The Honda WR-V is a compact crossover that looks and feels stylish from the outset. Honda has worked hard on differentiating the WR-V from the regular Jazz and it shows with the new front fascia which is chunky like the BR-V and the bonnet is higher as compared to the Jazz and there is a flatter nose as well. There is a solid chrome garnish for the grille like all new Honda models and the headlamps also integrate into this chrome garnish and get LED daytime running lights which are sometimes reminiscent of the BR-V as well. The WR-V has a tough and butch stance on account of its faux bash plate at the bottom of its bumper in addition to the plastic cladding.
The side profile looks almost identical to the Jazz and the character lines look quite similar as well. The roof rails and larger tyres with 16 inch diamond cut alloys are differentiators. The rear is quite different from the Jazz at the first glance with the L shaped tail lights which are new and the repositioning of the number plate holder along with the faux bash plate. The interiors, however, are very similar to the Jazz. There is the same dashboard with the touch pad climate control unit and the big digital instrument cluster. Front and side visibility can sometimes prove quite hassling too. However, the upholstery is new and comes in black and blue and black and silver color schemes and the same is true for the gear lever. There is a new 7 inch touch screen infotainment unit and a sunroof which is a first in this segment. The interface is Android based and is completely based with Wi-Fi support. The WR-V will come with ABS and dual front airbags as standard features. There are no adjustable headrests at the rear which is a slight dampener.
The WR-V is longer than the Jazz by 25 mm and there is very good legroom and knee room while boot space is also 363 litres which is 9 litres more than the Jazz. However, there are no Magic seats or 60:40 split seats here like the Jazz. The engine is the same SOHC 1.2 litre i-VTEC mill as the Jazz that dishes out 90 PS and 110 Nm and the DOHC 1.5 litre i-DTEC turbo-diesel mill that makes 100 PS and 200 Nm. The diesel engine is paired to a 6 speed manual transmission unit and the petrol engine is paired to a 5 speed manual transmission unit with no CVT option on offer like in the Jazz. The diesel engine feels powerful and responsive and the gearbox is nice as well. The WR-V diesel is expected to offer certified mileage of 25.5 kilometres per litre which is 1.8 kilometres litre less than the Jazz. However, the engine remains loud with NVH levels remaining quite disappointing indeed.
The petrol engine is pretty refined and quiet till approximately 4,000 rpm post which there is a nice engine note. The engine, however, feels underpowered which can be really annoying. The engine, however, is okay for city driving and offers mileage of 17.5 kilometres per litre which is pretty good. The suspension setup and bigger tyres increase ground clearance to 188 mm as compared to the 165 mm of ground clearance that the Jazz has. The ride quality is better than the Jazz and the damping is neither excessively soft or firm which means that the car feels stable over sudden undulations. However, there is some roll when one pushes the car but it feels safe and planted at normal driving speeds.
The Jazz has always been a premium yet practical Indian hatchback and the WR-V comes with more ground clearance, more legroom and better ride quality along with design differentiators. This may well make it a good deal for many customers looking for a compact crossovers and the car is decent enough to drive around in the city as well. The car is more expensive than the Jazz which is okay but a little on the higher side, something which may lead to mixed results in a still-price sensitive market like India.
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