Maruti Suzuki Wagon R Long Term Report 4
After three delightful months, it is now time to say goodbye to the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. So before the blue-eyed boy bids us farewell, let us take a look at all the things which impressed us and things that could have been better.
But, before that, we got a chance to dive a little deeper into Maruti’s Smartplay Studio touchscreen infotainment system. Apart from the usual Bluetooth telephony, we looked into the AHA service and other connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This AHA service includes navigation (which is operated through a separate app in the smartphone), podcast, news, sports and music.
All these services make use of your phones internet service, of course, but they add a whole lot of convenience while you are behind the wheel. People who love connected car technologies will find it very useful and for the rest of us, it is just an added convenience, be it for entertainment (like music, sports or podcast) or information (like navigation, news, and weather).
We also grew fond of the remote app which is part of the Smartplay Studio that lets you control many other functions on the screen through your phone such as sound setting, music source and balance/fader setting, many of which cannot be controlled on the head unit itself. This Smartplay Studio, however, is only available in the top-spec ZXI trim we have here and is worth spending the extra bucks on it because you do get a lot of bangs in return.
Also impressive is how Maruti has kept the little things in mind in terms of features which makes the overall experience so much more convenient and stress-free. Take the external boot access for instance. It’s an added convenience and it goes a long way when you have to just open the boot instead of going to the driver’s footwell every time and pulling the lever from there. Even the seats, offer a relaxed driving position while none of the other passengers will ever complain about the lack of space inside the new Wagon R.
Other small features like headlight on and key reminder, the passenger seatbelt reminder which only beeps when the seat is occupied, the day-night mode on IRVM, large cubby holes and stowage spaces, powered mirror and windows on all four doors and much more. Some of these features are again only offered on top-spec ZXI trim, and we’d still recommend spending a little extra since these make the overall owning experience slightly more premium.
Now about the things we didn’t like. Firstly, the unnecessary body roll which comes as a package of tall-boy styling. Whilst, this won’t pose as a major problem in daily commutes and if you aren’t even slightly more enthusiastic behind the wheel than an average Wagon R owner. But we do think slight responsive steering would have made the driving experience more fun. At higher speeds, the steering wheel needs to be jostled constantly which we feel is unnecessary.
Although Maruti has provided a tachometer – a digital one that is – in the Wagon R, it is a luxury only for higher-spec variants. In our opinion, it isn’t as useful as we thought it would be because it is too small to be noticed while driving and the little bar that fills up the counter isn’t easy to read either. And lastly, we expected a tad better fuel economy from the Wagon R since it only managed to deliver around 12kmpl during our usual city grind. Which is considerably poor considering that it is a city car and many people buying it would be concerned with how many kilometres they could go after each visit at a fuel station.
Even after these niggles, they aren’t deal-breakers at all. After using it daily, we realised why it has remained the favourite hatchback in a finicky car market like ours. Now, with the bigger engine, and the ease of automatic, the new-gen model also offers immense space and usability. The convenience, practicality and fuss-free driving experience that the Wagon R offers is hard to match, especially in the two-pedal setup. And you won’t regret it if you are planning to spend extra for this top-spec ZXI trim as it adds a premium feel to the ownership experience. After clocking close to 8000 kilometres in last three months, the Wagon R will surely be missed in CarWale’s long term garage.
Odometre: 9330 kilometres
Kilometres last month: 2982 kilometres
Fuel efficiency: 12.6kmpl
Pictures by - Kaustubh Gandhi