Please Tell Us Your City

Knowing your city will help us provide relevant content to you.

Sorry! No matching results found. Try again.Error Identifying Your Location.

Log in to CarWale

Please enter your password
Forgot password?
Please enter your registered email

Or Login with

Sign In with google

Sign up to CarWale

Please enter your name
+91
Please enter your mobile number
Please enter your password
Please enter your password
Ad

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive Review

What is it?

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

Honda is all set to globally debut the WR-V, a Jazz-based crossover, later in March. This sporty lifestyle vehicle is the first model that’s entirely developed by Honda’s Indian R&D facility, and is the company’s answer for young urban buyers who need a compact car that can handle city congestion with higher ground clearance to tackle city challenges and weekend adventures. The WR-V is nothing like the Jazz at first glance, which is exactly what sets this Honda vehicle apart from the competition that primarily comprises of mildly redesigned, raised, and cladded versions of their respective hatchback variants.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

In reality though, the Jazz only shares the drivetrain, platform, certain sections of the body panel and the interiors with the new WR-V. This crossover has a butch stance with a high ground clearance, tall angular bonnet, and rugged feel from the cladding. While it is 44mm longer, 40mm wider, and 57mm taller than the Jazz, the wheelbase is also longer by 25mm. When viewed from the front, the thick chrome slab forms the grille, which is now Honda’s signature design, and is flanked by swept-back head lamps with LED DRLs.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

The front bumper is chiefly comprised of the silver skid plate and black cladding that extends across the lower section of the car. In profile, one will also catch a glimpse of the 188mm ground clearance (165mm in Jazz), the sporty looking 16-inch gunmetal-finish alloys and roof rails. Even the rear portion strikes no resemblance with the Jazz as it gets a redesigned tailgate with a lowered number plate housing and extended tail lamps. A large portion of the rear bumper is heavily cladded with a prominent skid plate which lends it a distinct identity. Honda has also added a new shade called ‘Premium Amber’ to the line-up.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

How is it on the inside?

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

This is where the similarity with the Jazz shines the most. You get the same massive cabin with the contemporary dashboard and good visibility thanks to the huge glass area. Though the quality levels are decent, some soft touch points would have made the cabin experience a bit richer. That said, there’s lots of cubby space on the lower centre console and the door pads to stash your belongings. A centre arm rest with storage space has also found its way into the cabin with USB capability and a power outlet to charge a smartphone.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

If you perceived this cabin to be airy, the electric sunroof will add a new dimension to that thought. Also, a 17.7cm touchscreen infotainment system called the Digipad with MirrorLink and smartphone connectivity replaces the Jazz’s 12.7cm system. Unlike the Jazz though, the WR-V gets two interior colour schemes that are called Urban Casual and Urban Sophisticated. While the former has a black and bluish grey seat fabric (on S variant), the latter is characterised by a black and silver combination (on VX variant), both of which are bound together with double stitching and an innovative mesh pattern.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

While the front seats are large and well shaped, the cushioning is a bit too soft especially around the contours. The best part is that there’s lots of headroom and kneeroom even for tall passengers. Honda does not offer magic seats on the WR-V, but instead sticks to a rear bench with no 60:40 split option. These rear seats are wide enough for three, with appropriate cushioning and contours that offer a comfortable experience that is only made better with the impressive legroom, head room and the flat floor. The only gripe being the slightly lesser thigh support. Honda claims that the boot has swollen by 9-litres, nevertheless, the current 363-litres is the substantial enough to swallow 2 small suitcases and some soft bags.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

At launch, the WR-V will be available in two variants called the S and VX. Some of the features include an electric sunroof, auto climate control with touch panel, a 17.7cm touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, MirrorLink and smartphone connectivity. There’s also smart entry and push button start/stop (diesel), cruise control (diesel), ABS with EBD (standard), 2 front airbags (standard), and a multi-angle rear view camera. One will also find electrically adjustable and retractable external mirrors, 2 power outlets, 2 USB ports, an HDMI port, defogger, and a rear wiper.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

What is it like to drive?

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

Just like in the Jazz, the WR-V gets the petrol 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine which makes 90bhp at 6,000rpm and 110Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. It also gets the diesel 1.5-litre i-DTEC motor which produces 100bhp at 3,600rpm and 200Nm at 1,750rpm. While the petrol motor uses an all-new five-speed manual gearbox (no CVT), the diesel continues to use the earlier six-speed manual transmission. However, both gearboxes now have shorter ratios to maximize the performance from the motors as the WR-V weighs around 50kg more than the Jazz. And this also shows in the ARAI fuel efficiency figures for the WR-V. It is claimed to be 25.5kpl for the diesel WR-V, vis-a-vis 27.3kpl for the Jazz. 

