New gen Maruti Alto K10 has been launched in India at a starting price of Rs 3.99 lakh
After the legendary Maruti 800, it is the Maruti Alto nameplate which possibly can claim to be one of the most well known brands across the country in the 4-wheeler space. While multiple TVCs from various brands might claim their brand’s presence in every nook and corner of the nation, it is undeniably the Alto brand name which leads the 4-wheeler segment by a huge margin. You can find Altos being used as family cars in cities, remotest villages of the country. This clearly highlights Alto’s ambidextrous capabilities.
Maruti had discontinued the previous gen Alto K10 when the BS6 norms kicked in. Now in 2022, Maruti has brought back the hatch, albeit in a new avatar. Technically, the 2022 model is a third generation product to carry Alto K10 badging. We were recently invited for Alto K10’s media drive and here are our first impressions.
New Maruti Alto K10 Exteriors
Alto K10 has a typical no-nonsense small hatch-back look. While its counterpart, S-Presso could have polarizing opinions from prospective buyers, we are almost certain that most customers will find Alto K10’s look modern yet simple. The design makes sense too as not all buyers of an Alto K10 would be millennials or part of the GenZ crowd (folks who are usually more open to quirkier and radical designs).
Highlight of Alto K10’s front design is its black honeycomb grille, which looks smart and mature. Headlamp units are simple in design and get indicators integrated in them. Traces of honeycomb pattern can be found on headlamp units too. There are no fog lamps or DRLs on offer. You can get DRLs as a part of an accessory from Maruti.
On the side too, simplicity in design continues as Maruti’s team hasn’t overloaded the hatchback with cuts and creases. 13-inch wheels look a little small, but we believe this would have been a trade-off between efficiency and aesthetics. With a name plate like Alto, fuel efficiency had to win hands-down; and it did.
Honeycomb patterns from the grille are also carried on the wheel covers which are on offer. At the rear too, the simplistic design theme continues. The hatchback gets a plain rear design with combination tail-lamps. Over the years like most manufacturers, Maruti too has slowly started moving away from providing variant badging. Alto K10 too doesn’t get variant call outs on its boot-lid.
Step inside the Alto K10 and there are chances that you would be surprised with the amount of space the 2022 model offers. The wheelbase has only increased by 20mm, but it has helped to open up considerable space for occupants.
Talking about specifics, all seats are comfortable and come along with decent cushioning. You can easily plan on having 4 regular sized Indian adults in the car, accompanied by a kid and you can be sure that each of them would sit comfortably. 3 adult passengers on the rear could be a squeeze, primarily due to the limited width of the hatch.
While the cabin design is all new, you will still get to see a lot of familiar bits. Maruti has borrowed considerable parts from its existing products, for example the instrument cluster, power window switches, functional knobs etc. This isn’t a bad thing till the time it helps Maruti to improve the Value for Money proposition.
Talking about features, top of the line VXi+ trim gets a decent list of creature comfort features. Highlight undoubtedly is Maruti’s Touch-Screen infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and takes the center stage. The model misses out on a FATC (Auto Air Conditioning), but gets manually adjustable Air Conditioning. In our opinion, it was a sensible move, as there would hardly be customers who would be picky about a FATC. As far as cooling is concerned, it seemed adequate for a car of its size.
List of features also includes dash-board mounted power window switches for front occupants and steering mounted audio controls. One segment-first feature from Maruti’s end is the introduction of 4 speakers which provide a good music experience, considering the segment.
On the safety front, Alto K10 gets ABS with EBD, Central Door Lock, Dual Front Airbags and Reverse parking sensors. There is speculation that the model will be capable of accommodating 6 airbags too. This could result in discontinuation of standard Alto 800 which might not be compatible with 6 airbags, and this third gen Alto K10 might become the new entry-level offering from Maruti in future.
Alto K10 is powered by Suzuki’s latest K10C 1 litre petrol motor. The engine is capable of dishing out 66 bhp and 89 Nm of peak torque. The engine is well refined and offers quick zippy acceleration for city drives. What however brings down the performance is the AMT setup. The unit which we drove sometimes found it difficult to shift to a forward gear after being in neutral for some time (let’s say at a stoplight).
2022 Alto K10 gets power steering (except on base trim) and a small turning radius, which makes driving around city traffic an easy affair. However, it is unfair to expect steering feedback etc. from the machine. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t get any. Ride Quality and NVH levels of Alto K10 are decent considering the segment it belongs to. Maruti claims fuel efficiency of 24.39 kmpl for MT version and 24.9 kmpl for AMT. In our drive with the AMT version, we could manage fuel efficiency of ~20 kmpl, despite heavy city traffic and some hilly patches. Extracting 22-23 kmpl on open straight highways shouldn’t be a challenge.
2022 Alto K10 is a simple no-nonsense practical product which will carry forward the iconic Alto legacy forward. In our opinion, Maruti should have tried to keep prices slightly lower as with the current pricing, Alto K10 doesn’t really tops the charts in terms of VFM quotient.
Or else, it could have considered addition of certain features like a manual-dimming IRVM, Height adjustment for Driver’s seat, adjustable steering, rear wiper and power windows for rear passengers. These features would have enhanced functionality and aren’t typically gimmicky. In the current market environment, Alto K10 will face limited competition from just S-Presso and Kwid. Considering Alto’s brand name, Maruti’s far- and wide-reaching channel partners and limited competition, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Alto K10 leading the segment in terms of sales.