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Old 4th May 2010, 23:44   #1
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Default The Blue eyed boy (WagonR Lxi) comes home

I'm extremely happy to announce that we recently added the blue-eyed boy to our family and here is my story straight from the heart!

Why the Blue Eyed Boy? Lets go back in time...
Back in 2002 one of my colleagues gave me a ride in his then new Wagon-R and man did it win me over? Yes it very well did. I liked the tall stance, all round visibility and spacious interiors and felt that it had a great presence on the road when compared to the petite M800. Now, would you believe our liking for the boxy tall boy grew so much so that we have bought 3 of them in the past 5 years?

We are ardent Maruti loyalists and like most families our first car was an M800 which we bought in 1996. It served us well for many years and we felt a need to upgrade in 2005 for a bigger car. As ever the contenders were pretty much within the Maruti stable, since we felt they always were affordable and represented value for money.

While the family was pitching in for the Zen, I always had the Wagon-R in my mind. As luck would have it, a family friend was moving out of the country and he decided to sell his Wagon-R. So there, we added the first tall boy in 2005. The M800 was passed on to the next in the family which needed a first car and now wifey wanted a car for commuting to work. She chose the Zen!

My daily commute consists of 25kms in the city and the Wagon-R did a very good job in handling the roads of Breakeríbad. Every car has its share of problems and this one was no less. Enough has been talked about the old Wagon's gearbox and engine, but still the car served us well. Rising fuel costs and frequent long distance travel prompted me to go for an all new Wagon-R Duo in 2007. Around Dec 09 we decided to sell the Zen and approached Maruti True Value. At that time news was floating about the launch of an all new Wagon-R.

The staff at true value was hinting a deal to go for the Dzire by turning in the Zen and Wagon-R in exchange. Turning in a 2 year old car never made sense but then the dreams of owning a Sedan lured us big time. We made up our minds that it would be the last car we would ever buy.

The hunt begins...
Off went the Zen and Wagon-R and we were in the market for a Sedan. Our affordable sedans were the Dzire, Accent or the Manza. We truly wanted the Manza but then we got wary of TATA's cars (no offense meant to current owners). This could be a perception problem too. Perhaps other manufacturers are equally better in comparison to Maruti when it comes to the lean budget segment. Well, we somehow always trusted the known devil.

Being used to the Wagon's interior, the Dzire looked cramped and low in comparison. The Accent fit the bill perfectly but it was soon to be discontinued. And having exhausted our sedan shortlist and re-shuffling priorities, we went on the look out for hatchbacks. We TD'd almost all the hatchbacks but being bitten by the tall boy bug, I inclined on either the i10 or the Ritz. The Ritz's rear styling wasnít to our taste and i10 seemed overpriced in comparison to Wagon-R. By now it must be anybodyís guess that we decided to wait for the all new Wagon-R! Meanwhile my daily ride switched between an M800 and Alto and boy did I miss my Wagon-R. You bet, every bit of it. In my opinion the Wagon-R is eons ahead in terms of space and to drive. My biggest gripe was the brakes in these cars.

Come April 23rd the Wagon-R was launched and we made a quick dash to Varun Motors. Following is our review of the new car and how it compares to the previous generation.

Styling and Build Quality
The looks were flattering coz we werenít expecting a sea change in that department. We like subdued and conservative styling and guess most in the market for a tall boy would be too. Maruti did a commendable job in giving it a rounded fascia and kind of eliminated the boxy look. The sides and rear looked more or less like the outgoing model. We were fine with the earlier generation boxy looks and so this version only cemented our liking forever.

Space and Comfort
The doors opened wide and getting in and out of the car was a breeze for everybody in the family. The interior looked like volumes of head and leg room in both front and rear. Seats were good and tad better than the earlier model. We liked the new dashboard layout and the orange lit instrument cluster. Storage space looked adequate and the quality of plastics looked better than the previous car. The steering felt chunky and just right. We couldnít find any big difference with the ABC pedalís arrangement with the earlier model. So people familiar with the earlier Wagon-R's setup will not be in for a surprise. The overall build quality looked decent.

Buying Experience
Would you believe our TD was just about a visual inspection of the car and booking done on the spot! Assurances from the sales executive about the new K series engine's superior quality were taken at face value. Since Maruti did a good job in the styling department we were confident that it would be a nice car to drive too. The sales executive was very helpful and made our buying experience hassle free. Being a loyal Maruti customer the only offer was a 10k Loyalty discount. The total on-road price came to 4.2L after the 10k discount. There were no freebies, so we added the mandatory mud flaps, steering cover, floor mats, teflon coating and Anti-rust treatment. The expected date of delivery was on the 29th but ours got delayed by a day. On 30th we took the delivery of our Blue eyed boy minus some accessories.

