Car tested: 2010 Maruti Suzuki Wagon R VXi (ABS-Airbag)
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 4,77,971/-
The Wagon R has some history associated with it and has been a favorite small car for many years. The first of the tall boy design from Maruti, the Wagon R has been a success story for almost ten years. Competition is slowly and steadily eating away into Maruti’s pie and Maruti has responded by rolling out the all new Wagon R. This car is effectively made from scratch and offers more space, better driving dynamics and improved overall quality. We take the new Maruti WagonR for a spin and judge for ourselves.
Exteriors – The new Wagon R is bigger in size and had a longer wheelbase as compared to its predecessor. No marks for noticing that it resembles the outgoing Wagon R to a large extent. Engine room is larger than the older version, to ensure that the K Series engine fits in comfortably. Labeled as the “Blue Eyes Boy” by Maruti, the blue parking lights do justice to the name. Headlamps give the front a distinct shape. Fog lights are part of the standard equipment.
From the side profile, the new WagonR looks like a stretched version of the old model. Longer wheelbase give you that extra space to stretch your legs.
Rear wiper and defogger are standard again. A big plus point, considering that the more expensive Swift and Ritz VDi cant afford them. Rear tail lamps looks simple get stylish and the chrome plate with Wagon R embossed steals the show as far as the boot is concerned. In all, the Wagon R has grown up.
Compare it to the competition! The Wagon R’s design looks boring in front of the Chevrolet Beat.
Interiors – Amongst the first few things one notices is that the overall interior and plastic quality is far better than we have seen in Maruti cars.
Lots of storage space with a large storage area below the front passengers seat. Cup holders pop out of the dash for the front passengers. Glove box is deep with adequate storage area. Due to the longer wheelbase, more legroom at the rear. Headroom was never a problem with the Wagon R and this new version is even taller.
Instrument cluster provides for a tachometer, odometer, digital fuel gauge, trip meters with a refreshing orange backlit halo.
Overall dimensions of the Maruti WagonR have been increased by 75 mm in length and the wheelbase has added 40mm, but all this space has been utilised in the form of increased legroom and the boot space has been cut to 180 litres, lesser than that of the outgoing model. Rear seats can be folded to make more room for larger items. Other changes include a wider rear window while the rear quarter glass has been completely eliminated. Doors also open at almost 90 degrees allowing hefty individuals to get in and out easily.
Internally adjustable outside rear view mirrors are standard and ABS with Airbags are provided as an option on the Vxi. A/c is powerful and effective.The Vxi also gets central locking with keyless entry as standard.
Integrated music system means you cant change the head unit as per ones liking and Aux support guarantees some exercise for the ipods. Sound quality average, upgrade speakers for a better experience.
Built Quality – Maruti is not known for top notch built quality but the Wagon R is built better than most of its siblings. Higher grade plastics have been used and even the seat fabric is better than the outgoing model but still falls short when compared to the competition (read Hyundai i10 and the Chevrolet Beat). Over our test drive, we did not come across any rattles, and that’s just a small area where Maruti have upped their game. A 3 pot motor has a characteristic vibration associated with it and Maruti could have done a better job with the engine mounting. We noticed that even at idling, the rear door, if opened, vibrates enough to give one a relaxing massage. Cabin damping could again have been better with road, wind and engine noise creeping into the cabin.
On the Move – Start the engine and the 998cc K series engine confirms startup with a wee bit of vibration. Slot into first and its easy to notice that gearshift is smoother than before, thanks to the new cable shift mechanism. Maruti have done away with the notchy gearshift experienced in the previous model. The gear knob also feels nice to hold and comfortably fits into your hands. Steering is extremely light and negotiating city traffic is like a knife through butter. Cornering is not really sharp and slight amount of body roll is evident but still the Wagon R feels more grounded than the older version. Front seats are comfortable with adequate thigh support and high seating position gives one a commanding view of the road.
Driver’s seat height adjuster is missing and surprisingly the switch, which locks all doors at once, has been omitted, however the car auto locks around the 20km mark.
Ride, Handling and Braking – The Wagon R has a stiffer suspension (specially suited to city driving) which helps it ride the potholes with ease. Ground clearance is adequate and the bottom stays clear of the worst of bumps. Light steering is a boon and maneuverability in city traffic is a piece of cake. Ride is comfortable and the Vxi variant is equipped with 14 inch wheels, which assist in better handing and the Wagon R does the job well for a city car. Tall boy design gets the car slightly unstable at hard cornering and slight amount of bodyroll also exists, as mentioned earlier. Drive it like a city car and the Wagon R is a pleasure to drive. Braking is decent with the pedal having a tad bit of spongy feel. ABS does well to stop the car and still wider tires would have been appreciated. (As compared to the Lxi version, the Vxi gets wider tires).
Performance – The Wagon R is powered by a K series (K10) 998cc, 3 cylinder, petrol engine which punches out 67 bhp @ 6200 rpm and a torque of 90 NM @ 3500 rpm. ARAI figures claim 18.9 km/l, a full 2 km/l more than the outgoing model. Gear ratios are well sorted and the car hits 100 in third gear comfortably. Top speed is rated at 150 km/h and the Wagon R gets to the century in about 15 seconds. Engine is responsive in the mid and high range and low end grunt better than before. Engine note gets more and more audible at high revs. One can practically expect an average of 14.5 km/l (mix of city and highway driving). Floor it over 120 km/h and it gets the jitters while cruising at 100 km/h feels safe and the car stays planted.
Conclusion – The Wagon R has evolved to suit more practicality. Tons of space for the passengers with good legroom and headroom, peppy engine and good road manners along with low running cost makes it a perfect car for daily city commuting. Option of ABS and Airbags will appeal to the safety conscious. Backed by Maruti service and priced at Rs 4.78 lakhs (Ex showroom Mumbai) the Wagon R is the practical city car for you.
- Interior space
- Peppy engine
- Slicker gearshit
- Value for money package
- Maruti service backup
- Noisy engine
- Reduced boot space
- Drivers seat height adjuster absent
- Designing not to everyone’s liking
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R Specifications
- Engine: 998cc, 3 Cylinder K10 Engine BS IV Compliant
- Power: 67 Bhp @ 6200 rpm
- Torque: 90Nm @ 3500pm
- Transmission: 5 speed manual
- Top Speed: 152kmph
- 0-100kmph: 15.37 seconds
- Fuel Consumption: 14 kmpl (City), 18 kmpl (highway)
- Fuel Type: Petrol
- Suspension: Mcpherson Struts with coil spring (Front) & Isolated trailing link with coil spring (Rear)
- Tires: 155/65/14 (Vxi) & 145/80/13 (Lxi CNG, Lxi & Lx) Tubeless Radials
- Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Drums ( Rear)
- Safety: ABS, Dual SRS Front Airbags
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R Dimensions
- Overall length x width x height: 3595 mm X 1495 mm (Vxi – with side moudling) X 1700 mm (with roof rails)
- Wheelbase: 2,400 mm
- Front/Rear Track: 1295/1290 mm
- Ground clearance: 165 mm
- Turning Radius – 4.6m
- Boot Volume: 180 liters
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 35 litres
- Kerb Weight: 885 kgs (Vxi – ABS with Airbags)