It’s been a few weeks since I took over the Wagon R long term from Jared, but due to a hectic travel and shoot schedule, I haven’t had enough time to drive it as much as I would’ve liked. That said, a few of its aspects have impressed me immensely while a few have disappointed.
Let me start with what’s good – space. The Wagon R has always been a spacious car, but this new-gen model takes the game a step further. I am simply amazed at the amount of leg and knee room Maruti Suzuki has managed to achieve. It won’t be too bold to say that the new Wagon R is more spacious than some larger hatchbacks. And it’s one of the few genuine 5-seaters. The rear bench is flat even in the centre, and there’s good leg and knee room for the third passenger too.
The tall-boy is equally big in the performance department. The one we have on test has a 1.2-litre motor. Unlike the model it replaces, this one is a four-pot unit, and by that virtue it’s definitely more refined and punchier. And its performance isn’t just a result of the additional power. The Heartec platform has also helped shed some weight. We loved this motor and chassis in the other Maruti offerings and we love it here too. While this 1.2-litre surely feels more lively than the 1.0-litre unit, it doesn’t lose much in terms of efficiency. The car has consistently returned around 13-14km/l in urban driving conditions – impressive indeed!
In terms of appearance, I’m not a huge fan of the new Wagon R’s relatively curvy design. In the process of making it attractive, I feel the Wagon R has somewhat lost its identity – I still prefer the old boxy design. Moving on to the downsides, the scariest bit about the Wagon R is the steering wheel that doesn’t re-centre automatically after a turn. This may be an issue with our test vehicle specifically, but even, then, I still can’t discount that it can be quite hazardous. The microphone also seems to be faulty. The Wagon R demands a trip to the service centre to get both these issues fixed. Hopefully, when it returns, I will be able the take it for a long drive.
When it came: March 2019
Current Odo reading: 3,804kms
Mileage this month: 497kms
Fuel efficiency: 14.8km/l
Faults: Steering doesn’t re-centre, faulty microphone
What’s good: Space, Performance
Also read - 2019 Maruti Suzuki WagonR Review