Driving Experience
Driving the car for the past four days has been giving me a reassuring feeling from Maruti that it truly listens to its customers. I felt the car to be free revving and having to change fewer gears in the city. It pulls along quite smoothly and this is where Maruti addressed the problems in the old model. The gear throw is short and clutch feels light. The brakes were very much confidence inspiring. Contrary to views about NVH, I felt the cabin was quiet in comparison to the old model and vibrations were not pronounced. As for body roll, I only came to know after someone asked about it. Seriously, when 90% of my time is spent in bumper to bumper traffic where could I even experience body roll? The car never felt unnerving on the highways, but itís an all together different fact that I am no spirited driver and generally donít compete for speed or space on roads. I have not tested the FE but am expecting figures averaging between 15-17kmpl. Claims of 19kmpl actually made me not to wait for the DUO.

In a nutshell
Arenít you surprised to find why I donít have any complaints about the car? Did it sound like a perfect car? Well, yes and no.

Yes because three major improvements actually meant a whole lot for me. Styling, Space and Driving. Not to forget, Maruti sticking to the value for money mantra for this car. The only ĎNoí so far is the boot.

As always, Iím hoping for the same no non-sense experience from a Maruti. I have a feeling that people started to think twice before putting their money in extremely compact cars. After all a few thousands more would give acres of space and presence (lets forget about the Eeco for a second). And perhaps this is what recently happened with regard to the burgeoning numbers of i10. But I also understand a few thousands more could mean many different things to many people, yet there is no harm in giving a second look at the blue eyed boy for first timers.

I intend to keep this thread for timely updates, long term ownership reviews and to inform how the car is doing in general. I wish to thank team-bhp for letting me share my viewpoint and it would be interesting to know what others think about this car and my review.

Happy Motoring!

Initial Driving Experience

Folks, I believe a lot of people are interested to know how the new K series engine works in the Wagon-R and my initial driving experience.

In my opinion the previous generation car would beg to be flogged when slow moving traffic suddenly moves faster leaving a huge gap between you and them. Everybody faces this situation more often coz patience runs dry before the light turns RED. This problem has been addressed in the new Wagon-R.

When you are doing a 10kmph in 2nd gear and suddenly have the need to catch up with the vehicles in front without being honked, a simple tap on the accelerator is all needed. You could slot 3rd gear when in 20's and the car moves to higher speeds without much fuss. Vibrations are not felt when in 2nd gear in slow moving traffic and you donít have to ride the clutch too often as in the previous generation car. How about spirited drives between 30-60kmph? There too you could stay engaged between 3rd and 4th gear.

Convinced yet? May be not! Let me try again.

Living on plains we have zero or no steep inclines to take a car and test its pulling power. But thanks to the new shopping malls and multiplexes in town, there is now immense opportunity (no offense meant to mall/multiplex owners). These places give you a make believe parking in a deep down basement infested with more pillars close to each other than you find at Parthenon. Leave alone the fact that they charge an exorbitant sum for parking your prized possessions. I find there is great opportunity in these steep inclines to both test the brakes and torque.

Now, I would not want people to take my word and TD cars in these inclines and claim after a disaster that this was Kamesh's idea

But this is an everyday scenario for me in which I happened to have a major gripe with the previous generation Wagon-R. It gasped for breath after taking 60% of the incline and then I had to revv real hard. This was when no car is in sight on the incline. The situation would only get worse if the car in front pulls faster than you and then honkers at the back make you launch like a missile!

In that situation, the moment you leave the brakes and expect the car to take off cleanly, it will not. You are expected to move into 1st gear, floor the pedal and the engine will beg for mercy. When you slot the 2nd gear, the engine gasps and gives up, so you ride the clutch and get to the top.
I observed cars lean on torque or bad gearing would launch from the inclines and appear like an on-coming-missile to anyone remotely close to the exit. Thankfully most of the places now have speed breakers to slow these things down.

Iím not sure if this was discussed before in this forum, but here is my take on the Wagon-R on these infamous parking lot inclines.

Firstly the Touchdown

The car rolls down from the entrance and you could confidently trust the brakes to do their work in slowing the car down and there are absolutely no judders. Slotting to a lower gear will not emit an excessive whine from the engine and you are safe slowing down. Engine braking is a good thing but then I noticed many people in the fear of perhaps blowing the bonnet would not engine brake, but would prefer to engage the clutch fully and brake at the same time. Talk about a deadly combination!

