Maruti Wagon R is a name that is familiar and despite being around for many years, it still was selling well. Acknowledging that, Maruti went in with a clean sheet with the new Wagon R that you see here. This is a made for India Wagon R and Maruti invested close to Rs 700 cr for its development. The new Wagon R is bigger, is more powerful and has gone premium. Will it be as successful this time? We find out.
The new Wagon R has a new platform which is the same one that underpins all the hot selling new Maruti cars like the Swift and Baleno. That is a huge thing as it means the new Wagon R is now safer and has a better build quality plus more robust. It has grown in size with a length of 3655mm, width of 1620mm and height of 1675mm. Design wise too it is not boxy while still keeping the old Wagon R look. It is not plain any more. Look closer and see the nicely designed big headlamps connecting to the grille then see the wheel-arches and the floating roof too. The rear is still ‘tall boy’ but again better designed.
Here it is a big change. The design is better and it feels better build. The space first and here it is better than the earlier Wagon R. Due to the boxy looks, headroom is excellent plus even at the rear the shoulder room and legroom is very good however the flat seats means comfort is slightly compromised. The door pockets are bigger and good enough while storage is good. The design is better now and you see the Ignis like steering plus the 7inch touchscreen now has the new Maruti infotainment system (2nd new Maruti to get after the new Baleno). It looks better and is easier to use. The instrument cluster is pretty well designed and packs in all the info including a gear shift indicator.
Features and safety
Maruti has given a decent feature list. It starts with the 7inch touchscreen which has smartphone, vehicle and cloud-based services. There is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay plus you can use your phone to access many entertainment functions. There is also steering controls, USB, 2 speakers, Bluetooth, Tilt adjustable steering wheel, Electrical retractable ORVMs. However there is no rear camera and the headrests are fixed.
In terms of safety it has Dual airbags while a Driver airbag, ABS (antilock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), front seat belts reminder, speed alert system and rear parking sensors standard across variants.
Maruti offers the Wagon R with two engine options. There is a 1.2l which is the new one and the earlier 1.0 petrol also continues. The new 1.2l petrol makes 83 bhp and 113Nm. Maruti also offers both the engines with the AMT gearbox while a 5-speed manual is standard. We drove the 1.2l petrol manual and AMT.
The 1.2l certainly makes a big change.
The increased power makes the Wagon R feel quite quick. There is a lot more power and refinement now which makes it easier to drive. It feels smoother and more torque means it has a more relaxed drive. The manual is nice and light to use while the clutch is light as well. The manual Wagon R is the more fun one and the good amount of power and torque means constant downshifts are not required in traffic.
However we think the Wagon R is best in its AMT form. The AMT is now much improved from the earlier ones. In the city it is very smooth and with creep function along with updated changes, it feels as easy as a pure automatic. Only when you drive hard or want sudden accelerations that the AMT feels a bit slow. Yes it also has a ‘pause’ between shifts but it is not a huge problem anymore unlike previous AMT cars. Mileage for both the AMT and manual are same with 21.5 kmpl (real world 15-16 kmpl). The new Wagon R is a lot more stable now and has a better ride than the earlier one. Still is not a fun car like the Swift with its steering being very light which is a disadvantage in the highways.
Which variant to buy?
A lot of the features like the touchscreen are only in the top-end ZXI trim. Maruti thankfully is offering the AMT in top-end trim. So if you want the features the top variant it is. The lower variants like the VXI are short on features but still have a decent amount. In terms of value the top-spec makes sense though if you are on a tighter on budget then the VXI is good enough.
There are many cars like the Hyundai Santro, Tata Tiago and even Maruti’s own Celerio. We think the Wagon R is much better than the Celerio due to more space and having a modern AMT gearbox. The Santro has more features over the Wagon R and has a more stylish interior along with a smoother AMT but the Wagon R has more space and more efficiency. The Tiago feels like a bigger car and has more features too along with looking better but the Wagon R has the better AMT and more space- plus the better efficiency of course.
The all new 2019 Maruti Wagon R is launched in 6 vibrant color options namely – Poolside Blue, Nutmeg Brown, Magma Grey, Autumn Orange, Silky Silver and Superior White. Check the photos of all new Big Wagon R colours.
Prices for the Wagon R start at Rs 4.3 lakh while the top-spec AMT 1.2 petrol is Rs 5.8 lakh ex-showroom. Compared to the earlier one, the new Wagon R is more expensive but you do get a lot. There is no point comparing to the earlier Wagon R as it is a completely different car. The new platform, new design along with a modern interior makes it a good value option. If you love driving, pay more and get the Swift. The Wagon R is different. The Wagon R is aimed at families looking for a practical and spacious hatch which is also efficient, easy to drive. In terms of that, it is job well done Maruti.
Check the full photo gallery of 2019 Maruti Wagon R:
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