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Old 14th November 2009, 11:59   #1
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Smile WagonR Vxi 2005 - 37,000 kms

The Buy:
- Only other option at that time was the Santro but decided on WagonR due to some reasons that I cannot quite recall now, possibly it was the good and cheap A.S.S
- Some discount or the other was on, so got the VXi instead of the LXi, which again was a good choice, in retrospect esp due to the wider tires, D/N inside mirror, central locking etc though I really wanted the black coloured bumpers on the LXi
- Additions:
a. Sony Explod MP3 player instead of the stock MGA (which was free in the offer) with 4 speakers (back ones in the boot door)
b. 3M underbody and in door panel treatment, a good choice in retrospect methinks
c. 3M 70:50 sunfilm, expensive but again no regrets
d. Alarm, which was free in the package I think
e. Fabric seat covers, just look a little better

Drives
- A little city driving in Bangalore first 1 year as I was using the bus to work, but did a few long ones including two Bangalore - Pune trips, the first when golden quad was under construction (aaargh!) and one to Mysore
- Moved to Pune, daily use in Pune, around 32 kms a day in city traffic, mix of smooth/ rutted/ potholed/ bumpy tarmac/ cement at crawl/ high speeds
- A few more drives from Pune: Mumbai, Goa

Interiors
- Quality of the plastics is not top line, but you get what you pay for. And the interiors haven't let us down, no rattles anywhere at all
- Seats are decent as long as you have 4 adults, 5th would be uncomfortable on anything over half hour drives and no seat belt either. Not very ergonomic, have a bad back so got a seat back support cushion for that
- Rear seat angle can be adjusted, very handy and am a little surprised that most sedans don't have this
- Can make a flat bed by folding single/ both front and rear seats. Folding down the rear seats makes an enormous boot that can fit everything you need to setup a new house, well except for your fridge that is...
- Legroom decent for your average sized Indian
- Driving position is both good and bad. Good in the view offered, front, side and back, and bad in the leg position while operating foot pedals. Your right ankle WILL go sore on long drives
- Dashboard quality on this one is OK, much better on the new versions though. Electronic ODO with 2 tripmeters very handy
- Lots of in-door and other storage areas all over, makes cleaning it up after a long drive a little troublesome though!
- Sony Explod with 4 speakers does a decent job, the controls on my one (esp volume) are a bit hard to get at. The new ones are MUCH better.

Exteriors
- The look was a major turn-off then but there are so many on the road now that I don't believe it is any longer a sore point
- Paint quality on the non-metallic paints is not great, slightest of bumps, scrapes and it comes right off. My dad's 2002 Indica's paint job is much better I must say!
- ORVMs in that version are not convex, a bit of a pain, but fixed in the new versions
- Getting a bit grubby near exterior trim inspite of a daily wash. Anyone can recommend a good way to get those accumulations off?
- A fair bit of road and engine noise filters into the cabin. Sounds from other vehicles are muted though

Ride, Handling, Braking
- The ride is a tad stiff. Ride quality definitely better in the front, rear passengers can feel every bump quite distinctly unless you slow down
- Bumps are handled OK, just don't decelerate while on the bump. Ruts on the other hand are a different matter. Prepare for a teeth grinding thud if you are going fast.
- But the suspension holds up through all this with no problems (so far!). Doing NH4 during golden quad construction was bad with many high speed bump encounters but no damage done
- Not recommended to go over 110 kmph even on an excellent road, handling gets very iffy
- No high speed cornering, thanks
- Steering is a delight, never too heavy or light and always get a sense that the car is going exactly where I'm pointing it
- Brakes are good but a little grabby, but they get the car to a halt fairly quick. Have had a few lock-up and skid situations even with the wider tires on the VXi so go for the new ABS version if you can

Engine and Transmission:
- The engine delivers decent torque at the low end, can pull away from a stop in 2nd gear with 2 seated and the AC off
- Turning on the AC saps the engine of this torque, so I DO turn it off and on again as the occasion demands, esp in city
- Will struggle to pull a fully loaded car esp up inclines, a good way to learn the virtue of patience
- The gear-shift is like your mother-in-law, you will learn to get along but there will be occasional problems and you will never really like it
- Gear ratios 1, 2, 3 and 5 are good. Find 4 to be a bit of a nothing gear, can't really use it much, usually just a stepping stone between 3-5. Maybe could have made 4 and 5 taller, god knows...

