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Old 22nd March 2013, 09:06   #1
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Default Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Prologue:
I've owned a second hand black Hyundai Accent GVS for around 2 1/2 years now and that it was almost about to collapse towards the end. Yes it was that bad. Body rust had made the whole chassis weaker over time and even the mechanical problems were costing me close to 40K a year on parts replacements.

Yes I know I picked up a lemon but let bygones be bygones, I've learnt my lesson that 2nd hand cars no matter how good will never be a peace of mind experience all throughout their lifetime. I know there are exceptions to this theory but in general this is what stands.

Main Story:
So the decision was made that I need a cheap reliable easy to maintain and frugal car to run as my daily driver, and most importantly it has to be new. Maybe in future I'll please my heart and get myself that second machine to enjoy.

So the homework started about which car to buy. Car had to be petrol due to the budget which wasn't much, but I could afford these options: Alto K10, new Alto 800 & the Hyundai Eon.

I did TD the 3 cars. My opinions are below.
The new Alto 800 is better than the older Alto, bit more space, definitely more comfortable, but looks were definitely not to my liking and neither was the pace.
The Eon was definitely a better looking car than the Alto and was much better put together. The fit and finish for a small car was really impressive. I didn't like the driving experience, as is with almost all Hyundai's. But it still stood with a chance.
The Alto K10 surprised me with its pace. Being a small light car and having a 69 bhp engine was a revelation.

So deciding between the Eon and Alto K10 me and wifey selected the Alto K10. Reasons for picking the Alto K10 were that it was fast as I would have wanted, but at the same time, frugal, cheap to maintain, reliable and that classic look was better to our eyes than the Eon.

So I approached 2 dealers, Auto-Hi Tech and One Auto. One Auto being close to my place and new I went there first. To my surprise they wouldn't give the exchange bonus as they didn't have a True Value outlet. So went to Auto Hi-Tech. My colleague had purchased his Ritz from Auto-Hi Tech so I knew the salesguy there, Mr. Subhodip Sarkar, and he was kind to give me a much better deal than One Auto, i.e. without considering the exchange bonus.

There was a slight thought about going for the LXi but then considering the extra equipment, even if I decided to add things like power windows, left side ORVM etc. the resulting costs of those extras did not justify the difference in ex-showroom price between the LXi and the VXi. Maruti has done well to keep that difference viable for customers depending on what they want. So the VXi it was.

The deal was made, and I booked the K10 VXi in Sunlight Copper on 6th Feb, 2013 with a token amount of 5K. OTR price for the car was 4,03,500. After discounts that came down to 3,61,252. Went for SBI's loan and it was only a matter of waiting till the loan was santioned and the car was ready for delivery.

Car was ready for delivery by 14th February but we insisted on taking delivery on 17th as it was a sunday so no need to take leave from office .

Accessories received with the car as free were foot mats, mud flaps, steering wheel cover and car perfume. I opted for seat covers, spoiler and underbody anti-rust coating from as paid accessories.

So at last after 5 years of driving I get my first brand new car. Trust me, the new car feeling was just amazing. Starting with the booking process and now me driving it from just manufactured status.

Anyways, going with my previous trend of doing changes wherever required the first thing done was get Michelin XM1+ in 165/65 R13's (Stock size 155/65 R13).

Went to Indo Radial Club straight from the showroom after taking delivery. They gave 2.2K per tyre as exchange value for the OEM MRF ZV2K's. So final price for the XM1+'s were 1250 per tyre.

I did not want to change alloys as I preferred keeping the stock black rims for now.

Coming to the driving experience.

Maintaining upto 2K rpm's for the first 1000 km's was difficult. Post first service I have driven her at a decent pace and I loved it. A light footed car with a sweet engine is a delight to drive. Yes the steering isn't that good, but it is definitely better with the wider XM1+'s on.

The interior design is definitely outdated but then, I guess one cannot ask for more from a car which was developed in the 20th century.
The engine being the K10 1.0 ltr 3 cyl engine was surprisingly quiet and refined for a 3 cyl engine. That said typical of inline engines and that too a japanese low end torque is not what is appreciable. It was difficult to roll in morning office traffic in higher gears, one needs to shift down and get the revs above atleast 1500rpm
As of now it has done 1402 kms and it includes almost 170 kms of driving post engine oil change I can say that for fast overtaking one has to make sure the engine is above 2500 rpm. less than that and the progress is slow.

I cover almost 45 kms a day on an avg. during office days and most of my driving is in not so heavy traffic considering the time of the day I drive (leave at 7:15 in the morning and return around 7 p.m.) and the route is also fast roads rather than congested lanes. Plus summer isn't that crazy so far hence AC usage has been minimal (around 40%) . Considering all this I have been getting avg. 15.4 kpl for the first 877 kms. Got 13.8 for the next 350 odd kms due to hours of ICE testing and tuning with engine running on idle and AC on. These are tankful to tankful tests. I haven't taken it out on the highway yet so cannot comment.

