The all-new Maruti Alto K10 has improved by miles in design and features, while the cabin has moved upmarket. The AMT unit though is the biggest USP of the new Alto K10, making it the most affordable automatic in the country.
All-set to make a big bang once again in the entry-level hatchback space, Maruti Suzuki has launched the 2015 Alto K10 in the country, priced from Rs. 3.06 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), offered in 6 variants. Originally launched in 2010 (4 lakh units sold till date), this is the first comprehensive update the hatchback has received complete with an updated chassis, new body shell and improved interiors. The USP however, is the inclusion of the AMT gearbox that has made the K10 the most affordable automatic in the country. The hatchback is still available in the same LXi and VXi trims as the outgoing model.
Design – The 2015 Maruti Alto K10 gets a tall boy design taking cues from the Alto 800 and the Celerio. While the body may seem familiar, Maruti has managed to give the Alto K10 a certain flare in design, without making it look outright sporty. The sweptback headlamps, large air-intakes flanked by fog lamps and sculpted hood add a certain aggression with the chrome grille taking centre stage at the front. Moving to the sides, changes include new wheel covers, mildly beefed up wheel arches and large windows that give a roomier feel to the cabin.
The rear is rather functional with a simplistic bumper and tailgate similar to the Alto 800 and compliments the overall design quite well. In terms of dimensions though, the 2015 Alto K10 has changed significantly with the length reduced by 75 mm, while the width and height have increased by 15 mm each. The new design has certainly helped the hatch free up space on the inside with the company having reduced the size of the engine bay. The new K10 rides on fuel friendly 155/55 13-inch tyres, while the boot capacity is limited to 177-litres.
Interiors – While the exteriors may not be as path breaking one would desire, Maruti has definitely made ample changes to the interior that deserve an applause. The cabin is bigger now, being both wider and taller by 15 mm over its predecessor. The 2015 Alto K10 easily gets one of the best cabins in the segment with a much improved interior. Done up in a dual-tone charcoal black and beige, the colour scheme extends to the dashboard and door trims, while the brushed silver inserts added all round lend a premium touch. The instrument cluster is completely new and comes with a redesigned tachometer and speedometer console, while the MID screen has been repositioned to the centre.
The centre console on the 2015 Alto K10 gets a beautiful looking piano black finish which houses the integrated audio system, while the air-con vents are positioned lower. In terms of features, the model is well loaded featuring air-conditioning standard in the car, whereas the top-end VXi trim gets a 2-DIN audio system with USB and AUX connectivity, fog lights, power steering and front power windows. The seats are done up in beige coloured fabric upholstery for both the variants.
Engine – Powering the 2015 ALto K10 is the same tried and tested 1.0-litre 3-cylinder K-Next petrol engine producing 68 PS of power at 6000 RPM and 90 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM, paired to a 5-speed manual and Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) unit. At 750 kgs, the Alto K10 is fairly light (claimed 0-60 km/hr time is 5.3 seconds) and will certainly be a spirited performer as well. Like the Celerio, the 5-speed AMT is sourced from Magneti Marelli and offers hassle free driving with the absence of a clutch pedal. Maruti has also worked on the ride quality which is said to have improved rather well and features McPherson struts at the front and a 3-link rigid axle at the rear, which have been tuned to absorb undulations especially at low speeds.
Fuel Efficiency – Maruti Suzuki has tweaked the ECU of the new Alto K10 that not only improves performance, but has also improved the fuel efficiency of the hatchback by a healthy 15 percent. The model now returns an efficient 24.07 km/l on both the manual and AMT (known as ASG or Auto Gear Shift) variants, while the CNG version (manual only) now offers 32.26 km/kg.
Safety – Maruti has offered a single driver side airbag on the top-end VXi variant, while the lower LX does not even get a passenger side rearview mirror. ABS has also been given a miss. You do get engine immobiliser as standard on all variants.
The Alto K10 has always been the car offering more compared to the Alto 800 without having to extend your budget lavishly. The shortfalls from the older generation model have been taken care of in the 2015 model which gets improved interiors, while the upmarket cabin really feels so much better to be surrounded by. However, even though the K10 will not be doing as high numbers as the Alto 800 in terms of sales, the model is sure to attract a lot of attention for being an inexpensive automatic, making it a very practical city car. Competing against the Datsun GO and Hyundai Eon in the segment, Maruti has commenced deliveries of the 2015 Alto from its 1370 dealerships across the country. The vehicle is offered in 6 colours – grey, blue, white, silver, red and orange which is the signature shade.
2015 Maruti Alto K10 Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) –
* Alto K10 LX – Rs. 3.06 lakhs
* Alto K10 LXi – Rs. 3.22 lakhs
* Alto K10 LXi CNG – Rs. 3.82 lakhs
* Alto K10 VXi – Rs. 3.38 lakhs
* Alto K10 VXi AMT – Rs. 3.80 lakhs
* Alto K10 VXi (O) – Rs. 3.57 lakhs