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You know Honda’s Jazz, the much-loved little city hatch that garnered a cult following from mostly females: students, young mothers and pensioners. Tough as nails and as predictable as night turns to day, it has become a loyal companion in many homes for almost 20 years.
In line with global SUV and Crossover trends, Honda has launched the WR-V.
Garnering inspiration from two of its best-selling siblings, the Jazz and BR-V, the all-new WR-V exudes a trendy personality within this highly popular segment of the market.
The WR-V is an entry-level SUV offering for consumers seeking trendy transport that is both practical and versatile. The WR-V also boasts an abundance of safety, convenience and connectivity features across the two-model range (Comfort and Elegance), making for a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience.
The WR-V is instantly recognisable as a member of the Honda family: the front-end treatment features an expressive, bold headlight design complemented by distinctive LED daytime running lights, which frame Honda's signature wing face. A pronounced swage line, crisp contours and emphasised wheel arches all giving the WR-V its own unique aesthetic while remaining a Honda with this specific class of vehicle.
The Elegance model is equipped with LED projector headlamps and LED fog lights over the Comfort model's more basic Halogen Projectors and fog lights.
The overall look is reminiscent of that of the Jazz from which it is inspired. This can be seen within the interior of the WR-V too. The layout is clean, simple and easy to use. Materials are well put together albeit the plastic quality is hard and scratchy. Honda have obviously used them to keep the price of the vehicle within reach.
Both models feature automatic air-conditioning and electronic windows. In terms of infotainment, the Comfort model is equipped with a user-friendly five-inch LCD audio system featuring Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and audio streaming, USB connectivity and four loudspeakers.
The Elegance model has a neatly incorporated seven-inch touchscreen display audio system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. This intuitive system allows the driver to have complete functionality of a smartphone at their fingertips, including app-based navigation, audio streaming and much more. 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. Customers will also appreciate other added amenities available on the Elegance model, such as cruise control and smart keyless entry with push button start, allowing the driver to seamlessly unlock, enter and start the car with the key fob still in their pocket.
Interior features aside, the WR-V offers a spacious interior with great headroom and space for five. A feature I specifically like is Honda's ingenious "Magic Seat" system borrowed from the popular Honda Jazz and HR-V. The Magic Seats can be configured in several different ways to accommodate a variety of tall and long objects.
The WRV does not compromise on luggage capacity either, offering a generous 363 litres with the rear seats up and an impressive 881 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
In Tall Mode, the Magic Seats make it easy to accommodate upright objects, allowing a floor-to-roof space of more than 1.2 metres. In this configuration, two mountain bikes with their front wheels removed can be transported upright simultaneously. Long Mode allows for extended-length objects up to 2.4 metres, such as stepladders and surfboards, to be transported with ease by folding both rear seats and the front passenger seat flat.
The WR-V is driven via a reliable 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Maximum power output is rated at 66kW, combined with a peak torque output of 110 Nm. Both models are equipped with a quick-shifting five-speed manual gearbox and are capable of a claimed combined cycle fuel consumption figure of just 6.4 litres/100km. I got 7.7 litres/100km which is still good considering its breathless performance and the need to really accelerate.
As one would expect from a Honda, the WR-V comes standard with an abundance of safety features including 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), allowing for safer and more effective vehicle control during emergency braking and when navigating unfavourable road conditions.
Nicely priced, easy on the eye, versatile and practical – the WR-V ticks many boxes, but can it keep up with the competition with its timid performance?
Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Opel CrosslandX, Renault Captur and Volkswagen T-Cross.
WR-V 1.2 Comfort MT R289 900
WR-V 1.2 Elegance MT R319 900
Service and warranty
The Honda WR-V comes standard with a five-year/200 000km warranty, backed by a four-year/60 000km service plan as standard with service intervals every 15 000km. Three-year AA Roadside Assistance service is also included in the purchase price.
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