The new Maruti Alto 800 is an improvement of the old Maruti Alto, and will be sold alongside its sportier sibling the Alto K10. How does the new Maruti Alto 800 compare with the Alto K10? How do these cars appeal to you as a buyer?
CarToq compares the Alto K10 with the new Maruti Alto 800, to bring out how these two cars are different and why Maruti thinks it can sell both alongside.
Looks, fit and finish
The new Alto 800 is an evolution of the design of the older Alto, where Maruti has tried to free up more space (more headroom and legroom), by increasing the height of the car slightly, as well as the width. The front end of the new Alto gets a modern rounded look with a hexagonal grille and swept back petal headlamps. The sides also get smaller windows and a rising window line. The Maruti Alto K10 on the other hand is based on the old Alto design. The Alto K10 is longer, because it has a longer bonnet to accommodate the chunky K-Series 1-litre engine. Cabin space is equal to the older Alto.
The new 800 has improved plastic bits and feels slightly better than the K10 in fit and finish, although both cars are quite good. However, in terms of looks, the K10 looks sportier.
On the interiors, the K10 borrows its gadgetry from the Wagon-R (the instrument panel), while the rest of the interiors are similar to the older Alto. The new Alto 800 therefore has slightly better interiors than the K10. Also read: Alto 800 road test and review
Comfort and features
The Alto K10 VXI and the new Maruti Alto 800 are almost similar when it comes to features. The Alto 800 and K10 both have two power windows. What the K10 has extra over the Alto is a tachometer as well as central locking and front fog lamps. The Alto 800 on the other hand provides for some safety with the provision of a driver’s airbag.
In terms of seating comfort, there is more shoulder room and headroom in the Alto 800 compared to the K10. The K10 has comfortable front seats, and a low-slung driving position, which makes it sporty, while the Alto 800 has a more upright stance. Seating space in the rear is better in the Alto 800. Luggage space in both is similar.
On features alone, the K10 has a little extra, but when you take comfort into account the Alto 800 provides better passenger comfort.
Performance and handling
The Alto K10 is powered by a three-cylinder 1-litre engine that puts out 67 bhp of power and 90 Nm of torque, with a five-speed manual transmission. Being a light car, the Alto K10 has an excellent power-to-weight ratio, making it one of the peppiest cars in its class, and beating some more expensive cars in terms of acceleration. The new Alto 800 on the other hand is powered by the older 796 cc three-cylinder petrol engine that has been tuned up to put out 47.5 bhp of power and 69 Nm of torque. It gets a five speed manual transmission with an improved gear shift.
In terms of fuel economy, the old Alto was always one of the best and the new Alto 800 too builds on that with a claimed fuel economy of 22.74 kmpl. In comparison, the Alto K10 gives a little over 20 kmpl. Both cars are very fuel efficient, but if this is a main criteria – then the Alto 800 would be the one to pick in the long run. Also read: New Alto 800 vs old Alto 800
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What we think
The Alto 800 LXI is priced about Rs. 30,000 cheaper than the Maruti Alto K10. The Alto 800 offers more space and seating comfort – and would be the practical choice for any buyer looking for an inexpensive, entry-level car for the city. However, if you are a bit of an enthusiast and want a car that offers a great driving experience as well, and really don’t need rear-seat space – then the Alto K10 would be a better choice.
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