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    Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Road Test

    Authors Image

    Ninad Ambre

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    Introduction

    Overall Score

    7 / 10

    The Maruti Suzuki Alto has not just been the bread-and-butter model for the carmaker but the best-selling moniker as well. This third generation of the Alto is up-to-date with the latest BS6 Phase 2 norms and comes with considerable changes in this new avatar. As it takes the fight with the newer entry-level Renault Kwid, our road test details all the specifications of the Alto K10 along with its real-world on-road performance.

    Design and Dimensions

    6.5 / 10

    As the current Alto is now based on the carmaker’s Heartect platform that underpins many models, right from the Celerio to the XL6, it, too, has grown in size. In comparison to its predecessor, it has a longer wheelbase. Yet, the proportions are still nice and compact for an entry-level city car. We aren’t particularly fans of its quirky design, though this might be subjective. However, Maruti has still done a good job with the paint quality, panel gaps, and fit and finish for a car that's still one of the cheapest cars in India.

    Left Rear Three Quarter

    Interior Look and Quality

    7 / 10

    Even inside its cabin, things are typical Maruti in terms of the dashboard's layout, hard plastics, black-grey accents, or even the quality of the fabric used for the upholstery. Though not outstanding, it’s satisfactory, as is the norm in this entry-level segment. Thankfully, the dark plastics look better than the lighter shade plastics from the outgoing model. Build quality is average, and despite cost-cutting measures, there are no exposed wires or elements that make the interior look unkempt.

    Dashboard

    Space and Comfort

    7 / 10

    Front Row Seats

    Thanks to the bigger size and longer wheelbase of the new Alto, space inside has increased quite a lot. Even the ingress-egress is better, and one doesn't have to crouch to get in. There's good headroom in the front, and an appropriate seating position with good visibility is offered for 5’8” individuals like me. This is despite the lack of many adjustments for the seat or the steering. Notwithstanding, taller drivers will find it difficult in here, with their knees close to the steering. However, things are within reach. In fact, a positive side of the car's narrow width is that adjusting the left ORVM from the driver's seat isn't a stretch.

    Front Row Seats

    The seats have adequate padding and are nicely positioned to prevent any discomfort. Getting into the second row isn't difficult either. Now, given the car isn't wide, there's quite a shoulder overlap for three, and the tight headroom and fixed headrests mean limited comfort. But then, the under-thigh support isn't half as bad and knee- and legroom are surprisingly good for this compact car. Still, the space is adequate for two people at best. Besides, the cabin gets cooled fast, so you won't feel the absence of rear vents, and two adults can sit in a relaxed position on this bench. It makes for a good four-seater car rather than a five-seater one.

    Second Row Seats

    Boot space and Practicality

    7 / 10

    Open Boot/Trunk

    The boot space at 214-litres isn't the best in this segment but adequate with a clear opening and without intrusions inside. There's a parcel tray available to organise small things on it but misses the strings to put it up with the tailgate. This is the only space for the rear occupants to stow any of their stuff. The second row is devoid of any storage places, save for the bottle holder in the lower centre console. Meanwhile, the front-row occupants benefit from two cup holders in the centre console, with a little more space to accommodate a phone and wallet. The doors get bottle holders but can accommodate slim one-litre units only.

    Cup Holders

    Features and Safety Equipment

    6 / 10

    AC Controls

    The entry-level segment of cars doesn't offer much in terms of equipment or features, and the Alto K10, unfortunately, retains this. This top-of-the-line VXi+ trim is still equipped with a manual air-conditioner, front power windows, and central locking as basic features. It could have been provided with a day-night IRVM, rear-wiper, defogger, and such equipment as a basic kit. However, this Alto gets steering-mounted controls and the brand's 17.78cm SmartPlay Studio touchscreen head unit which supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It's astonishingly good to use in an entry-level car like this one and will be appreciated by owners.

    Infotainment System

    On the safety front, the GNCAP crash test ratings are still pending for the Alto. Nonetheless, Maruti has equipped this K10 with some safety features as standard. This includes dual airbags, ABS, EBD, driver and passenger seatbelt reminder and pre-tensioners, reverse parking sensors, and speed-sensitive auto door locks.

    Engine Shot

    Engine and Gearbox Performance

    7 / 10

    Right Front Three Quarter

    This small car is powered by the brand's entry-level 66bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. It goes without saying that it's compliant with the new BS6 norms and even comes with an optional CNG kit. Transmission options include an AMT gearbox and a five-speed manual as in this case. Twist in the key, and the engine starts to settle in a thrum that's audible but not noisy. The light clutch and gears slotting in smoothly make it an easy process to move ahead with a gentle dab on the accelerator. There's even a gear-shift indicator that will help new drivers with this tractable engine. It gets noisy at high revs, but you'd seldom do that as the driveability is good. Our in-gear acceleration figures reflect the same, with 11.24 seconds for 20-80kmph in the third gear and 16.01 seconds for the 40-100kmph run in the fourth gear. Even 0-60kmph comes up in 5.23 seconds and then 100kmph in 12.15 seconds shows how peppy the engine is. Thus, it is quite manageable to keep up with the traffic. That said, one will have to shift to lower gears for a quick sprint or while overtaking.

