Further to report above:- our 2006 1.2GL has now covered 15,000 fault free miles in 6 months-excellent 9,000 mile service from Ludlow dealer, door seals sorted, squeaky door sorted, reversing light sorted.
Car returned clean and on time.
We can recommend the new model very highly indeed- and although we loved our 2001 1.3 model, this is much better throughout, with better economy, torque and equipment.
We do find that these cars cope well very well with high mileage and heavy use, and expect to cover 80,000 miles in three years. For a small car, the ease of use, good visibility and good comfort (with optional centre arm-rest) makes huge distances a reasonable prospect, and we regularly carry out a fully loaded 400 mile run with no aches or gripes.
I think most Wagon Rs get chugged around town for 5,000 miles per year!! Ours gets used!
We await the all-new 2007 model with a sense of foreboding-this current one is so good and we will want another eventually.
Now at 22,000 miles, fault free, apart from slight dash rattle. Front tyres wearing on inner edges and need imminent replacement, but surprisingly expensive at £55 for originals, as they are an unusual size.
Still very happy with the car, and cannot think of a better replacement!
We just hope the next one has NCAP 4* safety or better as we carry the grandchildren in it, and the lack of safety equipment causes some concerns.
Only other thing is the tendency to slightly weave or "squirrel" at motorway speeds, but this is expected of a tall, short and high car, and does not worry us as we mainly use it around the lanes.
Congratulations on an honest and informative review. A few years back, when visiting my mother-in-law in Italy, we borrowed her 1.0litre Wagon to explore Switzerland for a week. Beggars can't be choosers, I thought, but I was astonished. Four of us plus luggage, yet the interior space is amazing. OK, yes, we laboured up some of those mountain passes watching mountain bikers overtake, and yes, they don't do Wagons in red in case the creators of Postman Pat sue, but it's a great little vehicle. Been trying to persuade my folks to ditch their old Fiesta for one!
Thanks for the positive feedback!
We can recommend these cars very highly; they are absolutely ideal for older drivers, and in our experience, Suzuki dealers are very good to deal with.
The near identical Vauxhall/Opel Agila is built in the same factory, and are now virtually identical to the Wagon R+ 1.2 GL in 1.2 Twinport Design trim- these are currently on offer in the UK at £7995 too, but with 0% finance.
If you want an automatic, you will have to source a pre-2005 Wagon R+ in 1.3VVT guise- the auto is no longer available new, much to the dealers' dismay.
Take a test drive; the 2006 1.2 model is superior in almost every way to the older model you drove.
I too owned a Suzuki Wagon R+. For two years I loved every minute driving my 1.0 GA model. A silky smooth and quiet engine it ran well up long motorway inclines and averaged over 50mpg. It was a good load carrier too - very useful as a furniture van. I regularly commuted along the A14 from Suffolk into Cambridgeshire. The only downside and ultimately the reason I sold it on - I found it was easily blown around by strong gusts of wind which I found unnerving - especially on exposed parts of the A14 approaching Cambridge. Perhaps I shall take a look at the new 1.2 soon as I love Suzuki cars and motorcycles.
The newer 1.2 model is more stable, but not as surefooted in crosswinds as a "normal" lower car such as a Swift.
Please be aware that the all new Wagon R+ is due to be launched within the next 12 months, mooted as being similar to the Splash concept (view by internet searches). It is being targeted at younger buyers, which I believe is a mistake.
Still, you might get a discount on the outgoing model soon...
The identical Vauxhall Agila is on offer with £1000 off and 0% finance at the moment.
Update by original writer:
Now at 37,000 miles and all is well. Just spent £280 on 36,000 mile services and front discs/pads which were borderline.
The car has run faultlessly since new and is improving with age, apart from a few minor knocks to the bumper corners, an intermittent lower dash rattle and door stays that dry out and graunch between services.
We await the new model to see if it suits us as well as this one, or whether the manufacturer will go solely after the youth market and spoil it!!
We ran this car until 48,000 miles, and replaced it with a 2007 Perodua Myvi, bought from my son (see report and comments 1.3SXI).
We were going to consider the new Suzuki Splash but we were disappointed with the boot and rear seat space. The Splash is better to drive and is far more modern, but loses out on the larger interior and boot, and loses the overall space and simplicity which we liked the Wagon R+ for.
It is a shame the Splash went after the youth market as we predicted. We did not like the smaller Splash, but do like the Myvi, however we do miss some things about the Wagon R+. The Myvi a better direct replacement for the Wagon R than the Splash, as it is simple, spacious and under £7000 with air-con. The Myvi drives better and is more stable, but the front seats do not go upright enough and some kit is missing-clock, parcel shelf strings, outside temperature gauge, underseat drawers and deadlocks.
My son now owns a Daihatsu Sirion which is nearly identical to the Myvi but has better specification-we would choose this next time as it has the better seats, clock and parcel shelf strings and cost under £7000 with air conditioning. It is also available with the 1.0 engine with 58mpg and £35 yearly road tax.
RIP the Wagon R+. Boo the trendy and more expensive Splash-we are not "youths wanting lifestyle choices". We just want a good cheap, simple, spacious car. The Sirion is the next best thing and our Myvi is perfectly adequate.
The Suzuki dealer says most Wagon R+ drivers do not like the Splash, but they are selling well to younger buyers. Is no-one going to respect the needs of older drivers?
3+ years driving Chanhe Suzuki 1.4 (Chinese clone of a Wagon R+).
My wife and me are absolutely in love with this car. It is speedy and dynamic, quite reliable, incredibly versatile and handy when it comes to transporting bulky luggage. It goes excellently through the toughest traffic and can park on a dime.
I wouldn't agree it is an old-lady's-car - I personally much enjoy quick starts from the traffic lights leaving a lot stronger cars far behind. Little Wagon has passion, really.
I inherited my parents Wagon R. My mum still gazes at it wistfully whenever she sees it. I love it to bits. I find it cute and characterful. It's known amongst friends as the 'popemobile' due to its cube like shape. I do find it a bit scary on high bridges, as it seems to drift with slight winds, but it uses very little petrol and nips around town efficiently - my family think I'm sad and my son is embarrassed when I drive by, but my Wagon R is my pride and joy!
Enjoy! They are a good car, even if a bit odd looking.
My Parents still miss theirs and wished that Suzuki has kept the basic shape and concept of the Wagon R when launching the new one. They hate the smaller Splash.
Check your cambelt has been done, watch out for battery failing, central locking issues and uneven front tyre wear.
Otherwise, they seem to last forever!