WagonR Test Drive, Maruti Wagon R Detailed Expert Review

WagonR Test Drive, Maruti Wagon R Detailed Expert Review

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WagonR Test Drive 

Maruti Suzuki's WagonR when it was launched in 1999 was remarkably successful with it's tall design, lots of space and a different breed of car.  It has been a one of a kind hit since and a couple of facelifts have helped the Wagon R throughout the years.  But the Wagon R has got more contemporary competition now from the Chevrolet Beat and the Hyundai i10.  Maruti Suzuki have decided to come up with an all new Wagon R with innovative changes and packed full of utility.  I'm saying Maruti Suzuki's Wagon R because this time Maruti has put in more effort than Suzuki in the car's production phase.  The Wagon R boasts a new car, new platform, new interiors, and a new engine.  There's everything new about it, just the name remains the same. 

Maruti Wagon R Expert Review

The Maruti Wagon R even has a fresh new name, it's now called a 'blue eyed boy'.  A slight blue tinge to the head lamps and a look at Maruti's sales charts is the reason for this new nickname.  The Wagon R has always been the top selling Maruti car, second only to the Maruti Alto.  Now Maruti has invested a whopping Rs. 290 crores to develop this blue eyed boy into a chart topper.  So where did all that investment cash go?  Well on the surface of it, the new Wagon R has a prominent nose, large white smiling grill and a huge inward groove in the form of an air intake.  An aggressive front.  The lines are smoother than before, but not smooth enough.  On the side we noticed a flaw.  Panel gaps between the hood and the side are quite visible and make you feel like the engine hood is not quite shut at times.  Otherwise the sloping roof line and the body line give this car a sporty stance.  It's quite new but the genetics remain and the tall boy stance is still there. 

WagonR Interior

The Wagon R boasts a nice new interior and there is a lot of utility packed into here.  Get ready for some things we have not seen on a car of this size before like pop-out cup holders.  These are on sides, one for the passenger, one for the driver.  This is great for that morning cup of coffee.  There's a coin shelf & a glove box that has a small neat package shelf stuck into it.  Under the front seat there is a compartment area stuck under the seat, so if you park a car and you don't want things seen you can put it under there for safe storage.  There's also a light for the rear passengers, and there's an aux in for your ipod.  So just a lot of utility in a nice new interior. 

Like it's predecessor the new Wagon R excels in creating an area of spaciousness.  The wide windscreen and quarter glasses in the front cabin make it feel airy and nice.  With shades of gray nicely textured with vertical and horizontal flashes of silver make this dash look much more up market than before.  Rotary A/AC air vents also create a great air flow.  The ABS and air bags also offer the top end variants.  If you want you can get a bigger glove box or a bigger boot as Maruti has focused on optimizing passenger space.

The car is longer than earlier versions, which means there is now more leg room at the back.  Now I'm not extremely tall and as you can see there is ample space here.  Let me assure you, very tall people will be extremely comfortable in this back seat.  Space in the back and front is just astonishing for a car this size.  But being comfortable in the back seat will also mean that the ride quality needs to be good. 

The rear set up is slightly soft which means at higher speeds or uneven surfaces you do tend to bounce around a bit in the back seat.  But when you are in the city and you are going over the bumps and the potholes at that speed this actually is an advantage.  To be fair we were going pretty quick over highway roads.  In a normal environment in a city within traffic the ride is really good for a car of it's size.  And at low speeds the Wagon R seems to absorb everything that is thrown at it's way.  But most Wagon R owners are going to be in the front, so let's see what that's like.


Now at first you will find this a refined, but it's a familiar engine.  We've seen it in the A-star.  It is a bit loud and you do hear it, but it's an extremely driveable engine.  It's got that typical Maruti characteristic where at low RPM you can put your foot down and go with minimal sound from the engine.  This means in typical traffic the Wagon R is very easy to drive, you won't need many gear changes.  The engine has some muscle too, it's got power where ever you want.  Put your foot down on the accelerator and this one moves.  The Wagon R has the K10 petrol engine also seen in the A-star.  It produces 67 Bhp and has the expected traits. You can hear it at idle, smoothens out as the revs rise and then again loudens as you try to red line it.  Performance speed is strong and makes you disbelieve it's just a one liter engine.  This engine loves to be pushed which gives it a very sporty feel.  Maruti has also used very clever tricks to keep this car light ensuring you never feel short of power.

Coming to the gear shift, the old Wagon R's gear shift was atrocious.  Thankfully, this new cable operated gear makes changing a lot better.  The new stick shift feels more positive and falls into place well.  Now the suspension's been stiffened so there's a lot more high speed stability than before.  Especially when you're making that quick lane change.  It doesn't feel as all over the road as it used to before.  There's no getting away from the top heavy feeling of this tall boy design.  

This Wagon R feels far more confident and grounded than before.  The steering is still quite light so you don't get that confidence at higher speeds.  However the steering's just right for the city.  It's light it's easy and it feels very maneuverable.  It is a breeze to flow in and out of traffic with great comfort.  Parking is going to be very easy too.

Now to be honest the scenery was spectacular, the sea inviting and the roads nice.  With the wide spacious windows you can fully enjoy the scenery.  This Wagon R will mostly be driven in the city in it's correct environment, and the Wagon R will do the job and do it well.  With new looks, space, and an expected economy of about 18.9 kmpl not to mention the Wagon R Price tag of 3.3-4.8 lakhs will all help you forget the few flaws that this car may have.

Well it is an all new Wagon R it is 2 generations ahead and it feels like that.  A lot about it is improved and it feels far more up market.  What we can say is this Maruti Suzuki Wagon R is ready to put up a show against it's competitors like the Beat and the i10.

Comment on This Review1 comments | Write Comment on this Review
Commented By : Gajadhar Somani
Commented On : 2011-10-23
Maruti Wagon R from Maruti Suzuki is best car in India. Road grip is also good.
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