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Maruti Suzuki Alto Review: Maruti Suzuki Alto K-10

Maruti Suzuki Alto K-10

By Payal Pathak & Shiva Shankar; 14th August, 2010
Introduction

New era, new power and a capacity to lure old and new customers! This is what Maruti Suzuki India Limited has kept in mind when it launched the new powerful variant of its best selling model Maruti Suzuki Alto. The model now comes with more powerful engine with improved styling cues. Maruti Suzuki holds nearly 50 percent market share and new entrants in the market pose a threat to its market supremacy. With the launch of newer models every day, it shows that it intends to give a tough fight to its competitors in coming next few decades.

Maruti Suzuki Alto

Today we take a look at the new Maruti Suzuki Alto K-10.

The earlier version of the Maruti Suzuki Alto featured a 797 cc engine delivering power of 45 BHP, and the car proved to be India’s best selling small car. Still, cars like Santro, Wagon R, and Indica which all deliver power above 60 BHP, certainly had an edge over Alto in terms of power and comfort. Nevertheless, the Alto did achieve universal acknowledgement for reliability and lower maintenance cost.

Now Maruti Suzuki has introduced its new Alto K-10 in which it has implemented its new k-series 998 cc engine which already has proven good performance in Estillo, A-Star, and New Wagon R.

 

Exterior

Alto has oftentimes been considered an extended version of the no-frills M800 model. The car has all the basic features that 800 lovers may miss and yet want something more. With the new Alto, Maruti Suzuki has done little in changing the exterior designs, though a subtle sleekness has been introduced. There is nothing that is majorly noticeable and the car still looks like a simple, no-nonsense model that captures customers based on price and usability. Yet, the new Alto has its curves just at the right places to give an overall sleek and sliding appearance.

Maruti Suzuki Alto

It may not be noticeable but the front end has been pushed a little, by 125mm, making the overall length of the new Alto to 3620mm as against 3495mm of the old variant. The change comes mainly to accommodate the new engine.

The new Alto features a new clear lens head lamp and newly designed rear combination lamp and new colour options in which Sunlight Copper seems to be the most likeable colour for Alto k10. New door trims, body colour bumper, and body coloured rear view mirror option makes it look like a complete and personalized hatchback. 

Interior

The top end model of the new Maruti Suzuki Alto has a touch of dual tone. But do not expect anything in stark contrasts. The two tone interiors are mild where Maruti Suzuki has placed a combination of grey with light bluish colour which does not really stand out as contrasting interiors. The colour pads on the doors match the seat interiors.

 Maruti Suzuki Alto

One of the noticeable things is that the front seats have been given a curve from behind. This means a little more space to the rear passengers and makes them more comfortable. Even though the wheelbase remains the same and overall length does not change, intelligent interior designing can definitely make more space within the same frame.

Further, there is introduction of integrated head rest seats in front and all seats are of good quality fabric. Apart from that additional features like cupholder in console, and rear seat head rest add to the additional comfort of interiors.

Despite the seat redesign, the main drawback of the Alto is the leg space which feels congested for front seat passengers, especially the driver seat. I felt (My height is 5’ 9”) like I got fixed to the front seat with two legs resting on pedals, right hand elbow on door pad . 

Maruti Suzuki Alto

Performance

Now in the engineering is where Maruti Suzuki has really introduced a major change. The new 3-cylinder engine has displacement of 998cc and is boosted with MPFi components. It yields a power of 67 bhp at 6200 rpm and 90Nm of torque at 3500 rpm. Currently, it is available as petrol model but diesel is soon to follow. The new model has boosted performance of at least 45 percent even though it weighs 50kgs more than its predecessor.

Maruti Suzuki Alto

Colour options of the Maruti Suzuki Alto K-10 include Midnight Black, ECRU Beige, Silky Silver, Fire Brick Red, Superior White, and Sunlight copper. Some interesting features of the Maruti Suzuki Alto include collapsible steering column, side impact beams, child lock, immobiliser, all of which add to the comfort of using the car. The new engine speaks of performance through and through. Even at 100kmph, you do not feel that engine is strained. A test drive on highway was a pleasure and the car accelerated from 0-100kmph in around 15 seconds although Maruti Suzuki claims it to be 13.3 seconds. Power to weight ratios plays an important role in maximum utilization of power developed, and the Alto with gross vehicle weight of 1185 KG clearly has an advantage in this regard.

As can be expected, a small car is economic in nature. In our drive, we achieved a mileage of 18 KMPL against Maruti Suzuki’s claimed 20.2 kmpl.

Maruti Suzuki Alto

The new MarutiSuzuki Alto K10 has 155/65 R13 tubeless radials whereas the older F-series model had 145/80 R 12s. Moreover, the brakes and suspensions have also been beefed up which means better driveability and a smoother ride. The larger wheels are well-supported by enlarged brakes and gas-filled shock absorbers.

While returning to the city, the car could be manoeuvred easily and the rear was not dancing away at the turns. The car gives a contended sense of driving and manoeuvrability under tough urban traffic conditions. The cable actuated transmission is a bonus to the drivers.

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Maruti Suzuki
 Model Alto
Variant Vxi
Engine Capacity 998/3 cyl
Power 68/6200
Torque 90/3500
Gears 5/M
Dimensions in MM
Length 3620
Width 1475
Height 1460
Ground clearance 160
Fuel tank capacity 35
Mileage 20.2
Tyres rating 155/65 R13
Tyres type Tubeless
Minimum turning circle radius in M 4.6
Features
Features Lxi Vxi
Power Steering Yes Yes
Power windows No No
Central locking No Front
A/C Yes Yes
Music system No No
Fog Lamps No No
Rear wind shield washer No No
Defogger No No
ABS No No
Air bag No No
Security System Yes Yes
Fabric Seats Yes Yes
Collapsible steering column Yes Yes
Tubeless tyres Yes Yes
Cup holders in console Yes Yes
Child Lock Yes Yes
Front Foglamps No Yes
Immobiliser Yes Yes
Key off remainder No Yes
Ex showroom Mumbai 375316 390704
Competition
Specifications
Maruti Suzuki
Alto
Chevrolet
Spark
Hyundai
Santro
Variant Vxi 1.0 LT GLS
Engine Capacity in Litres 998 993 186
Power PS/RPM 68/6200 63/5400 63/5500
Torque Nm/RPM 90/3500 90/4200 96/3000
Gears 5/M 5/M 5/M
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes
Central locking No Yes No
A/C Yes Yes Yes
Music system No Yes No
Fog Lamps Yes Yes No
Rear wind shield washer No Yes No
Defogger No Yes No
ABS No No No
Air bag No No No
Average fuel efficiency  20 17 16
Ex showroom Price Mumbai 390704 400372 402450
Conclusion

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 is a simple car with a simple design that has all features like practicality, driveability, mileage, comfort and price, in a manner well-suited to Indian mind-set. Moreover, it being a Maruti Suzuki , it can be expected to have excellent re-sale value as well.

Maruti Suzuki Alto

The Alto K10 with 998 cc engine is clearly a great initiative from Maruti Suzuki. An interesting thing will be the consequences for the A-Star which features the same engine and costs higher by 67 thousand for VXi variant. Even the Wagon R and Estillo also have the same engine and have a price difference of around 67k or so onroad. Of course, the major advantage of other models would be the interior space and hence comfort.

As far as Alto K10 is concerned, it has all ingredients to take up the legacy left by earlier model Alto. If anyone can feel comfort with the leg space provided, then Alto K10 would certainly give highest satisfaction of owning a small hatchback.

In sum, for people looking for a powerful compact car at a minimum price, the new Alto is the answer.