There’s no doubting the fact that the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R is a perennial hit. Over the years, the boxy-but-versatile tall-boy has endeared itself to the Indian masses with its dependability and practicality. It’s so popular, it has consistently figured in the list of the highest-selling cars in India for years on end. However, competition now is fiercer than ever – with the Tata Tiago finding an increasing number of loyalists, and Hyundai making a splash by reviving the Santro. To complicate matters, the refreshed Datsun Go is also making a case for itself, and there’s always in-house rivalry courtesy the Celerio. Comparisons, then, are inevitable – so we’ll tell you how the new Wagon R stacks up against its rivals, on paper.
Based on the Heartect platform, the new Wagon R is decidedly larger (and lighter) than its predecessor. It’s 19mm longer, 125mm wider and has a 35mm longer wheelbase (now equal to that of the more expensive Ignis). Of the lot, the Wagon R is the tallest by a significant margin, the lightest and has a longer wheelbase than all these cars except the Go, which is the longest car here, and also has the longest wheelbase. The increase in the new Wagon R’s dimensions will free up more space on the inside. That said, at 32 litres, the Wagon R’s fuel tank is the smallest, with the others all having slightly larger tanks, at 35 litres. Wheel and tyre size is identical on all cars except the Tiago, which gets wider tyres. On paper, then, it looks like the Wagon R will retain one of its most endearing qualities – a feeling of spaciousness.
|Fuel tank capacity||32 litres||35 litres||35 litres||35 litres||35 litres|
|Tyres||155/80 R13-165/70 R14||165/70 R14||175/65 R15||165/70 R14||165/70 R14|
As expected, the new Wagon R carries over the familiar 68hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder K10B engine. What wasn’t expected, was the availability of the 83hp, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder engine (K12M) borrowed from Maruti Suzuki’s larger hatchbacks such as the Swift and the Ignis. This is a big plus for the Wagon R, as this puts it on an even footing with the Tiago in terms of power output, and it has an inherent advantage as the other cars here have three-cylinder engines, with the exception of the Santro – but the Santro’s 1.1-litre unit is way off the mark in terms of power.
|No. of cylinders||3/4||4||3||3||3|
|Gearbox||5-speed manual/5-speed AMT||5-speed manual/5-speed AMT||5-speed manual/5-speed AMT||5-speed manual||5-speed manual/5-speed AMT|
A 5-speed manual gearbox is standard on all these hatchbacks, and an AMT is available on all except the Datsun Go. As for fuel efficiency, it’s the Tiago that tops the standings, but we expect the new Wagon R (with the K10B) to match or even better it. A CNG option is available with the Santro, Celerio and will also be offered with the Wagon R - but only with the smaller engine.
To take the fight to the well-equipped Santro, Maruti Suzuki will equip the new Wagon R with features buyers have come to expect from cars of this size. The top-spec ZXi variant will get Maruti’s SmartPlay 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, while the mid-spec VXi will get a standard 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. Maruti Suzuki has also made the following safety equipment standard – a driver’s side airbag, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, a seatbelt reminder for the driver and front passenger and a speed alert system. This is the same as all the other cars here, and it remains to be seen which other features Maruti will spec the new Wagon R with.
The Wagon R has always been perceived as a superb value-for-money buy, and Maruti Suzuki knows better than attract buyers with competitive pricing in a price-sensitive segment. While the base LXi variant will continue to be the most expensive of the lot (with an expected price of Rs 4.3 lakh), the priciest variant should touch the Rs 5.6 lakh mark, a price point at which the new Wagon R will be on level terms with the top-spec Santro and Tiago.
|Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)|
|Price||Rs 4.3-5.6 lakh (est)||Rs 3.90-5.65 lakh||Rs 3.40-5.63 lakh||Rs 3.29-4.89 lakh||Rs 4.21-5.40 lakh|
But this is just the battle on paper. Which of these hatchbacks truly is the best in its class, is something we’ll find out once we taken them all out for a mega comparison test… which should happen soon, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, tell us – which of these hatchbacks is the most appealing to you and why? Leave your thoughts in the comments.