Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Review | We Were Pleasantly Surprised
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The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 not only has a more powerful motor but is in fact a brand new product. Is it any good?
The name Alto doesn’t need any introduction. For sixteen consecutive years it has been a bestseller in the Indian market and now in 2022, Maruti Suzuki has come up with the more powerful K10 variant. The good thing is, the upgrades are not just limited to the engine; the rest of the car is brand new too. In terms of price the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 costs around 60-70k more than the Alto 800. The question is, does it feel like a proper upgrade over the ever popular 800 variant?
The new Alto K10 is very pleasing to the eye. The teardrop-shaped headlamps and large, smiling bumper makes it look happy. What adds a bit of aggression are the sharp creases on the bumper and the chin. At the rear too, the large tail lamps and sharply cut bumper look good and overall, the Alto looks balanced and has a nice stance when viewed from the rear. In profile you realise the Alto now looks noticeably larger than the 800. It is 85mm longer, 55mm taller and the wheelbase has grown by 20mm. As a result the Alto K10 has a lot more presence as compared to the 800. The strong shoulder line too makes it look modern and the 13-inch wheels look the right size despite the increase in overall size.
If you want your Alto K10 to look flashy, then you can go for the Glinto option pack which adds a lot of chrome bits to the exterior and if you want a sporty look then Maruti Suzuki is offering the Impacto pack which adds contrasting orange accents to the exterior.
Just like the exterior the interiors too look pleasant. The dash design is clean and what adds a bit of sophistication is the V-shaped centre console which looks modern. All the controls and switches are easy to operate and placed well ergonomically, which makes the Alto K10’s cabin very user friendly.
Even in terms of quality there is not much to complain about. Plastics are of good quality and fit and finish is consistent. The only ill fitting plastic is the cover for the left front airbag which gives an uneven surface.
Front seats on the Alto K10 are wide enough and prove to be comfortable even for long stints. The seat contour though is a bit flat and they enough lateral support especially in ghat sections. Another issue is the lack of adjustability for the driver. You don’t get seat height adjustment or an adjustable steering column. If you are around 5 foot 6 you won't have any issue but if you are taller, the steering feels too close to your knees.
The biggest surprise though is the rear seat. Knee room is surprisingly good and even six-footers will feel comfortable here. There is more than enough headroom and the bench offers good underthigh support as well. The fixed headrests though are disappointing. They are short and won’t give you any whiplash protection in case of rear impact.
In terms of storage spaces, front passengers are well taken care of. You get big front door pockets, a place to keep your phone, a decently sized glovebox and two cup holders. Rear passengers on the other hand get nothing. No door pockets, cup holders or even seat back pockets.
The boot at 214 litres is considerably larger than the 177 litres of the Alto 800. The boot is well shaped too but the loading lip is a bit high which makes loading large items a bit difficult. For added practicality the rear seat folds to give more storage space.
The Alto K10 in the top VXi Plus variant comes with front power windows, keyless entry, air conditioning system, power steering, steering-mounted audio and telephone controls and four speakers. You also get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The infotainment is easy to use with big icons and its processing speed feels snappy. You also get a digital driver's instrumentation which has a trip computer. On the downside you don't get a tachometer.
Other misses include powered mirror adjust, rear power windows, reversing camera, seat height adjust and steering height adjust.
When it comes to safety the Alto comes with dual airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors.
Engine and Performance
The Alto K10 is powered by a 1.0-litre three cylinder dualjet motor that makes 66.62 PS of power and 89Nm of torque. It is the same motor that does duty on the recently launched Celerio.
But thanks to the Alto K10 being smaller and lighter than the Celerio, it feels peppier to drive. It has good low end torque and the motor pulls cleanly even at idle engine speed, as a result at low speeds the K10 feels stress-free to drive as gear shifts are kept to a minimum. The manual transmission too feels slick and the clutch is light. The automatic transmission on the other hand feels surprisingly smooth for an AMT gearbox. Light throttle upshifts are quick enough with minimal shift shock and even quick downshifts are executed quickly and confidently. It is only under hard acceleration where the upshifts feel a bit slow but other than that there is not much to complain about. The power delivery is strong throughout the rev range which makes driving the K10 fun. Performance is more than adequate for highway runs as well which makes it a versatile product.
If we had to complain then it would be the motor's refinement. It stays composed till around 3000rpm but post that it gets noisy and you can feel some vibrations in the cabin too.
Ride and Handling
If you are a first time car buyer, there are not many cars better than the Alto K10 when it comes to ease of driving. The Alto in fact is fun to drive in traffic - it fits in the smallest of gaps, visibility is excellent and it is easy to park too. When you bring the light steering, slick gearbox and responsive engine in the equation, the Alto K10 makes for an excellent city runabout. What irritates you while driving at low speeds is the steering's inability to self centre. While taking tight turns it adds to the overall driving effort.
The Alto K10’s ride quality too surprises you. It gobbles up even the sharpest of potholes with ease. The suspension has a good amount of travel and it works silently to give you a comfortable ride. Save for a bit of tyre and road noise the Alto’s cabin is a soothing place to be. Highway manners too are good, with the Alto K10 showing good composure even over undulations. After a certain point the ride does get a bit bumpy but never to the point of feeling uncomfortable.
Overall, the new Maruti Suzuki K10 really impresses but there are some shortfalls as well. The engine gets vocal at higher revs, there are absolutely no storage spaces for rear seat passengers and there are some key convenience features missing too. Apart from this, the Alto K10 is hard to fault. It is likeable inside out, the engine is powerful with excellent drivability, it has more than space for four people, the ride quality is comfortable and it is extremely easy to drive. The new Alto K10 not feels like a proper upgrade over the 800 but also shines overall as a great product.