is a fair bit of engine noise that starts at moderate engine speeds (at about 2,500rpm), and in lower gears, gearbox whine intrudes into the cabin making city driving a slightly noisier affair than it is in the Wagon R.
The Stingray’s three-cylinder engine isn’t bad, but when compared to the Nissan, it falls short of refinement and low-end power. In stop-go traffic, the Maruti feels a bit jerky at lower speeds and the vibrations (inherent to three-cylinder engines) are more pronounced here too. A typical city overtaking move from behind the Stingray’s wheel generally requires a downshift to a lower gear, while in the Active, you will find yourself doing this less often—thanks to the wide spread of pulling power in the Nissan’s engine. Between the two, you will appreciate the super-light clutch on the Wagon R but, in terms of gearshift quality, the gearbox still feels vague when compared to the Active.
Ride & handling
Both these cars will spend most of their time driving around city roads, and in a metro like Mumbai that is peppered with potholes, an absorbent ride is quite vital. The Stingray and the Active share similar suspension set-ups but they are quite distinct in the way they behave on the road. The Maruti has a reasonably pliant suspension that, at slow speeds, handles broken and patchy tarmac better than the Micra. And it’s reasonably silent too. But, if you approach moderate potholes at over 20kph, there is a fair bit of thudding that enters the cabin and the vertical movements are more than what you would be comfortable with. The car feels fidgety at times. The Nissan’s suspension is a bit jarring too, but, go faster, and it rides much better.
When it comes to handling, both cars have a light steering wheel and a tight turning radius that is well suited to city driving. But, they become too light at higher speeds, and you may find yourself unintentionally changing lanes on the highway—especially in the Stingray.
What are they like inside?
Both cars have very distinct interiors that vary vastly in terms of their overall design and