The Maruti WagonR is one of the most popular Maruti models around. An average of thirteen thousand WagonRs roll off showroom floors every month and this is because car buyers love the combination of space, price and efficiency it offers. Now Maruti wants to widen its scope by making it easier to drive and live with by offering an automatic gearbox with a single clutch. Known as an AMT, the single clutch automatic is perfectly suited to do duty here as it is inherently more efficient than regular automatics.
The Maruti WagonR AMT uses the same engine as its manual counterpart; the 1.0-litre, three cylinder K10 unit good for 67bhp and 9.17kgm of torque. What’s nice about this typical three-cylinder is that it has a strong top end and likes to be spun fast. The addition of the AMT ‘box on this car also seems to have improved low-speed responses. Whereas the manual gearbox- equipped car needs a few revs to get comfortable, this AMT takes off as soon as you tap the accelerator, making it nice to drive in city traffic. However, there is a bit of jerkiness, as on all AMTs, and this is present if you go on and off the throttle. But Maruti seems to have improved the manner in which the gearbox and engine work together as well. The shifts seem a bit smoother and the speed with which the gears engage manually when you push on the lever seems to be a bit quicker as well.
Like the Alto K10 AMT, the WagonR AMT also gets the ‘Creep’ function where the car crawls forward in slow-moving traffic as with a conventional automatic and, to some extent, helps prevent it from rolling back on slopes.
Maruti will offer the WagonR with an AMT gearbox in the VXi trim which means you get air-conditioning, power steering, an audio system, front and rear fog lamps, keyless entry, power windows, electrically adjustable mirrors, tilt-adjustable steering and a rear wiper and washer as standard. It rides on the same 14-inch steel wheels offered on the manual-gearbox equipped model.
What you get for your money is plenty of space and convenience, all wrapped up in an easy to live with and drive package; a lot of car for the money in short. However, don’t expect or ask too much of it. It has been designed to be used on city roads and drives well at these speeds. So if you want the maximum space and efficiency possible on a tight budget and want an automatic gearbox too, this is the car for you.