By Khulekani Dumisa
Honda is growing its SUV offering locally. The latest offering is known as the WR-V and it is coming to compete with the likes of Ford Ecosport and Volkswagen T-Cross.
Being related to the Jazz, the Honda WR-V sets itself apart with a raised and rugged look. The front-end has distinctive headlights and LED daytime running lights. The Elegance model is equipped with LED projector headlamps and LED fog lights over the Comfort model’s Halogen Projectors and fog lights.
At the rear, large C-shape LED tail light clusters dominate and the tailgate that opens all the way down to bumper level to provide effortless loading.
The colour option for the new WR-V includes a new Platinum White (Pearl), Radiant Red (Metallic), Lunar Silver (Metallic) and Modern Steel (Metallic).
The interior is fairly spacious with luggage space being a generous 363 litres with the rear seats up, and an impressive 881 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The WR-V also incorporates Honda’s ingenious “Magic Seat” system borrowed from the Honda Jazz and HR-V. The Magic Seats can be configured in several different ways to accommodate a variety of tall and long objects.
In terms of infotainment, the Comfort model is equipped with a five-inch LCD audio system featuring Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and audio streaming, USB connectivity and four speakers. The Elegance model has a seven-inch touchscreen display audio system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. In addition, the Elegance gains an upgraded six 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. In addition, the Elegance model comes with driver conveniences such as cruise control and smart keyless entry with push button start.
In terms of safety, the Honda WR-V comes with 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).
Engine and performance
The All-new Honda WR-V is powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which employs Honda’s i-VTEC intelligent valve timing management system. The engine makes 66kW and 110Nm, and is paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. Fuel consumption sits at a claimed 6.4 litres/100km.
We drove the WR-V at launch in the Western Cape. Although it is not as tall as some competitors, we were impressed by the overall size of the car. There is ample cabin and luggage space. Additionally, the WR-V drives well. It compliant and comfortable. A driver can easily spend hours behind its wheel and due to the decent ride quality and supportive nature of the seats. The passengers would also have little to complain about, especially with the comfortable and airy nature of the cabin.
The WR-V may be launching into a busy segment but it has a lot of substance and will not be just adding to the numbers. It is worth considering when looking at this segment. Perhaps Honda should also consider an automatic option.
The new Honda WR-V is priced as follows:
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/60,00km service plan as standard.
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