Maruti WagonR Review
One of the best selling Maruti cars in IndiaMonday, November 18, 2013
WagonR is the second largest selling car of Maruti Suzuki in India. After Alto it’s the most demanded car by the Indian hatchback buyers. It was not one of those cars which get success instantly after their launch. It was launched in India in the year 1999 and people were not very much interested in car’s styling. It was awkwardly designed as it was the tallest hatch available at that time. Initial sales records also show that people took time to accept this car. At that time Hyundai Santro was already available in Indian market which also had a tall design but people found Santro to be much more proportionate in terms of styling in comparison to WagonR. Though after few years people started to rely on WagonR and since then it has never looked back. It has gone under three up gradations including the recent one. Now the competition has increased in the hatch segment and WagonR has to take on more competitors like Hyundai i10, Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo and its all-time toughest competitor Santro Xing. Unlike the previous two up gradations this time Maruti has made big changes including the all new chassis and engine for this new generation of WagonR. With this new WagonR Maruti aims to bridge the gap between Estilo and Ritz. A-star has not been able to do so and Maruti needs an alternative to fill this place. Will this ‘Blue-Eyed Boy’ (as Maruti promotes it) be able to live up to Maruti’s as well as people’s expectation?
Undoubtedly, the car looks much mature and balanced than before. It is a step ahead by Maruti designers in terms of styling. New WagonR has all new chassis which makes the car longer than before and it’s quite evident when seen from either side. Face of the car has got some major changes. Gone is the tiny bonnet which gets replaced by a longer, wider bonnet which makes it more look like any other hatch. WagonR has always managed to look longer than its actual length and it continues with this new generation. Along with this new bonnet; car has been given new set of big headlights with a blue pigment in them. The new car also gets a big four layered radiator grille with a chrome strip on the top of it with a big Suzuki logo in the center. Front bumper is also revised with new round shaped fog lights and a massive and stretched air dam which eats up most of the space in the bumper. The side profile of this car seems to be a stretched version of the previous WagonR.
The doors have become taller and wider than before. Rear quarter glass in C-pillar is gone but it’s very similar to its earlier version. WagonR was the first hatch in India which sported roof rails and the new sliver finished roof rails just got better than before. Other welcome changes include 14 inch wheels in the top model with full wheel covers which enhance the side stance of this vehicle with all new and bigger wheel arches. Top model also features body colored big outside mirrors and door handles. The rear of the car has also given special treatment as it gets rid of the image of a Van and looks much like a conventional hatch. The rear windshield has defogger with washer and sporty wiper with high mounted brake light without a spoiler. The car has new boot gate with bigger, crystal clear Tail lamps. There is a big chrome plate just above the number plate featuring WagonR on it. The rear bumper is fitted with low reflective light and edgy lines over it. All over appearance of this car has improved but it’s not perfect.
The car is completely new from inside. It’s for the first time that WagonR looks sophisticated from inside. Every single thing looks new inside and the car looks much more premium. The car has dual tone interiors with all new 3-d upholstery. It has silver finishing on door handles and door trims with fabric inserts in them. It also sports a new three-spoke steering wheel and round shaped gear knob with some silver finishing on top. The plastic material and buttons used feels much premium than before. There is all new instrument clusters with a tachometer in the top model. It’s very nicely designed and it’s easily readable. It has a digital fuel gauge along with dual trip meter. The grey effect inside looks very nice but when you compare its interiors with Beat or i10; it’s far behind.
Comfort and Convenience
When it comes to front and rear headroom and leg room, this car is the most comfortable car in its segment. It’s unbeatable when it’s about the space inside. It’s very spacious with very comfortable new seats. These seats have front and rear stylish and adjustable headrests. New seats offer ample amount of under thigh support specially the front seats. This car is perfect for the tall drivers and passengers and it has always been a USP of this car. Rear knee room is better than its competitors and even cars like Swift and Volkswagen Polo.
Space for passengers is the biggest advantage of this car. Had it been wider, this car would have been a perfect hatchback for a comfortable seating of five people. To make your rides convenient, the car comes with a powerful AC and heater. Its power steering can be tilted and allows you to get the right position to drive it. The car has first in class electrically adjustable outside mirrors. The top model comes with all power windows and central locking as it has keyless entry. Other features include reclining and sliding front seats and driver seat belt warning lamp.
