is flanked by rectangular-air vents in the middle.

Also familiar is the centre stack, although the hazard light button has now been placed below the infotainment system and creates space for what looks to be a USB power port. Another thing carried over is the four-seat passenger capacity with a two-seat rear seat bench.

Suzuki hasn’t provided powertrain details, but given its kei car classification, the Alto will be powered by a 660 cc, three-cylinder petrol engine. New for the ninth-gen is the adoption of a mild hybrid system that consists of an integrated starter generator (ISG) and a small lithium-ion battery.

Like the outgoing model, Suzuki’s Safety Support suite of safety and driver assist systems will also be available, with features such as autonomous emergency braking, high-beam assist and lane departure warning, just to name a few.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.



  • YB Albert on Dec 01, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    If the Naza brothers bring this model in,it wont be cheap.Anyway,there will be hardcore Suzuki fanboys who will still buy,no matter what the price is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Go hybrid is better. 660cc mild hybrid for Suzuki Alto.

    Interesting to see how Suzuki models don’t grow in size, getting too much smaller than Passo, and even improved Passo for SEA.

    It’s getting into the size of Toyota Agya Axia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • anonymous_c on Dec 02, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Suzuki Alto going back to Mini Cooper like design. Perodua should reconsider this option, base upon previous Kelisa success.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Dec 03, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    malaysia needs a better importer than naza

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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