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24 lakh Maruti WagonRs sold in 20 years: Why does India love this hatchback?

Maruti Suzuki’s first tall-boy hatchback – the WagonR – has just completed 2 decades of sales in India, and has managed to notch up 24 lakh units in terms of sales over the years. This makes the WagonR not only one of the consistent best-sellers in the Indian market but also a car that Indians continue to love across generations. The Maruti Suzuki WagonR was originally intended to compete with the Hyundai Santro, a car that was discontinued in 2014, and brought back in a new form last year. In the WagonR’s case though, production has carried on uninterrupted for over 20 years, and demand for this car has never gone down. It has significantly outsold not just the original Santro but its derivatives such as the Xing and the latest version.

24 lakh Maruti WagonRs sold in 20 years: Why does India love this hatchback?

The newest version of the WagonR was introduced earlier this year, and is based on the HEARTECT platform that it shares with the likes of the Maruti Swift and the Ertiga. The car is available with two petrol engines and two gearbox options. The smaller engine even gets a CNG-petrol dual fuel option. Prices start from Rs. 4.4 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi.

The 1 liter K-Series triple cylinder petrol engine of the car makes 67 Bhp-90 Nm, and gets a 5 speed manual gearbox a standard. The bigger engine is the 1.2 liter-4 cylinder K-Series unit with 82 Bhp-113 Nm on tap, and this motor gets 5 speed manual and automated manual transmission (AMT) options. Both engines of the car are now Bharat stage 6 (BS6) emission norms compliant.

24 lakh Maruti WagonRs sold in 20 years: Why does India love this hatchback?

Now, why does India love the WagonR so much?

  1. Practical. The WagonR has to be one of the most practical cars in the affordable car segments. It’s tall, and this gives its interiors a sense of airiness. The tallness also gives drivers of the WagonR a commanding look of the road through a high seating position. The squarish dimensions of the car has also allowed designers to pack in a lot of space on the inside, making the car quite spacious despite its compact, sub-4 meter footprint.
  2. Affordable. Aside the Alto and S-Press (which was launched only recently), the WagonR is one of the most affordable cars sold by India’s largest car maker  -Maruti Suzuki. The sheer affordability of the WagonR means that it’s often the choice of many first time car buyers. It’s not just affordable to buy but is also very fuel efficient, and maintenance costs are reasonable.
  3. Bomb proof reliable. The WagonR is extremely reliable, and many buyers own generations of this car thanks to this attribute. The short wheelbase and ample ground clearance make the car suitable for both good and bad roads.