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Old 29th May 2012, 20:11   #1
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Cool Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Intro
In case you are looking for a quick roundup without going through the whole post, here’s the deal:

+ Alto K10 is a quick, peppy car which is lots of fun to drive. It returns good mileage, mine being 19km/l on highway and 17km/l in the city. Good value for its price of 3.56lakhs OTR Trivandrum. City drives are smooth as breeze.

- High speed driving and handling are a bit nervous and potholes would be felt within the car.

Quick info – My car

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi-2011 model
Midnight black
14,000km
One year and three free services over

Now , the details.

Background

Early 2011 saw me get a job change to a place near my native. My earlier job required just 10 minutes of commute from home to office and so my bike was more than sufficient . But after the job shift, my house was about 20 km from the place where I work and to get there my daily commute would be 40% through city and 60% on a well maintained but curvy and deserted stretch of road. Family had a ’99 Maruti Suzuki 800 which was serving us quite well. But since my father would be using it for his daily office commute and since my bike would leave me drenched during monsoons, a new car was in order.

So around April last year , I started the lookout for a new car. I did not want to go in for a diesel(which I now regret) due to the fact that my monthly run would be around 1000km. My requirements were

-Fun to drive
-Decent mileage
-Decent looks
-Ok-ish space as I would be the only user 95% of the time
-Good and affordable after sales support

Also budget was fixed at 4 lakhs(plus or minus 50000).

To be very frank, I had only one car in mind – The Chevy Beat. Some cars cast such a spell over some people . In fact I was so sure ‘this has to be my car’ that I had decided to buy it even without a test drive. Thankfully family’s sanity prevailed and decided to do some research. Started spending hours on Car mags and online communities to get a clear idea of the cars which could suit my requirements . Soon, the options became clear

-Alto , A-Star, Wagon -R
-Santro , i-10
-Indica , Nano
-Spark , Beat

Decided to eliminate a bit more and narrow down my options. Eliminated cars for various reasons including price, looks and drivability.

Finally I had the following contenders:
Alto K10, Spark , Beat

Called up the dealers and test drove all cars. Observations

Spark – Cute. Decent interiors. Average power. Huffs and puffs with AC on. Average brakes and handling.
Beat – Stylish looks. Good interiors. Average power. Average brakes and handling. Average space. There was nothing out of the ordinary that I had dreamt about

Alto K10 - Got into the driver’s seat dejected after my Beat drive. Exteriors- Decent. Interiors- Spartan when compared to the Beat. Without any expectations, I cranked up the engine and tapped the accelerator. Whoaaaa- the K10 just flew off from idle. As my drive progressed, my dejection gave way to a smile and smile gave way to a wide grin. Darn, this car was powerful. It just kept on revving and revving and asking for more. I was very impressed with the TD. Family was happy with the choice as well.

Zeroed in on the K10 , Midnight Black. Completed the bank formalities and took delivery of the car in 2 days.
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Old 30th May 2012, 06:27   #2
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Got the following as freebies with the car:


Floor mats, Mudflaps , Wheel covers, Under body coating and Black tints for the windows.


Paid for the following:
- ICE – Kenwood U346 with 4 JVC speakers
-Passenger side mirror
-Antenna
-Number plate (yeah, they made me pay for that as well)


Total OTR cost after some cash discounts was 3.56 lakhs



Ownership Experience
A pic of my black beast first


Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c1.jpg



Distance covered- 14,000 km by now.



Apart from the regular office drives, I have made one long trip of 720 km and three not-so-long trips of 400kms each. Mileage based on tankful-to-tankful in the rush hour traffic in the city + open highway was 19km/l with five adults , full luggage and no ac.

