Honda WR V Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox


Honda WR V Overview

India is considered as one of the biggest markets for the subcompact SUVs and crossovers worldwide. And this makes every other automotive manufacturer die to get a substantial slice of pie in this segment. The Japanese auto giant Honda with the launch of WR-V, forayed into the profitable subcompact SUV segment. The company so far has managed to dispatch promising number of units and still banking strongly with stylish looks, upmarket interiors and fuel-efficient engines of this vehicle.Check for SBI car loan.

The 2017 Honda WR-V is based on Honda Jazz platform and looks completely different from outside. WR-V gets an aggressive face with elements like a large bumper, large radiator grille with chrome accents, muscular lines on the bonnet and headlamps with black inserts. Side profile gets sporty pronounced wheel arches along with diamond cut alloy wheels that enhances its muscular appeal. The rear end features L-shaped wrap around tail-lamps, new bumper, and faux skid plate. Honda WR-V is available in 6 colours namely Alabaster Silver, Modern Steel Metallic, Carnelian Red, Carnelian Red Pearl, Premium Amber and Golden Brown Metallic.

Inside the cabin, Honda WR-V gets all-black interior theme and the design of the dashboard is carried over from Honda Jazz. The driver’s seat is height adjustable while the seats are very comfy and covered with fabric upholstery that seems to be pretty nice. Most of the elements are carried forward from Jazz such as all-black dashboard along with chrome accents, instrument cluster, and touch-sensitive climate control. The feature list of WR-V includes 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with WiFi, USB-port, AUX-In and Android Auto with multi-view rear parking camera, cruise control, keyless entry and push-button start among others. In terms of safety, Honda WR-V is equipped with dual airbags, ABS with EBD which is standard across the range.

Sharing the platform with Jazz, Honda WR-V derives its power from the similar set of engines as seen in Jazz. Its 1.2L petrol i-VTEC engine can produce power output of 89bhp and peak torque of 110Nm. The 1.5L diesel motor, on the other hand, can generate power of 99bhp and peak torque of 200Nm. Transmission option includes 5-speed and 6-speed manual.

Honda WR V Exterior & Look

What you’re looking at is Honda’s new crossover, the WR-V, which is based on the Jazz and is slated to be launched in India on March 16, 2017. We’ve already driven the diesel variant and you can read more about that version here. Honda proudly claims that this sporty lifestyle vehicle was built entirely in-house at their Indian R&D facility. Targeted at the young urban buyer, Honda expects the WR-V to quench the thirst for a compact car that can handle city traffic along with higher ground clearance to tackle both city challenges and weekend adventures.

At first sight, you’d be hard-pressed to see the Jazz through the WR-V, and we eventually realised that only the cabin, drivetrain, platform, and certain body panels are shared. To put things in perspective, the WR-V has a 25mm longer wheelbase, is 44mm longer, 40mm wider, and 57mm taller than the Jazz. There’s a strong crossover trait thanks to the tough posture lent by the tall angular hood that holds the Honda signature chrome slab and sweptback head lamps, high ground clearance, deep creases on the panels and the cladding all across.

Assuming that you’ve already read our diesel review, I shall just run through the exterior highlights. A rugged feel is brought about by the front fascia with the black cladding that also incorporates a silver skid plate. From the side, the WR-V shows off its larger 16-inch alloys with a high ground clearance (188mm over 165mm in Jazz), the roof rails and black cladding that extends over the wheel wells. The rear end is highlighted by the new tailgate with a lowered number plate, longer tail lamps, and a heavily cladded bumper with a skid plate.

Honda WR V Interior & Space

Like the exterior, the cabin design and layout is based on the Jazz albeit with a few revisions. The all-black interior comes with contrasting materials including soft touch plastics and is accented with silver trim for bits of air vents, steering wheel and door pads. The only noticeable change comes in the form a new gear lever which looks sporty and is great to hold. If you value plenty of storage space, the WRV has you sorted – besides the usual cup holders ahead of the gear lever and bottle holders in all four doors, the WR-V also gets a cooled cup holder for the driver’s side. Then there’s a new centre armrest which can even fit an electronic tablet. For more details on Honda WR V  check Icadl2013

