Maruti Wagon R Stingray Review
Car Tested: 2013 Maruti Wagon R Stingray VXi (Opt)
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 5,56,850/-
The Wagon R Stingray has nothing substantial to offer to hatchback buyers.
The hatchback segment is very cost conscious and naturally so. It’s usually first time car buyers who opt for an entry-level hatchback and for them price precedes everything else. In these times of economic uncertainly, India’s largest carmaker has made a brave move by launching the Maruti WagonR Stingray in the country. The Stingray doesn’t add much value as the changes are purely cosmetic although a few extra features are part of the package. At a premium of Rs. 25,000/- over the regular Wagon R, does the sporty variant of the Wagon R actually sting?
Motor Quest: The Stingray model was first launched on the third generation Wagon R in 2007 and has since then been offered on the fourth and fifth (current) generations of the Wagon R. However in India we still get the fourth gen model.
Exteriors – The major highlights of the Maruti WagonR Stingray are the exteriors. The vehicle gets a new front-end which looks different thanks to the clamshell bonnet, transparent front grille and a new front bumper with a large radiator grille. However the major attraction at the front are the first in segment projector headlights. The side and rear see little changes with the most prominent ones being bigger 14-inch gun metal alloy wheels, body kit and rear spoiler. The Wagon R Stingray also gets blackened out B-pillars, STINGRAY embossed on the tail gate garnish and new clear lens tail lights with chrome linings. The car is longer than the standard Wagon R but only slightly while the lack of roof rails makes it shorter in height. All this makes the Stingray stand apart from the regular Wagon R but we are not sure in a good way as many find the styling to be a bit weird as the front and rear don’t seem to gel as well as the regular Wagon R.
Interiors – The approach of making the Wagon R look premium has been extended to the interiors as well. While the dashboard design remains very similar to the regular Wagon R, Maruti Suzuki has given the Stingray all black interiors instead of dual-tone ones and also added piano black finish on the dashboard and doors. The door handles and side AC vents also get the chrome treatment while the seats get new upholstery. The steering wheel gets leather wrapping while also getting audio controls. The instrument cluster has been updated too and gets blue back lightning along with a multi-information display which showcases average fuel consumption, distance to empty and real time mileage. The console has STINGRAY written in it.
The Wagon R is known for being a spacious car and the Stingray is no different. The 2400 mm wheelbase gives the car amazing cabin room and headroom inside the car is aplenty, even for the tallest of passengers. Legroom is generous too for both front and rear seat occupants and there is little to complain about the thigh room. However the rear seat is best for two passengers as the Wagon R being a Kei car isn’t wide enough to seat three abreast. Fit and finish isn’t up to the mark and we did notice quite a few panel gaps which isn’t welcome for a premium model. Plastic quality certainly needs improvement and the boot space of 180-litres falls short in comparison to the Hyundai i10’s 225-litres.
Performance – Powering the Maruti WagonR Stingray is the same 1.0-litre, 3-pot, K-Series engine which generates 68 PS of power and 90 Nm of torque. This engine powers an array of Maruti Suzuki cars and offers good performance too. The light weight Wagon R never feels out of breath and the motor offers good response in the mid-range. However being a 3-cylinder engine, the NVH levels aren’t that good and the Wagon R Stingray does vibrate quite a bit in the upper end of the powerband where the motor feels stressed and coarse.
Redline comes in at 6400 RPM and the gearing is on the taller side which helps while cruising on the highways. The Stingray doesn’t really make you skip a heart beat and the powerplant is best subjected to city duties. The 5-speed gearbox is a smooth shifting unit but we did not like the feel of the clutch which felt a bit too artificial. Mileage is the strong point of the Wagon R and one can extract 15 km/l in regular city use which is impressive for a tall boy. Maruti Suzuki should have plonked the 1.2-litre K-Series engine in the Stingray which would have done justice to the sporty positioning of this vehicle.
Driving Dynamics – The Wagon R Stingray is no hot hatch and its dynamics suggest the same. The car has neutral behaviour and you won’t be really enjoying yourself behind the wheel as the steering is lifeless but is light which is a boon in city conditions, where you are most likely to drive this car. Handling isn’t great either, although predictable, body roll is significant and the tallness of the Wagon R is the one to blame for the top heaviness.
Ride quality is good but mainly in the city as the soft suspension gives it a bouncy feel as speeds build up (specially on bad roads). High speed stability is decent and when driven on good highways, the Stingray stays planted on the tarmac although NVH levels are nothing to talk about with quite a lot of engine, wind and tyre noise creeping inside the cabin. Our test car was equipped with ABS which does help in stopping without drama and the brakes itself offer decent bite and stop the Wagon R in quick time.
Verdict – Clearly the Wagon R Stingray is a half hearted effort by Maruti Suzuki to fend off competition from the Hyundai Grand i10. Other than the aesthetic changes, the Stingray brings little to the table. With no mechanical updates, the Stingray is a car which doesn’t appeal much and that is the reason why dealers are finding it difficult to sell it in even decent numbers. We have been told by multiple salesmen that buyers who inquire about the car end up opting for the regular Wagon R as the premium for the Stingray doesn’t seem justified to them. Although Rs. 25,000/- doesn’t seem that big an amount for the extra features on offer, small car buyers are more sensitive to prices and are looking for value. To them, projector headlights matter less but quality, mileage and performance is more important. Thus this sporty Wagon R simply doesn’t sting and one has better options like the Grand i10 which offer much better value to buyers.
The Maruti Wagon R Stingray isn’t convincing enough and that makes it a tough sell in the Indian market. It is not as premium as it’s made out to be.
* Unique front-end styling
* Segment first projector headlights
* Cabin space
What’s Not So Cool
* No mechanical changes
* Highway performance
* Handling and steering feedback
2013 Maruti Wagon R Stingray Specifications
* Engine: 998cc, 3-cylinder, aluminium, 12-valve, K10B
* Power: 68 HP @ 6200 RPM
* Torque: 90 Nm @ 3500 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed manual
* Top Speed: 150 km/hr
* 0-100 km/hr: 15 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 14-15 km/l (City), 16-17 km/l (Highway)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: McPherson struts (Front), Trailing link (Rear)
* Tyres: 155/65/14
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Disc (Rear), 8-inch booster assisted
* Safety: ABS, Driver Side Airbag, iCats Immobiliser
2013 Maruti Wagon R Stingray Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 3636 mm X 1475 mm X 1670 mm
* Wheelbase: 2400 mm
* Front/Rear Track: 1295/1290 mm
* Turning Radius: 4.6 metres
* Ground clearance: 165 mm
* Boot Volume: 180 liters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 35 litres
* Kerb Weight: 885 kgs