Passenger vehicle market leader Maruti Suzuki India has upgraded one of its popular entry level cars, the Alto K10 with a bunch of safety features.
The carmaker says that the Alto KlO is now compliant with AIS-145 safety norms. As part of these additional safety features, the vehicle is now equipped with ABS with EBD, driver airbag, reverse parking sensor, speed alert system and driver, co-driver seatbelt reminder.
What does AIS-145 standard compliance mean?
The amended AIS-145 standard carried out by the government to improve safety in the 'M' and 'N' category of vehicles makes it mandatory for vehicles falling in the category to be equipped with speed alert system to alert driver in case of over speeds, driver and co-driver safety belt reminder, manual override for central locking system and driver airbag. The requirements of vehicle reverse parking alert system of this standard shall be applicable to all M and N category vehicles, as defined in AIS-053.
However, all these safety features will result in a price increase across all variants of the Alto K10 model. Depending on features introduced across variants, the ex-showroom price in Delhi and NCR region will vary from Rs 365,843 to Rs 444,777 and for the rest of the country, the price variation will be in the range of Rs 375,843 to Rs 454,777, effective from April 11, 2019.
The price increment works out to be between Rs 16,000 to Rs 27,000 at the ex-showroom level, considering the Alto used to retail at Rs 338,897 for the base LX variant in Delhi, and for Rs 428,262 for the top-end VXi AGS (O) variant, which already offered a driver airbag as optional.
The first of the new safety norms that come into force in India this year relate to ABS or the Anti-Lock Braking System. Starting April 1, 2019, all four-wheelers manufactured in the country have to be compulsorily fitted with ABS.
The directive for fitment of ABS will be followed by a bunch of other mandatory vehicular safety measures such as a driver-side airbag, a speed warning system, a seatbelt reminder for driver and co-driver and rear parking sensors that'll have to be standard on all cars from July 1, 2019.
The Alto's key rivals, the Renault Kwid and the Datsun Redigo recently received safety updates to make them compliant with the norms. However, while the Kwid was equipped with the same safety kit as the Alto K10 as standard across all variants, which resulted in a price increase of Rs 10,000-15,000 depending on variant, the Redigo was only updated with an ABS (price hike of Rs 3,000-4,000 according to variant).
Maruti's decision to upgrade the Alto could be seen as a stop-gap arrangement before the stringent crash test norms come into place for all models from October 1, 2019. The carmaker is expected to launch the all-new Alto, which will be capable of meet those norms, around that time. The requirements for full-frontal impact, offset-frontal impact and lateral/side impact have already been brought into force on new cars launched after October 1, 2017.