Planning to buy your first car with those hard-earned savings? We bet you have got your eyes on the ubiquitous Maruti Suzuki Alto. This Maruti, on its part, has earned the reputation of being a rock solid car with sound mechanicals as well as stellar fuel efficiency. Maruti, to maximise sales, has got two versions of the Alto on sale - the 800 and the K10. The latter is the more powerful version and has slightly more space. Usually the choice is clear for a customer. If he is on a tight budget, the Alto 800 makes more sense given its price which starts from Rs 2.93 lakh and goes all the way to Rs 4.14 lakh, ex-Delhi. On the other hand, the K10 prices start from Rs 3.65 lakh to Rs 4.44 lakh. That's a significant difference.
If the deal is on buying your first entry-level CNG car, then the price difference isn't more. The Maruti Alto 800 CNG starts at Rs 4.14 lakh while the K10 is for Rs 4.44 lakh. In this article, we let you know which is the better car of the two and the one you should put your money on.
Maruti Alto K10 CNG
The Maruti Alto K10 CNG has been around for quite sometime. It gets a 60hp/78Nm, CNG-fied BS-IV engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. These power and torque numbers are lower by the pure petrol trim by 9hp/12Nm. The claimed mileage of the Alto K10 is 32.26km/kg. The CNG tank holds six kilograms of gas or equivalent of 60 litres of water.
In terms of features, the Alto K10 CNG gets a floor console with two cup holders and internally adjustable ORVM. The CNG version is available only in the LXI trim that gets in a power steering as well as air conditioner along with front power windows. This is the version priced at Rs 4.44 lakh.
With the recent safety regulations for new cars, the Alto K10 got its fair share of a driver airbag, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors as well as a speed alert warning. However, the Alto K10 still hasn't been updated for the upcoming BNVSAP regulations that will be applicable from October 2019. From what we hear, Maruti might just discontinue this model and only field the Alto 800.
Maruti Alto 800 CNG
The Maruti Alto 800 CNG was recently given a facelift. Along with it, it also got a BS-VI compliant engine. You read that right. It is the smallest engine currently in Maruti's as well as in other automakers portfolio to be compliant with the new norms. This 800cc motor produces 41PS of power and 60Nm of torque in CNG form while pure petrol mode increases power/torque by 7PS/9Nm. One can order this motor with a 5-speed manual. BS-VI implementation though has had a slight impact on the fuel efficiency. The Alto 800's claimed mileage on CNG is 32.99km/kg, still a bit higher than the K10. The CNG tank can hold 6kg of gas or a water equivalent of 60 litres.
This facelifted Alto 800 also gets the required safety features, however it has a trump card up its alley. The new Alto 800 also gets an optional passenger airbag for an additional Rs 4,000. It also complies with the BNVSAP norms. This means it has redesigned front as well as rear bumpers and a new bonnet line to accommodate for pedestrian protection. How it will fare in the crash tests is a different ball game altogether. Maruti offers the Alto 800 in two trims - LXI and LXI(O). The features on both are the same and they are Rs 4,000 apart. The latter, as we discussed earlier, gets you a passenger airbag too.
Maruti also used the opportunity to spruce the interior of the car. Dual tone interior, vinyl upholstery, silver accents on the steering wheel, AC louvers as well as on the door handles and front as well as rear bottle holders are available. There is also provision for a music system but it is part of the optional accessory.
Usually, decisions are made on price. Even this one isn't different. While with the K10, you may get a slightly bigger and more mature looking car, the fact is it is outdated. The newer Alto 800 has higher safety promise riding on it and is a clear winner. It complies with all future proposed environmental and safety norms too. It also pays that it is Rs 40,000 more affordable and also will secure your co-passenger too. The Alto 800 CNG is our pick if you were confused between the CNG trims of both the entry-level Marutis.