WAGON R: BLUE EYED TALL BOY
Based on all new platform, underpinned by new chassis elements & change of heart under the hood is all new Wagon R is about.. Maruti-Suzuki has the habit of taking the chances. Just when the going seems to be good, it surprises the market, it did it with WagonR and now it’s ready to do the same with Swift and everytime they do so, they come out winners. We drove blue eyed Wagon R found it very versatile and here's the download
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
New WagonR design, now, feels more sophisticated & grown-up. The car is based on all new platform & it is very much evident visibly. The bumper is more pronounced with a largish grille. Blue eyes in form of parking lights form part of the new headlamp cluster.
Side view with slanting roof line along with roof-rails provide some refreshing change from the boxy profile though the square edges remains. Rear profile has been redesigned with Tail-lamps and chunky chrome lip.
Though some may no find it as cute as old WagonR due to lengthened bonnet, it still makes good & dynamic design proposition. Body-graphics along with roof rails add sporty touch to the aesthetics.
INTERIORS, SPACE & ERGONOMICS
The interior scheme gets heavily revamped, the cabin now feels plush & up-market. A dual-tone interior with chrome accentuated instrument panels adds to its tactile feel. Center-console is handsomely designed but bigger air-vents would have directed the air more effectively.
Seats are wide, large bur short on bolstering. The seating position is good so is the visibility from the driver seat. Stalks are solid & don’t feel flimsy. Tilt-steering is available in top-end model.
New WagonR comes with the wheelbase of 2400 mm i.e. 40 mm more than the old model. As a result the legroom is drastically improved even with driver seat all the way back. Rear bench is also wide & set high. With the width of 1475mm WagonR is still narrow car. It won’t sit 3 abreast in great comfort though headroom as well as legroom provides some much needed respite. Doors are big & open wide. Convenience is enhanced with 60:40 split seat arrangement as well as decent boot space.
POWER-PLANT & TRANSMISSION
1.1 Liter 4 cylinder engine is replaced by 1.0 L 3 cylinder K10-Series engine. The power is rated at 68 Ps & torque at 90 N-m. The engine is smooth & refined. Press clutch, shift to first gear & response of throttle is good. Though it is not in the leagues of Alto or A-Star, but it still has enough to take the hustle of the city.
The engine has typical feeling of Maruti-Suzuki attached to it. Its low end response is good; smoothens as rev build but becomes quite audible as one approaches red-line. The engine is tuned for fuel-efficiency rather than out-right performance. The outright acceleration is not very impressive but the drivability is very good. Though it has enough grunt in the city & at the same time manages to have its breath reserved for highway overtaking.
The gear-box of old WagonR was quite notchy & company has addressed the problem with all new transmission, which is now cable operated. he shift is smooth but not as enjoyable as in A-Star. Shift is short but long lever steals some of the fun using the gearbox.
Being the city car, the suspension is set for comfort side. The low speed absorption is good & it takes everything thrown its way. The ride quality is good & potholes, undulations are ironed out with ease at low speed. Speed up the vehicle & ride become quite bumpy & clearly lacks finesse to tackle the undulations.
Soft suspension as well as tall design means there is lot of body roll. Corner it hard & it tends to deviate from the lane. Steering, unlike the previous model, provides some feedback & is welcome change.
WagonR comes with ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 18.9Km/l which is quite good for the car of its size.
OVERALL RATING & VERDICT
DESIGN, STYLE 3/5 RIDE & HANDLING 3/5
INTERIORS, SPACE 3.5/5 SAFETY & EQUIPMENTS 3/5
ENGINE, GEARBOX 3.5/5 FUEL EFFICIENCY 3.5/5