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Old 10th September 2014, 22:25   #1
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Default 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_008.jpg

After a wonderful 14+ year long journey with my Maruti 800 5 speed, I was in the market for a suitable replacement. With the summers in Chennai getting hotter with each passing year, an effective air con was fast becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. This, coupled with the 15 year mark(registration renewal time) fast approaching for my M800, lead me to start my search for a new vehicle.

After a wonderful experience with my 5 speed spanning close to 14.5 years, the brand of my next vehicle was almost decided even before the search began. Such is the confidence I (and thousands of others like me) have on the brand. Its very reassuring to have a manufacturer who stands by their product and is there for the customer when you need them, especially for someone who doesn't replace his vehicle every 5-7 years. I'm old school when it comes to my vehicles. I buy them for their engine and mechanicals. Features come up last in my pecking order. I didn't give even a passing enquiry at the competition. All the competition was under the same roof.

Alto 800 : This was the vehicle which I was initially considering. My running is very limited - somewhere like 1200-1500 kms annually. No, that is not a typo. My four year old Ritz back in my native has done just 10k kms. Hence it didn't make much sense investing a huge amount for a car. In fact, it makes more financial sense to rent a taxi for such low running, but a car with you will always give you more freedom that renting one. After test driving one in peak noon time, the aircon did not seem to be a match for typical Chennai summers. This was the main reason for this vehicle not making the cut. Moreover the Alto 800 did not seem like much of an upgrade, and I did not want to end up with the same engine I was used to for the last 14 years.

Alto K 10 : It was not test driven by me. I just inspected it at the showroom. Main reason for not making the cut - An all new Alto K 10 is just a few months away.

Datsun Go : This was brought up by wifey. Very good car for the price. Looks costlier than what you pay for from outside. Its the interiors that are a big let down. Costing cutting is evident on every panel you look at once you are seated inside. Nissan A$$ (to me) is an unknown factor. If this vehicle had a Maruti badge on it, it would have been flying off the shelves now. Again, did not visit a showroom. It was reviewed only through feedback available on the internet.

Hyundai i10 : The i10 is an older design that the current gen WagonR. Moreover the 1.2 Kappa is no longer available. The 1.1 irde, although a scorcher on the Santro, was a big letdown on the i10. It's fine for point A to B motoring, but floor the pedal and you will have a sad look on your face. No response from the engine. Pricing also was on the higher side, compared to a similarly speced WagonR. Again, did not visit a showroom. Father-in-law had an i10 earlier. So there was no need to testdrive the same again.

Hyundai Santro : Too long in the tooth. Moreover, since the Eon has been launched with the 1.0 litre engine, not sure if Hyundai would decide to pull the plug on this one.

Hyundai Eon : Interior space is at a premium. Moreover I am not a fan of Hyundai's fluidic design.

WagonR : Spaaaaaaace. This is one word that best describes the Waggy. I was floored by the amount of space available in a vehicle with such a small footprint. Ease of ingress and egress and the upright seating position was something not seen in the competition in this price band. Moreover the one year old test drive WagonR was in pretty good shape for the kind of torture these vehicles were subject to. The engine is very responsive to right foot inputs post 2000 rpm on the tacho. The torque delivery is not linear though. There are two distinct zones where the torque kicks in. Moreover 1-1.2k rpm is a flat spot with no response from the engine.

The three things I aspired for in my next car were an effective aircon, split rear seats (most used 'feature' on my M800) and a tachometer. The WagonR Vxi ticked all three boxes.

Well, there is no point in comparing vehicles across segments, but my search started off with the A segment and later I decided to upgrade to the B1 segment, which is why vehicles in both segments were discussed.

I discussed with three different dealers in south Chennai. Finally ended up booking the vehicle with Popular Pallikaranai dealership.

The Chrompet dealer promised to send a vehicle for test drive. I even made a reminder call once. The test drive vehicle never came. Nor was there any further calls/follow up from this dealer. Case closed.

The Neelankarai dealer was no better. They were in a hurry to close the deal without even offering a test drive. They tried hard selling. Heck they even had the audacity to say that the resale value of my exchange vehicle would drop by 5k if I postponed the purchase decision to next month i.e. from July to August. That sealed their fate.

