After 20 years in the Indian market, Maruti Suzuki’s WagonR has got a complete makeover. The new WagonR, which was unveiled by the country's largest carmaker on Wednesday, has a new design, a new platform, and is bigger than the outgoing variant.
Maruti’s new offering, priced between ₹4.5 - ₹5.5 lakh, is all set to take on Tata Tiago which is priced at ₹3.4 - ₹6.49 lakh, the newly launched Hyundai Santro, priced at ₹3.9 - 5.65 lakh, Datsun Go and Renault Kwid which cost ₹3.29- ₹4.89 lakh and ₹2.67 - ₹4.63 lakh respectively.
The model shares its 5th generation HEARTECT platform with the new Swift and Dzire, making it longer and more spacious than the outgoing variant, and increasing the safety of its occupants through absorption of impact and dispersion of crash energy, according to Maruti Suzuki. The company has already received 12,000 bookings for the model.
"I am sure, the all-new WagonR will become a preferred choice not just for families but also for young and dynamic buyers," said Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, at the launch.
The vehicle, available in seven variants, comes with a new 1.2 litre petrol engine option or a choice of 1 litre powertrain or an automatic gear shift variant.
Maruri Suzuki, which has already sold around 22 lakh units of WagonR till date in India, expects to woo consumers with the new model.
“We are confident that the new WagonR with its all new robust design, dynamically crafted and spacious interiors…will become the choice of many more Indian families,” Ayukawa added.
While the new model is priced around ₹34,000 more than the outgoing WagonR, the added safety features and infotainment options justify the price rise, as per industry experts.
The company has added safety features like driver airbag, ABS (antilock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), front seat belts reminder, speed alert system and rear parking sensors are standard across variants.
The company has also added SmartPlay studio infotainment system—a 17.78 cm touch infotainment system that combines smartphone, vehicle and cloud-based services, in a bid to attract millennials.
“At Maruti Suzuki, innovation will move towards infotainment—like voice actuation, inter-connected home gadgets like lights, AC, refrigerator etc. We have to create a car as a big gadget for them [millennials]. The car now reflects your personality and acts as an extension of your drawing room or your office,” Maruti Suzuki India’s senior executive officer (marketing & sales) Randhir Singh Kalsi had told Fortune India in an earlier interview.
The new infotainment system allows people to surf news, get the latest weather updates and locate eateries around them.
According to auto experts, carmakers across the spectrum are once again focusing on compact mid-segment cars with the successful launches of Tiago and Santro last year. The customer sentiment, which had mostly drifted towards bigger and more feature-packed cars, seems to be coming back to smaller cars with newer and better options available in hatchbacks. Maruti Suzuki is also working on an updated Alto K10.
The small car segment which roughly sells 30,000 units per month went up to 36,000 after the launch of Santro in October last year.