Dashboard and Storage
There is a new vertical shaped dashboard with a center console. The dark color and texture of this dashboard is soothing and looks better than what you get in Alto and A-star. It has a tiny glove box and integrated push type cup holders on both sides. There are round and vertical shaped AC vents on it with silver surrounds. The center console is V shaped and looks really good with some silver accents. Unlike earlier, this new dash has less storage options. It features a unique seat tray under the front passenger seat which has good amount of space. There is a storage space on the driver side with door pockets with reduced size than before. For more storage there is a rear parcel tray with foldable rear seats and back pocket on front seats. The boot capacity has shrunk in order to give better legroom which further reduces when it gets fitted with a CNG cylinder (Optional).
A music system was very much needed in WagonR and this time it gets it. The top model of WagonR has an integrated audio system nicely fitted in the center console. It’s a radio, CD player with four powerful speakers and USB port. These speakers give you a surround sound effect which is very cheerful. It also has a 12v accessory socket.
Engine and Gearbox
Maruti has made big changes in this department. The car has one petrol engine which can also run on CNG and LPG. Maruti has blessed this car with their three cylinder K-series engine. It’s a 1.0L K10 engine which is currently powering A-star, Estilo and AltoK10. WagonR comes with factory fitted CNG and LPG kits which includes special tuning of engine for better compatibility with these gases. With their iGPI technology, Maruti has an upper hand over its competitors. It uses separate injectors for each cylinder for better results. This engine produces different power for different fuels. With petrol, this engine churns out a maximum power of 67 bhp at 6200 rpm with a maximum torque output of 90 Nm coming at 3500 rpm. With CNG the power produced is of 59 bhp at 6200rpm and with LPG it increases to 62 bhp at 6200rpm with maximum torque output of 77 NM and 85 Nm coming at 3500 rpm respectively. Be it any fuel, this engine is mated with five-speed manual gearbox.
Acceleration and Performance
This car feels much faster than before. It’s specially tuned for city conditions and that’s why it’s low and mid-range gives you a smooth ride. When you rev hard this engine it feels very nimble and responsive. Though this engine is not as smooth and refined as the engines used in Santro, Beat and i10 but it’s surely a performer. Maruti has decided to keep gear ratios short so that it is fun to drive it. It never feels short of power and can easily 150km/hour. It does 0-100km/hour in less than 15 seconds. Its CNG version also feels on the faster side. This engine is very well adjusted for CNG as it’s very responsive and you will hardly lack the power of petrol engine. On the other hand if you drive cars like Beat and i10 on CNG, you will notice how well Maruti has mated this engine with CNG. This car is perfect for city as well as long runs.
Things just get better in this department. Even after getting heavier than before, it manages to return around 14km/ltr in city condition while on highways its mileage is around 17km/ltr. With CNG it becomes for fuel efficient as in city you can get a mileage of around 16km/ltr and on highways it can even reach 19-20km/ltr. These figures are capable enough to grab the attention of the buyers.
Ride and Handling
New Maruti WagonR is equipped with a very light power steering with a minimum turning radius of 4.6m. With this steering it becomes very easy to drive and park this car in city traffic. It confirms you a hassle free ride. Its gas filled shock absorbers, increased wheelbase along with high ground clearance and fatty tyres bring stability in its ride which was missing previously. Its road presence has significantly improved. High speed cornering is not an issue either. Body roll and noise inside the cabin has also reduced.
Braking and Safety features
WagonR is available with disk brakes at its front with drum brakes at the back. To make its braking more precise the top model of WagonR is available with optional ABS. Dual SRS airbags are also optional with other safety features including collapsible steering column and side impact beams.
WagonR comes with a standard warranty of 2years/40,000kms which can be extended further.
Maruti WagonR is available in seven exciting shades.
Maruti have smartly priced this car. It’s a perfect option for those looking for a Maruti car which is cheaper than Ritz but not A-star. With this price it also manages to give a tough fight to its competitors. This car handles really well in city as well as on highways. There is a low speed grunt which is very handy in city traffic. It never feels underpowered and gives you a spacious and comfortable ride. Now this car is also available with vital features like ABS, airbags and Music system. It’s the best version of WagonR till now. The biggest advantage of this car is its fuel efficiency and availability with CNG and LPG.
With petrol prices rising daily, you will be able to save a lot of money with its CNG and LPG variants. Moreover you won’t have to compromise on power either when you drive this car on CNG. There are few drawbacks also which includes its tall design along with boxy shape. It’s less storage space and low refinement level of engine is also a matter of concern. Otherwise this is the best deal from Maruti at this price and We think it’s a perfect value for money car. I hope this new WagonR will continue to be the best seller in its segment.