The Maruti Wagon R has been one of India’s top selling cars for a very long time now. The car is widely used in the commercial sector and has been a trusty steed for those who are first time buyers. Many swear by the cars no-nonsense approach to motoring and the immense amount of practicality it has on offer. So what has changed in new generation 2019 Maruti Wagon R? A lot. This is no longer a car that we are now used to seeing in the traffic as an Uber or something that is going annoyingly slow in the first lane of the highway. The 2019 Maruti Wagon R is here with a host of different updates and new features. It is different from the Wagon R sold in Japan. It is built for India, by India. Maruti has engineered and built a car that is specifically for our country, road conditions and customer needs.
Specifications and Safety
The new Wagon R is also based on Suzuki’s latest Heartect platform. Benefits of the new platform are better dynamics, overall lighter and improved overall safety. The Heartect platform also results in more space in the cabin. The new Wagon R is wider longer and has got more legroom and knee room than before. The car shares most of its dynamics, proportions with Maruti’s NEXA offering, the Ignis. Along with the new platform the new Wagon R continues to get the old 1.0-litre 3 cylinder engine that makes 68bhp and a new much powerful 1.2-litre engine four-cylinder K12 engine. The option of the 83hp engine is in response to the demands of customers wanting more power in the Wagon R. In terms of safety now, the car now comes with ABS and EBD as standard across all variants. Also standard is the driver side airbags, seatbelt reminder for driver and passenger, central locking, rear parking sensors, speed alert system and child-proof rear door locks.
With the overall length of 3655mm, a width of 1620mm and height of 1675mm, new 2019 Wagon R is certainly bigger. Maruti has designed the car to give it a robust look. At the front, the car gets new headlamps which are a departure from the square like headlamps that are seen on the older Wagon R. The headlamps are a unique dual split unit which will make the car look more modern. Could Maruti have offred DRLs and projector headlights on this unit? It would have been a segment first and a really good premium feature to have. But as we know manufacturers like to save features for a facelift and if the Baleno has just got them now, so could the Wagon R and Ignis in the future soon. The car now gets a modern architecture chrome grille. There are new lines on the car too. The bonnet and the side carry these distinctive lines which make the car look bigger and better. On the side, we also see a new design element on the rear, C pillar. The design looks like the car has sideburns on the rear and is also a little bit more distinctive. The rear has a very sculpted look with the big new taillamps which look like they are inspired by the new Ertiga. The chrome strip on the boot now carries the name WagonR on it.
Overall this car now looks very proportionate and very distinctive. The car still does not get stuff like alloy wheels in the top variant, DRLs, and a small shark fin antenna. The car could have done with chunkier wheels too. Speaking of the wheels, the wheel arches have no cladding and the exposed metal welds look very bad. But these shortcomings are a not a dealbreaker for someone who is looking for a new Wagon R. Many accessories are going to be offered in this car. To know more about accessories on the new Wagon R – Click here
The first thing that one experiences when entering the Wagon R is the amount of space available. The car has now got more space than ever. The ingress-egress is the best on the Wagon R and this only gets better on the new car. The cabin feels airy and the large glass area gives one a great view out of the cabin too. The cabin itself now looks better and gets a dual-tone black-and-beige theme upholstery. The new touchscreen system which is the new Smartplay Studio – 17.78 cm Touchscreen Infotainment is good and gets a really nice UI. Paired with this new touchscreen, one gets Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB/AUX controls and Steering mounted controls. This system also offers AHA, an internet radio service. What is really a let down is the 2 speakers that come with this system. A couple of tweeters added or a four-speaker system would have been ideal. Also, the car now gets power windows as standard and comes with Auto Down function for the driver side.
Under the touchscreen, we get the AC controls, which are a manual unit and is fairly simple to use. There is also a charging socket underneath and storage space. Storage is not a problem with all door easily accommodating 1-liter bottles each and a unique storage solution with an undertray on the co-drivers side. Practicality has been the Wagon R’s key offering, and the new model only improves in this area. Boot space is now 341 litres, this makes it more spacious than the Vitara Brezza. Except for the base variant, the seats split 60:40 which make for more storage. Some drawbacks at the rear are that the loading lip is a bit high and parcel tray does not have strings so that it can tilt up when the boot is opened.
We experienced the 1.2-litre engine in the Wagon R with it’s manual and AMT variants. The 1.2-litre engine has already proven itself as a good engine in the Baleno, Ignis, Swift and DZire. The 83bhp engine on the 845kg car feels more than adequate. The gearshifts are very smooth have no problem at all. This new engine in the Wagon R loves to be revved and surprisingly picks up speed quickly. The wider track of the Heartect platform have improved stability and handling too. Straight line acceleration is liner and the car does not mind being in the 5000-6000 rev range. While there is no strain on the engine and the car feels like it has more to give after the mid-range powerband is over, at the top end this car is noisy. The tyre noise and high revving engine combination make for a noisy cabin. Noise insulation can be a bit better. Also we can see the lack of grip with the 165/70/R14 tyres. They are great tyres for economical drives, but push them to fast in a corner and the little wheels do feel like they are on the edge of grip. The new powerful engine and the manual gearbox do make for a very enjoyable drive. We do think that a larger and wider set of tyres will make the car a bit more engaging and better.
Thoughts on the AMT? Well, this will be loved by city-dwellers and while it is not the best AMT out there it is a good unit. The upshifts are slow and the car tends to be stuck in the lower gears before making its mind to shift up. This can easily be solved with the manual mode at your disposal. The gearshifts are much more responsive now and your control over the gear selection is now maximized.
Our final verdict for this new Wagon R is a bit unorthodox. We have spoken about the 1.2-litre engine that we experienced. But given the price of the 1.2-litre engine and the features one gets at the price point it’s a very expensive deal. What a Wagon R owner is really after is efficiency, practicality, and the best Value For Money deal. Because of this, the car that we would recommend is the Wagon R 1.0-litre. The 1.2-litre with the Zxi variant is not going to offer a lot more features than the top-end Vxi variant of the 1.0-litre car. The VXI AMT makes a lot of sense. It gets the space, the efficiency and for everyday city driving, it’s an excellent choice.
To know more about the breakdown of the variants and prices of the 2019 Maruti Wagon R – click here