The 2015 Maruti Alto K10 has vastly improved over its predecessor, while the AMT unit will provide the boost in sales being an entry-level automatic.
Earlier this year, we tested the old generation Maruti Alto K10 against the Hyundai Eon 1.0 and the Datsun GO in the entry-level hatchback space with the Alto K10 faltering in almost every aspect. However, while the competition surged forward with better products, Maruti was silently making amends to the K10 with comprehensive updates in the pipeline. Earlier today, the Indian auto giant launched the 2015 Alto K10 in the country with a major makeover; but are the changes enough compared to competition? We pit the 2015 Maruti Alto K10 against the Hyundai Eon and Datsun GO to find out.
Design – Going with the basics, all the three cars manage to look the part, especially with the Alto losing the centenary old design. The 2015 Alto sports a conservative yet fresh design with inspiration coming from the smaller Alto as well as the Celerio hatchbacks. The Eon however, manages to look just a tad bit better despite its age in the market and certainly packs a more premium appeal compared to its rivals. The Datsun GO on the other hand has gone by the book with a simplistic design albeit with a young appeal. The GO looks appealing in its own might and looks bigger. The Alto K10 however, does manage to look a bit old school compared to its rivals with the one dimensional panels.
Space – Interior space was a major issue with the old Alto K10 and Maruti has certainly worked on the same in the 2015 model. The car gets improved legroom and headroom, while the larger windows make for a roomier cabin. The struggle for ingress and egress is lesser this time round and the cabin will be able to accommodate 5 passengers in reasonable comfort. Coming to the Eon, the hatch has decent space on the inside, but can still seat only 4 in comfort with decent head and legroom. Nonetheless, winning thanks to a longer wheelbase is the Datsun GO that offers the best-in-class cabin space. The GO is also the widest in its class with the rear seats occupying three passengers with much ease, while the boot space is a hefty 265-litres compared to 215-litres on the Eon and a puny 177-litres on the Alto K10.
Features – While the Hyundai Eon was always the well loaded version here with adjustable steering, keyless entry, internally adjustable ORVMs, audio system and so on. It is the Alto K10 that has certainly improved with a more premium looking cabin and a whole lot of features that puts it on par with the Hyundai. You get keyless entry, internally adjustable ORVMs, accessory socket, gear shift indicator, key off reminder, headlamp warning buzzer, 2-DIN audio system with USB and AUX connectivity, fog lights and power steering with front power windows. Cost cutting is evident on the GO, but you still get the basics with some different offerings including follow-me-home headlamps, phone docking station, MID screen with real time fuel efficiency and distance to empty on display.
Engines – All the three cars come with similar power outputs levels at an average of 68 PS; however, the GO manages to surge forward with 104 Nm of torque and better driving dynamics. The Alto on the other hand is the peppiest of the lot being lighter than rivals (750 kgs) and comes with the potent 1.0-litre K-Next motor producing the same 68 PS, and is also faster on the clock. The Eon 1.0-litre however has been a vast improvement with 69 PS of power, with the sluggish feel of the 800cc engine gone. While it still does not handle like the Japanese, it is still easily drivable in city conditions without much effort.
Transmission – While the all the models in this segment get a 5-speed manual transmission as standard, it is the new Alto K10 that has managed to offer something more. Maruti has added the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) or Auto Gear Shift as they call it on the K10, making it the most affordable automatic in the country. The AMT has certainly given the K10 a major boost over the competition, which is now easier to drive in clogged city roads and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Coming to the manual transmissions, it is the GO that is disappoints with a notchy gearbox, while the Eon and K10 units are pretty much seamless on the road.
Fuel Efficiency – A major aspect for every budget conscious car buyer, fuel efficiency has been Maruti’s forte and the Alto K10 wins here by a mile. The 2015 K10 manages to return an ARAI certified 24.07 km/l, 15 percent more over its predecessor as well as the Eon and GO. The second in line is the Datsun offering 20.63 km/l, while the Eon is the least favourable in terms of fuel efficiency offering 20.3 km/l. The Alto K10 and Datsun GO also get gear shift indicators, which the Eon misses out on. All the three cars ride on 13-inch tyres for improved fuel efficiency.
Safety – When it comes to safety, the less said the better for all the three models. While the Alto and Eon have failed the NCAP crash test with 0 stars, safety doesn’t seem too bright for the Eon either. The Alto K10 and the Eon come with driver side airbag on the top variants, while the GO misses out on it completely. You do get 3-point ELR seat belts though, but the overall build quality leaves you wanting for more. Features like ABS seem farfetched on these models.
Price – Maruti has managed to price the 2015 Alto K10 very competitively. With a starting price of Rs. 3.06 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), the K10 manages to triumph the competition by a significant margin. While the Datsun GO is competitively priced at Rs. 3.12 lakhs, it is the Eon that is more expensive at Rs. 3.88 lakhs. Even the top-end K10 AMT equipped version manages to be cheaper by Rs. 8000/- priced at Rs. 3.80 lakhs compared to the Eon. Furthermore, Maruti has also loaded the K10 with a plethora of features that were otherwise available only on the Eon in the segment, which makes the new Alto a far better value for money proposition in the entry-level hatchback space.
Verdict – The comprehensively updated 2015 Maruti Alto K10 manages to offer improvements on every scale. Not only is the car more potent with a frugal engine but is now feature loaded too. While the Eon and GO do not come even close to the numbers Maruti sells with the Alto, the new K10 is certainly going to eat up a hefty market share from the competition being such a compelling package in comparison.