Honda WR-V review (By Nitesh Kumar) Home
Honda has launched its compact SUV WR-V in the market. For enthusiasts knowledge WR-V stands ‘Winsome Runabout Vehicle’. Glad that Honda has stuck to the acronym for branding purpose. There can be contrasting views to the timing of the launch, one view is that this launch has been quiet late in the somewhat crowded compact SUV market which will be difficult for Honda to make inroads into, the other view is that Honda launched this car after putting in lot of effort to get it first time right & therefore success should not elude them. Now only time will tell what is going to be the fate of this car.
Somehow, Honda has never been into the mad rat race of coming out with cars as per the ongoing trends. There are multiple examples to support this. The latest being BR-V about which it can be said that it was too little too late.
Now coming back to WR-V , let’s see that all the efforts and time which have gone into its launch was worth a wait. At first glance, it can be said that it is Jazz in a new avatar which has a raised platform with a muscular theme. But there is nothing wrong in this as this is what most other compact SUVs are, barring Ford Ecosport and Maruti Suzuki Brezza.
Design & Features
Honda should get all the accolades for giving their best shot for not making WR-V look same as that of Jazz. The front has a raised stance with a flat nose. There is a chrome garnish on the grille which has now become a trademark for all Honda cars. The headlights, which integrate quite well into the chrome garnish, also get LED DRLs (daytime running LEDs). A flat & short nose gives lot of space for the front grille thereby allowing Honda designers to make WR-V look heavy and muscular. The bumper is accentuated with a silver colored plastic cladding making it gain prominence.
Coming to the sides, you get the same doors which are in Jazz, the windows are large giving a broad & airy view much like bigger SUVs. You also notice plastic cladding along the wheel arches & the roof rails, the most common items which differentiate the hatchbacks from their cross over or SUV variant. The larger 195/65 size alloy tyres also bring lot of character.
The rear has ‘L’ shaped tail lights which though are of the same size as that of Jazz , but have a re-oriented lights pattern. The number plate is positioned a bit lower, though above the bumper which distinguishes it from the Jazz. With these observable changes, Honda has managed to make WR-V look and feel more like a SUV. Due credit needs to be given to Honda designers here for working out a design within the constraints.
Unlike the exteriors, the interiors of the WR-V are almost the same as that of Jazz. It gets the same asymmetrical dashboard which is black in color with a bit of silver linings thrown in along the AC vents to break the monotony. Given the width of the dashboard, it would have been good, if Honda had thought of giving an open shelf above the glove box to keep the knick knacks like tissue box which is a miss in Jazz as well. The blue light of the instrument cluster gives a soothing feeling. Overall the cluster has dials and digital displays which have enhanced readability and visibility. The large dashboard though makes the front & sideline visibility poor. WR-V gets a new 7- inch touch-screen infotainment system & sunroof, a first in this segment. The Android base infotainment system looks and feels a lot more up-market, and supports Wi-Fi connectivity if you connect a Wi-Fi receiver to the USB port. Talking about safety, WR-V is equipped with dual front airbags and ABS as standard feature in all the variants.
The overall dimensions of WR-V make it even more spacious than the Jazz. It is lengthier than Jazz by 44 mm which brings an additional 25 mm to the wheelbase & incremental 9 liters to the boot. Honda’s philosophy of “man maximum, machine minimum” has been judiciously implemented enabling to offer much more than desirable in terms of space and comfort. For passenger comfort, the WR-V offers ample legroom and knee room at the back, this even when the front seats are trudged back to their outer limit. However, option of magic seats or 60:40 split has been given a miss in WR-V.
Engine and performance
WR-V gets the same engines as that of Jazz. This means a SOHC 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol that produces 90PS at 6,000rpm and 110Nm at 4,800rpm as well as a DOHC 1.5-litre I-DTEC turbo-diesel that puts out 100PS at 3,600rpm and 200Nm at 1,750rpm. Honda gearbox, just like in their other cars makes a typical sound “tick-tack”, which is a sign of the smoothness & precision. WR-V is no different on that front with smooth gearing ensuring an effortless city driving.
Petrol engine , looking at the specs is grossly underpowered. With WR-V weighing 50 kg more than the Jazz , this problem has been further aggravated. Petrol engine gets a 5-speed manual transmission , there is no option of CVT like in the Jazz. The engine lacks power which leads to frequent gear shifting to get the desired thrust. The engine though is quite refined & ultra quiet till you rev it beyond 4000 rpm. City driving should not be an issue due to a responsive engine with shorter gear ratios. But once you take it to highways or rough terrain then the acceleration becomes a challenge. Honda claims a blended mileage of 17.5 kmpl which is quite decent, given the weight of the car.
Diesel engine, on the contrary is quite responsive with good low end grunt. The turbo gets into the job while cruising on the highway. The linear power delivery make the car enjoyable, though it lacks the punch. Honda has altered the gearing to optimize it for better acceleration. The 6-speed manual makes WR-V an excellent highway car. Honda is claiming that the WR-V diesel will offer segment-leading efficiency with a figure of 25.5kmpl. This is 1.8kmpl less than what they claim for the Jazz. Even though Honda has worked quite hard on improved acceleration , what is still annoying are the high NVH levels which are a big put off. Honda hasn’t done much about the same which is quite unexpected , given that the same is persistent in other diesel powered Honda car models in India.
Ride and handling
What is worth a notice in WR-V is its suspension which has taken a major leap from the Jazz. The raised frame with larger tyres give a ground clearance of 188 mm, a good 23 mm more than that in the Jazz. The raised stance enables WR-V to gobble up the potholes with utmost ease. The suspension is neither too stiff nor too soft , giving the right experience on bumps & speed breakers. The car does have a bit of body roll around the bends, but overall the vehicle remains well planted. The steering is quite responsive & feels soft for maneuvering.
WR-V like its cousin Jazz is a very practical car which does justice to its character and positioning. WR-V provides an option to the prospective buyers who want a vehicle which can perform well for effortless city driving during weekdays & possesses highway and offroading capabilities for the weekends. It is easy on your pocket with decent mileage. WR-V has clear distinct characteristics which makes it look different from the Jazz. The diesel variant though being noisy is better of the two, as it brings with it desired power for ultimate driving pleasure.
WR-V is available in 4 variants – 2 petrol ( S & VX) & 2 diesel (S & VX) . The price range starts from 7.5 Lakh & goes upto 10 Lakhs. It is costlier by 70K than the Jazz.
For more details log on to https://www.hondacarindia.com/honda-wrv