Regarding AC I would like to add that even though it is quite capable to bring down cabin temperatures but unless you push the blower knob to either 3 or 4 it won't do it
quickly. I don't know if it is a normal trend with all cars, but my Accent and Zen were capable of chilling the cabin down at just speed 2. On top of that the blower noise at speeds 2, 3 or 4 is quite irritating. Very loud and I always reach for the knob to turn it down to speed 1.

I did notice in the first review of this car when it was launched that GTO and others noticed the gearshift to be rubbery. But honestly I didn't find it so. Maybe Maruti has improved the gearshift, but then I found it precise and one can shift fast on this box. Maybe it is just my thought, other owners can shed some light.

Coming to the ride quality. I thankfully did not keep in mind my that my Accent was a very comfortable car. Which is why I forgive it when it crashes over ruts and small bumps on the road. There is a lot of vertical movement at the rear so high speed stability is also not good. So when one has rear seat passengers one should take care not to drive it too hard on broken roads. There is plenty of body roll. I noticed it on the showroom TD car and yes after the XM1+'s have gone on it has not gone down by that much to really throw it into corners at good speed. But generally it is good enough for city travel and spirited runs on straight roads. Into corners one must ensure caution.

One thing I really like about this car is its front lights, as in both headlights and fog lamps. I didn't find it necessary to upgrade to Osram Nightbreakers as I find it good enough for city traffic. Plus the fogs are quite powerful. Coming from the Accent on which the fogs were like DRL's. No point switching them on.

A note about the first service.
Maruti's recommended engine oil change interval is 10K km's. I find it hard to believe that a brand new engine doesn't need its oil to be changed after 1K km's even though it may have metal slivers and other particles in it.
Therefore I went for the scheduled first service today with a 3.5L jar of Castrol Magnatec in my hand and duly asked the service advisor to get the engine oil changed. Odo on the clock prior to first service was 1228 km's.

To give a summarized idea of how the car is:

What I Like:
1. Very peppy engine. Revs easily and is super smooth for a 3 cyl. engine.
2. Awesome mileage.
3. Decent space for a family of two. And I guess kids at the back won't have problems too.
4. Maintenance costs are super cheap. Rs. 89 for the oil filter.
5. Classic looks, reminds me of my old jellybean carb zen.

What I Don't Like:
1. Plastics are definitely cheap. Eon is definitely a benchmark in this class.
2. Ride quality is choppy at even 60kph on avg. Indian roads.
3. Would have liked power windows on the rear doors and a day/night IRVM, helps with the headlight glare from SUV's from behind.
4. Lifeless steering is horrible. But improves with wider better rubber.

I would also like to mention that Tesoro got her singing vocal's installed, as in ICE. I've made a separate thread for that. LINK

Yes I have made the right decision to buy the car because Tesoro or treasure in Italian is what I'm going to enjoy for quite sometime now. And it is as others put it, a pocket rocket.
Attached Thumbnails
Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi-dsc_0514.jpg  

Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi-dsc_0516.jpg  

Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi-dsc_0517.jpg  

Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi-dsc_0518.jpg  

Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi-dsc_0520.jpg  


Last edited by Rehaan : 22nd March 2013 at 15:05.
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Old 29th March 2013, 13:27   #2
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Congratulations on your new purchase. We have discussed this several times in the past, that the peace-of-mind you get with a new car purchase is truly unmatched. Plus, it grows old with you, and the ownership experience becomes more rewarding as you are aware of every nitty-gritty that has grown wrong and you have fixed.

The engine on this baby is truly a gem. I have driven all the altos across all variants. While the short-lived Alto Vxi (with the 1.1 ltr engine) came close to powerful, no other Alto matches this one's delivery and refinement. Crazy mileage too.

All Altos use basic suspension componentry. The ride and handling will only deteriorate as the car grows older.

When is the baby getting its first taste of highway? That engine really deserves to clear its throat and sing.

And a word of advice. Close friends (especially like minded folks) do mind very much if you don't allow them to TD your car. Benevolence is a 2 way street.
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Old 29th March 2013, 14:16   #3
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Congrats on acquiring the pocket rocket. Really like this color, and the spoiler looks good.
I was going through your ICE thread a few days back, as I am planning for a mid life refresh for my car.
Do keep us updated on the journeys of Tesoro.
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Old 29th March 2013, 18:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
When is the baby getting its first taste of highway? That engine really deserves to clear its throat and sing.

And a word of advice. Close friends (especially like minded folks) do mind very much if you don't allow them to TD your car. Benevolence is a 2 way street.
Thanks for the wishes.

Yes it will get its taste of the highway soon. Will keep you posted.

TD is for the next time you come down to Kolkata.

