Maruti Suzuki has undoubtedly established itself as a brand that is now recognised by every middle-class Indian family. Their collection of automobiles, which includes everything from SUVs to mini hatchbacks, does not exceed the ₹15-lakh mark. One of their models, the WagonR, has been extremely popular since its introduction over two decades ago. From 1999 until 2021, the WagonR has been the top choice for every buyer looking for a low-cost vehicle. Entering the market with the nickname ‘Tall boy’, the WagonR was an instant hit right from the beginning. The car had a fresh new design, as back then the options were limited, it had a tall stance even though it was a hatchback, and more importantly, it had a low on-road price along with a low cost of maintenance. And as Indians have always been obsessed with the mileage of a car, the WagonR sure ticked all the checkboxes winning people’s hearts over.
Evolution through the years
In case you are wondering how many WagonR units are sold in India till date, the WagonR was first brought to the Indian market on 18th December 1999 and today, Maruti Suzuki has sold over 26 Lakh units of the WagonR by July 2021 and also is exported to suit the demands in countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan among others. It has also been quite popular in Pakistan and Indonesia. The first generation WagonR was one of its kind, with only the Hyundai Santro as its direct rival. And Maruti, always being cost-efficient, had caught the eye of Indians fairly well with the car as it car offered features that were considered to be luxury back then, such as power windows, power steering, excellent seating space in the cabin powered by the 1.1-litre petrol engine which was highly popular for producing good power. The first-generation WagonR held its position in the market for nearly 10 years, with just a minor facelift and sold around 8,80,000 units pan India. These high sales numbers from a time where car ownership was a luxury are enough to show how much love this car received from the Indians!
Maruti Suzuki though was sure to learn more about what their customers wished for and did rise to the occasion by introducing the second generation WagonR, which was now wider and taller than the outgoing car and also came equipped with a host of new safety features, and packed in multiple fuel options such as CNG, LPG to support the new KB10 petrol engine. Maruti’s prime marketing focus here was how this car happens to be serving the best in class mileage, hence catering to the wishes of every car buyer looking at a basic budget. Buyers in the Indian market simply loved the concept of having a fuel efficient car that could provide all comfort as well and there continued the success story of the hatchback. They also introduced a ‘stingray’ model to convert customers looking for a slightly premium car into owning a WagonR by offering better design, first in class projector headlamps and attractive badging and touches of chrome to add to the premium feel. The popular model priced at Rs 3.28 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi, claiming a mileage of 20.5 kmpl had cemented its place firmly to be the car which would be a wise investment decision for any family, and thus became a common name to the Indian middle-class section!
Why do people love WagonR?
- Affordability – Among the most significant reasons for WagonR’s success, this car has always been light on the buyer’s pocket. Be it while purchasing the car or for its maintenance, Maruti Suzuki has ensured that a WagonR owner need not worry about how much they end up spending for this vehicle. And Indians, always being cautious for the money they spend, found this car to be worth every penny.
- After-Sales Services – The WagonR saved the buyer from numerous trips to the service station, as well as heavy maintenance bills. At a time where all competitors had high maintenance costs, WagonR being the cheapest to maintain made customers tense-free from shelling out more money post-purchase.
- Mileage – As Maruti has always advertised, the WagonR has claimed best in class figures for mileage, right from its launch. By their highly popular ad campaign with the tagline ‘Kitna deti hai’, Maruti established that the WagonR’s mileage was unmatched and as the car did prove them right in the real world, people’s love for the car escalated and their trust began to grow more.
- Performance – While WagonR has been famous for saving up on costs, it has not cut down on its performance. Be it the initially launched regular petrol engine or the updated K series engine with the newer model, the WagonR has always performed to its best capabilities. The perfect amount of power, great handling for a comfortable city driving experience even through traffic and a responsive gearbox have made driving this car an enjoyable experience rather than just solving the purpose of travelling.
- Brand Loyalty – With Maruti always being true to their commitments and serving the customers post-purchase as well, customers in India have become loyal to the brand and find a whole new level of comfort while driving a Maruti Suzuki. In fact, the carmaker claims more than 25% of the WagonR owners preferred the car as their repeat buy.
WagonR 2021 - The Latest Avatar
Over 22 years of being India’s favourite hatchback, Maruti Suzuki introduced the third generation WagonR, with a starting price of Rs 4.93 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi, on an all-new platform, fresh engine, smarter and a highly attractive appearance, along with a cabin with ample features to leave every wish of the customer fulfilled, The new WagonR comes with two engine options, one being the traditional K10B engine from its predecessor, the other K12M engine producing a much higher amount of power to provide its driver with a fine driving experience. By increasing in size, this new car can house all 5 passengers comfortably. With a factory-fitted CNG kit option as well, the WagonR has been well armoured to combat rising fuel prices, and with the addition of an AMT variant in the WagonR’s range, Maruti has ensured that they leave no stone unturned in tending to their customer’s demands.
Even a critic would admit, this car has the Indian customer’s heart! The big ‘Tall boy’ leaves its customers absolutely awestruck. With an attractive look on the outside paired with a spacious, feature-rich cabin on the inside while giving out an excellent driving experience, there’s certainly nothing more to ask of a car at this price range. The engineers at Maruti Suzuki have closely understood what the Indians most cared about, and delivered the right car to them, fitting conveniently in the budgets of the entire Indian middle-class section and bringing their dream of owning a car a step closer. In fact, the WagonR has become the most commonly used car in the passenger-transport industry, further showcasing its high cost-saving ability. Overall, a complete value for money car without any post-purchase hassles is what makes the Maruti Suzuki WagonR a top choice for buyers even 22 years since its first introduction! Do let us know how far you find the WagonR and attractive option, in the comment section below!