Popular was at the other end of this spectrum. Once I walked in to the showroom, I was treated as if I was there to buy a Merc. I told the ASM that I am looking at the Alto 800 and the WagonR and that I haven't finalised the car yet. They promptly offered a test drive of both the vehicles back to back. They gave me time to think and decide and there was no undue pressure to close the deal. They kept following up with me about once a week. I would highly recommend Mr. Vidhyadharan, ASM of this dealership for anyone looking at Maruti vehicles in Chennai. The booking experience I had with Popular was absolutely top class. No false promises/claims/retractions were made. In short, they kept their word. All commitments were honoured. They made the entire buying process a thoroughly enjoyable one.

Note : I didn't mention my team-bhp membership at any dealership, as I wanted to know how they treat a regular walk in customer.

The booking was done on 09th August 2014 by paying an advance of Rs 12,xxx. I opted for Ecru Beige colour. The ASM was honest and told me upfront that he did not have this colour in stock. Normal delivery time for an in stock WagonR was around 7-10 days. He told me that he had to arrange one from the factory and the delivery time would be approximately 20 - 25 days from the date of booking. This was perfectly acceptable to me as long as there would be no change in the offer negotiated. I was actually happy that I would be getting a factory fresh piece as opposed to something that was lying at the dealer yard for 2-3 months. Moreover, since I could keep my exchange vehicle with me till the new vehicle was invoiced to me, it wasn't much of a bother.

An Ecru Beige WagonR was lifted from the factory on 11/08/2014. This would be delivered to Maruti's southern regional stockyard in Bangalore. From there it would be again transported to the dealer's Chennai stockyard after the dealer made the payment for this vehicle to Maruti. The ASM kept updating me on the logistics status as and when he got the information.

Meanwhile the loan was processed from SBI through the dealer and balance amount from my side was also transferred to the dealer's account. All the other necessary formalities were completed before hand to expedite delivery once the vehicle reaches Chennai. The vehicle was unloaded at the dealer's stockyard on 25th Aug. The dealer has arranged for PDI inspection prior to registration on my request at the dealership itself. The vehicle was sent for registration after I gave my approval.

Since the WagonR Vxi comes with pretty much all necessary features, the only additional accessory (excluding basic accessories) I purchased was the MGA seat cover. I was in two minds regarding whether to go in for reverse parking sensor or not and finally decided against it since I was not convinced they could do it without splicing any wires. Factory fit is factory fit.

The total cost excluding exchange value worked out to Rs 4.6 lakhs including 4th year warranty, basic accessories and MGA seat cover. I had negotiated hard for cash discount. Hence there was no other freebies given. Even basic accessories (mud flaps, dicky mat, floor mats, steering cover) were billed to me. Everything was done in a clean and transparent manner and there were no last minute surprises.

Last edited by GTO : 25th September 2014 at 09:40.
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Old 11th September 2014, 20:58   #2
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I took delivery of the vehicle post registration on 28th August 2014, the day after registration. The ASM has informed me at the time of booking itself that the vehicle would be delivered only on the day following registration and not on the same day. In fact the vehicle is cleaned and readied for delivery only after the registration process is completed. All the selected accessories were fitted and the vehicle was delivered to me the following day spic and span.

The delivery process took around 45 minutes during which the documents were explained and handed over along with a box of chocolate and a tissue box. I handed over a gift wrapped pen to the ASM as a token of appreciation for the exemplary service provided by him. Good work should be appreciated. That will keep people motivated. Another person was assigned to explain the features of the vehicle. This was followed by the customary photo op followed by key handing over along with the now standard 5 litre fuel coupon. All in all I had a very good buying experience and would highly recommend this dealership to bhpians.

The odometer read 50 kms when I took delivery. That was pretty much on par with the distance from the yard to the dealership and the to and fro trip from the dealership to the RTO for registration. I filled only 5 litres from the nearby pump since I was not sure of the quality of the fuel being dispensed there. Headed straight to a church and lit a pack of candles there. From here I headed to my regular pump and filled for Rs. 1500 (~20.5 litres). The reading showed three bars above half tank after this.

It's been around 15 days since I picked up the vehicle and the vehicle has logged 250 kms so far. Will be hard pressed to reach even 500 kms before 1st service at this rate.