Service:
- I get it serviced every 6 months, fluids, filters, tyre rotation, balancing. Don't feel the pinch at all as it is bloody cheap and usually decent job
- Have had a problem with the central locking on one of the doors
- Front brake calipers replaced in last service
- SA recommended de-carb in last service which I rejected, thought it was too early
- Replaced one wheel rim which was dented by clipping a curb, Rs 740 (heard the rim on the Santro is Rs 1,200 odd)
- A couple of minor accident jobs (mainly denting, painting work) were handled well with no fuss and with the cashless Maruti insurance. Highly recommended!
- Battery changed in May this year
- Maruti service almost ALWAYS overinflates tyres, get them checked out during delivery or later at a good pump
- One of the tyres has developed a bump on one sidewall recently after another round of overinflation and me driving around for a some time with that . Put it in the spare wheel for good
- M.S.S. refuses to do minor touch up jobs that are needed to protect the metal, saying that need to paint the whole panel. Anyone can recommend a good place to do this in Pune?
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Old 15th November 2009, 17:02   #2
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Missed out a few things:
- FE currently between 13.5 - 14.5, details on the FE thread here (What is your Actual Fuel Efficiency?). Notice a drop of 0.5-1 kmpl since the first year
- Don't have highway FE as I don't leave with a full tank. Last trip got FE of 17, where 1/3rd tank was used in-city
- Engine sound has become a bit louder since the first year. Not sure if the problem is a noisier engine or problems with the sound insulation. M.S.S service advisers assure that the engine sound is OK
- Drop in power on switching on the AC is more pronounced than in the first year
- Narrow width very handy while manoeuvring in city traffic and parking
- The boot looks small but is capable of storing quite a bit more than comparable hatches, even without folding down the rear seats

To wrap up, it is one of the best city hatchbacks at the price and can do highway runs as well as long you don't push it. LPG version would be very handy as well...
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Old 16th November 2009, 09:20   #3
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Thats a very detailed review on your Wagon R mrwalker. You seem to be a very satisfied owner after 37,000 kms. Low upkeep, reliability and good FE are the factors which make owning a Maruti, total peace of mind. Its good to know that your Wagon R doesnt suffer from any rattles even after clocking so many kms. Swifts on the other hand have major rattling issues. I've found the AC of the Wagon R to be chilling and it does cool well.

One question though. Why did you get your brake callipers replaced? Was it recommended by Maruti or did you have a problem?

Looking forward to the 50,000 km update.
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Old 16th November 2009, 10:27   #4
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This is one of the best detailed review i feel on T-BHP forum. So much details. Dude by the time i finished reading i felt i was reading some novel. Good show dude
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Old 16th November 2009, 11:34   #5
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Default Brake callipers

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Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Thats a very detailed review on your Wagon R mrwalker. You seem to be a very satisfied owner after 37,000 kms. Low upkeep, reliability and good FE are the factors which make owning a Maruti, total peace of mind. Its good to know that your Wagon R doesnt suffer from any rattles even after clocking so many kms. Swifts on the other hand have major rattling issues. I've found the AC of the Wagon R to be chilling and it does cool well.

One question though. Why did you get your brake callipers replaced? Was it recommended by Maruti or did you have a problem?

Looking forward to the 50,000 km update.
Thanks for the kind words!

Brake callipers was recommended by the service adviser because on some noise coming from the front brakes during the test run before giving for last service. Honestly I couldn't make out the problem myself but I sort of trust the dude and don't want to take any chances with brakes...

50k update for sure, though it may take much longer as am planning to get a sedan!!
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Old 16th November 2009, 13:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post

50k update for sure, though it may take much longer as am planning to get a sedan!!
Neat & detailed review indeed. Mine has clocked 87k Kms since March 2006 when I purchased the Lxi variant and personally satisfied with every bit of it now that It is difficult to get rid of this hatch even when I think of an upgrade to a sedan.

