All-new Maruti-Suzuki WagonR launched

Merely months after Hyundai launched the new Santro in a bid to gain supremacy in the entry-level hatchback segment, Maruti-Suzuki has hit back by launching the third-generation WagonR in India. Consistently a best-seller, WagonR has been a huge success story for Maruti-Suzuki with a loyal fan following. The launch of this new model - priced between INR 4.19 Lakhs and 5.69 Lakhs - is a move by the leader to not let Hyundai invade it's turf.

WagonR has never been a style statement on wheels. It was - and still is - boxy with a design that gives precedence to function over form. The new model is no different. The squar-ish headlights that WagonR has always been synonymous with are retained, albeit stretched at the edges and swept back on to the sides. A new grille with a chrome insert in the middle and an updated bumper housing a large air dam and trapezoidal fog lamp pods complete the changes in the fascia. In profile, the ‘tall boy’ look and proportions are left intact. To add drama, a floating roof effect has been brought in the C-pillars and the character lines along the doors and wheel arches are more pronounced. At the rear, the WagonR now gets vertical taillights that extend till the roof.

Interiors have gone through a thorough update as well with a bright dual-tone dashboard replacing the dull grey interiors of the outgoing model. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Smartphone connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay takes prime place in the center console with manual air-conditioning controls placed beneath it. A 3-spoke multi-functional steering wheel and a digital tachometer greet the driver while the bigger cabin would help keep the occupants happy by offering more space and practicality.

Standard features on the new WagonR include driver airbag, Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, rear parking sensors, central locking and front power windows. The top-end variant, apart from the touchscreen infotainment system mentioned above, gets additional goodies like a passenger airbag, steering-mounted voice control, electrically-retractable rear view mirrors, rear wiper, washer and defogger and a storage tray under the co-driver's seat. It's sad Maruti-Suzuki isn't forcing Hyundai to follow suit by offering passenger airbags as standard in the WagonR. Thankfully, it's atleast an optional feature on all variants.

The biggest surprise element in the new WagonR rests under the hood. While the 3-cylinder K10B engine has been carried over from the outgoing model, Maruti-Suzuki has pulled off a master stroke by adding the more powerful K12M 4-cylinder engine to the WagonR lineup. While the former delivers 67 horsepower and 90 Nm of torque, the latter delivers 82 horsepower and 113 Nm of torque. Both the engines come with the option of a 5-speed manual or an automated manual transmission (AGS). Suspension duties are handled by MacPherson struts with coil springs at the front and torsion beam at the rear.

Bookings for the new WagonR opened just a week back and Maruti-Suzuki claimed over 12,000 bookings at the launch event. Clearly, India's largest car-maker has another blockbuster in the making.

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