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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 AGS Review: The Best Value For Money AMT in India?

Manav Sinha | News18.com @manav_sinha

First published: October 6, 2016, 6:29 PM IST | Updated: October 7, 2016
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Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 AGS Review: The Best Value For Money AMT in India?
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Budget hatchbacks are one of the most popular segments in the Indian market and when it comes to dominating it, no one does it like Maruti Suzuki. It started with the Maruti 800 and its legacy was taken forward by the Alto 800, which went on to become one of the largest selling cars in the world. The next big attraction for Indian buyers nowadays, is whether a car has Automated-Manual Transmission or AMT.

Maruti Suzuki offers AMT in the Alto K10, the litre-class sibling of the Alto 800. Could this combination make it one of the best value for money cars in the country? We find out.

The Looks

If you look at the individual elements of the car, then you’ll notice that it has received ample attention to detail. The swept-back headlamps, large fog lamp housings, a touch of chrome to the front grille, jewel-finish tail lamps and a sharp shoulder line running across the length of the car, all of it look great.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 from the side. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Put it all together and the car, for some reason, could have looked better than what it does. Don’t get us wrong, though the car’s design is good but it doesn’t make it stand out of the crowd.

The Alto K10 looks compact in dimensions too, making it ideal for driving through tight spots in the city and it has a decent ground clearance of 160 mm.

Powering the car is a 998 cc K-Next engine that delivers 68 horsepower at 6000 RPM and 90 Nm torque at 3500 RPM. Maruti Suzuki claims a mileage of 24.07 km/l for both manual and AMT variant. We drove the latter in some of the most tightly packed city traffic with the AC running at all times and the car’s efficiency did not go below 18 km/l. In terms of performance, the car feels peppy and is all that you would need for daily commuting.

What’s Cool?

Once you hop inside the car, you’ll be welcomed by top-notch interiors which might make you think that you are inside a premium hatchback.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 interiors. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The plastic quality is great and the finishing is definitely impressive. The design of the interior is great too, thanks to the Piano finish stereo that supports CD, USB, AUX and of course, Radio. Maruti Suzuki has really left no stone unturned when it came to the interiors – internally adjustable ORVMs, a dual-tone colour scheme with silver accents on the three-spoke steering wheel, AC vents and the instrument console (which has a tachometer) make the car feel premium.

There’s ample space for seating too, with enough legroom and headroom for passengers. Rear passenger won’t really be squeezed in either as the front seats are scooped in from the back, allowing for better knee room.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10We tested the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 with AGS. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The star of the car, though, has to be the 5-speed AMT gearbox, or as Maruti Suzuki calls it – ‘Auto Gear Shift’, or AGS in short.

What it does is that it has an actuator mounted on top of the conventional manual gearbox which, which, with the help of electronic sensors, does the gear shifts for you and spares the trouble of moderating the clutch pedal every day. But isn’t that what fully-automatic gearbox do? Yes, but that is where the advantage of AMT comes in as they also offer you the option of switching to ‘Manual’. Wherein, it is the driver who decides which gear the car should be in and can make upshifts and downshifts based on driver input. Even in that scenario, clutch action is taken care of by the Actuator and the sensors.

In real-world driving scenarios, the gearbox almost always gets the gear shifts right, making it a hassle-free driving experience.

Interestingly, the AGS only adds 5 kilos to the weight of the car and hence, keeps the mileage figures identical to what the Manual transmission K10 would deliver.

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 with AGSMaruti Suzuki Alto K10 with AGS. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

What’s Not So Cool?

Even though the cabin is great in terms of build quality and design, it does not offer the amount of space like the other offerings in the segment. We did wish that it had a bit more shoulder room.

The Manual Transmission’s gear lever is smaller in size that the one in the AGS variant, and as a result, the AGS variant misses out on some storage space below the centre console. It’s enough for keeping your phone and wallet, though. Maruti Suzuki has cleverly placed a bottle holder behind the handbrake lever which can hold bottles of up to 1-litre capacity easily.

MAruti-Suzuki-Alto-K10-HeadlightsMaruti Suzuki Alto K10 gets swept back headlamps. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

With competitors in the same segment offering features like a touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity and telephony would have been just perfect.

The ride quality, which is otherwise great, would have been a lot better if the car had bigger tyres than the 13-inch 155 mm-wide tyres it comes equipped with.

Competitors

The Alto K10 AGS’ biggest competitor has to be its elder sibling – the Celerio AMT, but keep in mind that it is more expensive than the K10. Other than that, there is no real competitor to the car as it is one of the most affordable AMT cars in the market.

Verdict

The Maruti Alto K10 is a great value for money car and the fact that Maruti Suzuki is offering the AGS gearbox with it, makes it a winner in our books.

Priced at Rs 4.05 lakh (ex-showroom , Delhi) for the variant with AGS, it has the combination of a transmission which translates into a very easy driving experience and given the kind of a dealership network, after sales service and ease of availability of parts that Maruti Suzuki offers, it is definitely worth checking out.

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