Honda WR V Review & First Drive

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Honda WR V Overview

The Honda WR-V is a newcomer to the hatchback-based crossover segment, taking on the likes of Hyundai i20 Active, Volkswagen Cross Polo and Fiat Avventura. But unlike its competition which includes merely beefed up models with plastic cladding and faux silver trim, the WR-V is a result of Honda India going all-out to create a legitimate crossover based on the Jazz hatchback.

We aren’t big fans of hatchback-based crossovers as they often tend to appear and feel like the cars they are based on. Happily, the WR-V bucks this trend, with vastly different styling, some additional new features and tweaked internals as compared to the Jazz. Here’s how the newcomer fares as an urban friendly crossover. Check for Honda WR V  price in Chennai at Tryaldrive.

Honda WR V Style

Butch design and Honda – two terms you generally don’t put in the same sentence, but the WR-V is fairly rugged looking, despite being based on the Jazz. Thanks to its extensive design changes, the WRV has great road presence for a hatch based crossover.Sleek headlights are skipped for an angrier and chunkier set of headlamps that get crescent moon-shaped daytime running LEDs at the corners. The car’s face is flat like a traditional SUV and is adorned by a fat chrome grille that makes the front look beefier. Additionally, the bonnet sits quite high and gets flared edges, but even so, Honda claims the WR-V complies with pedestrian safety norms.

Of course, there’s black cladding all around, plus plastic silver skid-plates, but the quality here feels average at best. To the sides, the door panels and character lines do remind you of the Jazz, but there’s a greater sense of road presence. In fact, the WR-V is 44mm longer and 57mm taller than the Jazz. It’s wider by 40mm too and even the wheelbase is up by 25mm!Everything about the WR-V follows a bada hai tho behtar hai (bigger is better) theme. So even the wheels are bigger, 16-inch sets with 195/60-section tyres. Yes, even the ground clearance has been raised to 188mm (23mm more than the Jazz). Not segment-leading, but good enough for our roads, even with a full passenger load.

The boomerang-shaped tail lights slice into the tail gate and the low placement of the number plate and chrome applique above it actually remind you of the Hyundai Creta. Admittedly, the overall styling is quite busy, but the WR-V pulls off the SUV look convincingly – just don’t let that make you think you can actually go off-road with it. Trivia: The Brazilian WR-V is no different than the car we get, but its ground clearance is rated at 200mm. This is because Brazil uses a different measuring method where the ground clearance is measured at the centre of the car – not the minimum clearance.

Honda WR V Space

The differentiating factor here, between the diesel and petrol WR-V, is that the latter does not get the push start smart entry system with related key, and the cruise control functions that appear on steering. Other than these differences, the cabin is exactly the same as we have detailed in the diesel WR-V review. But just so that you’re updated, the huge cabin from the Jazz has been borrowed with the same dashboard and a few revisions. There’s a number of cubby spaces like the one to the driver’s side of the dash, lower centre console, inside the arm rest and door pads, to stash your belongings. An electric sunroof, and the 17.7cm touchscreen infotainment system (12.7cm on Jazz) called ‘Digipad’, equipped with MirrorLink and the latest in smartphone connectivity, find their way to the WR-V’s features list.

The seats now come in two new upholstery options which use double stitching and an attractive mesh form. ‘Urban Casual’ (on S variant) gets a black and bluish-grey seat fabric, while ‘Urban Sophisticated’ (on VX variant) has a black and silver combo (on VX variant). Slide onto the front seats and the first thing you’re reminded of, from the Jazz, is the airy cabin and good visibility due the large glass area.These large front seats have a good design. However, the support isn’t the best since they are a bit too soft, especially around the contours, which in-turn don’t hold you in place when going fast around bends. Then again, there’s loads of headroom and kneeroom for tall occupants too. The WR-V doesn’t get magic seats, which Honda says, is a small trade-off for the inclusion of other features like the better infotainment system and the sunroof.

The rear bench is big enough to fit three passengers and there’s lot of headroom too, but it’s short on thigh support. Again, with loads of legroom and a flat floor that’s slightly angled upwards, it makes the overall seating posture quite comfortable. However, these seats don’t get a 60:40 split option and there aren’t any rear ac vents either. Honda claims the boot space has been increased from the Jazz’s 354-litres to 363-litres; a 9-litre increment that’s good for two small suitcases and a few soft bags. To know more info on Honda WR V  check Icps2016

When the WR-V gets launched, there will be two variants called the S and VX. Features that find their way into the petrol VX version include auto climate control with touch panel, an electric sunroof, and a 17.7cm touchscreen system with MirrorLink, navigation and smartphone connectivity. Honda has confirmed that ABS with EBD with two front airbags will be standard while other features include a multi-angle rear view camera, two power outlets, two USB ports, an HDMI port, electrically adjustable and retractable external mirrors, rear wiper and a defogger.

