JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Honda has added yet another small SUV to its showroom floors and badged the cute new wheels the Indian-assembled WR-V. Which perhaps explains why a Google search for the letters came up with Winsome Recreation Vehicle…
The cute little five-seater wagon is said to have been modelled on the brand’s Jazz and BR-V with ”a trendy, exciting personality certain to be a winning formula”. Time will tell…
Anyway, Honda describes the WR-V as ”an entry-level, practical, and versatile SUV with an abundance of safety, convenience, and connectivity features”.
Yuishi Fukuda, president of Honda Motor Southern Africa, adds: “The WR-V is entering the fastest-growing and most competitive segment of the SA auto market – 18% of the new car market or 50 000 units a year.
“We aim to grow our footprint in this crucial sector with an expanding range of new SUVs in which the WR-V will be a key new player.”
Up front are headlight assemblies described by Honda as ”expresssive” and diode running lights; a pronounced swage line, crisp contours, and ”emphasised” wheel arches are aid to add further presence.
The Elegance version adds diode projector headlights and diode fog lights while the less expensive Comfort version has halogen main and foujl-weather lights.
The large windows promise an airy cabin and a feeling of space for rear-seated passengers while large front quarter-windows let in even more of the South African scenery.
The rear has large C-shaped diode tail lights, a tail door that opens all the way down tthe o bumper level for ease of loading, and trim finished in contrasting charcoal and alloy. The car’s raised chassis and wide (says Honda) stance ”is raised to reflect a rugged attitude”.
The wheels are 16” alloys, the luggage bay can take 363 litres with the rear seats in place, 881 litres folded flat. Honda’s ‘Magic Seats’ can be configured in several ways to accommodate a range of tall and long objects.
The cabin if upholstered with ”high-quality” black fabric and soft-touch charcoal finishes are said to deliver an ”upmarket” feel while ”silver accents add a further air of sophistication”.
Both models have a three-spoked multifunction steering-wheel bearing audio controls; the Elegance adds leather to the gear-shifter and steering-wheel. The instrument panel, shared with the popular Jazz, brings three circular dials with blue backlighting; each model has air con, touch-panel controls and power windows front and rear.
The Comfort has 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 14cm touchscreen to access Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to give the driver the functionality of a smartphone – along with satnav.
The elegance adds a six-speaker system.
Both models have rear parking sensors; the Elegance adds a rear camera. Further added to the Elegance are cruise control, keyless entry and push-button start… ”keep the key fob in your pocket”, Honda says.
ENGINE, TRANSMISSION & SUSPENSION
Power comes from a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder, petrol engine which uses Honda’s i-VTEC intelligent valve-timing management system. Maximum power output is 66kW at 6000rpm, peak torque is 110Nm at 4800rpm.
Both models are equipped with a quick-shifting five-speed manual gearbox and capable of a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of just 6.4 litres/100km.
The chassis has ”a significant” proportion of high-tensile steel, MacPherson strut-based, front suspension, and torsion beams at the rear. ”The chassis,” Honda says, ”has been designed to offer confident handling and a refined ride, while the power-assisted steering delivers crisp steering.”
Crash-protection features include six crash-mitigation bags – pairs of front, side-impact and side-curtain – for both models. Additional features include front-seat belt tensioners, IsoFix child-seat anchors, and anti-lock brakes.
The body structure has been designed to distribute collision shock away from the cabin.
MODEL SPECS AND PAINT OLOUR
There are two models in the Honda WR-V range: Comfort and Elegance. Each has the same 1.2-litre power train and a five-speed manual transmission. Body colours are pearl white, red metallic, silver metallic and ‘Modern Steel’ metallic.
WARRANTY & SERVICE PLAN
The Honda WR-V will be delivered with a five-year or 200 000km warranty*, a four-year or 60 000km* service plan. Service intervals every 15 000km.
Three-year AA Roadside Assistance service will be included in the price.
*Whichever comes first.
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
Honda WR-V 1.2 Comfort – R289 900
Honda WR-V 1.2 Elegance – R319 900