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    Ride, Handling, and Braking

    7 / 10

    Left Front Three Quarter

    The highways are where you feel the need for a more planted car to cruise at triple-digit speeds. The Alto K10 is better at 50-70kmph speeds and feels secure when restricted to 80kmph, which is mostly the speed limit at major places. The skinny tyres mean a lesser contact patch, but they have a high profile for the 13-inch wheels to deal with our road conditions. Also, with a nicely tuned suspension, the vehicle takes everything in its stride. Even at moderate speeds, there won't be a jolt heard inside, be it potholes, sharp-edged concrete openings, or expansion joints. That said, there is the side-to-side movement of occupants and the body roll becomes quite evident. However, slow down a bit, and you can confidently turn in the pointed direction. Also, you won't feel nervous under panic braking as the brakes are capable enough to halt the car. Now, although the steering lock-to-lock is a little more than three-and-a-half turns, which is quite a lot, the car's turning radius is tight. This, paired with a compact footprint, makes it easy to park, slot in narrow spaces, and overall makes it easy to drive.

    Left Rear Three Quarter

    Fuel Economy

    8 / 10

    A claimed fuel efficiency of 24.39kmpl is outstanding for this manual version, as is 24.9kmpl for the AGS or automatic version. In our real world tests the manual returned 14.5kmpl in the city and 21.8kmpl on the highway providing a theoretical range of 416km on a full tank of 27litres.

    Right Side View

    Price and Variants

    7 / 10

    Maruti Suzuki offers the Alto K10 in four variants — STD(O), LXi, VXi, and VXi+. An ex-showroom price of Rs. 3.99 lakh for the base STD(O) variant makes it one of the cheapest entry-level cars. But do note that this trim doesn't even get body-coloured bumpers, air-conditioning, and power steering. Ideally, an owner would want these essentials, which are available from the LXi variant priced at Rs. 4.82 lakh; the VXi costs Rs. 5.05 lakh and this VXi+ variant goes up to Rs. 5.34 lakh. These top-spec variants are pricey and get more expensive if you opt for the automatic or CNG version. The AMT is available from the VXi which is priced at Rs. 5.6 lakh, whereas the VXi+ AGS and the VXi S-CNG cost Rs. 5.89 lakh and Rs. 5.95 lakh, respectively (all ex-showroom).

    Left Side View

    Conclusion

    7 / 10

    We wouldn't recommend the entry-level STD variant of the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 as it lacks the basic features which are a necessity for car buyers in 2023. The mid-spec variants are the ones to go for if you’re on a tight budget. However, it still makes sense to slightly give that premium for the higher variants, which pack in more equipment and provide value for money while being useful. After all, the new Alto K10 has improved in terms of space, fit and finish, equipment, and fuel efficiency. At the same time, it retains its positive traits of peppy performance, driveability, and of course, Maruti's strong after-sales service network.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Pictures by Kapil Angane

    Specification

    CAR NAMEMaruti Suzuki Alto K10
    VariantVxi Plus Manual
    ENGINE
    FuelPetrol
    Installationfront, transverse
    Displacement998cc
    Power66bhp @ 5500rpm
    Torque89Nm @ 3500rpm
    Power to weight90.41bhp per tonne
    Torque to weight 121.92Nm per tonne
    Gearbox5-speed manual
    CHASSIS & BODY
    Kerb weight730kg
    Tyres (F/R)155/65 R13
    Spare-
    STEERING
    Turning circle9m
    BRAKES
    FrontDiscs
    RearDrums
    Anti-lockYes

    Test Data

    CAR NAMEMaruti Suzuki Alto K10
    VariantVxi Plus Manual
    PERFORMANCE & BRAKING
    0-60kph5.23s
    0-100kph12.15s
    0-120kph-
    20-80kph in 3rd gear11.24s
    40-100kph in 4th gear16.01s
    100-0kph3.67s / 46.23m
    FUEL ECONOMY
    City14.5kmpl
    Highway21.8kmpl
    Tank size27-litres
    Range416km
    INTERIOR MEASUREMENTS
    Front
    Legroom(Max/min)870/650mm
    Headroom(Max/min)990/990mm
    Shoulder room1,200mm
    Backrest height580mm
    Rear
    Legroom(Max/min)880/650mm
    Ideal legroom640mm
    Headroom920mm
    Shoulder room1,180mm
    Seat base length440m
    Backrest height560mm
    Boot (with all seats up)
    Length/width/height570/1,170/540mm
    Loading lip height720mm

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