Since the launch of the Renault Duster, the compact SUV segment started gaining recognition and has soon become the hottest news in the automobile world, with various car brands introducing their own compact SUVs. Then came in the Ford EcoSport which revolutionized this segment with class leading features which once had a waiting peroid of 9 to 10 months. Then Maruti Suzuki added glamour with the glamorous Vitara Brezza. On March 16, 2017, it was Honda’s turn to add more wow to the segment, and after much efforts, launched the WR-V, the abbreviation for Winsome Runabout Vehicle, popularly called the WOW-RV in the commercial. It is the newest car in the crossover segment based on Honda Jazz.
What makes the WR-V the WOW-RV? Read ahead and get wowed-
|Ex-showroom Price Range||7,90,199 - 9,99,900|
Looking at the exterior, the Honda WR-V is a tall and well-designed machine. A length of 3999mm, width of 1734mm and height of 1601mm gives it a cool stance. Backseat passengers need not complain about leg problems as the WR-V has a large wheelbase of 2555mm. Heading out on a long vacation in the WR-V is a breeze, as a bootspace of 363litres means you can pack everything you need, even without folding the rear seats. Now, on the front side, Honda has took design cues from the Jazz and manipulated them to give a bolder look to the WR-V. The solid wing front grille with a chrome finish gives it a meaner look, and agressive looking headlamps with LED DRLs and position lamps with sharp fog lamps at the bottom at the sides of the front bumper skid plate gives this car a bad boy look. At the sides, this car defines sleekness with the side decal running from down the ORVMs having turn indicators, via the car door handles and meeting the tailights in the rear. 195/60 R16 wheel makes the car look bold, and the silver garnished roof rails and electric sunroof add the cherry on the top. The rear looks even more stunning, thanks to the L-shaped split type rear combination lamps. Chrome garnish on the license plate and rear bumper skid plate gives this car a wowesome look. Truly, this car is designed to woo people with its awesome wowness.
Don’t let the agressive exterior of the Honda WR-V fool you. The interior is cool and calm with a pleasing aesthetic look and a soothing light black theme. The steering wheel is the characteristic Honda 3-spoke one with buttons for audio control, voice command and cruise control. It also has tilt and telescopic steering adjustment. The instrument panel is a carbon copy of the Jazz’s with blue illumination with the analog tachometer and speedometer and multi imformation display in the third pod. The engine start/stop switch and height adjuster in driver’s seat adds the much needed convinience for this car. Honda’s DIGIPAD which was seen in the Honda City, is the music, handsfree bluetooth and navigation master in the WR-V. Wi-Fi support for internet browsing, MirrorLink connectivity, voice recognition all makes this car well connected to your phone. For the cool breeze, you have the automatic AC with touch control panel and the electric sunroof to make the most of the summer heat. To make room for even more convinience, there is a cup holder for cold drinks/smartphone on the driver side, bottle holders on the front and rear seats, large storage glovebox, front armrest storage, front console box having 2 cup holders and USB and HDMI ports for connecting your device. USB port is also seen with a power outlet in the front armrest. On the rear, the seats are comfy and have ample space. Along with interior light and cabin light, there is also coat hanger and one touch lane change indicator to add more wows in the interior. The WR-V has truly a soft touch in its interior capsulated by its agressive exterior.
To prove that the Honda WR-V is truly wow, its drivability is a very crucial point. The i-VTEC engine powered petrol WR-V has the same engine seen in the Honda Jazz. Churning out 90bhp, at slow speeds, it has a decent performance. However at mid-revs, the engine has a flat performance, which signals the need to shift to a lower gear to gain speed. For overtaking in slow-moving traffic this comes handy, thanks to the light clutch which makes gear shifting a breeze. However, the engine’s performance is good and the engine pulls off easily.
The diesel burning i-DTEC engine, as usual, has a good low-end pickup and smooth power delivery. However, refinement levels is a minus point here because of the loud engine noise and lot of clatter as well. The 6-speed transmission is nothing glamorous here as the clutch is slightly heavy to operate.
Coming to bumps and potholes, the slightly high suspension and the large 16-inch wheels riding on 195/60 R16 tyres makes the work of absorbing such road abnormalities easy. Also, it has a much better handling and is even more exciting at higher speeds. And to top it up, the EPS offers superb assistance at lower speeds and can be turned easily. It is precise and has a good feedback which makes the WR-V wowesome at all speeds.
Honda’s unique i-VTEC and i-DTEC has given the WR-V a wowesome performance.
The i-VTEC is the petrol burning powerhouse. It is a 1199cc, 4 cylinder and 16 valve SOHC engine. Its maximum power output is 88.7bhp at 6000rpm and maximum torque output is 110Nm at 4800rpm. A 17.5km/litre fuel efficiency is a bit downturning for this engine. And the 5-speed manual transmission is not so wowesome here.
Debuted with the Honda Amaze, the i-DTEC is the diesel engine- a 1498cc, 4 cylinder and 16 valve DOHC engine. This is a wowesome engine which delivers a power of 98.6bhp at 3600rpm and a torque of 200Nm at 1750rpm. To add the cherry on top, a fuel efficiency of 25.5km/liter adds the necessary wow in the diesel engine and the 6-speed manual transmission adds the powerful punch to it wowness.
Honda has always been passionate about safety. The WR-V comes with the Honda’s unique ACE body structure offers advanced protection. As a standard feature across all variants, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, impact mitigating seats, ECU immobilizer, day/night inner rear view mirror, intelligent pedals having brake override system, driver seatbelt reminder, pinch guard in driver side window are seen in the WR-V. The rear parking camera comes only in the top-end variant. The WR-V gets its rock solid stability from the McPherson Strut with Coil Spring suspension in front and Twisted Torsion Beam with Coil Spring in the rear. For optimum braking, the ventilated disc brakes in front and drum brakes in rear is assisted by ABS with EBD. The WR-V has wowed yet again with its innovative safety features.
The WR-V faces the issue of high pricing as seen in all Honda cars. Priced from Rs. 8.3 lakh to Rs. 10.6 lakh, in the crossover segement, it is very pricey to own. But Honda cars are well known for its design and trendy features. Even though it has a high price, just like any Honda car, it will not disappoint its customers. The Honda WR-V is the car if you want the wow in style and features from the people around you. Truly it’s a WOW-RV.
Considering the car is driven for 1000km a month i.e. 12,000km yearly, the cost of ownership for Maruti Suzuki Dzire can come upto Rs. 80,416 for one year, which includes Rs. 23,200 of insurance cost, Rs. 8640 of maintainence cost and Rs. 48,576 of fuel cost. We have not factored in the loan intrest as it depends on person to person and the percentage of amount taken in loan.
Honda has entered the crossover segment late. But the WR-V is keen to take on its opponents. They include the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Hyundai i20 Active, Toyota Etios Cross and Volkswagen Polo Cross. The WR-V is the currently at its infancy, let the future sales decide the fate of this competition.