Off late, have been regulary doing Bangalore-Pune (at least 7 times in the past 18 months or so) and the best mileage I was able to extract was 19.25kmpl with 2 adults and 50% AC which otherwise is anything between 17.5-18.5kmpl.
My usual top-up destination enroute to Pune is Nippani and this time I refilled at Kagal (while Trip was showing 563) and Auto-cut off to Auto-Cut off could fill in 29.2 liters of fuel.

Agree that this isnt a hatch for speeding but it is a not so aerodynamically designed tallboy and how it handles is not bad at all (of course, within its speed limits). Testing track is the windings around Tawandi ghats on NH4 and you really know where it falls in terms of handling. On Straights, with weaker crosswinds, this can manage good straight line and even a bit of lane changing while overtaking few mightier fellas (read trucks).

Gearbox is notchy at times but I have found mine to have settled with times.

It cries for power with 4 adults and AC on, but isnt the 1.1 liter with 64 horses behind it doing the job pretty well? It is the same case with other cars in its league as well unless we are comparing it with a Swift or the likes.

Periodic replacements of parts have included Spark Plugs, Filters, Suspension (@73k) and Clutch (@73K) and Disc Brake pads (@40k). Stock tires lasted till 49k though it could do another 3-4k I was skeptical. Have faced no issues in terms of reliability even when I have done Bangalore-Pune in the recent past. No breakdowns whatsoever and no overheating even when belting the Pune-Haveri Stretch for hours together at speeds varying between 90-130kmph.

Decarbonization, Engine flush and fuel system cleaning periodically have ensured that it is performing as before even till date.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post

M.S.S. refuses to do minor touch up jobs that are needed to protect the metal, saying that need to paint the whole panel. Anyone can recommend a good place to do this in Pune?
Check out Shetty's in Sanghvi. When I last paid a visit for a bumper dent, Instead of suggesting a replacement he was helpful in taking off the dent by heating the bumper using a gas welding equipment and charged me 50 bucks and the bumper was back to its normal shape .

I saw a couple of cars lined up for a paint job and I am sure they should not let you down.
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Old 16th November 2009, 13:48   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker;1582217-
[B
Interiors[/b]
-- Rear seat angle can be adjusted, very handy and am a little surprised that most sedans don't have this
- Can make a flat bed by folding single/ both front and rear seats. Folding down the rear seats makes an enormous boot that can fit everything you need to setup a new house, well except for your fridge that is...
-- Driving position is both good and bad. Good in the view offered, front, side and back, and bad in the leg position while operating foot pedals. Your right ankle WILL go sore on long drives
The reclining rear seat was the USP in my buying decision in July 2001. It is unfortunate that this feature is not available anymore. You can't make a bed either by joinng the front seats.

I've also mentioned about the lack of under thigh support and the odd position of the acclerator pedal which are big impediments for long drives.

You can find more details in my long-term ownership review.
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Old 16th November 2009, 22:50   #8
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Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
It is difficult to get rid of this hatch even when I think of an upgrade to a sedan.
True! That's why I'm keeping it and buying a sedan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
It cries for power with 4 adults and AC on, but isnt the 1.1 liter with 64 horses behind it doing the job pretty well? It is the same case with other cars in its league as well unless we are comparing it with a Swift or the likes..
True...

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Periodic replacements of parts have included Spark Plugs, Filters, Suspension (@73k) and Clutch (@73K) and Disc Brake pads (@40k). Stock tires lasted till 49k though it could do another 3-4k I was skeptical. Decarbonization, Engine flush and fuel system cleaning periodically have ensured that it is performing as before even till date..
Thanks for the heads up on the costs and the tip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Check out Shetty's in Sanghvi. When I last paid a visit for a bumper dent, Instead of suggesting a replacement he was helpful in taking off the dent by heating the bumper using a gas welding equipment and charged me 50 bucks and the bumper was back to its normal shape .
Thanks for the tip! Just need a minor patch on the bonnet...
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Old 16th November 2009, 22:59   #9
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Default No bed/ reclining seats?

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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
The reclining rear seat was the USP in my buying decision in July 2001. It is unfortunate that this feature is not available anymore. You can't make a bed either by joinng the front seats.
I didn't know that! So the only one left with this feature is the Xylo I guess. Sad...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
You can find more details in my long-term ownership review.
Nice one! Esp the part about "blowing compressed air at the radiator with my vacuum cleaner".. I should try that!
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