By Shahzad Tabish
It has been a year since PSMCL introduced Wagon-R in Pakistan and brought with it the concept of very first locally produced “Kei” car in Pakistan. In Japan, the Kei car concept was introduced keeping in mind the concept of cars being light & economical yet not compromising the practicality and space for owner’s utility. Today on roads we see a lot of small imported Japanese cars, all belonging to the came Kei car concept. Having a close observation of Wagon-R reveals that the car delivers what it promises.
The roof of the car is very tall, much to the annoyance of our consumers who are much fond of sleek looking hatchbacks, but a thoughtful person would understand the fact that in order to enhance the practicality of the vehicle the overall height of the vehicle is kept elevated, enhancing the volume inside the vehicle, enabling to stuff it with suitcases and luggage, So you would definitely be appreciating it on your way to; or from Airport/Railway station.
It’s heard that some eyebrows have been raised at the instability of the vehicle when executing high speed turns. We need to ask a questing in this regard to understand the fact. The family hatchback is meant to be practical and not a Formula 1 open wheeler instead, which resists body roll in high G turns, so the same applies to the Wagon-R. Well who needs a car requiring high speed turns in the first place when the car can accelerate effortlessly after the execution of a turn?
Discussing the brisk acceleration we shouldn’t forget the compact & lightweight engine of the vehicle which combines with the light weight chassis of the vehicle to give excellent power to weight ratio; 77 bhp/ton to be precise. This means that the Wagon-R can accelerate as briskly unlike any other 1.3L hatchback/saloon, as a driver if you might have tried it personally you would know how seamlessly the car accelerates pass the highway speed limit of 110kph.
The powerful engine delivering brisk acceleration doesn’t means that it is a gas guzzling one. In fact it’s one of the most fuel efficient engines Suzuki has to offer in any of its car variants, delivering in b/w 10-16 km/l of gas mileage as per the driving conditions.
As we discussed earlier, although we might see a lot of Kei cars on our roads all imported from Japan offering a lot of features to play with, however we have to face the fact that they aren’t brand new and sooner or later when there would arise the need of spare parts either they would be found too expensive or unavailable. It’s for the keen observer that approximately 5 years ago, the used imported cars we used to see a lot on our roads are now extinct, perhaps due to the starvation of spares which every car needs, no matter how good it might be. So with Wagon-R keys in your pocket, you don’t need to be worried about neither the After sales, nor the availability of spares.
Concluding its worth mentioning that we often see people expecting PSMCL to bring in new product’s to replace the old product line, however the same people as general consumers still love the old models over the newly introduced variants. Although all of us demand change, but we do resist adapting to change as a nation & this is our biggest dilemma. PSMCL has brought a positive change, a change introducing the concept of a modern, light, compact, economical yet powerful hatchback in the form of Wagon R to us, we have to adapt to it & for sure those who drive it would not be able to resist the temptation of driving it again! Cheers.
Published in printed version of Monthly AutoMark Magazine’s May-2015 edition
By Shahzad Tabish