In terms of features, the WR-V is fairly loaded. The top-spec VX trim in diesel comes with climate control with touch panel, multifunctional instrument cluster, push button start, cruise control and a rear view camera with multiple angles. We would like to add that the VX trim in petrol is devoid of cruise control and push-button start. That said, the WR-V is the only model in its class to come with a sunroof. It also gets Honda’s Digipad infotainment system which includes a 7-inch display and a ton of connectivity options such as smartphone mirroring tech, two USB slots, 1.5GB of storage and an HDMI port. First seen in the recently launched 2017 City, this system is a lot more intuitive than Honda’s previous AVN units, however, it still isn’t as slick to use as we would have liked. The inbuilt navigation, too, is slow to respond overall.

The WR-V’s cabin isn’t as versatile as the Jazz as it doesn’t get the magic seat configuration which basically allows the rear seat base to be folded upwards. Nonetheless, rear seat space is enormous and there is always more than enough legroom and headroom even for tall passengers. The seat cushioning though is a little too soft, especially the contours. The overall comfort level remains the same as you move into the front seats wherein it’s easy to find the ideal position thanks to the height adjustable driver’s seat and rake adjustment for the steering wheel. Pair that with the low-slung dashboard and the large glass house and it’s quite easy to navigate the WR-V around tight spots and in traffic. The 363-litre boot, too, is impressive and fully usable thanks to its substantial width and low loading lip.

Honda WR V Engine & Gearbox

As with the petrol Jazz, the WR-V gets the same 1.2-litre i-VTEC motor that produces 90bhp at 6,000rpm and 110Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. As of now, there are no plans to introduce the CVT gearbox in the petrol WR-V line-up. For now, Honda has coupled this engine to a new five-speed manual gearbox that’s equipped with shorter ratios to better the overall performance output from this engine. This can be seen in the ARAI fuel efficiency figures for the WR-V dropping from the Jazz’s 18.7kpl, to the new claim of 17.5kpl. It needs a note that the petrol WR-V also weighs up to 62kg more than the comparable Jazz.

Like most Honda petrol motors, this one is equally silent at idle and especially after driving the diesel, we felt the petrol WR-V’s cabin to be a lot more silent. Once off the mark, the WR-V is mostly eager to respond to throttle inputs, only at low speeds. It picks up pace in a linear fashion and as the momentum rises, you are left wanting for more especially in the mid-range. Plus, if you decide to venture to the 4,700rpm redline, you will get more engine noise than any increment in pace. As the mid-range is weak, it also means that you have to constantly downshift to stay in the power band for any spirited move, and plan your overtakes on those single-lane highways. Nevertheless, the gears shift accurately with a short throw along the precise gate. This ideally makes for an effortless gear shifting process which is further aided by the light clutch pedal.

The Honda Jazz’s suspension has gone through a few revisions before fitment on the WR-V, like an increased wheelbase and track for better stability and the bigger 195/60 R16 tyres (175/65 R15 on Jazz). It also gets an additional 25mm length for the springs to aid the higher ground clearance, thicker anti-roll bars and increased rigidity of the knuckles and lower arm for better handling. After a drive in the WR-V, we confirmed that the changes definitely made the car feel tougher while driven over broken surfaces. Unlike the Jazz, there’s hardly any suspension noises filtering into the WR-V’s cabin, and the superior shock absorption from the longer springs at any speed is a welcome addition, especially while traversing potholed roads. On the flipside though, the ride gets bouncy over undulating surfaces and sharper bumps.  For more information on Honda WR V check AutoZhop.

Honda WR V Ride & Handling

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 & Security

Ventilated discs at the front with drums at the rear ensure confidence-inspiring braking. As for safety, the new Honda WR-V offers dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard, and a rear camera with guidelines is limited to the top trim only. The company has also introduced additional features, like ECU immobilizer system, windshield defogger (rear), driver seat belt reminder, fuel reminder control system (diesel only), key-off reminder, day/night rear view mirror, intelligent pedals (brake override system), etc.

Honda WR V Price in Hyderabad

Honda Wrv On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 9,24,746 to 12,29,109 for variants WRV S MT Petrol and WRV VX MT Diesel respectively. Honda Wrv is available in 6 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Honda Wrv variants price in Hyderabad. Check for WR V price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Honda WR V Final Word

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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