Honda’s latest offering is a bit unique in itself and first of its kind from the Japanese stable – The WR-V. Well, it is a cross over built on the same platform as Jazz but when you will have a look at it the word crossover will not even once come in your mind. That’s the uniqueness we are talking about. Honda itself calls this car a Sporty Lifestyle Vehicle. Yes, it does look similar to Jazz from the side profile and a bit of similarity inside the cabin like the infotainment system and that’s it. Also at these dimensions, the WR-V is the first car in India to offer a Sunroof. The very idea of crossover segment in India is yet to sink with people and that is reflected in the sales chart. The WR-V in particular would like to keep some distance from its direct rivals Hyundai i20 Active, Toyota Etios Cross, VW Cross Polo and would rather stand close to indirect competition like the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Vitara Brezza. Reason behind this is simple – Segmentation. The Automotive Journalists have appreciated this move from Honda, but some still feel that Honda is late to launch the WR-V and this reason might go against them. Here is what the experts say all about the WR-V.
THE COMMON FACTOR
|Expert||The Good||The Could Have|
|CarDekho||Cabin Space Super Generous||Petrol Engine Feels A Bit Lethargic|
|TopGear||Considerably Spacious||Petrol Engine Feels A Tad More Underpowered|
|Overdrive||Ample Space Inside The Car||Petrol Engine Annoyingly Underpowered|
|AutoCar||A Spacious Cabin||Refinement Levels In Diesel Variant|
|ZigWheels||An Incredibly Spacious Car||Petrol WR-V Tends To Feel Restless.|
|NDTV||Ample Leg, Knee And Head Room||Diesel Engine – Delay In Power|
- The WR-V has great road presence for a hatch based crossover.
- It also gets cruise control and a push button starter, but that’s only if you opt for the diesel.
- As we saw in the Jazz, the cabin space is super-generous and taking the whole family for a trip will be no hassle, especially since you get plenty of bottle holders, two rear seatback pockets and a 363-litre boot.
- Blessed with more wheel travel and larger wheels, the WR-V pummels potholes without a fuss.
The Could Have
- Jazz’s Magic Seats have been skipped, nor does it get 60:40 split seats.
- You don’t even get adjustable rear headrests on a car that will easily cost Rs 10 lakh and above on road.
- The overall fit and finish quality could have been better, especially when you consider the fact that the WR-V will cost more than the Jazz.
- Another disadvantage is that unlike the Vitara Brezza, you don’t get that commanding driving position, which just adds so much to the SUV experience.
- The 90PS petrol engine feels a bit lethargic.
- If you are driving alone, the motor gets the job done, but with all the seats occupied, you will have to rev the engine hard and make frequent downshifts.
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- It feels considerably spacious, especially at the rear.
- The dashboard layout is typically Honda – simple, large and clean.
- Honda has skipped on a central armrest, charging points and even proper adjustable headrests, which would be important on longer commutes.
- Honda hasn’t been stingy with cabin insulation, and the overall refinement of Diesel unit is excellent, unlike some other Hondas.
- There is no clatter and no vibrations entering the cabin from the diesel powertrain.
- You will be more comfortable cruising at three-digit speeds in the diesel WR-V.
- In what is a segment-first, The WR-V will even get a sunroof.
The Could Have
- Petrol Engine feels a tad more underpowered here than in the Jazz thanks to the extra weight.
- The body tends to roll, which is the flipside of high ground clearance.
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- Credit must be given to Honda for ensuring that the car looks significantly different from the Jazz, unlike rival manufacturers with their compact crossovers.
- Honda has managed to make it look a little more sporty and a lot less minivan.
- The WR-V also gets features like a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a segment-first sunroof.
- The WR-V will get ABS and dual front airbags as standard features.
- There is ample space inside the car.
- The 6-speed diesel makes the WR-V a comfortable and effortless highway cruiser.
- The diesel engine has got good low-end grunt and with a responsive throttle.
