I was in a bad need for an automatic car as handling the maddening Bangalore traffic with my Linea was simply too tiring and irritating. Also wanted my wife to start driving. I did want a new car as I am planning to keep it for a min of 7 years and hence did not opt for second hand. The choices were limited and so was the budget. Cars considered
- Tata Nano XTA
- Maruti Alto K10 VXI AMT
- Maruti Celerio VXI AMT
Both me and my wife did not like the looks of the car but at 3.5lakh on road no one can beat this price for an automatic.
The major let down for me was that there is no disc break in the front (common tata even bikes have it). Hence rejected it and also the waiting period mentioned to me was 4 months for XTA Maruti Alto K10 VXI AMT
I was fully inclined towards the new Alto K10 AMT as it was cheaper and yet better than Tata nano AMT in engine and breaking aspect. Took a test drive and came out disappointed for the following reasons and hence rejected it
- NVH is very bad. Engine noise is very prominent inside the cabin and looks like there is no damping done at all.
- Traffic noise creeping inside. Will quote the talks between me and the SA on this during the TD of the car
Me: Too much traffic noise getting inside the cabin, Can you close all the windows
SA: Sir all the windows are already closed
- Cramped up front and rear space. I am 5.8 and a bit built on my tummy. Now when I try to turn the steering left my right hand hits the window and when I turn the steering right my left hands hits the co passenger. The front and rear seat base is very small. Under thigh support is also compromised here. For my seating position in the front I was barely able to fit myself in the rear
- Plastic material used are of very low quality compared to Celerio. Only one bottle holder available
Overall these negative points did not make me happy even though the drive was peppy Maruti Celerio VXI AMT
- Now all the negatives of Alto are positives in Celerio.
- Start the car and you will barely hear the engine noise
- Seating position is tall and the driver has overall good visibility. You feel like seated in a chair
- Excellent under thigh support and the seat base is good
- Rear space is abundant even after setting the front seat to my driving position which is big plus
- Get inside the car and the interior quality will give a big smile as its comparable to swift.
- 14inch wheels compared to 13inch.
The on road price difference between Alto and Celerio is 80k. Thought for a while and deiced to go for Celerio as again I want to keep this car for a long time to come and hence needed it to be more comfortable. Booking experience
Booked the car with Bimal Maruti and I should say the SA and the manager were very cooperative in getting things done. I initially booked Blue color and later at the last minute changed it to Silver as some of the blue color which I saw in the roads were a little dull if not maintained and polished well. The delivery was done at the promised date and time. Absolutely no discounts available for this car right now. Celerio Manual gear has discounts. Accessories added
- MGA Reverse parking sensors
- MGA Remote lock
- MGA Alloy wheels (The stock ones found in ZXI Celerio)
- Tyre upgrade done from 165/70/R14 to Michelin Energy XM2 185/65/R14
- Under Chassis coating along with wheel arches
- Osram Unlimited Night + bulbs (H4)
- Pioneer DEH - X6600BT Head Unit
- JBL - CX 62SI - 6.5 Inches 2-Way Coaxial Speakers in Rear
- JBL - CS 6C - 6.5 inch Component Speakers (150 W) in Front
Completed around 2000 kms and I should say I am thoroughly impressed with the performance of this car and I am very happy with my choice. My biggest problem of handling traffic stress has been reduced by 90%. It's like finally I have taken revenge of Bangalore traffic
. I get out of the car as fresh as I got in even after 1 hour of hectic traffic. I think my BP is definitely reduced now when driving
To start the car you need to keep the gear in neutral and press the brake. One needs to get used to this pattern as sometimes in signal when I stop the car and when I need to start back I get confused and people start honking. Gear shifts can be felt and you will hear a small tick sound with each gear shift. Since this is my first automatic car I am not finding it annoying nor difficult to bear. The gear upshifts are very fast and with no time you will see that you are in 4th gear with speed of just 40kms. This will help in fuel efficiency. Right now I am getting 13.7kmpl with complete city drive and 90% AC on. Hope to get more mileage after service. Even with AC on I did not find the drive to be sluggish and there is no difference in drive when AC or OFF which is a big plus. Ride quality & handling
Ride quality is good. I wouldn’t say the best but acceptable. Since this is a new car the suspension is yet to get settled. Hopefully after 5K in the ODO it may get even better. But the Michelin's have enhanced the ride overall compared to the stock JK's. There is some amount of pitch and bounce when the car goes over big pot holes but nothing to worry about so much. The car did once reach 120kmph for a very small time and to my surprise it felt stable and the steering weighed well. The engine noise at 120kmph was very less. I am yet to take it on a highway, will do it soon and post my experience. Let downs
Now coming to the negatives
- Vibrations are felt when the car is in Idle. You can feel it more when the AC is off. I just opened the bonnet when the car was in idle and to my surprise the entire engine is shaking badly. Checked with service guys and they said its normal. The Idle RPM is 800 due to which there are vibrations. When it crosses beyond 1K the vibrations are not felt.
- The belt sound in the engine is heard inside when the environment in very calm like in an apartment parking area. Confirmed with SA that its normal
- Maruti should have given this car with ABS & Dual airbags which I would have definitely opted for safety reasons. An opportunity missed I should say as it would have been right with competition of Honda Brio & Micra CVT who offer ABS & Dual airbags in automatic versions.
- No music system in VXI but Alto K10 VXI gets one.
- The material used for under carpet is very thin and looks like it will tear if we do not have a good floor mat. Planning to add noodle mat
- The fabric material used in the seat is very thin. Need to add seat covers soon.
- The integrated neck rest is a joke. It does not provide any support and your neck will start paining. Added an aftermarket neck rest
- Pungent smell coming in from the AC duct when the car reaches above 60kmph. Issue still exists.
- Glove box lock was loose and hence it would open by itself when ran over potholes. Fixed in first service