Kwid vs Alto K10 Comparison

Renault Kwid vs Maruti-Suzuki Alto K10 Comparison
with a special emphasis on the Manual vs Automatic Gearbox debate.
Since the customers in this segment do not change their vehicles too often, and have a holding period of 5 to 7 years, we decided to delve deep into the matter of whether buyers should spend their hard earned cash opting for the automatic Alto or go for the feature-packed manual Kwid? An automatic will save them from of lot of stress by eliminating the pain of constant clutching/de-clutching and gear rowing, for the next decade-or-so of their life, while the Kwid's long list of features makes it look like real a gold-mine at least on paper.

Alto K10 vs Kwid Comparison Video:

Pricing & Features:
Alto K10 with the automatic transmission is available in only one variant, the VXi AMT which retails for 4.45 Lakh, On road, Delhi. Renault Kwid is not available with an Automatic gearbox as of today. Kwid's top-end RxT (O) variant retails for a sticker price of just 3.95 Lakh, which is 50,000 Rs. less than the Alto. Not only is the Kwid cheaper, but it also has way more features like Driver Airbag, Remote for Central Locking, a top-of-the-line infotainment system with Bluetooth, 7” Touch-screen and Navigation etc. These features are easily worth around 40,000 Rs. However, Alto K10’s automatic transmission alone is worth 50,000 Rs. which means at the end of the day, the Kwid is Around 40,000 Rs. cheaper to buy than the equivalent Alto K10 AMT. (Alto VXi O manual cost 4.15 Lakh, on road, Delhi)

Common Features: AC, Power Steering, Central Locking, Front Power Windows, Stereo: FM, USB, Aux + 2 Speakers

Extra Features in Alto K10: Tacho, Internally Adjustable Mirrors
Extra Features in Kwid: Airbag-1, Keyless Entry, 7” Touchscreen, Bluetooth, Navigation, Fog Lamps

Performance & Drivability (Petrol):
Alto K10's engine is certainly a shade superior to the Kwid's. The refinement is significantly better than the Kwid’s and it is also a remarkably free revving unit than the Kwid’s. Surprisingly Renault has managed to control the Kwid’s bulk like a professional weight watcher. It weighs a mere 660 kg, which is 95 kg lighter than the Alto K10. This has resulted in excellent power-to-weight ratio and therefore decent performance too, considering its tiny 800 cubic centimeters of displacement. If only, the Kwid's power delivery had been a bit more linear. It matches the Alto K10 for drivability around town but falls short in overtaking ability on the highways. Outright acceleration of the Alto K10 is also better as well as smoother than the Kwid. However, the biggest difference is the Alto K10’s ingenious automatic gearshift. It transforms the driving experience in city traffic, taking away the hassle of constant gear changes and clutch operation. Ease of teaching driving to your family members can be an added advantage as well!

Power (PS@rpm): Kwid – 54@5678, Alto K10 – 68@6000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Kwid - 72@4386, Alto K10 – 90@3500s
Kerb Weight (kg): Kwid – 660, Alto K10 – 755

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Kwid – 82, Alto K10 – 90
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Kwid – 109, Alto K10 – 111

Fuel Efficiency:
The Kwid has an ARAI certified mileage of 25.2 kmpl which is 1.1 kmpl more than Alto K10's’s fuel efficiency of 24.1 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests, the Kwid was consistently 1 kmpl more efficient than the Alto K10, both the manual as well the automatic. This means additional savings of 10,000 Rs. over the Alto K10 given usage for 60,000 km. This also means that the Kwid costs 50,000 rupees less than the Alto K10 to own and run.

Space & Comfort:
One parameter where the Kwid has comprehensively outdone the Alto K10, is in terms of the sheer expanse of space available inside its cabin. It has significantly better head-room, knee-room and shoulder room, be it in the front seat or the rear. Especially the rear seat has more than adequate room to seat three full grown adults as opposed to the Alto where seating three passengers at the rear is no less than a punishment. But that is not all; the Kwid also has one of the biggest boot in the segment, which at 300 litres feels almost twice as big as Alto K10’s 177 litre joke. Both cars have typical low-cost Japanese interiors, which don’t feel premium, but are bolted together to last a lifetime.

Ride Quality & Handling:
Kwid’s 180 mm ground clearance makes it much more suitable to Indian road conditions than the Alto K10. Both cars do have surprisingly pliant ride quality considering their tiny footprints though. Neither of the two cars is adept at cornering, but the Alto K10 has a slight advantage due to its lower CG, which is certainly not worth the immense compromise in space and comfort that having a smaller cabin has caused.

Reliability & After Sales Service:
One parameter where Renault still has a long, long way to go before it catches up with Maruti is Reliability & After Sales Service. Given that Kwid has been majorly developed in India, it has a brand new, unproven powertrain and given Renault poor track record at quality surveys like JDP in Europe, it is only fair to adopt a wait and watch policy for six months before putting your money down for the Kwid. Renault’s claim of having 19% lower maintenance cost than competitors is more of a necessity than an advantage in this case. Then there’s the problem of service availability, which Renault is never going to be able to match, with its 200 dealers compared to Maruti’s 2000.

Resale & Cost of Ownership:
Over an ownership period of 5 to 7 years the Alto K10 AMT will definitely depreciate at least 25,000 Rs. less than the Kwid. Therefore Kwid’s overall Cost of Ownership will be just 25,000 rupees less than the Alto K10 Automatic.

Verdict:
For a single person city commuter, the Alto K10 AMT is a fantastic option, considering the unparalleled convenience of the Alto K10’s automatic transmission. While as family car, the Kwid is a more practical option. It does not resemble a claustrophobic cave like the Alto and offers almost all the features that a nuclear family would possibly need. Both cars are also fantastic value-for-money compared to their competitors. But Alto K10's days are numbered. Kwid AMT is already on its way, it has proven to be fairly reliable so far and if priced similarly to the Alto, it will give new meaning to the proverb of having your cake and eating it too!

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