Equipment Levels : Once you start using the car, you notice that there is a lot of useful equipment provided in the VXi trim. The 25k odd that you pay extra over the Lxi trim is definitely worth the money. If you can afford it (both the additional cost and waiting period), I'd suggest to go for the Vxi option pack with ABS and driver airbag. The Vxi trim is very well equipped and there is nothing much to complain about. In fact the motor driven ORVM's on the Vxi are an overkill for this segment. I'd prefer a less fancy knob type ORVM adjuster like you find in the Ritz Lxi. It gets the job done without a fuss. One less motor = one less thing that could go wrong. One piece of equipment I really miss is the storage space above the audio system at the centre. It was there in my M800 and is also available in the Ritz. Its very useful to store you house keys and toll receipts, with ease of reach for both the driver and front passenger and also to keep things away from prying eyes at the same time.

Usage Pattern : My office commute is 16 kms one way. I have started using the vehicle for office commutes maybe once or twice a week so as to get used to the vehicle and also to pile up some kms before the first service. Office commute is mostly in dense traffic. The traffic keeps moving though, except for waits at the traffic lights. On weekends we have a regular 25 kms round trip (home-church-home). The traffic on this route is sparse on weekends which makes driving enjoyable.

Exterior Styling & Design : The WagonR was and is a bread box on wheels. Nothing much has changed on that front. What they have done is to take that package and improve it in almost all aspects. The 2013 facelift is proof that Maruti can make a breadbox look good too. The new grille and bumper have brought in some attractiveness in what is otherwise a bland design. Overall build quality is typical Maruti. Nothing much to write home about. Most of the body panels are thin and light weight. Panels gaps on the bonnet area leave much to be desired. Fit and finish is not as good as you would find on the i10. The Ritz is a totally different animal in this aspect. Superb build quality and solid doors that give that rattle free Euro build kind of feel.

Interior Space & Comfort : The dashboard and instrument panel looks much better than the previous gen WagonR. The audio system, Nippon anti theft system, rear wiper and washer are all very welcome additions over the previous WagonR. The door panels, though they look good, their quality is no match for Hyundai. It seems Maruti has done this to reduce weight. Not a good move. Overall I would rate the interior design as among the best in the segment, but the overall quality needs improvement. Interior space is the USP of the WagonR. The wide opening doors provide ease of ingress and egress. You are treated to an upright seating position. There is loads of headroom and legroom. It's the best I have come across in this segment. The high seating position and large windscreen provides excellent forward vision. The only fly in the ointment is the thick A pillar that slightly restricts vision. Its not as bad as in the Ritz though. You have a much wider field of vision that you would get in a low slung vehicle. This is very useful for those who are used to reading the road (Refer my thread on Driving Etiquette for more information on this). The rear windscreen is sufficiently large and provides good rear ward vision when combined with the outside mirrors. Having flat side panels sans bulges (read Swift/Ritz) makes it easier to judge gaps in moving traffic and slot you vehicle accordingly.

AirCon, Seats & Ergonomics : The aircon keeps the cabin sufficiently cool in peak noon and is a real chiller during evening/night drives. In fact I had to shut off the aircon and keep just the fan running during a late night movie trip when the cabin became too cold for comfort. Even during the morning office commute, I start off with the fan in 2nd position and then bring it down to 1st after sometime. Its only during peak noon time with temperatures in the high 30's that the aircon takes some time to cool the rear bench and the blower is set to 3rd/4th position. For a vehicle with a one litre engine, the aircon does a very good job of cooling the cabin. The seats are wide enough for people of normal build and provide sufficient support for regular city drives. There is sufficient cushioning and lumbar support. I haven't gone for an outstation trip hence cannot comment on their effectiveness in long distance commuting. The ABC pedals are comfortably placed and all the controls are placed within reach. Anyone used to Maruti vehicles can get a hang of the controls within no time. One noteworthy feature here is the auto dimming cabin light that works in coordination with the door lock/unlock button on your key. The light comes on as soon as you press the unlock button. It dims out slowly once the key is inserted in the ignition or the lock button is pressed as the case may be. Driver side seatbelt reminder and lights on audible warning are other features that add a touch of class.

Engine : The engine suffers from sub par low end torque. It is more pronounced with the aircon running and in the first three gears, especially when trying to pick up speed after slowing down. The in city driveability suffers due to this. The engine is no match for the F8D, which though low on outright power, has a linear torque curve and good low and mid range torque. Post 2k rpm, its a completely different animal and you make brisk progress. There are two distinct torque curves that you encounter as you work through the gears. I haven't taken the vehicle out on the highway, hence cannot comment much on that, but the vehicle is stable at 60-70 kmph speeds that I have managed to attain. Engine is peppy once you cross 2k rpm, hence highway driving should not be a problem. Keep the engine in the 2k-3k range and you will be suitably rewarded. That said, this engine is in its elements in the AStar, which has a 'tight' chassis and very good levels of road grip, allowing you to extract the maximum potential of this engine.

