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Old 20th January 2011, 10:02   #1
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Default Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

Hi guys,

We just took our 2-month old Alto K10 from Bangalore to Kolkata and back, a total trip of 5800 km. Taking the Alto was a last-minute decision because the Bolero's gearbox started giving some issues the previous night. Got a roof rack, sunfilm, and a basic stereo fitted into the Alto and started off the next morning (December 24). Although we were apprehensive about taking a small car to Calcutta, we took heart from akroy's drive in 2006 and thought we should be able to make it without much ado.

The K10 engine is a revelation as I had already mentioned and even with three of us and luggage at the back and on the top, it didn't feel sluggish at all. We managed to keep to a steady 120 kph at 3500 rpm on good roads. If you are driving solo without any luggage, the steering starts vibrating from 90 kph, but with load, the vibration started only at 110 kph. However, it comes at around the 3200 rpm band and again vanishes after 3500 rpm as you cross the 120 kph mark.

The first day we could do only Vijaywada, but the next day we managed about 816 km all the way to Bhubaneswar. The car showed its true colors on the Andhra part of the GQ...it can continually race. For quick overtaking at high speeds, you can downshift to the third gear and push it up to 100 kph without a sweat. The manual says the max speed at third gear shouldn't exceed 119 kph. However, on long stretches, even accelerating from 80 to 120 in fifth gear is easy (just a tad longer).

The seats must have good lumbar support because even after 2.5 days of continuous driving (2000 km to Kolkata), we didn't have any backache. The ingress and egress are difficult for tall people, but I am only 5'7" so it didn't make any difference to me.

From Kolkata we went inside rural Bengal, sometimes on GQ and national highways, sometimes on rural highways (read state highways of West Bengal). We went to Santiniketan, Durgapur, and Sainthia during our stay there and I realized the virtue of having a short wheelbased car on such roads. We often had to give way to an oncoming truck by getting off the road. I always winced at the possibility of scraping the belly of the car, but it never happened.

On the 10th of Jan, we started back from Durgapur to Bangalore (2200 km) and stopped over at various beaches on the way. First day was Bhubaneswar again (600 km), but from day 2, we started doing the beaches. Day 2 was only 180 km and we reached Gopalpur-on-sea by noon. We had a lovely stay there at Hotel Sea Pearl (with a private staircase leading to the beach) and on days 3 and 4 we stopped over at Rushi Konda beach in Vizag. I forgot to mention that we were joined by two old people on our return journey (five of us now), who did complain of the ingress and egress from the rear seat and also the lack of leg room. There is leg room at the rear, but not if you want to stretch your legs at times to help with blood circulation. We tried doing short distances mainly to ensure they don't get too inconvenienced. After Vizag, we went to Ongole, 20 km from which you have the Kothapattinam beach. It was washed away during the tsunami, and there still remain the telltale marks of the water rising. There are abandoned buildings on the beach and the fisherfolk now live in shanties made of palm leaves. It didn't seem like the AP govt has done anything for the people there. They just need to improve the 20 km road from Ongole to Kothapattinam and business will come in the form of curious travellers and tourists. The economy will thrive...you already have the natural beauty of the fabulous beach!

We came home on the sixth day (15th Jan) and the odo reading was 7777 km (we started at 2020 km). Am overall happy with the car's performance. It pulls like a rocket even with so many people on board. The gear shifting is a little tight (although am used to a Bolero), but am sure it can be fixed during the third free service at 10000 km.

Some quick facts:

total distance covered: 5800 km
service: second free service at Machino Techno in Kolkata
fuel economy: 16.79 kmpl with a/c on and driving mostly beyond the 3000 rpm mark
highest speed: 145 kmph (solo drive in the 40 km stretch between Burdwan and Panagarh, where you have a 180 degree view) at 4200 rpm
expenses: nil

P.S.: I need some help with uploading images. Right now each pic is about 2.7 MB, but the limit is 1 MB, so I will get the sizes reduced today and upload.
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Old 20th January 2011, 10:26   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

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Originally Posted by Oreen View Post
Hi guys,

We just took our 2-month old Alto K10 from Bangalore to Kolkata and back, a total trip of 5800 km.
P.S.: I need some help with uploading images. Right now each pic is about 2.7 MB, but the limit is 1 MB, so I will get the sizes reduced today and upload.
That should have been one hell of a drive ! But i guess the FE shown is quite less for a highway drive for Alto ! Did it include a lot of in-city drive as well?