Day to day commute to my office returns a mileage of 17 km/l. Checked it twice, both times I got somewhere around the same figure. This is with a single person, no luggage, ac on 50% ,rush hour traffic for a few km and some spirited driving at times J
Three free services have been done at 1000km, 5000km and 10000km. There have been no issues with the car till now *except* for one. During one of my longer trips, I got stuck in a procession for a local festival. The highway was full of people and it was pure agony for about 3 hours to cover 5km. The traffic moved at snail’s pace ; it was clutch-first gear- accelerate a bit-brake -clutch- accelerate.. for a long time. It was quite impossible to drive without the clutch for those moments. And, as you might have guessed, I began to get a burning smell soon. Stopped and checked. Couldn’t find out the cause at first. Called Maruti emergency helpline and was told to drive to wait. Got a call back from the local Maruti center who told me that it might be due to a clutch burnout. They asked me if I could slot in the gear and if the vehicle could move forward to which I replied in positive. I was informed that as long as I could drive , there was no issue with the vehicle. Asked them if someone could come, check and confirm. They said it might be difficult- considering that it was a Sunday ,a local off due to the festival,8.00pm and I was in the middle of nowhere , but they would try nonetheless. Got a call back in five minutes from a Maruti mechanic, he was on the way and would reach me soon. The only problem was that he was also stuck in the traffic [ A word of appreciation to Maruti service at this point, no wonder they continue to stay as the best selling four wheeler brand in India]. The mechanic turned out to be a kid with a very infectious smile ,who did a very professional check up of my car and swore on his life that I could drive back home without any trouble at all. A tip was refused vigorously and I literally had to shove it down his pocket.
Reached home safe and sound , but to be 100% sure took it to the authorized service center next day. Got it back in half an hour with a confirmation that all was well and I could go ahead. The clutch plate need not have to be replaced.

Apart from this issue, I have not faced a single problem from my car till now.



To sum up a few pros of the car :


*She drives well within the city. Super light steering makes her chuckable and her power makes sure that you have the last laugh at traffic signals. Overtaking is a breeze and no pre-planning is required overtaking.



*Tried a 0-100km run on an empty stretch of road with a timing of 13.5 seconds. That’s how quick the K-10 is.



*Highways would see you pushing her to the limits without any complaints from her side. The car keeps on asking you to push her harder and harder. On higher rpms, the engine becomes very audible. I love it, not sure all would agree with me on this though.



*Mileage is just the icing on the already sweet cake.


*Just 3.XX lakhs for a rocket like this?? My purse likes that J

And A few cons:


*Potholes and bumps would send tremors through your spine. Every single deformation on the road will be felt.


*On high speeds, she feels very flighty. The super light steering is one of the villains here , the other being her stock tyres. High speed driving is a nervous affair in the K10 in its stock form. Better tyres might help, am not sure of this though. Don’t get me wrong , you can go 100-110 without much issue, beyond that is the problem I am talking about. Funny thing is that – Your heart wants to push further ahead ‘coz of her enthusiasm while your brain tells you to slow down because of her flightiness.


* Space management and build quality are not as good as the Hyundais or the Hondas. But then you wouldn’t buy an Alto for its space –would you? I am 5’ 11” and I find the car reasonably spacious after pushing the driver’s seat back. The trip I told you about, had my whole family of 5 , others at about 5’ 5” adjusting for 400 km with a little difficulty. As Don would say , Its not an impossible task but quite a difficult one. About the build quality- my feeling is that you get exactly what you pay for. Nothing more, nothing less. No complaints about that.



And a few tips for prospective owners
  • Black looks swell, but is very difficult to maintain. Looks more dusty than the other cars if unwashed for a day. Scratches get projected much easier than other colours.
  • Please get seat covers for the car. The stock fabric seats are of a light blue colour. My seats were soiled every time I gave it for a service. No amount of blasting over the phone would help, the best service centers will do is come down and clean the seat with soap and water. Fed up, I got art leather seat covers(for all seats) done for 4200 Rs total. Steering cover of a similar look-n-feel cost 300 Rs.
  • Brakes squeal at on hard braking. Might improve with better rubber.
  • Freebies given with the car are of the cheapest possible quality. One wheel cup just broke into four pieces when I jumped a pothole. Fixed an aftermarket set later for 500Rs.
  • In case you decide to buy, bargain like your life depended on it. Petrol cars nowadays allow such a luxury.
  • The salesmen would try to push the Maruti-Kenwood ICE on you with scary stories about warranty getting void. I ,for one, fell for it and paid a premium for just mediocre equipment L. As far as I know, connecting ICE does not involve cutting through wiring and hence no warranty voidance ( I stand to be corrected, experts please correct me if am wrong)
  • Fixed the central –remote locking aftermarket ,Company called Crosslink. Total cost 4000Rs.
**Please note that the photos were taken by a mobile cam, so please excuse the quality**

Last edited by Technocrat : 31st May 2012 at 00:34. Reason: Removing additional font tags, please avoid copy pasting from external editors like MS Word etc, thanks
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Old 30th May 2012, 06:30   #3
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

And now some pics

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c2.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c3.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c4.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c5.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c6.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c7.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c8.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c9.jpg

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience-c10.jpg
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Old 30th May 2012, 14:36   #4
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Great review thanks...i gave up the K10 as i got floored by the drive quality and looks of the Beat, and got one in Nov last year. In Feb i got a chance to drive the K10 and amazed by its smooth engine and great pick up. Though am happy with my current car, the thought of giving up this car out of my potential list of cars now feels stupid.

