2019 Maruti Wagon R Test Drive Review
- Published On: 31 January 2019
- 6 min read
Maruti has updated its best selling tall boy hatchback Wagon R
The Wagon R was launched almost 2 decades back and ever since it has been one of Maruti Suzuki’s highest selling cars in India. In fact, it has cemented its position in the list of the top 5 selling cars every month. However, the car started to show its age for quite some time now with all its competitors catching up with time delightfully. Maruti has now launched the next generation Wagon R. It is now bigger, more powerful and offers even more practicality than before. We find out how well the new Wagon R has aged.
Exteriors – The Wagon R has always had a very boxy design and the new one also follows the same. Although, this time around it gets a break from the traditional box by incorporating a few curves at the front and rear. The car is wider and longer than its predecessor and even looks more attractive in comparison. As expected, there are no changes to the tall boy Wagon R silhouette. The B and C pillars are blacked out that give a floating roof feel while the elongated and somewhat Volvo-inspired tail lights look sporty. Maruti has also given flared wheel arches which accentuate wider stance of the car. However, the tyres look a bit small for the wheel arches. Overall, the design is more evolutionary than revolutionary in the new Wagon R’s case.
Interiors – The interiors look a lot better now, thanks to Maruti's new Smartplay Studio infotainment system which debuts in the Wagon R. It offers cloud-based services through an app on your mobile phone. You can also use your phone as a remote to navigate through the infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as well. There’s ample of space in the car as the wheelbase is now longer and it has drastically enhanced the practicality. Legroom, Kneeroom and shoulder room have improved and three people can now occupy the rear bench in comfort. When it comes to headroom, there was never a reason to complain and now there is even more headroom than before. The Wagon R offers best-in-segment boot space of 341-litres which can be further enhanced to 710-litres by folding the rear seats. The rear doors open almost by 90-degrees making it much easier to get in and out of the car. There are lots of storage spaces in the car as well. Despite the hard plastics, fit and finish levels are a notch up now.
Performance – Maruti is offering 2 engine options with the Wagon R this time around. A 1.0-litre K-Series petrol engine which produces 67 HP of peak power and 90 Nm of peak torque and a 1.2-litre K-Series motor that produces 83 PS of peak power and 113 Nm of peak torque. Both the engines are available with an option of either a 5-speed manual transmission or an AMT. The 1.0-litre engine is good enough for city driving and returns a fuel economy of 22.5 km/l as per ARAI test standards which translates to approximately 16-17 km/l in the regular city driving cycle. The 1.2-litre, on the other hand, loves to be revved hard. Power delivery is linear and mid and top-end performance is really good. This 1.2-litre engine returns 21.5 km/l as per ARAI test standards and should return 15-16 km/l in the routine city driving cycle. The manual transmission is pretty smooth and the AMT has also been tuned nicely for the new Wagon R. You do experience a lag when you are in a hurry though. NVH levels have improved over the last generation car but at higher revs, the engine can get quite vocal. Road and tyre noise can also make it into the cabin at high speeds.
Driving Dynamics – The Wagon R is underpinned by the HEARTECT platform and this platform has ensured that the chassis is now stiffer. The suspension is set up on the softer side which means ride quality is very pliant at slow speeds. However, it is by no means a car that you’ll want to push hard around corners. That said, there is a drastic improvement in the dynamics department as compared to the previous generation car. The steering fails to deliver good feedback but is pretty light for city driving. Brakes offer a good amount of bite and ABS along with EBD ensures that things are always in control.
Safety and After-sales service - Maruti is offering the Wagon R with dual front airbags and ABS with EBD. While the LXi and VXi variants come only with a standard driver airbag, Maruti does offer the passenger side airbag as an option. The ZXi variant comes with dual front airbags as standard. The hatchback also comes with seat belt pre-tensioners & load limiter, seat belt reminder, high-speed alert and reverse parking sensors. Maruti's service network is simply unmatched and owning the Wagon R will be a trouble-free process.
Verdict - The Wagon R has improved a lot with this iteration. It looks relatively sporty and offers more comfort and practicality with some smart features. Both the engines deliver commendable performance without compromising much on the fuel economy. It even rides and handles better than its predecessor. Backed by Maruti's strong sales and service network, the new Wagon R will continue to sell in huge numbers for a long time.