Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 - Ownership Experience


Thread Starter #1
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In case you are looking for a quick roundup without going through the whole post, here’s the deal:

+Alto K10 is a quick, peppy car which is lots of fun to drive. It returns good mileage, mine being 19km/l on highway and 17km/l in the city. Good value for its price of 3.56lakhs OTR Trivandrum. City drives are smooth as breeze.

-High speed driving and handling are a bit nervous and potholes would be felt within the car.

Now , the details.

Background

Early 2011 saw me get a job change to a place near my native. My earlier job required just 10 minutes of commute from home to office and so my bike was more than sufficient . But after the job shift, my house was about 20 km from the place where I work and to get there my daily commute would be 40% through city and 60% on a well maintained but curvy and deserted stretch of road. Family had a ’99 Maruti Suzuki 800 which was serving us quite well. But since my father would be using it for his daily office commute and since my bike would leave me drenched during monsoons, a new car was in order.

So around April last year , I started the lookout for a new car. I did not want to go in for a diesel(which I now regret) due to the fact that my monthly run would be around 1000km. My requirements were

- Fun to drive
- Decent mileage
- Decent looks
- Ok-ish space as I would be the only user 95% of the time
- Good and affordable after sales support

Also budget was fixed at 4 lakhs(plus or minus 50000).

To be very frank, I had only one car in mind – The Chevy Beat. Some cars cast such a spell over some people [:D] . In fact I was so sure ‘this has to be my car’ that I had decided to buy it even without a test drive. Thankfully family’s sanity prevailed and decided to do some research. Started spending hours on Car mags and online communities to get a clear idea of the cars which could suit my requirements . Soon, the options became clear

- Alto , A-Star, Wagon -R

- Santro , i-10

- Indica , Nano

- Spark , Beat

Decided to eliminate a bit more and narrow down my options. Eliminated cars for various reasons including price, looks and drivability.

Finally I had the following contenders:
Alto K10, Spark , Beat

Called up the dealers and test drove all cars. Observations:

Spark – Cute. Decent interiors. Average power. Huffs and puffs with AC on. Average brakes and handling.

Beat – Stylish looks. Good interiors. Average power. Average brakes and handling. Average space. There was nothing out of the ordinary that I had dreamt about [cry]

Alto K10 - Got into the driver’s seat dejected after my Beat drive. Exteriors- Decent. Interiors- Spartan when compared to the Beat. Without any expectations, I cranked up the engine and tapped the accelerator. Whoaaaa- the K10 just flew off from idle. As my drive progressed, my dejection gave way to a smile and smile gave way to a wide grin. Darn, this car was powerful. It just kept on revving and revving and asking for more. I was very impressed with the TD. Family was happy with the choice as well.

Zeroed in on the K10 , Midnight Black. Completed the bank formalities and took delivery of the car in 2 days.

Got the following as freebies with the car:

Floor mats, Mudflaps , Wheel covers, Under body coating and Black tints for the windows.

Paid for the following:

- ICE – Kenwood U346 with 4 JVC speakers
-Passenger side mirror
-Antenna
-Number plate (yeah, they made me pay for that as well)

Total OTR cost after some cash discounts was 3.56 lakhs
 
Thread Starter #2
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Ownership Experience

A pic of my black beast first

C1.jpg

Distance covered- 14,000 km by now.

Apart from the regular office drives, I have made one long trip of 720 km and three not-so-long trips of 400kms each. Mileage based on tankful-to-tankful in the rush hour traffic in the city + open highway was 19km/l with five adults , full luggage and no ac.

Day to day commute to my office returns a mileage of 17 km/l. Checked it twice, both times I got somewhere around the same figure. This is with a single person, no luggage, ac on 50% ,rush hour traffic for a few km and some spirited driving at times [:)]

Three free services have been done at 1000km, 5000km and 10000km. There have been no issues with the car till now *except* for one. During one of my longer trips, I got stuck in a procession for a local festival. The highway was full of people and it was pure agony for about 3 hours to cover 5km. The traffic moved at snail’s pace ; it was clutch-first gear- accelerate a bit-brake -clutch- accelerate.. for a long time. It was quite impossible to drive without the clutch for those moments. And, as you might have guessed, I began to get a burning smell soon. Stopped and checked. Couldn’t find out the cause at first. Called Maruti emergency helpline and was told to drive to wait. Got a call back from the local Maruti center who told me that it might be due to a clutch burnout. They asked me if I could slot in the gear and if the vehicle could move forward to which I replied in positive. I was informed that as long as I could drive , there was no issue with the vehicle. Asked them if someone could come, check and confirm. They said it might be difficult- considering that it was a Sunday ,a local off due to the festival,8.00pm and I was in the middle of nowhere , but they would try nonetheless. Got a call back in five minutes from a Maruti mechanic, he was on the way and would reach me soon. The only problem was that he was also stuck in the traffic [:)] [ A word of appreciation to Maruti service at this point, no wonder they continue to stay as the best selling four wheeler brand in India]. The mechanic turned out to be a kid with a very infectious smile ,who did a very professional check up of my car and swore on his life that I could drive back home without any trouble at all. A tip was refused vigorously and I literally had to shove it down his pocket.

