Moving on to the business end of the WR-V, Honda has retained its familiar petrol and diesel engines, with 5-speed and 6-speed manual gearbox options. Starting off with what’s proved to be the more popular of the two, the diesel-powered model gets a 1498cc, 4-cylinder turbo unit which makes 100bhp and 200Nm of torque. One area where the diesel Jazz disappoints big time is in the suppression of noise, vibration and harshness. For the WR-V, Honda says they have worked on reducing the overall NVH levels. So has it worked? Not entirely. Although there’s less engine noise filtering into the cabin compared to the Jazz, it’s still no cone of solitude. The WR-V, in fact, is not as refined as any of its rivals and the diesel clatter is evident and loud all the time. It fights back, though, with a fairly linear power delivery despite the strong mid-range punch. Putting out 100bhp and 200Nm of torque, the WR-V is one of the quicker vehicles in its segment. While it feels peppy around town thanks to a strong bottom end and good midrange punch, it becomes noisy once you exceed city speed limits. Thankfully, the 6-speed manual gearbox is a joy to use – it allows for super slick shifts and is complemented by a perfectly weighted clutch pedal.
Straight line performance is strong, and the WR-V manages a 0-100kph time of 13.74 seconds despite being fitted with a rev lock which basically forbids you from dumping the clutch without having to bog down. Nonetheless, 20-80kmph in third and 40-100kmph in fourth takes 13.87 and 15.83 seconds respectively, figures that are right about average for this class.
After the diesel, the petrol powered WR-V feels pleasantly refined though we would like to add that this 1.2-litre motor is pretty refined in isolation, too. Making 89bhp of power and 110Nm of torque, this version of the WR-V is decently quick around town. The engine, however, is nowhere as punchy as some of the rivals and the overall response can be best described as 'relaxed' and while there are no flat spots throughout the rev range, the WR-V does what it's told to do, just rather casually. Again, the 5-speed gearbox (with lower final drive compared to the Jazz) is a sweet thing – because the engine isn’t as punchy as some of its rivals, this revised unit makes good use of the power on offer with smooth shifts. This engine’s lack of torque is evident under hard acceleration – 0-100kmph takes over 15 seconds seconds and in-gear, too, the WR-V petrol takes its own sweet time to make progress.