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Maruti Suzuki WagonR New WagonR

The new WagonR from Maruti Suzuki has arrived based on a new platform, new styling, as well as new engine and gearbox choices. There’s a lot more to it, too.

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

 

Modern medicine has evolved so much that there isn’t a healthy person alive today, or so I read somewhere. Evolution does step in strong everywhere and when it comes to cars, the cases are plenty as well. Even in the compact hatch space, there has been quite a big change. The new WagonR, for instance. Always a popular, sensible, and practical car, the WagonR has been called a lot of things, but people still swear by it. And now there’s a new one and it isn’t a case of “small box” any more. It has evolved, too. And by a fair amount.

The new “Heartect” platform that underpins the new range of Maruti Suzuki cars, such as the Swift, Dzire, and Ertiga, now makes its presence felt in the new WagonR. What that means is that it’s not just larger and more spacious, but also lighter and more agile. For starters, the wheelbase on the new car is 35 millimetres longer, but the overall length is up by 60 mm and width by 130 mm, but it’s 25 mm lower than before. It still retains its “tall-boy” styling; however, it now packs a lot of kit to make it more up-to-date. The proportions may have changed but it’s still recognizable as a WagonR. However, that said, there are new lines, creases, and design elements in the lighting and other components to mark it distinctly apart from its “blue-eyed boy” and “Stingray” predecessors.

The new headlamp cluster gets black detailing, the front grille is black with a striped chrome job. The lower air-dam is wide but has a no-nonsense, functional vibe about it and the fog-lamps are encased in a funky, trapezoidal layout. The wing mirrors now feature integrated turn-signals. The front and rear wheel-arches have a distinct crease above them and ― save for the base LXi 1.0 variant with 13-inch wheels ― are filled with 14-inch wheels wearing 165/70 tubeless radials. The rear quarter panel and C-pillar feature the de rigueur black dividing design elements sweeping up to separate the windows from the “floating roof”, also seen on the Swift, but with the new WagonR choosing conventional door-handles. The tail-lamp design seems inspired by the Scandinavians and it does make for a major change of convention from what we’ve seen before.

Maruti Suzuki WagonR New WagonR

Inside, there are a slew of changes that make the WagonR feel completely new. A dual-tone interior is standard and the top-of-the-line ZXi model we have here gets a Smartplay Studio 7.0-inch touchscreen. You also have Bluetooth, a USB port, and Aux connectivity as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are steering-mounted audio and voice controls as well as a tilt-adjustable steering column and a rear washer and wiper. In fact, standard kit on all variants includes an air-conditioning system with heater, central locking, and even rear parking sensors.

Safety-wise, there’s ABS with EBD and a driver airbag with optional passenger airbag on the lower variants; the ZXi gets dual front airbags. However, the head-rests, front and rear, are fixed with no option at all for adjustment; a big negative in my book.

Inside the cabin, though, the feel of the panels and quality of components is definitely up a notch. The touchscreen in encased in robust-feeling black plastic that forms part of the centre console. The finish could be a little better but, in terms of durability, it feels like it will last for a while. The seats are supportive and are upholstered in beige with dark brown accents on the outer edges. The rear seats are large enough for average-size adults and children, but there isn’t much else going on. The basic, practical approach is evident; but there are all four power windows. The rear seat also splits and folds 60:40. This increases flexibility and adds to the already commendable boot volume of 341 litres. How they’ve managed to put that size of a boot into a 3.65-metre-long car, I cannot say. Magical extension charm, maybe?

Maruti Suzuki WagonR New WagonR

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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