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Sneak peek: New WagonR at Rs 328,000

Last updated on: April 23, 2010 20:45 IST

Sneak peek: New WagonR at Rs 328,000

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Ankur Warikoo

What would you do if you manufacture the 2nd best selling car in India, six years on the trot?

If the car in question is the darling of the Indian masses, with no complaints whatsoever! The answer - launch an improved variant, if you are Maruti Suzuki.

Gaadi.com got a chance to test drive the new WagonR and see for themselves the effort Maruti has put into building its 'Blue Eyed Boy'.

Introductory ex-showroom prices of the new WagonR in Delhi are:

WagonR Lx: Rs 328,000

WagonR Lxi: Rs 357,000

WagonR Vxi: Rs 381,000

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Background

India's leading auto maker, Maruti Suzuki, launched a new WagonR on Friday. The WagonR has gone through upgrades in 2003 and 2006 but this time around the car is entirely revamped - new Platform, powered by the very fuel efficient K-Series engine and a new cable type transmission.

With an investment of over Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion) Maruti is making a fairly strong commitment to maintaining its leadership in the compact car segment.

WagonR has been the second best selling car of the country selling close to 17,000 cars every month.

It has sold over 850,000 units since its inception in 1999. Maruti had introduced the hatchback as India's first ever tall-boy design.

The sporty looks of the car has given it a universal appeal among the young buyers - both families and young executives included.

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Sneak peek: New WagonR at Rs 328,000

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First impressions

The car makes a great first-sight impression with its sleeker looks and additional usage of chrome across the front. The bigger headlights and the larger windshield definitely make a positive impression.

Taller and more spacious than the existing car are the first thoughts that come to mind. It got quite a few stares as it was driven up and down NH-8.

It definitely has a better AC than the previous version, the 42 degree Gurgaon heat notwithstanding.

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Sneak peek: New WagonR at Rs 328,000

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Engine and transmission

While driving the car the first thing you feel is a more powerful engine.

The 998cc 3-cylinder K series engine of the new WagonR delivers a power of 68PS@6200rpm and a torque of 90Nm@3500rpm. The refined K-series engine is reputed to offer both more power and fuel efficiency to the car.

The dynamic 3-point suspension geometry of the car offers superior ride and handling. The car comes with a new cable-type transmission.

The 5-speed manual gear with synchromesh is equipped with precise gear shift mechanism. WagonR is likely to deliver a mileage of 18.9 kilometers per litre, the best in mid-A2 segment cars.

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Design

The new WagonR has gone through lots of design changes. Its front has leaner and sleeker look, yet retaining a muscular image. The "V" shape on the front of the car is now more pronounced. As the car has large sweeping headlamp with blue tint, Maruti is promoting the car as the 'Blue-Eyed Boy'.

The finishing on the front is more prominent. The sloping character of roof and upright rear lend a dynamic look to the car. The car is equipped with larger and wider wheels.

Another highlight of the design is a wider bumper. The car comes with a classic chrome-engraved "WagonR" badge on the rear door.

As is the case in several premium end cars, WAGON R is encrypted on a chrome plate in the rear of the car. Marking the dominance the WagonR has enjoyed on the Indian roads for over 10 years.

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Interiors

The first noticeable thing about the interiors is its space. With increased overall length and wheelbase, the new car is spacious from the inside. The car's larger cabin space has increased leg-room for all passengers.

The car has the best-in-segment leg space, and it seats 5 people comfortably in the rear with ample leg room and shoulder room. The car has larger doors with wide opening that help in walk-in and exist.

The new WagonR has adjustable front seats can be useful for people with all kinds of height. Even a 6 foot 3 inch frame is a tight squeeze with the front seats pushed back. The wider windscreen of the car ensures panoramic view for the driver.

The car has a new shopping tray fitted under front passenger seat that can be very useful while going out for shopping. The car has two retractable cup holders at convenient places. The car has a bottle holder in the centre console.

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The seats are more comfortable and luxurious for both driver and passengers. The plush interiors of the car come with a soft and subtle blue-silver interior theme.

The dash integrated music system console with AUX-in and 6-band graphic equalizer gives a new age touch and sits within an arm's length. Unlike the previous versions, the WagonR now comes with all 4 power windows, adding to the comfort of the passengers.

The gigantic boot space makes the new car a perfect family vehicle. While the rear parcel tray improves storage, a smart integrated tool box leads to the overall charm.

To safeguard the cell-phone camera units, a soft insert has been introduced to the floor console. The new 2-tone interior color theme gives the car a premium look.

A wide windscreen ensures an uninterrupted panoramic view and enhances the feel of a light-filled spacious cabin.

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Comfort

The new WagonR has a new L-shaped front suspension frame to improve ride comfort. The fine-tuned 3-point suspension is congruous to Indian roads and driving conditions, providing rides along with dynamic handling and NVH.

The steering wheel comes with a new design that can be tilted, while the ergonomically designed gear shift knob snugly fits into the palm to ensure driving comfort.

Other features include electrical outside rear view mirror and superior cooling due to the new HVAC design.

The tight turning radius of 4.6 meters makes the car a favored drive in juggling traffic conditions and tight parking spots. With tubeless tyre and a better ground clearance, the new WagonR is a great car to drive.

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Safety

Safety is also taken care in the new WagonR. The car has more frontal impact absorbing area, as the distance between steering wheel and front bumper is increased.

The Vxi variant is equipped with front and rear fog lamps, rear wiper and washer, rear defogger, duel horn, and comes with safety features like airbags and ABS option.

A driver side seat belt indicator is a standard feature in Lxi and Vxi variants.

The Vxi version has keys integrated with i-CATS, 5-door central locking and anti-theft alarm.

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Specifications

Built on a new platform, the overall width of the new WagonR has been increased to 3,595 mm with a wheelbase of 2,400 mm. Maruti has also increased the width and height of the car to 1,495 mm and 1,700 mm respectively.

The new car will be offered in Lx, Lxi and Vxi variants. It will be available in 7 colours - superior white, midnight black, silky silver, fire brick red, breeze blue, bakers chocolate and glistening grey.

The new WagonR is an environment-friendly car. It is BSIV compliant, ELV compliant and E10 compliant.

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Verdict

Maruti has a winner on its hand with the new WagonR. The company should be able to continue to dominate with this 'Blue-Eyed Boy'.

Pricing as always will play a key role in determining the final success of the car. The key standouts are the new engine which will give it an edge in the fuel efficiency stakes while delivering superior performance.

It definitely showcases Maruti Suzuki's superior understanding of the customer needs as there are plenty of minor user friendly features that as a whole add up to give a solid value for money car.

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