Why would I buy it?
- Automatic convenience
- Fuel efficiency
Why would I avoid it?
- AMT could be more refined
- Noisy ride
What is it?
7.5 / 10
It’s a mid-cycle refresh for the current generation of the Maruti Wagon R, which has been around since 2019. In fact, it’s a minor refresh because there are no significant design changes to report and the list of extra equipment over the 2021 model is limited to alloy wheels and hill hold assist in the top-spec AMT version that we have tested here.
The 2022 Wagon R comes with the same tall boy stance but in a more modern avatar. For starters, the dual-tone option in the ZXI+ variant, wherein you get a black roof over the dark red colour on our test car, breaks the monotony. The 2022 model also gets 14-inch alloy wheels finished in black, something that was offered as an accessory before. In terms of range, the updated Wagon R can be had in four variants across six single-tone and two new dual-tone colour options. The 1.0-litre engine is available up to the VXi variant, whereas the 1.2-litre engine is available only from the ZXi trim onwards. Both engine options can be had with a five-speed manual or a five-speed AMT in specific variants.
Is the cabin any good?
7.5 / 10
One of the major selling points of all the generations of the Wagon R has been its interior and how incredibly spacious and practical it is for its size. The 2022 model builds on that and, like the exterior design, tries to make it more endearing to live with. It’s a comfortable space for a family of four; the boot is large and usable, and overall, the Wagon R continues to be an easy car to drive thanks to the light controls and superb visibility in every direction. What’s more, the overall look of the cabin has been slightly upgraded with the 2022 model.
The dual-tone cabin has been carried over from the 2021 car though the seats are trimmed in a slightly different shade of beige. The dash and other plastic elements retain the same grey shade as before. More importantly, like the old car, getting in and out of the Wagon R is effortless thanks to the wide opening doors and the ideal seat height. Although lacking visual flair, it’s a well-thought-out cabin as all the commonly used features, like the infotainment system and the air-con controls, are placed high up. In terms of space, there is loads of headroom and knee room on offer at the back.
The end result is a car that can easily accommodate six-footers in good comfort. The rear bench itself is well-shaped though the cushioning is a tad softer than we would like. The ZXi+ variant has all the basic features covered. There’s a 7.0-inch touchscreen system running Maruti's latest version of the Smartplay Studio UI that includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity with four speakers, USB and AUX connectivity. You also get steering-mounted controls, auto-folding electric mirrors with integrated ORVMs and a rear wiper. All versions now get dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors. From the VXi trim and upwards, hill hold assist in the AMT versions is offered as standard.
Is it nice to drive?
7.5 / 10
The Wagon R can be had with either a 1.0-litre or the fruiter 1.2-litre engine, and the latter is definitely nice to drive. It’s reasonably quiet and responsive, pulling cleanly from low revs, making it great for everyday commutes in traffic. Even when you up the pace, there is always more than enough power to keep up with fast-moving traffic. As part of the 2022 update, this 81bhp/113Nm 1.2-litre engine gets dual variable valve timing for higher claimed fuel efficiency as well as better real-world performance.
Speaking of real-world performance, the Wagon R AMT completed the 0-60kmph and 0-100kmph run in 5.91 and 12.73 seconds, respectively, in our tests, making it reasonably quick. The engine’s midrange grunt is reflected in our roll-on tests, with 20-80kmph coming up in just 6.89 seconds and 40-100kmph in an equally quick 9.79 seconds.
The five-speed AMT gearbox adds to the overall convenience of driving the Wagon R. Sure, it isn’t as refined as the one on the new Baleno, but for the price, it’s plenty good. Whether ambling along the city streets or cruising steadily on the highway, this AMT works well. It does show its bare roots when you want to reel in a gap in traffic, struggling to drop the gears quickly and leaving you with a brief pause before accelerating hard. That’s a consequence one has to live with. But when you are in a hurry you can resort to the manual mode, which will hold onto the gears and that is honestly a lot more effective.
On the other hand, leave the gearbox as is, and you will be rewarded with a highly fuel-efficient car when driven normally. In fact, in our fuel efficiency tests, the Wagon R AMT returned 19.31kmpl in the city and 22.34kmpl on the highway. The ride quality is on par with the segment. Over moderately smooth surfaces, the Wagon R remains unfazed and rides pretty flat with the suspension working without making it too obvious. It’s just that you end up hearing every other form of sound above 60kmph or so, be it engine noise, or road and wind noise. This car certainly needs more sound insulation.
Should you buy it?
7.5 / 10
There are very limited reasons not to. This 2022 update is a step in the right direction for the Wagon R range. The 1.2-litre AMT version, in particular, is plenty quick, fuel efficient and an incredibly practical city car. What makes it even better is that it’s not as barebones as one might think – for Rs 7.19 lakh ex-showroom, the 1.2-litre ZXI+ variant has all the essential features and some more. All in all, it’s good value and extremely usable, just like every iteration of the Wagon R in the past.
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi
Car Courtesy Excell Autovista, Kharghar (mob no: 9833732515)