Report: P.Tharyan, Photography: Mohd Nasir
In the 1980s
an English pop singer Paul Young stole the hearts of millions with his song “Love
of the Common People”. The lyrics of the
song went something like this “….'cause she's living in the love of the common
people, smile's from the heart of a family man. Daddy's gonna buy you a dream
to cling to, Mama's gonna love you just as much as she can and she can…” That’s Maruti Suzuki, for the millions of
Indians. It’s the love of the common people in India and it’s a dream millions in
India cling to. The dream has just got a bit more hip with the company offering
you an automatic in the small car. An Automatic Gear Shift (AGS) or an
automated manual transmission is now driving the new Maruti Suzuki Alto K10.The car also
comes with a 5 speed gear box, all this mated to a 998cc engine. There is also
a CNG variant.
the small car comes with a manual transmission (in the Lx, Lxi, Vxi and Vxi
(Optional)), an Automated Gear Shift (offered in the Vxi variant) and CNG
(offered in the Lxi). The AGS is the same one that bought fame and success to
the Celerio. Even Maruti Suzuki was surprised when the demand for automatic
Celerio surged, the moment it went up for sale. They really could not cope with
the rush. The Alto is anyway a success story for Maruti Suzuki, outselling all
other cars in any segment, More than 2.6 million Altos (both with 800cc as well
as 1000cc engines) are the love of the common people and the K10 powered Alto
launched in 2010 accounts for a sizeable 40pc of the total Alto sales.
Motown India got to drive the new Alto K10 for a short distance from Chandigarh in
Haryana to Timber Trail in Panchkula and back, a total distance of barely 60
odd kilometres. But before I recount the drive experience, let me explain to
you what the different variants of the new Alto K10 have to offer to the
consumers. It’s only the top end Vxi (Optional) that has a Driver airbag,
keyless entry and body-side moulding as standard fitments. But what the Vxi and
the Vxi (Optional) have in common as standard features are a tachometer, B-pillar
black out tape, full wheel covers and silver accent. The silver accent is there
on the side louvres, steering wheel, inside door handle, console garnish ring,
panel instrument cluster garnish and door trim arm rest. All the variants share as standard features
things like high mounted stop light, immobilizer, fuel lid opener, rear console
bottle holders, instrument panel tray, etc. Barring the Lx variant, all others
have features like chrome front grill and body-coloured bumper.
you set your eyes on the new Alto K10, you do not realise that the car has become
a wee bit smaller in length yet has become a lot more spacious inside plus it has
a better head room. Seating for the rear passenger too has got better with
smart interior designing of the front seats! The styling has definitely
improved and has become lot more contemporary, especially with the smart front
chrome grill. Engineers at Maruti Suzuki have worked hard on the interior as
well as exterior of the car to make it a lot classier. Even the engine
compartment has undergone changes with a lot of light weighting thrown in.
While the front grill makes the car look chic, the newly designed tail light
makes the rear look smart. The sweptback headlamps add to the richness of the
front looks. It’s a new tail light cluster that has been fitted in the new Alto
K10. Sideways, subtle changes have been made to it with sharp aerodynamic lines
making it look leaner and agile.
5 speed manual / Automatic Gear Shift (AGS)
67bhp@6000rpm (57bhp@6000rpm for CNG)
90Nm@3500rpm (78Nm@3500rpm for CNG)
24.07 kmpl (petrol/ AGS)/ 32.26 km/kg (CNG)
Brakes Front/ Rear
McPherson strut/3-link rigid axle suspension
740kg to 755kg / 835kg for CNG
Ventilated Disc / Drum
and you are treated to a fresh looking dashboard that makes the car seem much wider.
The car now comes with a new piano finish stereo. The dual tone interior adds
to the smart ambience. Like I mentioned, the speedometer now comes with an RPM
meter and the silver accents all around simply enhances the over interior
looks. There are a lot of small storage spaces, including dual cup holders,
bottle holder and storage box. The new
Alto K10 now comes with front power windows and the buttons are, on popular demand,
fixed near the gear lever area, between the front two seats. I simply detest that
positioning. Are not power windows supposed to be near the window? There are other conveniences like internally
adjustable ORVMs, rear console bottle holder etc.
An automatic (AGS)
in the K10 has simply added to the overall appeal of the car. Automatics are no
more feared by Indians; rather it has become extremely popular among the expensive
cars. Now it’s time for the common man to enjoy the benefits of an automatic
gear shift. The moment you step on the accelerator the car gets into effortless
action. This AGS also has a manual option, in case one wants to move out of the
automatic mode and shift to manual mode. It’s bound to excite a lot of people
in the country who have never ever dreamt of driving an automatic one day. The
Alto continues to impress you with its agility and road handling. It’s a small
car that not only drives fast and smartly but handles well in congested
traffic. The Alto has proved that it’s Prince Charming, having sold so many
cars in India. With this new Alto K10, it will simply prove that the common man
has no love lost for their Prince Charming!
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