The 3rd gen Maruti Suzuki WagonR impresses with its contemporary styling, spacious interiors and ample features but continues to be hampered by mediocre interior quality.
The Maruti Suzuki WagonR has been one of India’s most popular hatchbacks over the past two decades. In 2019, Maruti introduced the all-new 3rd generation WagonR aiming to inject fresh appeal in the model line-up. The new gen model is wider, taller and sits on a new Heartect platform. Available with 1.0L and 1.2L petrol engines, the new WagonR competes with the Tata Tiago in the budget hatchback space.
The new gen WagonR has grown in size but shed weight by about 65kg thanks to the new Heartect platform. The chassis feels rigid while the body panels have consistent gaps. However, excessive use of cost-cutting plastics especially on lower variants brings down the premium quotient. The paint finish could also be better. Overall, build quality is acceptable considering the price point but does not feel too solid.
The all-new WagonR adopts a more contemporary look compared to the boxy outgoing model. The face is dominated by a wide grille flanked by sweptback halogen headlamps. Higher variants get projector units and LED DRLs. The tailgate is flatter and wraparound tail lamps extend onto the body work. Blacked out B and C pillars along with floating roof design give it a modern look. The increased width adds more road presence. 15-inch alloy wheels fill the arches well.
Inside the cabin, the dual-tone dashboard has a minimalistic layout with a digital instrument cluster and 7-inch touchscreen taking center stage. Plastics feel hard and cheap but switchgear quality is decent. Front seats are comfortable with adequate bolstering. Rear bench offers better support than before and can accommodate 3 adults but lacks under-thigh support. Overall space has improved thanks to the longer wheelbase.
Owing to its boxy shape and tallboy design, the WagonR remains one of the most practical hatchbacks on sale. Visibility all-round is excellent thanks to the large glasshouse. The rear seats can be flipped 60:40 to accommodate cargo of different sizes. Boot space has increased by over 50 liters to 341 liters, enough for multiple bags. The rear doors open wide at nearly 90 degrees allowing easy ingress and egress. Storage spaces are ample.
Features and Safety
Lower variants of the WagonR get basic kit like front power windows, manual air conditioning and dual airbags. Higher trims add colour MID, rear wiper and washer, keyless entry, push button start/stop, alloy wheels and more. However 7-inch touchscreen, rear power windows and steering adjustment are sore misses even on the range topping variant. Safety is covered by dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors.
Engine and Performance
At launch, the WagonR came with 1.0L and 1.2L petrol engines paired to 5-speed manuals. The 1.0L unit churns out 68hp and 90Nm torque while the bigger 1.2L makes 83hp and 113Nm torque. Claimed efficiency stands at 22.5kmpl and 21.5kmpl respectively. In the city, both motors have adequate pep for commuting but highway performance lacks punch. The 1.2L feels livelier of the two. Recently, Maruti introduced the 1.0L with AGS, the only automatic option.
Ride and Handling
The new Heartect platform has improved the WagonR’s ride and handling balance. The light steering is convenient for city usage with decent high speed stability. Low speed ride has softened compared to before improving backseat comfort. The tall stance does lead to body roll around corners but it is well controlled. Braking performance is also confidence inspiring though pedal bite could be better. Overall dynamics are predictable and well suited to daily commuting requirements.
Price and Verdict
The Maruti WagonR 2019 is priced between Rs. 5.55 – 8.5 lakh, ex-showroom making it tremendous value for money. The all-new model impresses with its improved design, spacious interiors, peppy engines and generous equipment. Buyers looking for an affordable, no-nonsense family hatchback can’t go wrong with the new WagonR. However, it is let down by the low rent interior quality in lower variants and lack of important features.