Reached home safe and sound , but to be 100% sure took it to the authorized service center next day. Got it back in half an hour with a confirmation that all was well and I could go ahead. The clutch plate need not have to be replaced.
 

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Thread Starter #3
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Apart from this issue, I have not faced a single problem from my car till now.

To sum up a few pros of the car :

*She drives well within the city. Super light steering makes her chuckable and her power makes sure that you have the last laugh at traffic signals.
Overtaking is a breeze and no pre-planning is required overtaking.

*Tried a 0-100km run on an empty stretch of road with a timing of 13.5 seconds. That’s how quick the K-10 is.

*Highways would see you pushing her to the limits without any complaints from her side. The car keeps on asking you to push her harder and harder. On higher rpms, the engine becomes very audible. I love it, not sure all would agree with me on this though.

*Mileage is just the icing on the already sweet cake.

*Just 3.XX lakhs for a rocket like this?? My purse likes that [clap]


And A few cons:

*Potholes and bumps would send tremors through your spine. Every single deformation on the road will be felt.

*On high speeds, she feels very flighty. The super light steering is one of the villains here , the other being her stock tyres. High speed driving is a nervous affair in the K10 in its stock form. Better tyres might help, am not sure of this though. Don’t get me wrong , you can go 100-110 without much issue, beyond that is the problem I am talking about. Funny thing is that – Your heart wants to push further ahead ‘coz of her enthusiasm while your brain tells you to slow down because of her flightiness.

* Space management and build quality are not as good as the Hyundais or the Hondas. But then you wouldn’t buy an Alto for its space –would you? I am 5’ 11” and I find the car reasonably spacious after pushing the driver’s seat back. The trip I told you about, had my whole family of 5 , others at about 5’ 5” adjusting for 400 km with a little difficulty. As Don would say , Its not an impossible task but quite a difficult one. About the build quality- my feeling is that you get exactly what you pay for. Nothing more, nothing less. No complaints about that.



And a few tips for prospective owners

• Black looks swell, but is very difficult to maintain. Looks more dusty than the other cars if unwashed for a day. Scratches get projected much easier than other colours.

• Please get seat covers for the car. The stock fabric seats are of a light blue colour. My seats were soiled every time I gave it for a service. No amount of blasting over the phone would help, the best service centers will do is come down and clean the seat with soap and water. Fed up, I got art leather seat covers(for all seats) done for 4200 Rs total. Steering cover of a similar look-n-feel cost 300 Rs.

• Brakes squeal at on hard braking. Might improve with better rubber.

• Freebies given with the car are of the cheapest possible quality. One wheel cup just broke into four pieces when I jumped a pothole. Fixed an aftermarket set later for 500Rs.

• In case you decide to buy, bargain like your life depended on it. Petrol cars nowadays allow such a luxury.

• The salesmen would try to push the Maruti-Kenwood ICE on you with scary stories about warranty getting void. I ,for one, fell for it and paid a premium for just mediocre equipment [cry]. As far as I know, connecting ICE does not involve cutting through wiring and hence no warranty voidance ( I stand to be corrected, experts please correct me if am wrong)

• Fixed the central –remote locking aftermarket ,Company called Crosslink. Total cost 4000Rs.

**Please note that the photos were taken by a mobile cam, so please excuse the quality**
 
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Excellent review, report and tips. You have kept your car very well.
Even I have k10 and enjoying every aspect of it.
 
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Welcome to TAI Sanjeevskartha,
Alto K10 is a great car ! Simply love its awesome motor !
K10 in black color looks good !
Nice review too.
Wishing you happy miles with your Pocket Rocket !
 

Akash

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Very well kept K10 buddy. Congrats for your car. Although i am a fan of the K10 engine, but like you said in your review, even i am not a fan of the handling. And the main reason for that stands the rubber. I guess a tire upgrade would definitely help a lot.
 
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@Sanjeevskartha very nice writeup, excellent ownership review complemented well with good pics, wishing you and your family many happy miles in this car.
 
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Congrats for your car. thanks for all the information provided it really helped. I have also booked the K10 VXi (Black) which will be delivered next week and this will be my first car.. pls share some tips on maintainance as every one is scaring me as soon as i tell its Black.....
 
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I've driven one of those back in india about 8 years ago was like brand new my mate bought it. and it drives pretty well
nice and zippy and the steering is too light

good choice and looks like u maintain it pretty well
 
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HI Sanjeev,

Welcome to TAI. A very nice and crisp review, nice job buddy.

As we know, you cannot go wrong with an Alto in India. And K10 is awesome, I have driven a few in my friend circle.

Your car looks superb, in fact better than many Altos I see on the road. [;)]

Which version is this ?? Lxi / Vxi ?
Can you give a price breakup, i.e Ex Showroom, paperwork & ICE .

Lastly, congrats & wish you clock many more miles happily.
 
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