For reducing the size, easiest way is to open the pics in MSPAINT and then do a "Save As" - you will realize the size reduces to KBs from MBs !
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Old 20th January 2011, 11:55   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

Hi swiftnfurious,

I kept trying to get a better FE figure, but the engine is so peppy, you always want to rev hard...am sure you can get about 19-20 kpl if you drive continuously at 80 kph in the 2500 rpm band in fifth gear... but never had the patience to try that
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Old 20th January 2011, 15:40   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

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Originally Posted by Oreen View Post
P.S.: I need some help with uploading images. Right now each pic is about 2.7 MB, but the limit is 1 MB, so I will get the sizes reduced today and upload.
You can use MS office Picture Manager's "Compress Pictures" option to reduce the size of multiple images at once.
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Old 25th January 2012, 00:07   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

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I kept trying to get a better FE figure, but the engine is so peppy, you always want to rev hard..
I can relate to that! The K10B begs to be revved hard. Mine's not even completed 2000 Km and I keep it on the boil at 3000 RPM on an average. In fact, I drove sedately (read 2500-3000 RPM) only for nearly a 1000 km and then I could not stand it any longer. The engine roar at 4000 RPM is just addictive to listen to! Every time I take a resolution to drive for economy, it just goes out the window once that tacho needle crosses 3K. I currently get an FE of around 14.5, with 40% in slow Madras city traffic with A/C on all the time + 60% on free roads with A/C 10% of the time. I rarely ever use the 4th gear within the city.

Quote:
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.am sure you can get about 19-20 kpl if you drive continuously at 80 kph in the 2500 rpm band in fifth gear... but never had the patience to try that
On a recent drive to Pondichéry on the ECR, I was reluctant to shift up to 4th even at 80 kph, then I had to remind myself that there is a 4th (and a 5th) gear and I started giving the engine some occasional breathers at 2.5-3k RPM. I did some short stretches with only the 2nd gear, while getting it up to speed. Except for the 1st, the gearing is very tall. I just wanted to keep hearing that growl, while maintaining 4-4.5k RPM, and that roaring pull is simply thrilling!

What a car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oreen View Post
P.S.: I need some help with uploading images. Right now each pic is about 2.7 MB, but the limit is 1 MB, so I will get the sizes reduced today and upload.
If you have Adobe Photoshop, you may use: [File > Save for Web & Devices...] which is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S. This in my opinion, is the most efficient way to reduce image file size for web uploads.

Cheers!

- AVI

Last edited by satanic_dude : 25th January 2012 at 00:20. Reason: Included information on image editing software.
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Old 26th January 2012, 09:39   #6
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Question Re: Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

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Originally Posted by Oreen View Post
From Kolkata we went inside rural Bengal, sometimes on GQ and national highways, sometimes on rural highways (read state highways of West Bengal). We went to Santiniketan, Durgapur, and Sainthia during our stay there and I realized the virtue of having a short wheelbased car on such roads.
Will you please let me know if you have seen the "Poush Mela" fair at Santiniketan (Bolpur) or the "Jaydev Kenduli" fair near Illambazar. I missed the later because my wife refused to visit it.

How is the condition of the road between Kolkata and Bolpur or Sainthia? Which route did you take? Was it the shortest route, via Bardhaman-Gushkara and Bhedia? Is it in OK condition?
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Old 19th July 2012, 20:29   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

Hi Rahul,

Am so sorry for having missed your post earlier. I haven't been to Poush Mela in a long time, maybe way back in the early nineties.
I recently did Kolkata to Bolpur and Sainthia again on a bike, and realized that the road via Gushkara is really nice all the way to Bolpur. However, between Bolpur and Sainthia, the road has a lot of craters.

Sorry again for having missed your post earlier.

Oreen
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Old 21st July 2012, 08:58   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore to Kolkata and back in AltoK10

Just read the travelogue and it just increased the eagerness to see the pictures. Please upload them as soon as possible. Alto K10 is really a VFM car. I too was planning to do a Bangalore-Ranchi drive this winter, maybe you can help me a bit with planning the route and trip
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