Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015 Review & Pictures: Altonomous Choice


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New Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 || VXi AMT || Rs.3.80 Lacs || November 3, 2014 Launch

“To stand still is same as moving backwards”. There cannot be an apt example other than Maruti Suzuki who understands this phrase better in the current market scenario. For a company which has stayed on top of the game for well-over a decade, this Jap automaker refuses to lose its much-cherished numero uno spot to the rivals which are leaving no stone unturned to take over. As a matter of fact, entry level car segment encompasses majority of car sales in India, with Maruti Suzuki Alto being the torchbearer from very beginning, selling at a whopping average of 20K units each month! Its nearest competitor, Hyundai Eon, on the other hand only manages one-fourth of the figure whereas more recent entrants such as Datsun Go are far-off. However, it doesn't make them any inferior as both cars stand upright carrying a USP of their own. Of late, that’s precisely what has become a point of concern at the headquarters of Maruti Suzuki.

The accessible ownership + widening network of Hyundai and driver-oriented characteristic of Datsun Go already marked a decent hit on the core charms of Alto K10. It was high time the car needed a facelift. This enhancement also served as a suitable opportunity for Maruti Suzuki to bring something new to the table so that the K10 retains its aura and voila! The Alto K10 AMT is born. This much-touted automated-manual transmission (AMT) was first seen on Celerio earlier this year and K10 is the second car to be equipped with one. Therefore, making Alto the cheapest automatic car on sale on earth right now. But it’s not only the AMT which is in the limelight. Alto K10 has finally shed off the Maruti 800-inspired shell and now looks more in line with its new 800 CC counterpart. Simply put, it’s a love-it-or-hate-it design and may not necessarily excite everyone although it will certainly grow on you over the time (as a case with some of the recent launches).


Swanky headlamps are large in size and skew back towards fenders while radiator grille has shrunken in which a broad chrome stripe occupies almost half of the region. Lower-half of the front bumper is familiar save for new vertical foglamp housing. Unfortunately the foglamps are now optional equipment, available on VXI (O) variant only. The side-profile is rather meek and instantly recognizable by and large because it has a huge influence of the Alto800. So much that if first half of the front fender is out of sight, it’s virtually impossible to distinguish between two models. The upper variants (VXi and VXi Optional) receive a few more frills like side-molding, black B-Pillar and full wheel covers. Alloys are not a part of standard equipment. Shockingly, even the body colored door handles and rear view mirrors now come for a premium and are reserved only for VXI (O). What’s different is that K10 runs on 155/65 R13 JK Tornado rubber opposed to Alto800’s Apollo Amazer 145/80 R12. Needless to say, both set of tyres are awfully undersized and we strongly recommend an upgrade.

New body shell in fact makes the K10 75 mm shorter in length while 2360mm wheelbase remains unchanged. Though the interiors are claimed to be roomier than the outgoing model. The width has been upped by 15 mm (without body side moldings) and car is now taller by 15 mm too. Ground clearance of 160mm is a good 10 mm lesser than competitors but manages to tackle the normal day-to-day encounters on Indian roads. Pleasant element about this makeover lies at the back of the car. The Alto800 seemed as if it dropped straight out of a UFO (no offense to the aliens!) but much to the relief of mankind, new K10 appears more earthly. The tail lamps are sensibly designed and offer a sense of freshness. The hatch door is flat and aesthetically helps to make the car look more mature.
 
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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Interiors and Comfort



The most remarkable upgrade in the New Alto K10 2015 is observed on the interiors. Contrary to the exteriors, it feels very inviting for an entry-level car once you’re accommodated inside. The dull-grey dashboard has been swapped with a modern dual-tone beige and grey unit along with an all-new upmarket steering wheel. The dashboard on K10 is much more usable than the one on Alto800 due to a complete flat top which comes handy at times. As a nifty add-on, Maruti has also attached a shopping hook to hang items weighing upto 2 Kgs on the passenger side foot well. The manual version has a couple of cubbyholes ahead of the gearlever but it’s sorely missed in the automatic since gearshift mechanism ends up occupying a large part of the central console. Plus, ultra-slim door pockets mean there’s no suitable place to keep the glasses / bottles. On a different note however, glove box is shallow and has enough room to easily carry a few coke tin cans.

Maruti Alto800 is always applauded for its chiller air-conditioner and the K10 is no different. The revised fascia of AC controls in beige at lower part of the dashboard appears premium and the quality of rotary knobs is rather acceptable. Even though the overall fit and finish of interiors is nowhere close to Hyundai Eon but it certainly feels better than that of Datsun Go. Audio setup of K10, which is offered only on VXi and above trims with 2 front speakers, surprisingly sounds well even at louder volume. It’s CD, USB and Aux-in compatible with ports of the latter two nicely disguised under a cover that seems like a button. Head unit backlits in amber shade, so does instrument cluster and it’s surrounded by a tasteful piano black finish that further adds to the style-quotient. Being a small, quirky hatch, all-around outside view is clear from the inside translating that reversing in tight spots ain’t an issue at all.


Power window switches (front only) are awkwardly located in middle near the handbrake lever and might take a while to get used-to. I’m glad; at least the door armrests on K10 are wide enough to be used and not just for the heck of it unlike in Alto800. But bits like exposed seat rails and screws across the car look glaringly cheap. Thanks to use of light-beige color upholstery, Alto K10 quickly presents an impression of roominess, something which still isn’t its forte. Front seats have a premium bucket-seat like contours to firmly grasp the occupants. Although their travel range is flexible enough to seat a tall person yet they still fall short when it comes to underthigh support. The rear section too feels better aided by wide windows and improved headroom. However, its fixed headrests are practically good for nothing for adults and I’m afraid that they could rather pose a potential safety risk in the event of accident or sudden braking.

Ingress and egress has marginally improved, thanks to tall-boyish stance but it’d have been more convenient (especially for senior citizens) if the rear doors opened a tad wider. In an attempt to increase the already available legroom, Maruti Suzuki has cleverly scooped out the lower portion of front seatback. Goes to show the company has made certain obvious efforts to eradicate a few prominent issues that previous generation Alto suffered from. The rear bench has a seat belt facility for the mid-passenger too but anyhow, Alto K10 is only an ideal four-passenger family hatchback. The luggage space is same as earlier, i.e. 177 liters which is smallest in the segment but make no mistake, it will merrily hold a full size suitcase along with a hand bag. Parcel tray (on VXi and VXi O) can furthermore stock up a folder or two and also doubles up to conceal the baggage stored inside boot. Simply flip down the seat back should you need to stuff more.
 
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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Performance and Fuel Efficiency



Power train under the hood remains identical. It’s the same peppy 998 CC, 3 Cylinder and all-aluminum K-Next engine serving the Alto K10 which was first to prove the Indians that a stock entry-level car can be fun to drive. Engineers though have gone ahead to fine-tune it to milk more fuel efficiency (15% to be precise) in new model without compromising the performance by working on aerodynamics, minimizing frictional losses and reducing the weight for "Kitna deti hai?" obsessed country. Therefore, the ARAI claimed mileage of New Alto K10 is now 24.07 Kmpl (for manual and automatic versions alike) in contrast to 20.2 Kmpl on the previous generation model. CNG version, on the other hand, is claimed to deliver upto 32.26 Km/kg. Unquestionably, these numbers again have helped the Alto to regain its lost throne on papers which was took over by Eon (21.1 Kmpl) sometime back. Datsun Go however scores last spot among three with a mileage of 20.63 Kmpl.

This motor delivers peak power of 68 PS @ 6000 RPM which is 200 RPM earlier than the previous model while the maximum torque of 90 Nm surges at around 3500 RPM. These figures dive down to a considerable extent if you’re driving around in the CNG mode. i.e. it’s then only 59 PS @ 6000 RPM and 78 Nm @ 3500 RPM respectively. The car is available in both, 5 speed manual as well as 5 speed automated manual transmission models. The AMT is offered only in VXi trim which is a sheer disappointment considering the fact that it misses several useful features like airbag, foglamps, keyless entry etc. Maruti Alto is far from a drag-racer, but just for the record, it achieves 0 – 60 Kmph in 5.3 seconds and 0 – 100 Kmph in about 13.3 seconds which sure is a respectable number for a car at this price point. Datsun Go too does the 0 – 100 Kmph sprint in almost same amount of time but Hyundai's Eon 1.0L takes about 14 seconds (It's 19.03 seconds for Eon 0.8L).

Sprint figures aside, what actually makes Alto K10 pure enthusiast’s delight is an impressive 91 BHP per metric ton power to weight ratio that will easily suffice to put cars a couple of segment above to shame. The introduction of Datsun Go this year added a twist to the story which provides an equally or dare I say it, better overall usable performance (more on this subsequently) even though it might have only 72 BHP per metric ton on offer. We tested automated manual transmission version which is the biggest highlight of Alto K10. Twisting the key turns on the car with slight vibrations and settles the tachometer needle at 900 RPM mark with limited engine noise on the inside. Since there’s no clutch, you’ve to press the brake and slot to neutral to switch on the car. Engine won't crank failing to do so.


A tell-tale icon on the instrument cluster illuminates in case the brake pedal isn’t firmly pressed. There’s also a nice creeping function that allows the car to smoothly roll as you release the brake but for safety reasons, this feature is automatically disabled if the handbrake lever is released or the driver’s side door is left open. Shift to D (Drive) mode once the ignition is on and the car picks the pace fairly quick. You can literally ‘hear’ automated-manual transmission doing the job for you as the gears switch. Particularly the initial three gears are not too smooth and return jerks on upshift. 4th and 5th gears also suffer from the same issue but with lesser severity. On the flip side though, downshifts are absolutely butter-smooth. Something that would constantly infuriate some drivers (as it did to me) are the turtle slow upshifts that take their own sweet time upon quick acceleration. In one such instance, our car was left hovering on 3rd gear at the speed of 80+ Kmph.

In automatic mode, the car is also prone to unwanted wheelspin on quick acceleration. Enthusiasts are better off driving the AMT in M (Manual) mode on certain stretches to unleash the actual potential of this rev-friendly K10 mill. Unlike conventional automatics, the ‘M’ mode in AMT can redline all way up and yet it will not upshift. This mode comes handy to put the engine-braking effect in use or on highway driving. Power is spread quite evenly throughout and would more than suffice for the purpose this hatch is meant. High-speed driving still isn’t very confidence inspiring on curvy stretches; blame it on the light steering wheel which is more suited for city conditions (though not as vague as of Alto800). That’s when Datsun Go comes into the picture due to its robust chassis and exceptional high-speed manners. K10’s suspension is moderately tuned to balance between comfort and performance. It rides well on lower speeds but potholes and bumps find way into the cabin when driven fast. Braking can be undeniably said as one of the strong points, although the pedal lacks crispiness but K10 quickly responds to the command.
 
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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Likes, Dislikes and Star Ratings


You'll Love: [thumbsup]

  • Much-required facelift. It’ll eventually grow on you.

  • Most affordable automatic + fuel efficient car you can buy now.

  • Dual-tone beige and grey interiors look modern and very inviting.

  • Peppy K10 engine, nimble handling makes it the cheapest fun-to-drive hatchback.

  • An extra-ordinarily wide sales and after sales network located in every nook and corner of India.

You'll Loathe: [thumbsdown]

  • Light steering wheel isn’t confidence inspiring at high speeds.

  • AMT mechanism is sluggish and takes own sweet time to up shift.

  • Many basic (but useful) features reserved only for top-end VXi (O) variant.

  • Driver side airbag is a welcome addition but Alto is certainly not the safest car around.

  • Quality improved but Alto is still built to cost. Falling bits and pieces on our test car testify the same.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Star Ratings:


  • Design and Quality.................:

  • Comfort and Features.............:

  • Engine and Performance..........:

  • Handling and Ride Quality........:

  • Safety and Security Levels......:

  • Overall Fuel Consumption........:

  • Sales and Service Network......:

  • Value For Money Factor..........:

  • The Automotive India’s Verdict:
Here's how to interpret above ratings: The Automotive India Reviews Star Ratings Explained.
 
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350Z

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Price and Misc Points



Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Price (Ex.showroom, Delhi)

  • LX: Rs.3,06,000

  • LXi: Rs.3,21,687

  • VXi: Rs.3,37,750

  • VXi (O): Rs.3,56,687

  • VXi AMT: Rs.3,80,187

  • LXi CNG: Rs.3,81,687



Miscellaneous Points:


  • The name ‘Alto’ comes from a Spanish term which means ‘high’. (High on sales in context to India :smile:).

  • Maruti Suzuki is also exporting this particular model from India to Latin American and African markets.

  • Maruti has sold over 26 lakh units of Alto (800 + K10) in India. Last 4 year alone witnessed 4.3 lakh sales.

  • The standard warranty on Maruti Suzuki Alto is 2 Years or 24,000 kilometers (whichever is achieved earlier).

  • MID shows only odometer / tripmeters / clock. The ‘average mileage’ function is deactivated for some strange reason.

  • Dummy ABS tell-tale icon suggests that ABS could be a possibility in future in India (or reserved only for export markets?).

  • Since there’s no ‘P’ mode like a conventional automatic, it can be parked in any mode (We recommend ‘N’ with handbrake on).

  • Maruti Suzuki has cleverly managed to retain the same introductory price as earlier (3.6 Lacs) by rolling out a no-frills LX variant).

  • First three services are free of labor charges. Service interval after free services is 1 Year / 10K Kms (Before it’s 6 months / 5K Kms).

  • Maruti recommended run-in period for this car is first 960 Kms. Don’t unnecessarily rev or brake hard but vary speeds to allow parts to bed in.

  • Maximum recommended downshift speed for Maruti Alto K10 are as follows:

  • 2nd to 1st: 10 Kmph

  • 3rd to 2nd: 37 Kmph

  • 4th to 3rd: 55 Kmph

  • 5th to 4th: Fine at all speeds
  • Here’s a quick comparison between the dimensions of new and old Alto K10:

  • Length: 3620 mm (Old) | 3545 mm (New)

  • Width: 1475 mm (Old) | 1490 mm (New)

  • Height: 1460 mm (Old) | 1475 mm (New)

  • Wheelbase: 2360 mm (Old) | 2360 mm (New)

  • Ground Clearance: 160 mm (Old) | 160 mm (New)

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Tips & Tricks:


  • The car alarms if you open the driver’s side door with key left in the ignition keyhole.

  • The car locks itself automatically without any indication if accidentally left unlocked by key.

  • Headlamp on buzzer warns too if you forget to turn on the headlamps after turning off the car.

  • Keyless remote entry feature operates within the range of 20 meters. Equipped only on VXI (O) variant.

  • Turn the parking lights and ignition on, press mode ‘stick’ on MID to set instrument cluster illumination brightness.

  • Press lock + unlock buttons on remote at same time for 3 secs to activate car locator (flashes all indicators for 27 seconds).

  • The key on VXI (O) can be programmed for a few functions (such as doors autolock at 15 Kph, doors auto unlock when key removed from ignition etc).

Related Links:







Related Official Reviews:



 
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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Comparison, Technical Specifications and Brochure

Comparison: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 vs Hyundai Eon vs Datsun Go


Note: Hyundai Eon is also available is 998CC version. Producing 69 PS @ 6200 RPM and 94 Nm @ 3500 RPM

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Specifications:

  • Engine: 998 CC, 3 Cylinders (Petrol)

  • Power: 68 PS @ 6000 RPM

  • Torque: 90 Nm @ 3500 RPM

  • Transmission: 5 Speed Manual / Automated Manual Transmission

  • ARAI Fuel Efficiency: 24.07 Kmpl (Petrol) | 32.26 Kmpl (CNG)
General

  • Front Brakes: Discs

  • Rear Brakes: Drums

  • Front Suspension: Gas Filled McPherson Strut

  • Rear Suspension: 3-Link Rigid Axle Suspension

  • Fuel Tank: 35 Liters (Petrol) | 60 Liters (CNG)

  • Length: 3545 mm

  • Width: 1515 mm

  • Height: 1475 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2360 mm

  • Turning Radius: 4.6 M

  • Tyre Size: 155/65 R13

  • Ground Clearance: 160 mm

  • Kerb Weight: 740 - 835 Kgs
Exterior Color Options:

  • Silky Silver

  • Granite Grey

  • Firebrick Red

  • Cerulean Blue*

  • Tango Orange*

  • Superior White*
Asterisk (*) denotes our choice of colors.
 

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Thread Starter #9

350Z

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Pictorial Review

Cute front grille reminds of the first generation Alto.



Pronounced foglamp housing. Foglamps not an option in the VXi trim though.



ORVMs wider than its 800 CC counterpart; helps to provide a better view.



Flap-type door handles look similar to older gen Alto. Body colored ORVMs and door handles only on VXi (O).



Old fashioned FM antenna requires hand-stretching exercise on the go.



Wipers are slim but serve the purpose.



3-jets on the wipe washer.



Water drain on cowl nicely covered with rubber flaps.



 
Thread Starter #10

350Z

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Pictorial Review

155/65 R13 JK Tornado rubber needs upgrade right away.



Side profile strikingly similar to Alto 800.



Heck, even body side molding is reserved only for top-end VXi (O). Our media test car (VXi) had this as an add-on.



Even though taillamps are all-new, view from this angle reminds of Alto800 too.



Large refueling cover. No markings whatsoever.



The rear windshield is large enough. Allows easy reversing in tight spots.



Taillamps inline with Suzuki’s family design. Looks chic.



Good quality MGA mudflaps.



Small exhaust pipe cleanly concealed underneath.



No special design elements on the boot apart from a chrome stripe at bottom and Suzuki badge.

 
Thread Starter #11

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Pictorial Review

Steering wheel pretty slim to hold but looks premium in the new avatar.



Basic instrument cluster with MID. Appears better than the outgoing model.



AMT means no clutch. Huge boon if you often find yourself stuck in traffic jams.



Premium piano-black finish on the central console.



USB and Aux-in ports smartly covered behind a flap that looks like a button when shut.



Small utility storage space beside mid air-con vents.



Circular air vents only on side; immensely useful to quickly defrost side windows (for ORVMs visibility) during winters.



Beige helps to offer a high-end car feel. Rotary knobs of average quality (but better than that of Go).



Glovebox is shallow.

 
Thread Starter #12

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Pictorial Review

Shopping hook on left to hang items upto 2 Kgs on passenger side footwell.



Power window buttons aren't too convenient to access.



Door pad isn't made up of fabric. On the positive side, it's easier to clean.



Manual windows and no door pockets for the rear occupants.



Only two speakers on offer but audio setup sounds surprisingly well.



Ultra-slim and small front door pockets can hardly carry anything, except newspapers or magazines.



Gladly the door armrest is wide enough on K10 (Contrary to Alto800).



Exposed screws look glaringly cheap.

 
Thread Starter #13

350Z

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Pictorial Review

Only one interior lamp (that too borrowed from Alto800).



Vanity mirror only on VXi and above trims.



Flat top dash means there’s enough space to keep those idols, perfume bottles et al.



MSIL has greatly improved the plastic quality of some interior parts in recent models. Stalks are one of them.



Headlamp leveling device is a standard feature.



Pull this small latch to pop the hood.



An example of poor fitting. Plastic parts were falling off already in our brand-new test car.

I won’t be surprised if the same car begins to squeak and rattle in next few weeks.




Special note on AMT models.



Extended plastic panel serves as a default scuff guard. Nice touch.

 
Thread Starter #14

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Pictorial Review

All doors open wide enough.



Ingress and egress a tad easier than earlier.



Front seat headrests are fixed.



Rear seat headrests are fixed too but too small even for an average sized adult.



Minimum Legroom (Front seat fully pushed backward)



Maximum Legroom (Front seat fully pushed forward)

 
Thread Starter #15

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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2015: Picorial Review

No seatback pockets. Front seatback scooped out in an attempt to increase legroom.



Transmission tunnel affects the already limited space if at all you decide to accommodate the third passenger at rear.



Parcel tray standard on VXi and VXi (O)



177 Liters of boot space is same as earlier.



Foldable rear seat, no split function though.





While Maruti Suzuki is cashing on the ‘Alto’ brand name, the shrinking size of its name badge indicates otherwise.



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