This is my second ownership review, the first one was of our Ford Fiesta the link is as under: The Awesome Highway Mile Muncher - Ford Fiesta 1.5P Titanium
Hope I don't repeat any of the similar mistakes I had in the last one. Well here goes. This review is about my 2011 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Vxi, she is almost 1.5 year old now and has done over 14,000kms now. The decision to buy a car for my commuting was made in May 2011 while I was working in Chennai. I personally dont know how to ride a bike, which is one of my regrets. So some of the great bikes were out of the picture, thought of getting a scooter and learning how to ride one, thinking "How hard can it be!! I know how to ride a bicycle afterall." But parents were not comfortable with the idea as I was staying alone in Chennai while mom and dad were in Bombay so bike plans are thrown out of the window. So the budget was now increased to approximately 2.5 lakhs for a second hand car scoured the classifieds and saw some of the used car dealerships but some how I did not find a car which I liked that much. Then comes a blue Chevy Beat at 2.96 Lakhs with low mileage and only a few months old. I was WOW!! almost bought that car but backed out very soon when found out that there was something fishy regarding the paper work of the car. Damn!!
Then a friend of mine suggested dude if you are spending so much put in about 50-60k and get a new car. I was like a new car really, I have to park on the street but somehow the thought of a shiny new car was too strong. So with a budget of 3.5 the search is now on. The cars which were considered were:
1) Hyundai Santro: rejected cause of the old shape and the one with AC well was more expensive than my budget.
2) Chevrolet Spark: then the offer was there to get the PS model if I am not wrong for 2.85 lakhs ex-showroom so inclusive everything it was below 3.5 but the cars were Chevrolet cars which had not been sold for over a year. Somehow the concept of getting an older car was not gelling well and also the model did not have body colored bumpers that was the deal breaker.
Then I was wondering hmmm... lets check the alto 800cc, I was skeptical considering Maruti cars have long wait times. I check the prices of the 800cc and then also see the k10's prices all the reviews were praising the k10 alot. The k10 prices were little bit on the higher side, then call a few dealers and to my surprise the k10 was fitting in my budget and best of all select colors of the k10 are readily available.
Go to a dealer and sit in the car and see the overall size, I was expecting the doors to shut with a light sound like in the old Maruti 800s, but there was a soft thud and I was like hmm this is not bad. Yes I agree its still a very light car and the thud is only for the packing material but still!! Then I was like well ok this thing has a 1litre engine does it struggle with the AC on and 2-3 people in the city to catch speed like the old Maruti 800?? Friend of mine was "Dude the k10 block is great just take it for a spin and decide" So finally at the dealership we get a test drive and my impressions were WOW!!! I love this little thing!! I loved the response of the little k10 block, we were 3 people and the AC was on and in the city press the accelerator the little engine pulls leaps forward. That was the point in my mind "Thats it I am buying this thing!!" So talk to the dealer regarding the availability and colors, I love the color Blue but Maruti doesnt make the k10 in Blue, then how about the copper color (sorry sir not available and the on-going Manesar problem it could take some time)
. OK what can I get now!! Well the Black color Vxi, White Color Vxi and Maroon Color Lxi and Golden Color Lxi is available. OK, then the discussion comes to price, discounts and freebies. Go to a few more dealers and finally decide to go the first dealer after bargaining for a few more discounts and freebies.
Then book the car on a Friday after office give all the cash and before giving the cash take the commitment that I am getting the car within a week after the RTO formalities. That week felt like a month!! god the anxiety of getting my first car!! Then the day before the dealer messages me my vehicle number So Yayyy I am getting my car the next day. Then offcourse the next day the dealer says "Sir your car has come when are you coming?" I ask till when they are open and slip out of office earlier and sit in the auto thinking "This is my last auto ride in Chennai!!" and on reaching see a shining black Alto with a yellow ribbon and a garland on it and some guys were fixing the sun film. I meet the sales person he is like sir give us a few minutes we are just fitting the sunfilm and in the mean while gives me the other paper work and the warranties and manuals of all the freebies (sony xplod sound system, nippon remote locking). We click a few pictures and then he provides the 10 litre coupon for petrol at the next petrol pump. Sitting inside the car and when I start "my car" the feeling was surreal, I mean yes its only an Alto but what was important was ITS MY ALTO!!
I am sure many of us car lovers will understand the feeling.
I have loved my little pocket rocket for almost 18 months now and love the little engine. The little thing is easily capable of three digit speeds and the handling feels like a go-kart till 60-70 after that you can feel the front getting a little light. Gives the true intention of this little car being a city run about. That wasnt much of a problem for me anyways. The AC i must say is quite effective as it can really cool the car's cabin. Considering the rising petrol prices well 13.5-14kmpl with AC in Bombay traffic and 19-20kmpl on highways is great for me. I find the boot tiny!! and the rear seats are a torture for the rear seat passengers for a long duration, but hey the overall size of the car has greater advantages than disadvantages and well also I cant expect the moon at 3.55 lakhs do I. The funniest thing was I did not know when the car would come in reserve as there is no warning lamp but only the last bar would start blinking, I had to Google it to find this out (I know should have read the manual)
Some of the real annoying issues I find is the faulty power window button for the passenger side which remains stuck on fully closed in 1/10 times and works on its own after a few minutes. I showed it to Maruti dealers they had no idea what the problem was. Guys please let me know if you face such an issue as well
. Second Maruti how much would it cost if you had given a clock in the dash!! and where is the temperature indicator??
Overall I love my little pocket rocket as its compact dimensions are excellent for the city traffic and its great for running around for 2 people as you can really push the front seats back and make it comfortable in the front.
Had to remove the sunfilm from my car due to the Supreme Court rules. I have fitted after-market black leather seats. Some of my car's photos are below: