Good things come in small packages, and as far as Maruti Suzuki is concerned, good things have just gone better! MSIL has launched its upgraded model of Wagon R in the Indian market on April 23. Maruti Suzuki has nicknamed the new model as “The Blue Eyed Boy” & “The Smart Racer.” The new model comes as a part of strategic planning from the company and it is meant to upgrade its models according to the new emission norms in India.
The earlier version of the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R had a 1.1 litre, 4 cylinder engine delivering a power of 64 BHP. The factors which led to success of Wagon R included reduced competition in the segment, good performance, ease of handling, etc. However, some of the drawbacks were congested rear seats, van like appearance in front, and gearbox problems.
Let’s take a look at what has changed as Maruti Suzuki introduces the new Wagon R.
Maruti Suzuki’s tall boy has not changed much on the exteriors. Though its tall boy stance had made it a leader in its class, this time the sloping roofline gives it somewhat a better appearance compared to its box-like appearance in its predecessors. The car is little more curvy and slanting at certain places but the overall look still remains the same. New headlamps, larger bumpers and a new front grille give a better visual appear to the new model.
Once we stand in front of the Wagon R the main thing which grabs the attention is a clearly visible dashboard, sleek bonnet, headlamp with blue indicator (which is why it is being called a ‘blue eyed boy’). Though blue lamp won’t boost appearance too much, it does add to the of newness.
The new shape is best viewed from side. The car sports a sleek bonnet and hence front portion, and a much tilted wind screen position. Body shape and windscreen positioning matters a lot in overcoming wind resistance, and can lead to better performance.
The New Wagon R is available in colours of Silky Silver, Glistening Grey, Superior white, Midnight Black, Breeze Blue, Firebrick red, and Bakers Chocolate. The car is equipped with tubeless tyres with tyre rating of 155/65R14 for VXI and 145/80R13 for Lxi and LX.
On the rear side, the car sports a chrome ‘W A G O N R badge’ which looks like a gimmick just to make some difference.
Though the wheelbase is limited, tall stance of the car definitely lends more space to the interiors of the car. Interiors have been refurbished a little and starting from the first impression of new fabric on the seats, you do get a feeling of a new Wagon R. The overall pleasant appeal of the model is well complemented by the central console.
Maruti Suzuki given enough leg room to the car to make it practical. When seated inside, the tall doors and high roof line give you a feeling of sitting in a roomier car. But then, Wagon R was always tall, wasn’t it? The windows are also bigger which makes you feel more comfortable and lend a breath of freshness inside.( Ford should learn from it here!) Gone are the days of half open rear seat windows. Even the rear passengers need fresh air and bigger windows.
There are enough pockets, spaces and cubby holes in the car to keep small packages or children tit-bits while on a long drive. The improved HVAC unit cools the interior cabin quickly making it a complete family car.
It is the engine which has received the major upgrade and is the reason why Maruti Suzuki has launched a revamped model. Maruti Suzuki Wagon R is now available with new KB-Series MPFI petrol engine that delivers power of 68 PS @ 6200 RPM and maximum torque of 90 Nm @ 3500 RPM. This engine is the same as can be found in both the A-Star and the Zen Estillo. The car features 5-speed manual transmission and seating capacity for 5 people.
Maruti Suzuki’s claims its new engine delivers mileage of 18.5 kmpl as per the ARAI ratings. The model is also available with ABS, airbags and EBD as optional features. The engine now conforms to the latest emission norms.
The new series engine gives a feel of driving a compact A-star model. The 5-speed manual transmission is now geared with cables as opposed to linkage which means better driveability and better performance from the new 3-cylinder engine. The big windscreen is definitely welcome in the new model and gives a better road view. The suspensions have also improved which gives better, sweat-free smooth ride. You may find the car a little bumpy around sharp corners. Something that is not felt while driving Hyundai Santro which is more manageable even with its tall stance.
The table below shows the brief comparison of the new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R with other competitors. As the New Wagon R comes with 3 cylinder, 998 cc engine - same as in A-Star and Estilo – the performance won’t differ from that of Estillo and A-Star which have got a good reputation on-road.
|Model||New Wagon R|
|Engine Capacity (L)/Cylinder||1.0L|
|Groud clearance (mm)||165|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2400|
|Turning circle radius (m)||4.6|
|Fuel Tank capacity (L)||35|
|Engine Capacity (cc)||998||998||998|
|Rear wind shield washer||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Average fuel efficiency||18||18||18|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||3.41||3.75||4.3|
Competition All Specs
New Wagon R
Old Wagon R
|Variant||Vxi||Vxi||Vxi||Titanium||1.2 LT||Fire Active|
|Engine Capacity (L)||1||1.1||1||1.2||1.2||1.2|
|Rear windshield washer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Average fuel efficiency||18||16||18||15.4||18.6||16|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||4.3||4.1||3.95||4.42||4.14||4.19|
Compared to the old Wagon R, there is a significant improvement in terms of look, smoother gear operation, interior space, dashboard, two tone interiors, and the maintained attractive price is a big plus too. The new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R features the new K10 series engine that delivers smoother and better performance than its predecessor.
Surprisingly, the best of the competition comes from its siblings A-Star and Zen Estilo, and the customers opting for Estillo or A-Star could easily switch over to new Wagon R.
With the implementation of the new BS IV norms, effective from April, Maruti Suzuki has made a right decision in not only upgrading the engine and coming up with new gearbox but also ensuring a fresh look for this popular car.
For all those who are ardent Maruti Suzuki lovers, the new Wagon R is definitely “a good thing in small package.”
Pros : Good engine, better exteriors and more fuel efficient. Price.
Cons : Body Roll needs to be better for better drivability, exteriors could have been improved in the new model.