Great job, keep writing!!!
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Old 30th May 2012, 16:13   #5
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Wonderful pictures, Congratulations on owning such a shiny car. The shine on the car is eye catching. I did not even read the full details, felt the urge to ask immediately after looking at the pictures. What did you do to get such a beautiful shine? To top it you say these pictures were taken from mobile and quality aint good, please post the best quality pictures that you can for all of us to see the beautiful shine in full glory.

It will help other Black color car owners, mine is Black and would love to get a shine like that.

Don't worry about the clutch smell, if MASS said it does not warrant replacement then so it will be. Agree on the support and help MASS try to provide even when you are seemingly nowhere.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 30th May 2012 at 16:16.
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Old 30th May 2012, 16:40   #6
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

@Sanjeev, nice detailed review of the K10. I occasionally get a chance to drive the K10 of a friend and my only complaint was the low-end torque - at 1800rpm or less, the engine is as good as dead, requiring downshifting. Ofcourse in the revv mode, it is a fun car, but how many times would you revv the car to redline in traffic on a normal office commute ?

@mayank, while the cons of owning a black car is that every spec of dust & the minutest of scratches stands out, the advantage is in the shining look it provides after a good wash and polish. Have experienced this with my Baleno in the initial years when I used to spare some time to give it a good polish - too lazy nowadays to do this.
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Old 30th May 2012, 17:42   #7
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Nice write up!! Alto is for surely a great fun-to-drive car. The points you make about highway driving in a K10 are very valid and understandable for a car as light as K10. I guess that is the best that one can get at that price, as you rightly pointed out. Keep revving !!
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Old 30th May 2012, 19:03   #8
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
What did you do to get such a beautiful shine? To top it you say these pictures were taken from mobile and quality aint good, please post the best quality pictures that you can for all of us to see the beautiful shine in full glory.
Thanks mayankjha1806.
About the shine, well to be very frank I took the pictures immediately after a detailed wash early morning. Did not use any polish ; in fact I myself am on the lookout for a good polish. I guess the sunlight reflecting on my car adds to the shine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
@Sanjeev, nice detailed review of the K10. I occasionally get a chance to drive the K10 of a friend and my only complaint was the low-end torque - at 1800rpm or less, the engine is as good as dead, requiring downshifting. Ofcourse in the revv mode, it is a fun car, but how many times would you revv the car to redline in traffic on a normal office commute ?
Thanks supremeBaleno.
I own the Lxi version which doesnot have a tacho. Hence can't point precise rpms - I go by my ears to upshift
Coming back to your point, yes to a great extent the low end torque does play spoilsport. In stop-go traffic, I have observed that I need to downshift and revv a bit to get the acceleration I had intended. Having said that, there is a sweet spot on every gear of the K10. Shift to the correct gear and revv to that spot and she flies (Purely my opinion, if there are other K10 owners out here , they could please opine)
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Old 30th May 2012, 19:32   #9
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Simple yet Informative report with good pictures! I am using Turtle Platinum wax and found it to be very effective on my white car as well as 7 year old black pulsar. The bike mechanics don't fail to ask If had gone for teflon coating few days ago! The swirls have almost vanished with repeated use.

