The More you drive, the more you want.
The WagonR is the original tall boy globally, though it was launched after the Hyundai Santro in India. In 9 years of presence in our market, the car has undergone some facelifts, mostly cosmetic in nature, in an attempt to freshen up the looks. However, the WagonR still remained ?Boxy? to the crowds. The new model attempts to reduce that boxiness, and succeeds, albeit only to a it is an all new platform that will do duty across the globe. This car has been heavily localized to match Indian preferences. There are three trim levels = The LX & LXi are pretty much similar to the outgoing model. It is the VXi where all the action is. An in-dash CD player with 4 speakers, 4 power windows (unlike the old WagonR & Santro), tilt-adjustable steering, keyless entry with iCats engine immobiliser, central locking, rear wiper & defogger, electrically adjustable mirrors, 60:40 splitting rear seat, 14 inch wheels (13 on the lesser variants) and optional ABS + Airbags (Note: Only available together, unlike in the Swift where you can choose ABS sans Airbags). Externally, the car looks bigger and I must say, much better than the older version. The headlamps are larger, while the tinge of blue (on the parking lamps) is a deft touch. The front grill with a chrome strip, much like the Estilo, coupled with bigger bumpers & the wide air intake give the car a grown up look. Notice that the number plate is now placed at the center. Makes the car look a lot more symmetrical IMHO. Ride quality is much improved in the new WagonR, with the suspension staying sufficiently compliant within the city. It?s distinctly better than in my Swift, or the bumpy earlier generation. The steering reminds me a lot of the NHC. It?s super-light and makes the car easily maneuverable within the city. At speed though, and expectedly, the feedback is inexistent & the feel lifeless. There is significant body roll when you throw it into corners. You are advised to keep the vehicle?s tall dimensions in mind and adopt a demure driving style. In spite of the increased length, the turning radius has been kept constant at 4.6 meters. From the side, the roof-rails (body-coloured on the top end version) and the slanting roof give it a better profile than the ol? Wagon. The subtle wheel arches blend in well, but the tyres look terribly puny. I was pleasantly surprised to see the car shod with Apollo tyres. JK has been the old Maruti favourite, but we really didn?t like them, did we? The rear windscreen is huge! And like the headlamps, the rear lights are also noticeably larger. My overall feel about the design is this : While the new WagonR is better looking than the outgoing version, it still won?t appeal to a buyer on design alone (as say, a Chevy beat might). No one has bought the WagonR for its styling, and I don?t think anyone will in the near future either. Indians love chrome and this car has dollops of it. The ?WagonR? nameplate is embossed on the chrome strip at the rear, which I guess is the first of its kind in the segment. However, I do not like the position of the hatchback lock. Something like the i10 would have looked far better. Build is par for the segment, though the odd misaligned panel gap is conspicuous.
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