functionality. Enter the updated Wagon R and the first thing you will notice is the all-black treatment dished out to the dashboard as opposed to the dual-tone dash on the standard Wagon R. While the dual-tone theme of the standard Wagon R adds a touch of airiness to the cabin, the Stingray’s black theme does look sportier. The piano-black accents on the door trim adds a touch of class too. Besides this, the bespoke blue-backlit dials make the cabin a bit more interesting. On the other hand, the Micra’s cabin looks a tad boring, but it lives up to its motto of ‘drive easy live better’ when it comes to ergonomics and functionality. As a driver, you will appreciate the Active’s great all-round visibility. In fact, the Active is one of the very few modern cars where you can actually see the bonnet—thanks to its bulbous design element that flanks its edges. This will make it easier for newer drivers to park.
Apart from a cubby hole near the gear lever, the Maruti lacks open areas on the dash. Instead, you get twin gloveboxes. This does tend to get inconvenient at times when you want to quickly stash away a few coins or a pair of sunglasses. Also, the door pockets are too narrow to fit even a wallet in there. Move to the rear and you realise there is quite a difference between the two Japanese cars. While the Stingray offers fantastic under-thigh support, it just isn’t wide enough to accommodate three abreast comfortably. At just 1475mm, the Wagon R is substantially narrower than the Micra (1665mm) and this restricts the possibility of a third passenger. Boot space is by far the smallest here, but the Wagon R comes with a 60:40 split on the rear bench, giving it good versatility. So, while the Wagon R is the best here to ferry a family of four, its narrow width just isn’t good enough for five, for which the wider Micra Active is the best suited. But, there is a catch. The Active may be more conducive towards carrying five people,