A pair of fog lamps on the front will enhance the looks even more and help in more illumination as well.
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Old 5th June 2012, 21:15   #10
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Aaah..a black Alto k10, I still go weak on my knees when I spot one of these. This car probably looks the best in black. This thread reminds me of the days a year back when I was out in the market with my mind fixed to get a black Alto k10.
The spoilsport was the low height and space in the front seat of the car(me 6 ft) and my head was touching its roof, my feet touching the dash, elbow brushing the passenger seat and so finally with a heavy heart gave up the idea of owning the black siren and went for the original k10, the A-star.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjeevskartha View Post
*On high speeds, she feels very flighty. The super light steering is one of the villains here , the other being her stock tyres. High speed driving is a nervous affair in the K10 in its stock form. Better tyres might help, am not sure of this though. Don’t get me wrong , you can go 100-110 without much issue, beyond that is the problem I am talking about. Funny thing is that – Your heart wants to push further ahead ‘coz of her enthusiasm while your brain tells you to slow down because of her flightiness.
The car does feel a bit insecure above 80(maybe its me) and it doesn't really inspire confidence to go beyond that. The engine has lots of power left in its tap but the chassis seems to be the culprit here. The light weight is also a cause for the flighty nature at high speeds, but anyway the K10 is always the first car to zoom out when the signal turns from red to green.(read : amazing pickup)

BTW just a few queries: how much did the engine oil change cost you in your third service? Which oil did you change to? Total damage to the pocket for the 3 rd service?
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Old 8th June 2012, 06:52   #11
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

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BTW just a few queries: how much did the engine oil change cost you in your third service? Which oil did you change to? Total damage to the pocket for the 3 rd service?
Third service cost me Rs 2256. Split up given below

Parts
Filter Asst,Oil- 79.02
MGO 5W30-759.6 (2.9L)

Labour
Engine system flushing- 675
Engine oil additive- 500

VAT -106.5
Service Tax etc-121
Total Rs 2,256/-
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Old 8th June 2012, 09:29   #12
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

IMHO try avoiding stuff like oil additivies as they do no good to the car and are more just marketing gimmicks.Instead you could opt for synthetic oil etc instead of additives.MASS is known to pester customers to add stuff like additves etc.

I remember MASS adding stuff carb clean etc to my oldie 800 when i had given it for service at MASS way back in 97-98. My car is now 15 years old and has run fine without adding any such additives except for once when MASS pestered me to add same.

Last edited by sumeethaldankar : 8th June 2012 at 09:36.
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Old 8th June 2012, 10:00   #13
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

@sanjeevskartha,

One question for you. Why did you choose the LXi over VXi? Any specific reasons?

The extras in VXi are: 1. Power Windows, 2. Central Locking, 3. Tachometer, 4. Front Fog lights.

Out of all the extras, the things important to me are Power windows and Central Locking.

So do you believe going for these separately as after-market fittings will be less costlier than the price difference of INR 13,500?

Thanks in advance for sharing your viewpoints. :-)
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Old 8th June 2012, 14:24   #14
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Please elaborate your findings about the gear shift. How would you describe it. I've a 2005 Alto LX & the gear shift is not as good as I would want it to be. I'd a Zen VX 1999 in which I loved the shifts.
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Old 8th June 2012, 18:59   #15
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Default Re: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 LXi - One year Ownership experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
IMHO try avoiding stuff like oil additivies as they do no good to the car and are more just marketing gimmicks.Instead you could opt for synthetic oil etc instead of additives.MASS is known to pester customers to add stuff like additves etc.
Thanks for the info. Will take care going forward.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SupratikDebnath View Post
@sanjeevskartha,

One question for you. Why did you choose the LXi over VXi? Any specific reasons?

The extras in VXi are: 1. Power Windows, 2. Central Locking, 3. Tachometer, 4. Front Fog lights.

Out of all the extras, the things important to me are Power windows and Central Locking.

So do you believe going for these separately as after-market fittings will be less costlier than the price difference of INR 13,500?

Thanks in advance for sharing your viewpoints. :-)
Premium of VX over LX : Front-Power Windows+Fog lamps+Tach+Central Locking : 13500
All four power windows would probably cost me another 5000Rs extra
Hence a total of 18500.


Checked the aftermarket rates-
All four power windows : 9500
Remote locking : 4000
Fog lamps : Around 700
Tacho was not really on my 'must-have' list.

Total 14200

That's a savings of 4300Rs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf_lone View Post
Please elaborate your findings about the gear shift. How would you describe it. I've a 2005 Alto LX & the gear shift is not as good as I would want it to be. I'd a Zen VX 1999 in which I loved the shifts.
Was not impressed by the gearshift initially, it felt a bit detatched as compared to other cars. After one year and 14000km, guess I got used to it. Now I am very comfortable with it. Having said that , I do face some problems while shifting to reverse once in a while.
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