I’m a Wagon R owner: What should be my next car?

When the owner of a Rs. 4 lakh car like the Wagon R is looking to upgrade, what should be his or her ideal choices for a budget of between Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh?

The car you drive says a lot about your personality. But it also has a lot to do with practical needs and affordability. It’s quite likely that buyers of Wagon R’s see a lot of practicality in the vehicle, like decent luggage area, wide opening front doors, tall stance, easy ingress and egress especially for the elderly, high seating and reclining rear seats (in the older Wagon R’s).

maruti wagonr next car adviceThe older Wagon R was powered by a 1.1 litre, 64 bhp petrol engine mated to a five-speed transmission, that gave decent fuel economy of between 14 to 15 kmpl in the city. The new Wagon R comes with the K-Series, 3-cylinder, 1-litre engine that puts out 67 bhp and gives even better mileage at 17 to 18 kmpl in the city.

When you’ve got a budget of Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh, there are two decisions a Wagon R owner looking to upgrade needs to make. Do you want a hatchback or a sedan? And are you looking for a petrol car or a diesel car? Wagon R’s are decent long distance travel cars as well, and pretty frugal, though the rear suspension tends to bounce a bit.

Keeping some of the Wagon R’s key traits in mind, like high seating, easy ingress, decent luggage area and fuel efficiency, let’s take a look at some of the cars that meet these criteria in a budget of Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh.

Maruti Suzuki SX4

The first car that comes to mind is the Maruti SX4. It meets most of the criteria a Wagon R owner would want, besides being from the same manufacturer, which should also get the buyer a further discount in price at the dealership. The SX4 has a tall stance, large luggage area and easy ingress and egress from the car. Rear seat space is decent, but not that great.

maruti sx4
Upgrade to Maruti Sx4: Its a Maruti, and you know Maruti already!

The front seats are comfortable and the swept forward windscreen is similar to the Wagon R – the A-pillar intrusion wouldn’t be much of a bother to Wagon R drivers. The SX4 VXi is priced at Rs. 7 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, while the diesel variant, the VDi starts at Rs. 7.8 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi.

The SX4 puts out 104 bhp of power from its 1.6 litre engine and gives about 12 kmpl in city on petrol, while the 90 bhp diesel gives about 18-19 kmpl in city.

Toyota Etios

toyota etios photo
Photo: Toyota Etios

The second car to check out is the Toyota Etios. Though smaller than the SX4, it is slightly cheaper and has excellent interior space, as well as the Toyota brand reliability. Boot space is huge and even better than the SX4. The 90 bhp, 1.5 litre petrol engine is frugal (17.6 kmpl claimed mileage), and it’s peppy to drive, while the torque spread is very linear, like the Wagon R, making it easy to drive in the city. The slightly boxy looks of the Etios won’t be much of a bother to the Wagon R owner.

Honda Jazz

honda jazz
Photo: Honda Jazz

The third car that has all the trappings of the Wagon R, but is not so popular is the Honda Jazz. It has amazing internal space, flexible seating, good all round visibility, tall stance and peppy 90 bhp engine, yet pretty frugal. This has very similar characteristics to the Wagon R, but is sadly seen as overpriced and hence not very popular. The Jazz is available for Rs. 7.3 lakhs (Select edition), ex-showroom Delhi. However, it won’t give you the feeling of having upgraded to a sedan, as it’s still hatchback. It’s however a large hatchback, and the limited sales make it quite exclusive.

Based on practical needs, these three cars are some of the ideal cars to upgrade to, though cars like the Tata Manza, and Swift Dzire also figure on the list.

Mahindra Xylo

mahindra xylo
Photo: Mahindra Xylo

The other radical choice a Wagon R owner can make is to upgrade to an MPV or minivan like the Mahindra Xylo. This also has all the attributes that a Wagon R owner seeks, like tall stance, good space, and easy seating. It’s also diesel powered and will save some money on running costs. The Xylo E4 variant is priced at Rs. 7.6 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. The Xylo also comes with added benefit of better road presence. The handling of the Xylo with its tall stance should be easy for the Wagon R owner to adapt to.

Go ahead, test drive these cars and see if they appeal to your senses as a Wagon R owner.

Recommendations:

Maruti SX4

Toyota Etios

Honda Jazz

Mahindra Xylo