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? Check On Road Price of Alto K10 in Ahmedabad
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Exteriors
The previous Maruti Alto K10 had the old Alto shape, which has been completely phased out. The exterior of the Maruti Alto K10 now looks sufficiently different than the Alto 800 from both, the rear and the front even though it is the same under its skin. The headlamps have grown bigger and bolder with a distinguishing front grille with a thick chrome slate and the ‘S’ shape symbol of Suzuki in-between. The lower air dams are black and do look smarter than its previous design.
The side profile of the Maruti Alto K10 also looks a bit different with a black-fibre strip right in the center and what we could see was the rear window had reduced in dimensions. The door panels also get blackened and this black touch all over the car makes the exterior look a bit sporty.The rear also gets bigger tail lamps, which are somewhat different than the Alto 800. The number plate slot has moved down to the bumper while it appears that the rear hatch door as well as the tail lamps have been flattened a bit to give it a look of a big sized car.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Interiors
In terms of the comfort and rich features offered, the interior of the new Alto K10 is far better than its sibling. The power windows are only on its front side. One can easily adjust the ORVMs from inside. Now, the steering wheel is more stylish but less responsive. The new blue seats are comfortable with integrated headrests, like Hyundai i10. However, the plastic quality is still cheap. For an average Indian height, the ingress/ egress is perfect but tall people could find it congested.
There is no provision of an audio system. One can get it installed from the market. The overall ambience of cabin is maintained by various standard features, including a climate control unit with heater, front power window, electric trip-meter with tachometer, illumining instrument cluster with speedometer, vanity mirror, sun visor, ash tray, accessory socket, cup holder, rear parcel tray, accessory socket, tinted window glass, etc.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Engine & Performance
The biggest differentiator between the Alto K10 and the Alto 800 is the engine of course. The K10 model employs a bigger 1.0-litre heart which also belts out an impressive 68 PS and 90 Nm. Maruti Suzuki claims a 0-60 km/hr time of 5.3 seconds on the manual while our tests with the AMT reveals it takes upwards of 6 seconds to do the same run. Meanwhile, 0-100 km/hr comes up in a rather impressive 14.84 seconds as per our VBOX tests, this is on the AMT model and the manual will be marginally quicker due to faster shifts. The 5-speed manual gearbox offers slick cog swapping but the real highlight of the new Alto K10 is the AMT gearbox.
The AMT unit is the same 5-speed transmission and unlike conventional automatics, this gearbox shifts cogs with the use of an electronic unit, thereby having slightly jerky shifts, although lesser than the Celerio. Maruti has tweaked the box quite well, making it feel less of a compromise than what AMTs are usually known for. When you leave the brake pedal and don’t get on the accelerator, the car crawls ahead, a default feature in any automatic car, helping in stop-go traffic. You can also go manual mode and the best part is, the car won’t upshift till you do, thereby holding gear for as long as you please. Redline comes in at 6500 RPM.
Maruti’s petrol engines are rev happy units and coupled with the tall gearing on the Alto K10, it offers quite an experience of driving pedal to the metal. First gear is good enough for 50 km/hr while second will take you to 85 km/hr, third bringing in 125 km/hr and fourth taking you till 155 km/hr. The top speed is 170 km/hr and all this is possible due to the low kerb weight of the car. Cruising in top gear and doing the ton results in the tacho ticking in at 3000 RPM. The Alto K10 now gets a drive by wire system which improves low-end response while NVH levels are good as long as you don’t get past the mid-range, the motor creating quite the racket near its redline. The Maruti Alto is frugal too and despite being an automatic, it returns similar mileage as the manual, thanks to the AMT. One can extract around 16-18 km/l from this car.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Driving Dynamics
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.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Braking and Safety
The braking system is very basic, but proficient enough to provide good control. The front and rear wheels have ventilated disc brakes and drum brakes, respectively. Tyres are relatively small, and don’t have any active role in maintaining the balance and stability of the car. All standard safety features are available with its both variants, which include seat belts, child lock, front fog lamps, headlights, engine immobilizer, i-CATS, central locking key off reminder, suspension and braking system. However, the advanced ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and EBD safety measures are missing from the board.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Price
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 3,34,736/- (Alto K10 LX) to 4,20,856/- (Alto K10 VXI AGS Optional). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Conclussion
The Alto K10 isn’t the volume seller in the Alto range as the 800 version accounts for a majority of sales. But when you compare both models, you realise the K10 is a clear cut above in multiple areas, making it worth every penny you pay for it. The Alto K10 also bring fun to the small car package by being the fastest car in its segment while also being the most frugal. It’s not meant for the highway but in the city, it performs exceptionally well by being easy to drive with punchy low down performance. With the upgrades to the exteriors and more so to the interiors along with the convenient AMT gearbox, the Alto K10 package is as practical as ever.