Transmission : The gearbox though an improvement when compared to the M800, could have been better. The throws are a bit too long for my liking. All the gears slot nicely once you get the hang of things. There is some trouble in slotting it in reverse at times, which is typical of Maruti vehicles. You need to work on the gears in city driving and the engine will protest in no uncertain terms if you try to lug it, thanks to the poor low end torque. Its not as slick as the Ritz's gearbox though, which is joy to work around, with short throws and smooth shifting action.

Fuel Efficiency : I haven't done a full tank yet, hence cannot comment on the FE. Moreover the bars displayed are not consistent with the amount of fuel in the tank, in the sense you cannot relate to 1 bar = x litres of fuel. The last time when i filled 14 litres, it climbed 5 bars.There are 10 bars in total, to represent the tank's capacity of 35 litres. I'll reserve my comments on this after doing a full tank and piling on some kms post that.

Suspension, Ride & Handling : The WagonR's front suspension is mounted on a subframe and the results are there to see. Unlike the M800's suspension where every jolt is transferred as is to the cabin, there is a certain amount of plushness in the ride quality when tackling bad roads in the WagonR. The thuds are muted and not bone jarring. The same cannot be said about the rear seats though, where the ride is bouncy, similar to that of the Ritz. Handling suffers due to the tall boy design. You are reminded of the vehicle's tall boy dimensions every time you have to take a 90 degree turn. Body roll is pronounced and does not inspire confidence at speed, especially if you are used to low slung hatches or sedans. You are advised to adopt a laid back driving style.

Steering & Brakes : The super light EPS seems to be a bit over servoed at low speeds but weighs up sufficiently as the speed picks up. It lacks the kind of feedback that you get from a hydraulic setup aka Ford. The steering wheel is well designed and looks premium. The horn pads are placed within easy reach. The silver accents on the steering wheel lend a touch of class. Brakes are par for the course. They have sufficient bite but are not as good as those of the Santro or i10. I would rate the brakes better than that of the Ritz though.

Audio System : The audio system looks much better than it sounds. Let's just say it gets the job done. I mainly use it for listening to news during my office commute. The sound output is decent when playing music from the USB drive, but not so good while tuning in to FM stations. The fact that I don't pull out the antenna while listen to the radio might also be a large contributor to the lower sound quality.

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_010.jpg

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_011.jpg

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_001.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 25th September 2014 at 09:42.
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Old 14th September 2014, 23:17   #3
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The Instrument Panel

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_002.jpg


The Eagle Wings Audio System

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_003.jpg



12V Accessory Socket & Accessories Switches Panel

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_004.jpg

Notice the panel gap between the music system and aircon controls. Silver surrounds add a touch of class.

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_005.jpg


The Jopasu duster placed in the limited boot space available.

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-dsc_0616.jpg

The central console provides two distinct slots in front of the gear lever to hold knick knacks. I'd rather have a single slot that could hold a smartphone. Behind the gear lever there are small slots provided to hold coins (see picture). Behind the handbrake lever there is another small openable slot that can hold a 500 ml bottle (not seen in picture).

The driver side armrest contains the controls for all four power windows with backlight and auto down for the driver side window.The ORVMs can be set using the round knob upfront for both driver and passenger side. The only thing lacking here is the door lock/unlock button.

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_006.jpg


Notice the flat side panels in the rear three quarter picture and the upright rear seating position.

2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review-tbhp_007.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 25th September 2014 at 09:42.
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Old 19th September 2014, 22:18   #4
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Default Summary

What you'll like :
  • A practical city runabout
  • Excellent forward and rearward view
  • Upright seating position on both rows
  • Interior space
  • Much improved looks on the face lifted version
  • The Vxi variant is real VFM
  • Plethora of features considering its positioning

What you won't :
  • Engine vibration at idling
  • Sound insulation could have been better
  • A Pillar creates blind spots
  • Sub par low end torque
  • Lack of engine temperature gauge
  • Limited boot space
  • Body roll

The small yet significant things :
  • Doors auto lock once you reach 25 kmph
  • Doors auto unlock when the key is removed from the ignition
  • Child proof lock provided on the rear doors
  • Auto dimming interior lights coordinated with the lock/unlock button on your key when set to 'DOOR' mode
  • Seat belt warning lamp provided in the instrument panel
  • 60:40 split rear seats very useful for airport runs
  • USB port provided for the music system
  • 12V accessory socket available for gizmo freaks

Last edited by longhorn : 19th September 2014 at 23:00.
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Old 25th September 2014, 09:52   #5
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th September 2014, 12:15   #6
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Congratulations for your new car! The reflector that you use, is it really effective?

