It has been a while since Maruti Suzuki made any major changes to its high selling Alto range of vehicles. The last major update was of course the Alto 800 which was launched in October 2012 and the company has managed to continue the successful run of the two cars that it replaced. While the Alto 800 was an all-new car, its larger sibling the Alto K10 has remained the same since it was launched in 2010. Now there is a new one and it seems to have a good package to add to the successful numbers of the Alto range.
The first glance of this vehicle reveals that the Alto K10 now strongly resembles its smaller engined sibling externally. The head lamps on the fascia are very similar to the Alto 800 as is the overall design. However, the differentiating factors for both cars is the larger chrome grille and upside down rectangular air intake on the K10 as compared to the Alto 800 grille which is dominated by the famous Suzuki ‘S’ and a more octagonal air intake. Another noticeable factor is the way the bonnet curves down to the head lamps. Coming down, even the bumper has changed from the previous model and now looks a tad bit sportier.
The side profile of both vehicles remains almost the same and this includes the rather oddly- shaped rear roofline. Maruti Suzuki has now included the flared wheel arches in the overall design to give the bigger Alto a muscular stance and keep it in line with the overall design philosophy. It appears that the mirrors too have become larger and this is expected to aid in visibility.
The rear is now more in line with the Alto 800 design and this is evident from the shape of the tail lamps. 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 the impression of a larger vehicle.
The interior of the facelifted Alto K10 is all-new. The dashboard is a combination of blackish-grey and beige and features a totally new design for all the components. The steering wheel is a modified version of the one found on the Swift while the instrument cluster appears to be a more detailed version of the one found on the Alto 800.
Maruti Suzuki has also worked on the music system for the higher spec variants; it is now a piano black coloured 2-DIN unit with support for AUX, USB in addition to a CD player. The aircon unit is a stock MSIL unit but now they have added silver bezel to the vents to increase the premium factor.
Maruti Suzuki has also given the new Alto K10 beige seats to add to the airiness factor inside the cabin. It has scooped out the back of the front seats to marginally increase the legroom in the back, though it must be noted that the Alto 800 and the K10 have the same wheelbase.
Engine and gearbox
The Alto K10 gets the 1.0-litre three pot K10B petrol mill which produces 67bhp and 90Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual. Maruti is now also offering the five-speed AMT from the Celerio in the K10. This seemed like a logical step as this is same engine powering the former. The same 1.0-litre engine is also being offered with CNG compatibility.
Variants and competition
The Alto K10 is being offered in six variants- LX, Lxi, Lxi CNG, Vxi and Vxi AT. It competes in the A-segment with the Hyundai Eon and the Datsun GO.