@Blackasta.
Do let me know when you are ready to go the ICE route.
Also it's first detail is due in sometime. Just waiting for a day off as weekends are busy doing details for others.
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Old 29th March 2013, 22:05   #5
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Hello NOS Power. Let me congratulate you on your pocket rocket. It is fuel efficient and stonking performance for its segment. Will definitely serve you for a long time as well as will be low on consuming your hard earned into the maintenance. Do post the happenings as and when they happen.
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Old 30th March 2013, 10:29   #6
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

NOS Power, How much does the spoiler part and fitment cost come down to?
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Old 30th March 2013, 11:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvijay View Post
NOS Power, How much does the spoiler part and fitment cost come down to?
It costs 3.5k including installation. Got it from the showroom itself.
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Old 30th March 2013, 20:44   #8
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Congrats on the pocket rocket! Had driven a friend's K10 recently and was decently impressed for the package at the price. One thing though I felt sticking like a sore-thumb was the low end grunt. Had to really revv the engine to keep it moving in the traffic. Am I the ONLY one who feels so?

Wish you miles of happy & safe motoring! This probably is the cheapest trouble free option one can lay their hands on!
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Old 30th March 2013, 20:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Congrats on the pocket rocket! Had driven a friend's K10 recently and was decently impressed for the package at the price. One thing though I felt sticking like a sore-thumb was the low end grunt. Had to really revv the engine to keep it moving in the traffic. Am I the ONLY one who feels so?

Wish you miles of happy & safe motoring! This probably is the cheapest trouble free option one can lay their hands on!
Thanks for the wishes. You are not alone at feeling the lack of low end grunt. One has to keep the engine above 1500 rpm for decent city driving pace and above 2000 rpm for overtaking.
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Old 31st March 2013, 12:49   #10
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Congratulations on your acquisition !!
Alto K10 is simply the best budget car available in the Indian car market !!
The spoiler looks wonderful on the car and pics show that paint quality is also fine !!
Would love some interior pis to see the seat-covers and the HU !!

Dive Safe,
Cheers,
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Old 5th April 2013, 14:15   #11
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Heartiest congratulations NOSPower on the K10! Thoroughly fun-to-drive hatch. Wish you great ownership experience, which is standard with Maruti vehicles. The spoiler looks elegant but 3.5k is too much. You should have got a much meaner and bigger one at around 2-2.5k at aftermarket shops.
Quote:
I've learnt my lesson that 2nd hand cars no matter how good will never be a peace of mind experience all throughout their lifetime.
+1. I agree.
Any upgrades planned (Alloys, Tyres, FFE, etc)?
My advice: Get the Door handles and Side beadings painted to body colour. Also get the B pillars wrapped in black or Carbon Fiber vinyl. Get these done at aftermarket, quite cheap and worth very penny.
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Old 15th May 2013, 20:50   #12
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Default Re: Story of Tesoro, my Maruti Alto K10 VXi

Congrats on your new purchase man.

I am from Kolkata and i used to drive an Esteem bought and maintained by Auto-Hitech.I would suggest you to be a little careful while dealing with the service adivsors there as they are just bent upon inflating your bill.They totally ruined my esteem by not paying attention to the actual issues and just happily replacing the costly parts.

I currently stay in Bangalore and i got an Alto K10 in DEC 2010 after TDing EON and after having driven the Esteem nothing satisfied me like the K10 in the price range i was scouting for.
Man did i smile ear to ear during the K10 TD.

From my experience i can say that the performance is mind blowing and if i may exaggerate close to that of an Esteem even though it tops out at 140.

I have scared the hell out of bullying Accents and Lancers with my pocket rocket and when i zip past them its a pleasure to watch that look in their eyes.

What i dont like about the car is the horrible suspension setup, it scared the daylights out of me when i tried to take a tight curve at 100 (old esteem habbits die hard ) and i could feel that the left set of wheels were actually off the ground.Tooo much body roll.I think you have already got it countered to some bit with the tyre upgrade.BTW Indo Radial Club is a really nice place to gets rubber for your car.

The rear end of the car bounces a lot as there is practically no weight there.

The gear shift becomes a little inaccurate with time but then again it depends on how you have been shifting over time.I prefer quick shifting to get optimal economy so over the period my gear shifts have become a little rusty i may say and i might get a slotting problem once in a blue moon but its way better than what cars in this segment have to offer.

The OEM headlight bulbs are little weak for highway driving so i would advice to get them upgraded incase you are planning for a highway night drive.

To sum it up if you want a car in this price range that will draw a smile on your face just by the way it drives , there is no alternative to the K10.Leave the interiors, the leg room, the bad suspension.
Just look at your speedo and tacho (the fuel gauge if you want a bonus) and speed shift and this baby will take you way ahead of the crowd.Really nice city car its size and peppy performance makes it the best city run about for a congested city with occasional long stretches where she can spread her wings.
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