Why not also buy a good quality cover since your running is so low.
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Old 25th September 2014, 13:42   #7
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Congrats Longhorn. Wishing you many happy miles in WagonR. I have the same machine, same color, in Chennai, and can't agree more with each of your points. Its now 9 months with the beauty. In the beginning the FE was 16 (100% city, 80% aircon) now its 13 (100% city, 100% aircon). After my first year's service I hope I'll get a better FE.
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Old 25th September 2014, 22:27   #8
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Congratulations for your new car! The reflector that you use, is it really effective?

Why not also buy a good quality cover since your running is so low.
Thank you. Yes the reflector is very effective in keeping out the heat. Since it is silver in colour, it reflects the light. You can hold the steering wheel straight away even if the vehicle is parked under the sun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravradha View Post
Congrats Longhorn. Wishing you many happy miles in WagonR. I have the same machine, same color, in Chennai, and can't agree more with each of your points. Its now 9 months with the beauty. In the beginning the FE was 16 (100% city, 80% aircon) now its 13 (100% city, 100% aircon). After my first year's service I hope I'll get a better FE.
Thanks ! I did go through your thread before my purchase. I feel an FE of 13 in city is decent for the WagonR considering the fact that its not aerodynamically designed. My friend's AStar gives only around 13 in city with a/c.

Last edited by longhorn : 25th September 2014 at 22:34.
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Old 25th September 2014, 23:23   #9
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Congrats on your new ride and welcome to the Waggy club.

I got me one for myself just a couple of days ago (a Glistening Gray VXI) and I echo your views on all the pluses and minuses that you've observed in your post.

Wish you many happy miles and a fuss-free ownership.
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Old 26th September 2014, 10:31   #10
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Congratulations longhorn for your new ride!

We bought wagonR back in 2012. It's a brilliant car for city use. And yes it's S.P.A.C.I.O.U.S!

I drive Figo TDCi and wagonR is driven by my dad. When I drive wagonR occasionaly, I agree on all the plus points you mentioned above. On the flip side, braking and handling at high speeds are not at all confidece inspiring. It shakes at high speeds when a truck/bus passes by. But I guess that's pertinent to the design of the car.

Happy mile munching!
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Old 26th September 2014, 14:25   #11
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
... The only thing lacking here is the door lock/unlock button.
If i remember correctly,when you unlock the driver side door, then all the doors will be automatically unlocked in wagonR.
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Old 26th September 2014, 14:47   #12
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Welcome to the WagonR Club. Its been 9+ years with my 2005 Vxi model. Going good and never thought of changing the car amidst of all these new releases. You have made a perfect choice for your needs.
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Old 26th September 2014, 14:51   #13
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by StepUP! View Post

I drive Figo TDCi and wagonR is driven by my dad. When I drive wagonR occasionaly, I agree on all the plus points you mentioned above. On the flip side, braking and handling at high speeds are not at all confidece inspiring. It shakes at high speeds when a truck/bus passes by. But I guess that's pertinent to the design of the car.

Happy mile munching!
I have a 2005 vxi, done a lot of high way, never felt non-confident on handling, braking or flicking. (Cornering is definitely not something you can do in this car at high speeds though).
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Old 26th September 2014, 15:13   #14
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_antony View Post
I have a 2005 vxi, done a lot of high way, never felt non-confident on handling, braking or flicking. (Cornering is definitely not something you can do in this car at high speeds though).
I said it because I was comparing it with Figo. Due to tall boy design wagonR doesen't seem planted at high speeds like Figo. And again lack of ABS scares me to drive at a high speeds.
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Old 26th September 2014, 15:39   #15
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Default Re: 2014 Maruti WagonR VXi - Ownership Review

Congrats on your new Wagon-R! I am sure it will be a loyal companion to you in the years to come. I had one for 7 years and never had any complaints against it, fun to drive in the city, one of the best options for taller people and is value for money. For some reason, I bought it for its looks more than anything else!
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