Finally visited the Maruti showroom yesterday to test drive the WagonR. it looks very similar to the older one and on the road most people wont even make out the difference, though the increased glass area makes it look a touch larger, mini-MPVish even. the interiors are pretty decent with the high point being the space (rear legroom is huge for a small car). the seats though a little flat. the K-series motor is a gem and has a nice little roar when revved. the problem here is that it needs to be kept at higher revs to get a move on in traffic otherwise it has a tendency to stall.. this in turn requires shifting the gears too often which isnt the best experience with the slightly vague gearshift. on the move its pretty silent and at low and medium speeds the ride is actually good. the steering is nice and accurate and the car is very stable even at 80kmph.
overall i was pretty impressed with the car. the price is 4.08lakh on-road Pune for the Lxi version which i think is good value for money.
after that went to the Hyundai showroom to check out the i10 1.1ltr Era (which is BS4). a test drive car was not available though sitting in the car one can immediately see the better built quality and nicer interiors. this model costs 4.37 lakh on-road Pune, though currently insurance worth 13k is free. Hyundai have also relaunched the Magna variant of the 1.1ltr engine and this costs 4.53lakh.
Joke of the day however was when i asked the Hyundai sales person why ABS isnt an option on the lower variants of the i10. he said "sir, the i10 is a city car where your maximum speeds are 40-50kmph. ABS switches on only beyond 70kmph so it is not required for city driving"