Honda WR V Gearbox

Moving on to the other end of the car, Honda has retained its familiar petrol and diesel engines, with 5-speed and 6-speed manual gearbox options. Starting off with what’s bound to be more popular of the two, the diesel-powered model gets a 1498cc, 4-cylinder turbo unit which makes 100bhp and 200Nm of torque. For the WR-V, Honda says they have worked on reducing the overall NVH levels. So has it worked? Not entirely. Although there’s less engine noise inside the cabin compared to the Jazz, the WR-V is not as refined as any of its rivals and the diesel clatter is evident nearly all the time. Honda, though, fights back with a fairly linear power delivery despite the strong mid-range punch. Better still, the 6-speed manual gearbox is a joy to use – it allows for super slick shifts and is complemented by a perfectly weighted clutch pedal.

After the 1.5-litre diesel, the 1.2-litre petrol feels pleasantly refined though we would like to add that this motor is pretty refined in isolation, too. Making 89bhp of power and 110Nm of torque, the petrol-powered WR-V is decently quick around town. Overall response can be best described as ‘relaxed’ and while there’s no flat spots throughout the rev range whatsoever, the WR-V does what it’s told to do, just rather casually. Again, the 5-speed gearbox (with lower final drive compared to the Jazz) is a sweet thing – because the engine isn’t as punchy as some of its rivals, this revised unit makes good use of the power on offer with smooth shifts.

Hatchback-based crossovers generally make use of the same suspension set-up as the vehicles they are based on. The WR-V though is a little different. For starters, it’s got a longer wheelbase and bigger tyres compared to the Jazz. As one would expect, the ground clearance is higher, too. All things considered, the WR-V does ride noticeably better than the Jazz – the ride quality is cushier over sharp-edged potholes and less clunky too. Although the coastal roads of Goa are among the nicest in the country, we did manage to hit a few rough sections where we found the ride quality to be consistent and comfortable, albeit slightly bumpy.

Honda WR V Driving

The electric power steering on the petrol WR-V felt slightly lighter than the diesel counterpart and this has a lot to do with the absence of 100kg! It is reasonably quick off the dead centre and is accurate for most regular driving chores. Despite it not intended for sporty driving, the WR-V can stick to its line around a bend reasonably well with a fair amount of roll. It does roll more than the Jazz though. However, the thicker anti-roll bars seem to have cut down the extra roll that could have been brought about by the new taller springs. That said, there is some side-to-side rocking motion due to the softer springs and the higher centre of gravity. On the whole, the brakes were able to fulfil most regular requirements and there’s good feedback from the brake pedal during panic situations too.

Honda WR V Safety

All variants of the Honda WR-V get dual front airbags and ABS with EBD as standard. It also gets a rear camera with multiple viewing angles, but like the City and Jazz, you don’t get rear parking sensors.

Honda WR V Cost in Chennai.

Honda WRV On Road Price is 9,08,620/- and Ex-showroom Price is 7,95,050/- in Chennai. Honda WRV comes in 6 colours, namely Premium Amber Metallic,Modern Steel Metallic,White Orchid Pearl,Carnelian Red Pearl,Golden Brown Metallic,Alabaster Silver Metallic. Honda WRV comes with FWD with 1199 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 89 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 110 Nm@4800 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Honda WRV comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Honda WR V Final Thought

The Honda WR-V, with its strong stance, portrays the right character for it to do well in the current times that are influenced by SUVs. What pulls the petrol WR-V down is the motor’s weak mid-range, absence of features like cruise control and start-stop function, the rear bench with no 60:40 split folding, and the soft and bouncy ride. Nevertheless, you will thank the soft ride when you go over a large pothole.

What works in WR-V’s favour is the sturdy looks, decent road manners, tried and tested petrol engine, higher ground clearance, and the spacious interiors. Frankly speaking, it just stands out from the competition which are just restyled, cladded, and raised versions of their hatchback siblings. However, the success of this model will also be defined by how much more it will cost over the Jazz. And if priced well, we think that the WR-V has the makings of a winner in the segment.

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