Taking the infamous incline
Remember the ramp to the incline is short and you need to floor the pedal to gain momentum to cover the incline. The earlier generation car would take the incline quite steadfastly, but would eventually give up after taking 60% of the incline. God forbid in a scenario when the car in front stopped on the incline and you had to come to complete halt on the incline. As I explained the next stage would only get unnerving in the old car.

This my friends is addressed and now even if the car stops on a steep incline you could change to a lower gear and keep moving without excessively revving the engine.

In an enthusiasm to explain the scenario I also drew my idea using MS Paint. Pardon for the bad quality. I misbelieved that there was an artist in me!

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Last edited by GTO : 7th May 2010 at 14:57. Reason: Adding the post on the 2nd page, to the 1st itself. This will help others looking your review up.
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Old 5th May 2010, 00:38   #2
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congrats on the sensible buy.how is the rear space compared to dzire?
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Old 5th May 2010, 00:38   #3
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Hey Kamesh

Let me be the first one to congratulate you on your tall boy ..!!
Quite a nice write up!

And you are also the first person on the TB with the blue eyed boy!
DO post the initial driving experience!!

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Old 5th May 2010, 02:37   #4
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Congratulations on your new car! It's as sensible as cars go and am sure it will serve you well for many years to come.
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Old 5th May 2010, 03:52   #5
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Can you please give the cost break up?
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Old 5th May 2010, 06:44   #6
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Congratulations on your new buy. I agree with your view on i10, Dzire and Accent. But Tata Manza is a beautiful car with great comforts. Of course the Tata after sales service is a bit shocking. But for that its a great vechicle.
Nicely done reveiw and all the best for adding many more miles on your blue eyed boy.
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Old 5th May 2010, 07:37   #7
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Congrats on your new ride. Being a WagonR owner myself i can understand your love for this car.

The car is an absolute VFM. Do post your experience with the ride and engine performance with 4 adults and A C on.
It appears that the boot space has been severly compromised to increase leg room and this is gonna be problematic for some.
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Old 5th May 2010, 08:32   #8
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kamesh first off congratulations on the new acquisition,looks like the 1st on tbhp. Surprising that you were able to easily move back to a hatchback though the decision was made for a sedan.

As always, I’m hoping for the same no non-sense experience from a Maruti
Well am pretty sure they wouldn't let you down. Here's me wishing you a many miles of happy motoring with the tallboy.
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Old 5th May 2010, 08:38   #9
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congrats on a new car sirji .why your car has done 92 klmts in showroom , is the dealer yard far away ???
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Old 5th May 2010, 08:51   #10
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Congrats Sirji, Nice purchase and nice review. Having owned a WagonR for 3 years, I agree with you on the feeling we get when we drive the Waggy. The New Wagon R is very impressive (except for the boot). Wishing You many many miles of Happy Motoring. Keep updating the thread with ownership experience.

Enjoy, Drive Safe .
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Old 5th May 2010, 09:05   #11
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Congratulations Kamesh. I think you're the first one to own this car in TBHP. Such a beautiful car & interiors & IMO, its a true VFM. I'm sure you're going to enjoy the good times with this car. Just one question - being a WagonR owner myself, how about the interiors for holding coffee, water bottles & snacks? Have they improved? If you can shed some light on this, it would be appreciated.
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Old 5th May 2010, 09:39   #12
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Congrats on the Blue eye. The Wagon R is a perfect city car with loads of utility, now coupled with excellent mileage.

Enjoy many more miles with your blue eye
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Old 5th May 2010, 09:43   #13
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Congrats Sir.

The new Waggy definitely looks better than the old one. Plus, the Lxi is serious VFM! How much did you pay for her (Hyderabad, with all its killer taxes - sigh!), without and with those accessories?

EDIT: Just saw the price, never mind!

Last edited by quadmaniac : 5th May 2010 at 09:45.
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Old 5th May 2010, 10:49   #14
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Congrats on your WagonR. Please do posts updates on FE as and when you do the tankfuls.
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Old 5th May 2010, 11:11   #15
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Congrats on the no-nonsense car!

It might not look like a million bucks, will not make "heads turn on" the road. will not give "exclusivity" - but what this car promises is a totally satisfying ownership , a car that goes on its job silently without making a fuss - and making the ownership experience a happy one. .

Happy motoring in India's favourite tall boy car!

P.S. I also have a 6 year old WR and whenever i change - probably in next 2-3 years, it will most probably be another WR - unless and until something better is available in the market.
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