Although Honda has improved the NVH over the Jazz, the diesel motor in the WR-V makes a considerable amount of clatter at idle which gives it a crude feel and there’s no running away from it even while in motion. This motor responds in a torquey fashion and lugs you ahead in a linear way from around 1,700rpm to about 3300rpm. Post which, it gets markedly slower before nudging the 4300rpm limit, at which point the engine seems to gets buzzy. Also, as the meaty portion of the powerband is experienced between a narrow 1,700rpm and 3300rpm, one has to constantly work the gearbox to get the desired performance. The six-speed manual transmission may feel slightly rubbery, but it has a short throw with well-defined gates and a slim gear knob. Thanks to the extra gear, the WR-V can cruise at higher speeds without the motor sounding or feeling stressed, to an extent.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

Honda has altered the Jazz’s suspension set-up before applying it in the WR-V. They’ve increased the wheelbase and track for better stability, added 25mm to the springs for higher ground clearance, used thicker anti-roll bars, replaced the Jazz’s 175/65 R15 tyres with 195/60 R16 tyres, and increased the rigidity of the lower arm and knuckles for better handling. Thanks to these updates the WR-V feels more sure-footed for treading over broken or uneven surfaces, and there’s hardly any suspension noise filtering into the cabin. At any speed, the longer travel offered by the extra length of the springs does help in good shock absorption. However the ride does get bouncy over sharper undulating surfaces and bumps.

Also, we found the power steering to be light and fairly quick off the centre. Though it is accurate enough for regular driving situations, don’t expect fireworks around corners. Since the WR-V wasn't built for a sporty intent, it does a fair job of going through bends with minimal roll. The thicker anti-roll bars have done a decent job in cutting any extra roll that the taller springs would have otherwise invited. However, it does roll more than the Jazz, and there is some side-to-side rocking motion due to the higher centre of gravity and softer springs. Plus we noted that the brakes have a sharp bite with good feedback while braking hard.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

Should I buy one?

With SUVs being the current flavour of the market, the WR-V with its proportionate and butch looking stance portrays the right character for it to be successful. Sure, the diesel engine emits a lot of noise, the soft ride can be annoyingly bouncy at times, and there are no 60:40 split rear seats. However, on the flipside, this engine is quite frugal and the softer suspension setup can be forgiving when you go over large potholes. The WR-V also has the aggressive looks, higher ground clearance, good road manners, a proven diesel motor, extremely spacious cabin, and the reputation that tags along from being a Honda.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

Eventually, this car could eat into the Jazz's share of the pie, however, we also believe that it has the essence to fuel up this segment with its butch looks and trustworthy set of engines. Key to its success though, would be a justifiable price tag over the comparable Jazz model. For now, we will just have to wait it out until March 16 when the global launch happens in India.

Should I buy one?

With SUVs being the current flavour of the market, the WR-V with its proportionate and butch looking stance portrays the right character for it to be successful. Sure, the diesel engine emits a lot of noise, the soft ride can be annoyingly bouncy at times, and there are no 60:40 split rear seats. However, on the flipside, this engine is quite frugal and the softer suspension setup can be forgiving when you go over large potholes. The WR-V also has the aggressive looks, higher ground clearance, good road manners, a proven diesel motor, extremely spacious cabin, and the reputation that tags along from being a Honda.

Eventually, this car could eat into the Jazz's share of the pie, however, we also believe that it has the essence to fuel up this segment with its butch looks and trustworthy set of engines. Key to its success though, would be a justifiable price tag over the comparable Jazz model. For now, we will just have to wait it out until March 16 when the global launch happens in India.

Where does it fit in?

The Honda WR-V will take on the likes of the Hyundai i20 Active, Volkswagen Cross Polo, Toyota Etios Cross, and the Fiat Avventura Cross. It will also rival dedicated crossovers like the popular Maruti Vitara Brezza and Ford’s EcoSport.

Honda WR-V Diesel First Drive

Pictures: Ameya Dandekar

 

Honda to launch WR-V on March 16, bookings open

Honda WR-V Picture Gallery

Honda WR-V to be offered in two variants

Photos

Ad

Honda WR-V Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
New Delhi₹ 8.79 Lakhs onwards
Mumbai₹ 9.16 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 9.51 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 9.25 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 9.09 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 8.96 Lakhs onwards
  • Upcoming Cars

MG HectorMG Hector

27th Jun 2019

18L - ₹ 23L
Hyundai Kona EVHyundai Kona EV

9th Jul 2019

25L - ₹ 30L
BMW X7BMW X7

25th Jul 2019

80L - ₹ 1.20Cr
BMW 7 Series FaceliftBMW 7 Series Facelift

25th Jul 2019

1.22Cr - ₹ 1.40Cr
Renault TriberRenault Triber

Aug 2019

5L - ₹ 7L
All Upcoming Cars

Tips, Advice & Guides

Car tips, advice & guides from our experts

Tips & Advice 
Ad
MG Hector

Price Reveal In:

  • 00DAYS
  • 00HRS
  • 00MINS
Know More

Select your city to avail offers

Currently available only in