Used car buying guide: Maruti Suzuki Wagon R

    Spacious, practical and frugal, the Wagon R is a safe bet when it comes to buying a used hatchback. We tell you how to get one.

    Published On Jan 17, 2022 08:00:00 AM


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    GOOD FOR: Spacious cabin, Peppy engines

    LOOK OUT FOR: Steering rack, Worn-out suspension

    The Wagon R in India is known for its boxy, tall-boy design, practical cabin and fuel-efficient, peppy engines, all of which have struck a chord with buyers ever since it was introduced. The current Wagon R was introduced in early 2019, retaining the original’s formula while further strengthening its core qualities. The new-gen Wagon R is still the car to beat in its segment, in terms of spaciousness and sheer practicality. However, there are a few things you should know before you go ahead and buy one.

    The third-gen Wagon R was launched with two petrol engine options – a 68hp, 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit from its predecessor and, for the first time, the 83hp, 1.2-litre four-cylinder unit from the Swift. Both engines came with a 5-speed manual and AMT gearbox options. The Wagon R 1.0 has an ARAI-rated fuel efficiency figure of 22.5kpl, while the 1.2 is claimed to do 21.5kpl (pre-BS6).

    The 1.0-litre engine is peppy and frugal, and when coupled with the AMT gearbox, it makes a decent city runabout too. The 1.2-engine though feels more punchy and refined, and it isn’t too far behind the fuel efficiency figure of the 1.0.

    Wagon R's 1.2-litre petrol engine feels punchy and refined.

    A few months after the petrols launched, Maruti Suzuki also introduced the popular CNG option to the Wagon R. The CNG uses the same 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine, which produces a lesser 59hp and 78Nm. The Wagon R CNG comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox only and is claimed to return a fuel efficiency of 33.54 km/kg.

    When launched, the third-gen Wagon R was available in three trim levels – LXi, VXi and ZXi. The 1.0 engine was on offer only in the LXi and VXi trims, while the 1.2 engine was available in the VXi and ZXi trims. The LXi and VXi trims were also offered with an optional pack, which brought in a passenger side airbag. The Wagon R CNG, meanwhile, was available in two variants – LXi and LXi (O).

    The top-spec Wagon R ZXi gets creature comforts like a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, power folding and adjustable wing mirrors with embedded turn indicators, front fog lamps, rear defogger, washer and wiper, and manual AC. In terms of safety kit, it gets a driver’s side airbag (ZXi variants get dual front airbags), ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors.

    Retains the ‘tall-boy’ stance of its predecessor; no alloys even on the top trim.

    If your running is primarily in the city and you value fuel efficiency above other things, the 1.0-litre Wagon R is the one for you. However, the 1.2-litre Wagon R feels like the more rounded package. Compared to the Wagon R 1.0, the 1.2 feels alert and light on its feet at all times. It picks up speed effortlessly and makes for a very pleasant drive as there is plenty of go in the mid-range. And all this comes with only a minimal penalty in terms of fuel efficiency.

    In terms of variants, it’s best to look for a top-spec version of both engines, especially since the Wagon R is not the best equipped hatchback. So that will be the VXi variant for the Wagon R 1.0 and the ZXi variant for the 1.2.

    As always, being a Maruti Suzuki model means that buyers can be assured of peace of mind. The spares are relatively cheap and readily available, in addition to Maruti’s widespread service network in the country.

    Buyer, beware…

    Steering rack

    Although not a common issue, some owners have faced problems with the steering rack. Test drive the car and check if there’s excessive play in the steering wheel or if there’s a clunking sound while turning. This is a sign of a bad steering rack, which will have to be replaced.

    Suspension wear

    During the test drive, check if the car crashes through bumps excessively and listen for any sound from the suspension. Wagon Rs are sometimes susceptible to early suspension wear.

    Interior rattles

    Drive through a bad patch of road and listen for any rattles coming from the dashboard and the door panels. Some owners have faced this issue.

    Also worth knowing

    Maruti Suzuki had issued a recall for Wagon R 1.0-litre models manufactured between November 15, 2018, and August 12, 2019, to inspect a potential issue of the fuel hose fouling with a metal clamp. The replacement of the faulty part is free of cost, so ensure that has been rectified if you’re looking at a car from this period.

    How much to spend

    Rs 4 lakh–5.5 lakh

    Seeing as the third-gen Wagon R is still on sale, it commands a high resale value. Also being a Maruti Suzuki, the depreciation is quite low. Hence, buying a used one for anywhere between Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5.5 lakh, depending on the configuration, is a good deal.

    Would you consider buying a used Maruti Suzuki Wagon R? Let us know in the comments section.

    Maruti Suzuki Wagon R factfile
    Years Produced2019-present
    Price when newFrom Rs 4.19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
    Engine3 cyls, 998cc, petrol/ 4 cyls, 1197cc, petrol
    Boot space341 litres

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