Given the skyrocketing prices of petrol and diesel in India these days, and lack of electric mobility infrastructure, CNG comes across as one of the most viable fuel options for road users currently, particularly if you are living in a city. For the longest time, Maruti Suzuki has dominated the CNG car market space offering factory-fitted CBG kits on popular models like the WagonR and the Celerio. Soon, Hyundai also followed up with a couple of CNG models and now, Tata Motors are looking to explore this space with CNG kits for some of their entry-level models.
Given the increasing relevance of the CNG cars, here we have an owner's review of the Maruti Suzuki WagonR CNG. The owner bought the car in December 2020 and in just 6 months, he has driven more than 11,000 kms in it. But before we go ahead with the ownership experience, here are a few details of the WagonR CNG that you should be knowing. Maruti Suzuki offers a factory-fitted CNG kit only on the base-spec LXi and LXi Opt trims of the WagonR, and as such, it's pretty bare bones in terms of equipment. It's also worth noting that the CNG variants cost INR 80,000 more than the equivalent petrol variants.
This WagonR LXi CNG featured in this video costed INR 5.60 lakh (ex-showroom). Under the hood, the Wagon CNG is powered by a 1.0L three-cylinder engine that produces 58hp and 78Nm of torque. The engine solely comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and it has an ARAI-rated mileage of 32.52 km/kg. The owner has a daily commute of more than 70km, which was one of the main reasons for buying a CNG vehicle. The owner seems very satisfied with the ownership of this WagonR CNG, more so because the WagonR is a good car in itself, and certainly better than its rivals - the Hyundai Santo CNG or Celerio CNG.
The owner claims his WagonR CNG returns an average mileage of 28/29 km/kg with the AC running, and up to 30 km/kg without the AC. And that's not too far from the ARAI-rated claim. As for servicing costs, the third servicing 0f this WagonR CNG at 10,000 km costed to owner a little above INR 1,600 (mostly for small consumable items), which is pretty remarkable. The owner claims that the factory fitted kit can take more 8 kg of CNG and deliver a range of more than 250km on a full tank of CNG. Given the cost of CNG, you can have a full tank in about INR 400. The cost of running is thus incredibly low as compared to a petrol car.
The owner also seems very satisfied with the driving experience of the car. The WagonR is anyway a very easy and light car to drive, although he admits that its highspeed stability isn't great. That said, it does not feel particularly lacking in terms of performance. As per the owner, if you are in the market for a CNG vehicle, you should most definitely go for the WagonR. However, this being a base-spec trim, the owner has had to spend about INR 18,000 more on accessories such as touchscreen infotainment. To sum up, if you travel long distances for your daily commute, you should definitely opt for a CNG vehicle and the Maruti Suzuki WagonR is the best CNG car there is.