With over 12 lac units sold in thirteen years of its existence in the Indian car marker, the Wagon R is easily the best selling oldest Maruti model in the country. Despite of not having a diesel option, the car continues to be among the top 5 selling models month after month and comes with three fuel options of petrol, CNG and LPG. Right then, with such a perfect car in its kitty, the question for Maruti remained - can you actually make a perfect car even better?
They just did earlier this year - the new facelift version of the Wagon R saw a commercial launch with no less than a dozen odd changes / new features. So when we picked up the new model for a review, the question for us remained - have they actually made the best seller even better?
The old Wagon R never turned heads and neither will the new one. No doubt it looks better, more polished and slightly up-market but the tall boy design was never going to make it win beauty pageants in the first place. Changes on the outside include a new front end, thanks to a new grille (which also reduces friction and NVH levels as per the company). It also carries the signature `S’ logo on the U shaped front fascia. The new sporty fog lamps lend a sportier look to the car while chrome accentuated front grille in LXi and VXi trims add a touch of premiun-ness.
Now the Wagon R was always known for its spacious and airy interiors and the new versions simply adds to it with good changes. For example, the dual tone interior color scheme (beige & black) looks up-market while and secondly, the VXi trim has complete beige seats. This top end version also comes packed with new eagle wings audio system with integrated USB and AUX-in ports. Further, there is a new touch to open upper glove box and the car now comes standard with a day/night inside rear view mirror that reduces glare and reflections. The high seating aids in visibility and also makes getting in and out of the car easy - now this is a boon for the fair sex and the elderly. Rear seat, though up-right, also offers good comfort. Infact, the Wagon R seems to have more space than even the Ritz!
As opposed to the conventional face-lifts we see in the industry, the new Wagon R also comes with an updated engine - it has seen further fine-tuning to yield as much as 8% better fuel economy, taking the ARAI rated figure to 20.51kmpl - this is brilliant for a tall hatchback! The maximum power and torque figures remain unchanged but the engine does seem a touch more smoother. However the typical 3 cylinder vibes remain but then, we love the way it sounds at high revs! The gear box feel could have been slightly better though.
The Wagon R is a hit with Indian families. The light steering is a boon and driving this car is an easy affair. The visibility is terrific and the suspension goes about doing its duties in most cases. Ofcourse the Wagon R is not an enthusiast's car and won't be your best bet if you love grinning moments - get the similar priced A-Star instead. This car is meant for a purpose and to fulfill the needs of lacs of Indian families. Brake feel is a bit spongy but nevertheless with the anchors dropped, the car does come to a halt in a assuring manner. There are ample spaces for keeping knick-knacks and the pop to open glass holders in front of the air-con vents are god sent in summers. And if you want to relax while someone takes over the wheel, push the co-driver seat all the way ahead, drop its back all the way down and you can literally stretch your legs and sit in pure comfort at the back!
We see no reason why the new updated Wagon R will not continue to attract the typical Indian middle class family into Maruti showrooms. In Jan 2013, Maruti sold 14981 units and Feb 2013 seems to be similar. Right then, we finally do have the answer to our question above. Perfection, it seems, can surely be bettered - this is the Maruti way, their way of life!
The new Maruti Wagon R prices are as follows (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Wagon R LX - Rs 3.57 lac
Wagon R LXi - Rs 3.87 lac
Wagon R LXi CNG - Rs 4.41 lac
Wagon R VXi - Rs 4.13 lac
Wagon R VXi ABS - Rs 4.44 lac