Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Hatchback First drive Review

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Overview

The current leader in car sales in India is the Maruti Suzuki Alto and fortunately for buyers, there isn’t just one engine on offer but a performance K10 option too. There was a time I really admired the Alto, I remember it being launched in India in 2000 but it was only in 2001 that I really started liking the small car. It was when I was in my teenage years and had gone to get the family’s Esteem serviced. It was then that I first sat in an Alto VXi.

Now I mention VXi because the difference between LX and VX wasn’t just features (the latter also had a tacho) but also engine. The VXi was also called as the Alto 1.1 as it was equipped with a 1061cc F10D, 4-pot motor (the Wagon R too used this engine but the Zen didn’t as it was powered by a 1000cc motor, the same that was in the Maruti 1000). This was good enough for 64 PS and 80 Nm, what a rocket that was. Fast forward to 2015 and we have the Alto K10 which has been given a thorough revision and an AMT gearbox (Auto Gear Shift in Maruti speak), does it connect me to those days?

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Look

It’s easy to think of the new-for-2019 Maruti Alto as a mere facelift. The petal-shaped headlamps, body panels, doors, boot lid and even the rear bumper have been carried forward. You can identify this as the latest iteration of India’s bestselling car thanks to its new front bumper, which gets a large air dam, replete with honeycomb-style plastic mesh. There are provisions for fog lamps but those can only be added as paid accessories. The front grille is also new and now sports a black surround. Anoraks will also note a new design for its outside mirrors.

The bigger upgrades to the car are under the skin. Maruti has strengthened the Alto’s front-end to comply with the latest crash-test norms (applicable to all cars from October 1, 2019). The new Alto is also 50mm longer than the outgoing version which measured 3,395mm. This increase in length is due to a new bumper design that helps the Alto clear the pedestrian safety regulations that come into effect on October 1, 2020. Additionally, the new Alto also gets a standard driver’s airbag in all variants along with ABS, EBD, rear parking sensors, a driver and front-passenger seat-belt reminder as well as a speed alert system, which are all now mandatory safety requirements. The base Std and mid-spec LXi trims get passenger airbags as an option, while dual airbags are standard on the top-spec VXi trim. Check for Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 in Bioinformatica

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Comfort

Where the Alto K10 is vastly different from the Alto 800 is the interiors. While both cars have similar AC vents (side ones), the dashboard is as different as chalk and cheese. The Alto K10’s dashboard is a nice unit which looks quite attractive and gets piano black finish on the centre console and some silver inserts for a sporty feel. The cabin is a dual-tone unit that adds airiness and quality inside is good although there are some rough edges which aren’t glaringly obvious at first sight. The way the centre console has been designed makes the Alto K10’s dashboard look wider than it actually is. The 3-spoke steering is nice to hold and the car gets front power windows, buttons for which are unconventionally placed in the centre, there are no rear power windows.

The manual variant of the Alto K10 gets a cubbyhole and cupholders in front of the lever but in the AMT variant, this is missing as the lever takes more space. The car gets a smart hook next to the glovebox for hanging small things. The instrument cluster is a funky looking unit (Maruti calls it speedy finish) with a nice design having red markings and white fonts. There is a display under the speedometer which carries twin trip meters, odometer, gear indicator (AMT) fuel meter and time. The right side on the console has tell-tale lights and as they don’t blink all the time, the meter looks a bit empty.

The Maruti Alto K10 is the premium version of the Alto but isn’t loaded with a ton of features to boast about. Bluetooth is absent which comes as a surprise because the world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano has it. The audio system offers CD, USB and AUX functions and sound quality is strictly average. None of the Alto’s seats come with adjustable headrests and due to the narrow cabin, it’s best to seat two at the rear and not squeeze in three. The front seats are quite comfortable and although the Alto K10 carries the same wheelbase as the Alto 800, rear seat legroom is better thanks to the scooped front seat back, resulting in thinner front seats (one can at times feel the knees of the rear passenger on his back). Still legroom is just average while headroom is adequate. Boot space is decent for a car of this size. Check for SBI car loan at Fincarz.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Gearbox

The Maruti Alto K10 gets a 1.0-litre engine which is mated with a five-speed manual gear box and producing 67bhp and 90Nm of power. This three-cylinder engine has be good power but most of its is delivered at high rpm. One needs to revv the engine to extract the best performance from it. For those quick overtaking moves, one has to downshift. Driving the Maruti Alto K10 in city is easy and one doesn’t have to shift a lot of gears in traffic.

