New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy
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Wagon R is the ubiquitous presence on Indian roads. If you venture out, it is difficult to return without spotting a Wagon R on the road. Since 1999, Maruti Suzuki has sold 22 lakh Wagon Rs in India with two models, a fortune not many vehicles get to enjoy. Now, the success has spawned a third generation.

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

Japan roots

Launched in 1993, Wagon R is a popular car in Japan too. Ten years ago, it touched the milestone of 22 lakh sales there. It is estimated that there are about 80 lakh Wagon Rs in that country.

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

Tall boy

The secret of Wagon R’s success is its tall boy design. Small bonnet and high stance give it the space and compactness of a van.

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

For India

The latest generation Wagon R is not an import from Japan. A lot of India-specific changes have been carried out on the vehicle. Besides, it is built on a new platform and has a new engine.

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

Shared platform

Like most of its sister cars – new Swift, Baleno and Ignis – the new Wagon R is based on the Suzuki's latest Heartect platform which is known for its fuel efficiency and performance. Other key features include lighter weight, improved safety, better handling and travel comfort.

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

Bigger

Compared to the outgoing model, the new Wagon R is 125 mm wider, 56 mm longer and is 35mm longer in its wheelbase too. This has translated into more space inside, which is visible from the outside itself. The new dual-split headlamps are beautiful and the foglamps are bold. The new grille, side bodylines and flared wheel arches give it a stylish look.

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

Roomy

The inside space will be one of the main USPs of Wagon R. No other car in the segment can boast of such headroom and leg space. Cabin is dual-tone black-beige. It also gets a seven-inch infotainment system which Maruti Suzuki calls the ‘Smartplay Studio’. The meter console has a large speedometer and multi-information display. The three-spoke steering wheel is sporty. Seats are comfortable. Since it is wider, three people can be accommodated in the backseat.

Two engines

The new Wagon R gets two petrol engines. The 1.0-litre develops 50 kW (67 bhp) of power, 90 Nm torque and returns a claimed fuel-efficiency of 22.5 kpl, while the 1.2-litre develops 61 kW (82 bhp) power, 113 Nm torque and has a claimed mileage of 21.5 kpl. Apart from the manual transmission, both the engines come with auto gear shift.

New Wagon R test drive: The return of the tall boy

Drive

The new Wagon R offers good driveability in both city traffic and on highways. The high seating position gives one a commanding view of the road. Stability is good even at higher speeds and brakes have enough bite. The list of safety and convenience features includes dual airbags, ABS, EBD, front seatbelt reminder, speed alert and reverse parking sensors.

Price: From Rs 4.28 lakh onwards

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