Wagon R : My Dream Car

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5 ⁄ 5
  • Appearance
  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Value For Money
  • Fuel Economy
  • Overall Satisfaction

Before I start with the detail of my car lets have something in brief which I like and Don't like. 

What I like: • The same successful formula as old Wagon R, but now improved • A practical value-for-money package • Better road manners, especially urban ride quality • Improved interior space • Precise gear shifts, unlike the previously lousy quality • Optional ABS & Dual Airbags on the VXi variant (sadly I don't own one with ABS) • Maruti's stellar after-sales quality & network. 

What I don't like: • Higher NVH levels, inherent to 3 cylinder engines. Average low rpm throttle response • Iffy build & interior part quality • Smaller boot compared to the outgoing gen. 180L capacity • Looks are not as contemporary as other recent launches Now come in detail: The new WagonR is not a mere cosmetic facelift; it is an all new platform that does duty across the globe. This car has been heavily localised 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 and this is it which I own! 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. The WagonR is the original tall boy globally, though it was launched after the Hyundai Santro in India. 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. The number plate is placed at the centre. Makes the car look a lot more symmetrical IMHO. From the side, the roof-rails (body-coloured on the top end version) and the slanting roof give it a better profile than the old’ Wagon. The subtle wheel arches blend in well, but the tyres look terribly punny. I was pleasantly surprised to see the car shod with Apollo tyres which I have replaced with new Bridgestone and believe me they are GREAT! The rear windscreen is huge! And like the headlamps, the rear lights are also noticeably larger. I 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. The build is par for the segment, though the oddly misaligned panel gap is conspicuous. 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) but it did to me of course! Ride quality is great, with the suspension staying sufficiently compliant within the city. It’s distinctly better than in my Swift(seriously!). The steering reminds me a lot of the NHC. It’s super-light and makes the car easily manoeuvrable within the city. The overall package is attractive and will appeal to those who wish to buy a city car with their head, and not the heart.

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