Performance – Maruti is offering 2 engines with the Wagon R. Most of the sales will come from the 1.0-litre K-Series petrol engined car which produces 67 HP of power at 5500 and 90 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM. This engine returns a fuel economy of around 22.5 km/l as per ARAI test standards. This should translate to approximately 16-17 km/l in the regular city driving cycle. This engine comes mated with a 5-speed manual transmission and Maruti is also offering an AMT.
Both engines are available with a manual and AMT gearbox; K12M is sweet!
This time Maruti is also catering to those who like a bit of performance under their belt. The 1.2-litre K-Series motor is what we got to drive and it is indeed is a gem. This engine produces 83 PS of power at 6000 RPM and 113 Nm of twisting force at 4200 RPM. It loves to be revved hard and there is more than enough power on tap. Power delivery is linear and this engine comes alive in the mid and higher end of the rev band. Both the 5-speed manual and the AMT work well with this engine with commendable in-gear acceleration.
The AMT has been tuned well and most will be happy with the comfort and convenience it offers, especially if you encounter traffic jams on a day to day basis. However, the enthusiast will find a tad bit of lag and it is highlighted when you want to get the gears to change in a hurry. But if you go by AMT standards, it has been tuned rather well. 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. 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 has always been a practical and family oriented car and never has or will be something meant for corner craving. That said, there is a drastic improvement in the dynamics department as compared to the previous generation car. The steering feel is very average and it doesn’t weigh up as beautifully as one would like but we reckon nobody will be complaining as this segment is mostly about value for money and practicality. The tyres offer decent levels of grip while cornering and there is some amount of wheelspin when you want to accelerate out in a hurry.
Maruti has succeeded in improving the dynamics of the new Wagon R
Ride quality has also seen a remarkable improvement over the last generation. The Wagon R is underpinned on 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. At high speeds, it tends to get a bit bouncy on really bad roads but overall the cabin is well insulated. Brakes offer a good amount of bite and ABS along with EBD ensures that things are always in control.