16 March 2017. Honda cars India Limited today launched its Jazz best WR-V crossover in India at starting price of Rs 7.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This new crossover is based on the Jazz platform although it looks and feels very different due to the intensive efforts that the company has put in order to make it all-new for prospective buyers. Still, there is no denying that in the profile the cars have some similarity to the JS which could either prove positive or negative for the company. The car comes with ground clearance of 188 mm which is a very well 23 mm more than the Jazz hatchback. WR-V sharesits set of engines and transmissions with Jazz. This means motive force will be derived from 1.2-liter petrol and 1.5-liter diesel engine. Power output will continue to be in the range of 90 PS for the petrol engine and 100 PS for the diesel motor. For now, there is no automatic option that has been made available to the buyers but in due course of the time we expect Honda to provide CVT for attracting extra chunk of buyers who are looking for driving convenience especially in heavily congested and clogged cities. Another important aspect is the fuel efficiency where new WR-V scores very positive with fuel economy of 17.5 kmpl and 25.5 kmpl for the petrol and diesel model respectively.
Honda WR-V joins the aggressive sub-compact SUV segment. Its ex-showroom price in Delhi begins at Rs 7.75 lakh and goes up to 9.99 lakh. Underpinned by the same platform as hatchback Jazz, this car was initially revealed at the Sau Paulo Auto Show in Brazil. India is the first country for its market launch.
The WR-V comes with the option of 1.5 litre diesel and 1.2 litre petrol engine. These are the same as in Jazz. The 1.5 litre DOCH i-DTEC churns out 99 bhp and has 200 Nm of torque. It is coupled with 6-speed manual transmission. The 1.2 litre SOHC i-VTEC generates 89 bhp and has 110 Nm torque. It is mated to 5-speed manual transmission. There is no AMT or AT for now even though Jazz does have a CVT option.
In addition to the mechanical details, the WR-V borrows a lot of exterior and cabin elements from the Jazz making it a crossover version of the premium hatchback. That said, it gets some sharp changes to make it look different from the Jazz.
Upfront, its bonnet line is noticeably raised and the chrome grille is thicker. There is a contrasting scuff plate to makes it look sportier than its hatch sibling. The sculpted bumper enhances the beefy appearance. It gets headlamps integrated with LED daytime running lights. Round fog lamps feature on the bumper.
From the sides, the resemblance to Jazz is most evident even though this car is longer, wider and taller. Suspension for WR-V has been tweaked to refine it for the SUV feel. And it gets 16 inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with 195/60 profile tyres. At 188 mm, its ground clearance is 23 mm more than Jazz’s. With the revision of suspension the wheelbase has also been increased by 25 mm.
At the rear there are heavy modifications and features such as the L-shaped LED tail lights stand out. The bumper is also different and the number plate has been positioned at a lower level than in Jazz.
The raised ground clearance of WR-V makes ingress and egress easier as compared to Jazz. Inside its cabin it feels similar to the premium hatch. The interiors are black and there are plenty of chrome highlights.
Upholstery comes in blue or black as per the variant chosen. The high set seats give a good view of the road ahead and the glass area itself is large. However the thick A pillar can feel intrusive. A centre armrest between the front seats is a good add-on. Its console houses a USB and 12V power socket. Another USB port is there on the dashboard.
The front seats are supportive and large. Legroom and headroom are sufficient even for tall folks. Honda WR-V’s top end trim has a sunroof and this is a segment-first feature. It has one-touch open/close function with auto reverse. The cabin gets quite a few cubby holes and bottle holders for storage of knick-knacks.
At the rear too the seat feels comfy. The legroom and shoulder room are generous but the under-thigh support is lacking here as the seat base is rather short. Another bummer is that whereas the rear seats of Jazz are foldable in different ways, the attribute has not been shared with the WR-V. The makers felt that it was not a priority feature for price conscious buyers in India. Because of this omission, the seats will not flip fully if you want to create more room in the boot of this sub-compact SUV. Nevertheless, the boot is good for 363 litres storage volume and has been sculpted well for loading luggage.
A brief about the infotainment system – this Digipad 7-inch touchscreen was recently seen in the facelifted avatar of Honda City and now it’s here in the top-spec WR-V. Good to look at and intuitive to use, the system has elements like Wi-Fi connectivity, MirrorLink smartphone integration and navigation with real-time traffic data. It has 1.5 GB of onboard storage.
In its equipment list, this SUV gets reversing camera with multi-views, dual SRS front airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), impact mitigating front head rest and intelligent pedal (brake over ride system) and pedestrian injury mitigation technology. Surprisingly, features like engine start-stop button and cruise control have been provided only for the diesel variant. The power steering gets tilt and telescopic adjustment which is admirable.
The claimed fuel efficiency figures of WR-V’s petrol and diesel models are 17.5 km/litre and 25.5 km/litre respectively.
You will get this SUV in 6 colour options of Premium Amber, White Orchid, Golden Brown, Carmelian Red, Alabaster Silver and Modern Steel. There are only 2 variants – S and VX.
The direct competitors for WR-V are Maruti's Brezza and the Ford EcoSport. It will also challenge the sales of Hyundai i20 Active, Toyota Etios Cross, Fiat Avventura/Urban Cross and Volkswagen’s Cross Polo. A test drive and detailed performance review will follow on ecardlr later this month.