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All-New Maruti Suzuki Wagon R First Drive Review: Tallboy is Back!

All-New Maruti Suzuki Wagon R First Drive Review: Tallboy is Back!

The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R has been around in India for almost 20 years and this 3rd-Generation model is a completely new one. We have a look at what's changed in the #BigNewWagonR.

Recently we saw everyone taking up the 10-year challenge but what you get with the new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R is the 20-year challenge. Yes, the Wagon R has been around in India for almost 20 years and this 3rd-Generation model is a completely new one. In the past, the Wagon R served up the perfect recipe for a practical, tall-boy hatch which did the basics very well, but recently, the older model of the Wagon R had begun to show its age. As a result, we have the new Wagon R now. So what all has changed in this big new Wagon R, let’s find out.

What's it like on the outside?

The first thing you’ll notice about the new Wagon R is the size; the new generation model looks a lot bigger than the outgoing model. With a more rounded shape this time around, the tall boy design isn’t as obvious as the older Wagon R. The new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R still gets that boxy silhouette.

At the front, the car gets matte black grille and lower bumper and completely redesigned tall headlights. The car also gets floating roof design as seen on the Swift and the Ertiga. The new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R is now 150mm wider and its wheelbase has also grown by 35mm, compared to the outgoing model Furthermore, new Maruti Wagon R is also 40 kg lighter than its predecessor.

New Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Although calling the new Wagon R ‘good looking’ is debatable, it certainly looks a lot more mature now. At the front, the new grille and headlight design give the hatchback more zest in its appeal, while at the back, the longer taillights give the new Wagon R an almost MPV-ish look, which again, adds to the ‘bigger’ feel of the car.

What's it like on the inside?

Like almost everything else on the car, the interiors have been refreshed in a tasteful manner. The dual-tone treatment gives the cabin a more airy feel and overall it’s a much nicer place to be than the older model, which was beginning to show its age. A new steering wheel, which is the same as the one in the Ignis, has steering mounted controls and feels plush.

New Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The biggest change, however, is the 7-inch infotainment system which Maruti Suzuki calls the ‘Smartplay Studio’. It offers a new graphic interface along with some other new features as well. It offers smartphone connectivity, vehicle information, and cloud-based services along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Smartplay Studion on the new Wagon R. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Seats are comfortable and get the job done but aren’t the best when it comes to longer drives. But given that most Wagon R owners will prefer to drive the car in the city, this isn’t really a sore point. The instrument cluster now gets a digital readout for the RPM meter, fuel gauge, trip meter and also displays the average and instantaneous fuel efficiency figures.

New Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Another big change is the boot space, which has almost doubled in size from 180 litres to 341 litres. This is thanks to the ‘Heartech’ platform seen on other Maruti Suzuki models like the Baleno, Swift and Ignis. There is ample legroom, as well as headroom at the back and back seat, is a comfy place to be in the new Wagon R.

How's the performance?

The main talking point in terms of performance is the 1.2-litre K12 engine. 1.0-litre 3-Cylinder K-Series petrol engine that produces 67 Bhp of power and churns out 90 Nm of torque and along with this the new hatchback also gets a 1.2-litre 4-cylinder K12 engine that produces 82 bhp from 113Nm of torque. With this tried and tested motor, the new Wagon R gets that much-needed punch, which can be particularly helpful on the highways.

Overall, the refinements levels of the 4-cylinder engine are far more superior than the 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder, K10 series engine, which is also an option if one is looking to buy the new Wagon R. We drove both the 5-speed manual & 5-speed AMT models and found the manual to be more receptive to an aggressive style of driving. The AMT, on the other hand, is for a more relaxed style of driving and gives an ease to the driving experience.

New Maruti Suzuki Wagon R now gets the 1.2-litre engine. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

However, there is a noticeable head nod when the AMT gearbox shifts from 1st to 2nd, however, this is a characteristic trait of most AMTs. Again, bigger seems to better for new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. Given the dimensions mentioned earlier, the cars feels planted on the highway and handles corners fairly well. The extra width and new platform give the new Wagon R comfortable feel on the tarmac.

However, don’t expect the Wagon R to be an enthusiast’s delight as the practical hatchback has been designed keeping in mind the city and the occasional weekend trips. The new Wagon R does a very good job at keeping the drive comfortable and relaxed with a commanding view of the road thanks to its tall boy design.

The steering does lack a bit of feel but more than makes up for it when it comes to moving around the city. The lightness of the car, refined engines and overall platform add to the fuel efficiency figures which stand at 21.5 kmpl (ARAI) for the 1.2-litre engine and 22.5 kmpl (ARAI) for the 1.0-litre unit.

Is it safe?

As the Indian automotive space grows, so does the need to adhere to the safety norms put forth by the authorities in order to curb accidents in the country. The new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R’s list of safety and convenience features includes dual airbags, ABS, EBD, and reverse parking sensors.

New Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Maruti Suzuki says that they have used 40 percent high tensile steel to provide better strength, safety, rigidity and improve NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) along with the performance. The new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R also gets front seat belts reminder and a speed alert system.

Should you buy one?

There is a reason why the Wagon R has been one of Maruti Suzuki’s best sellers in India. It’s a practical hatchback which has had a lot of takers in India. With this new model, its gets a new exterior, a new interior and lets not forget the 1.2-litre engine. In our book, the big new Wagon R ticks all the right boxes.