The engine has a good punch and it doesn’t feel running out of juice even on highways. The engine’s NVH levels are also low. This engine also powers the Wagon R and the Celerio, but as this body is lighter, the performance is much better.

The AMT is a boon for those who are tired of shifting gears in mad traffic. Maruti Suzuki has found a superb solution, which is a clutch free gearshift known as the AMT gearbox. The Maruti Alto K10 AMT is very similar to the manual version but without the clutch. The Maruti Alto K10 AMT performs a little different from a fully automatic transmission. In this gearbox one can definitely feel the gearshifts happening under the hood and at this time the driver feels the car to be just numb. There is no response or I can say there a slight pause in the engine when such gearshifts occur, especially till it is in the third gear.

Though the pause is very evident, the power delivered after a certain speed is just straight forward, push the gas pedal hard and you get a quick response. Overtaking on highways at high speed is also not a big deal for the AMT. Still the best use of this AMT can be felt in traffic conditions as your drive becomes just hassle free due to this AMT gearbox.

The best part about Maruti Alto K10 AMT was its quick gearshifts. As we touched 50km/hr the car was already in its top gear. This proves how fuel-efficient the car is. The Maruti Alto K10 AMT gave us a fair mileage of 20kmpl keeping our speed restricted between 80-100km/hr.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Riding

The Maruti Alto K10 gives a very smooth and a happy experience to the driver. The ride quality is good in city and in fact the suspension does a good job too. The Maruti Alto K10 felt very pliant at high speeds. It was clearly evident that the car could be under your control at any point of the time. Even the steering response is good, even though it is light and easy to drive. The 1.0-litre engine is very smooth, linear yet active.

We drove the petrol variant of the car, both on the highway and in the city traffic. The city driving in the Maruti Alto K10 was effortless as the car could move smoothly without any gearshifts even at low speeds whereas on highways it felt very active as well as linear. Overtaking was found to be simple as power supplied was sufficient. There was enough power supplied post 2000rpm, which pulled on till the red line. Book Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Test Drive

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Safety

Maruti Suzuki has the biggest service network in India, having dealerships in remote areas too. India’s largest car maker also offers excellent after sales service and prices of parts are very reasonable, making owning a Maruti car a trouble-free experience. However, in terms of safety, the Alto falls short. From being awarded 0-stars in crash tests to not coming equipped with any safety feature, the Alto is basic in terms of safety. The VXi trim gets a driver side airbag as an option and even foglamps are part of optional kit. Meanwhile, Maruti exports the Alto K10 to Algeria with both ABS and dual airbags.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Price in Pune

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 4,02,217 to 4,98,177 for variants Alto K10 LX and Alto K10 VXI AGS Optional respectively. Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 is available in 8 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 variants price in Pune. Check for Alto K10 price in Pune at Autozhop.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Bottomline

2019 Maruti Alto prices see a rise. Variant-to-variant, the Alto 800 is between Rs 25,000-38,000 pricier than the outgoing version. However, the added outlay also gets you safety kit like ABS, airbags and rear parking sensors, and it’s that little bit more reassuring to know the car is compliant with latest crash test norms.

While performance is only adequate, rivals aren’t any better in this respect. The Alto doesn’t have the roomiest cabin and misses on some comfort features too, but for the first-time car buyers on a budget who make up the bulk of Alto sales, the car’s reputation for efficiency and low running costs will be the hook. The Alto has been at the top of the sales charts for a long time – and it seems its reign is all set to continue in an era of far-reaching norm changes.

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