The ride quality is good in city and in fact the suspension does a good job too, notes Yash Karia.
Finally, the Alto customers get to see some major revolution in the design, performance and in the interior of the car.
This change has, for sure, bought a lot more buyers for the new Maruti Suzuki Alto. Let us see what changes the engineers, have bought, in this detailed review.
The previous Alto K10 had the old Alto shape, which has been completely phased out. The exterior of the Alto K10 now looks sufficiently different than the Alto 800 from both, the rear and the front even though it is the same under its skin.
The headlamps have grown bigger and bolder with a distinguishing front grille with a thick chrome slate and the ‘S’ shape symbol of Suzuki in-between. The lower air dams are black and do look smarter than its previous design.
The side profile also looks a bit different with a black-fibre strip right in the center and what we could see was the rear window had reduced in dimensions.
The door panels also get blackened and this black touch all over the car makes the exterior look a bit sporty.
The rear also gets bigger tail lamps, which are somewhat different than the Alto 800. 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 it a look of a big sized car.
The interior of the Alto K10 is totally fresh when compared to its 800cc sibling.
The console and the dash has a black and beige tone with the instrument cluster having features like the USB option and aux input and a mp3 player.
The buttons are big and clear and hence easy and convenient to use. This new centre console is a welcome after the old Alto 800 styling, which does look outdated. The Alto gets new rich beige fabric seats to add a pinch of richness in the cabin.
The cabin space is sufficient and feels airy. The front row seats are comfortable for even long drives. In the second row there is sufficient kneeroom even for tall people and there is enough head room as well, but the thigh support could have been better.
The Alto K10 gets a 1.0-litre engine which is mated with a five-speed manual gear box and producing 67bhp and 90Nm of power.
This three-cylinder engine has good power but most of it is delivered at high rpm. One needs to revv the engine to extract the best performance from it. For those quick overtaking moves, one has to downshift. Driving in city is easy and one doesn’t have to shift a lot of gears in traffic.
The engine has a good punch and it doesn’t feel running out of juice even on highways. The engine’s NVH levels are also low. This engine also powers the Wagon R and the Celerio, but as this body is lighter, the performance is much better.
Maruti Suzuki also offers a five-speed AMT transmission just like the Celerio. The performance of this engine is blunted with the AMT, but what you get is a relaxed drive.
A step forward taken by Maruti Suzuki is that it also offers same engine with a CNG option, which is a smart move by the Maruti, as the cost of running comes down, however there is no boot left. If you ask me, CNG is used for city driving and so is AMT, but both aren’t offered together.
The car gives a very smooth and a happy experience to the driver. The 1.0-litre engine is very smooth, linear yet active. We drove the petrol variant of the car, both on the highway and in the city traffic.
The city driving was effortless as the car could move smoothly without any gearshifts even at low speeds whereas on highways it felt very active as well as linear. Overtaking was found to be simple as power supplied was sufficient. There was enough power supplied post 2000rpm, which pulled on till the red line.
The ride quality is good in city and in fact the suspension does a good job too. The car felt very pliant at high speeds.
It was clearly evident that the car could be under your control at any point of the time. Even the steering response is good, even though it is light and easy to drive.
The Alto K10 is being offered with six different options from the base LX, LXi, VXi, VXi-AMT and the CNG option.
The price of the Alto K10 starts at Rs 4 lakh to 4.5 lakh (on-road price). The competitors for the Alto K10 are the Hyundai Eon 1.0 and the Datsun GO.
But what advantage Alto has is the Maruti Suzuki after sales service and resale value that no other car can give in this segment.