- The 1.2-litre petrol engine is super refined and creamy.
- Ride quality certainly feels more supple than the Jazz, and it absorbs potholes quite well without any thuds.
The Could Have
- Unlike the outside, the interior of the WR-V doesn’t see much change from the Jazz
- You also get the same large dashboard which makes front and sideline visibility quite a hassle.
- The rear passengers don’t get adjustable headrests, making rear-collision safety for them quite poor.
- Honda is neither offering the Magic Seats like in the Jazz, or 60:40 split seats.
- What is obvious is that the engine is still as loud as it has always been. NVH levels are quite poor in the cabin and that’s personally quite off-putting.
- The Petrol engine feels annoyingly underpowered and you really have to rev the nuts off of it for some decent acceleration and that can get quite annoying especially during overtakes.
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- Honda has made an honest effort to create a Jazz-based crossover that stands out from its donor car.
- The talking point will be the WR-V’s sunroof which is a first-in-segment.
- A spacious cabin and a huge boot.
- A centre armrest is a nice addition.
- There’s plenty of storage with several cubby holes and bottle holders around the cabin.
- The WR-V offers tremendous amounts of space both in the front and back. The front seats are large and supportive, and comfortable as well.
- The rear seat too is comfortable with vast legroom and shoulder room.
- The seats do flip fully in case you need more boot space.
- The petrol WR-V’s 5-speed manual is smooth.
- The steering is precise and offers good feedback, which makes it enjoyable at higher speeds.
The Could Have
- The seat base is a bit too short leaving the occupant’s legs unsupported.
- The Jazz’s excellent ‘Magic seats’, which can be folded in various options, do not make it to the WR-V.
- The WR-V gets an engine start/stop button and cruise control, but surprisingly only on the diesel model.
- Refinement levels in diesel variant continue to be a sore point with loud engine noise and a lot of clatter.
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- The WR-V’s party piece is its single-touch opening sunroof, a first in class
- The automatic climate control system offered on the top-end VX variant offers the wow factor.
- The WR-V, like the Jazz, is an incredibly spacious car.
- It soaked up the worst of shocks with only the slightest of thuds creeping into the cabin.
The Could Have
- It doesn’t have the high stance and the same road presence as a Ford EcoSport or a Maruti Suzuki VitaraBrezza.
- Most importantly, you don’t feel like you are sitting much higher than in a hatchback.
- While it feels well built, the plastics are a bit tough
- The cabin layout feels very familiar as it carried over from the Jazz.
- Honda’s Magic seats, which could be flipped or folded to either improve seating comfort or enhance storage capacity, have been done away with.
- If you need a sudden change in pace pressing down on the accelerator offers no respite.
- The diesel engine clatter is quite obvious in the cabin.
- While cruising on the highway the petrol WR-V tends to feel a bit restless.
- Despite the revised steering hardware, the WR-V didn’t feel particularly enthusiastic to steer.
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- The WR-V is based on the Jazz hatchback, but there’s a lot that has improved.
- The car is stable and extremely comfortable.
- Honda has got the suspension set up brilliantly accurate, as it’s not too firm and neither is it too soft and so it soaks in the deep potholes any roads have to offer, in a true crossover style.
- There’s ample leg, knee and head room and even the back seats are extremely comfortable.
- The feature list too is a comprehensive one.
- ABS with EBD and Dual airbags will come as part of standard equipment, which is a big thumbs-up, for Honda.
The Could Have
- Start the engine and it’s very apparent that it’s a diesel and it’s quite vociferous, in acknowledging that.
- As the revs build, the decibel inches a notch higher and we sure wish there was more insulation, to keep the engine noise out of the cabin.
- The delay in power delivery is extremely evident and you can’t help but feel disappointed, considering that on paper it’s the most powerful diesel crossover, in the country.
- The diesel model gets some more features and this includes a start/stop button, smartkey entry and cruise control; these features go missing in the petrol variant.
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