On the launch of Honda Ballade they announce the launch of another Compact SUV, and why not? SA is absolutely besotted with SUV’s or Crossovers of any form, so high time Honda got in on the party.
The WR-V is a combination of ideas emanating from the Jazz & the BR-V, both best sellers in their own right. The WR-V is an entry-level SUV offering for consumers seeking a seamless combination of style, practicality and versatility. Iis debuting in the entry-level SUV segment, made up currently of just around 50 000 units a year.
Honda has high hopes for the WR-V, but it faces stiff competition in a hotly contested and crowded segment.
The exterior design of the All-New WR-V is distinctly Honda in it’s DNA, it has a sporty and agile appearance that belie it’s diminutive size. The front-end treatment features an expressive, bold headlight design complemented by distinctive LED daytime running lights, which frame Honda’s signature wing face.
And the Elegance model is equipped with LED projector headlamps and LED fog lights over the Comfort model’s Halogen Projectors and fog lights, both of which are sleek, precise and functional. Great visibility is a cornerstone, and the rear-end has large C-shape LED clusters, and a tailgate that opens all the way down to bumper level, for ease of access.
It also has striking 16-inch alloy wheels and slim roof rails add a classy touch.
The WR-V’s interior is inviting and offers a host of comfort and convenience features, and soft-touch charcoal finishes emphasise the upmarket feel of the cabin, while silver accents add a further air of sophistication.
The three-spoke steering wheels in each variant offer multifunction audio controls, and all buttons are close to hand. They share an instrument panel with the Jazz, as well as automatic air-conditioning with intuitive touch-panel controls as well as front and rear electric windows.
Infotainment is taken care of with a user-friendly five-inch LCD audio system featuring Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and audio streaming, USB connectivity and four loudspeakers. The Elegance model has a neatly incorporated seven-inch touchscreen display audio system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
This intuitive system allows the driver to have complete functionality of a smartphone at their fingertips, including app-based navigation, audio streaming and much more. In addition, the Elegance gains an upgraded 6 speaker system.
Both models benefit from rear parking sensors while the Elegance gains an integrated reverse parking camera which provides added convenience when manoeuvring the vehicle in and out of tight spaces.
The WRV does not compromise on luggage capacity either, offering a generous 363 litres with the rear seats up, and an impressive 881 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
Powered by a 1,2L four cylinder engine pushing out 66kw, the WR-V is no speedster, and personally, I think it might struggle a little on the Highveld, where the thinner air will suck it’s power. However, fuel economy should be great, and they claim 6.4L /100km.
Only available in manual for now, and this could be a drawback, it comes in Cofort and Elegance variants.
The drive we had through the Cape roads from Franschhoek to RiebeekKasteel was great and no power issues were prevalent.
As one would expect from a Honda, the WR-V comes standard with an abundance of safety features including six SRS airbags – comprising dual front, side impact and side curtain airbags – for both the Comfort and Elegance models. Additional features include front seatbelt pretensioners, ISOFIX child seat anchors as well as an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), allowing for safer and more effective vehicle control during emergency braking and when navigating unfavourable road conditions.
WR-V 1.2 Comfort MT R289 900
WR-V 1.2 Elegance MT R319 900
The new Honda WR-V comes standard with Honda’s five-year/200 000km warranty, backed by a four-year/60 000km service plan as standard with service intervals every 15 000km.
In summing up, the WR-V is a welcome addition to a Honda brand, that has been largely quiet for a while in SA. It joins a crowded segment, but you have to have skin in the game, and Honda have played a good card.