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Honda WR-V is fun to drive and offers good fuel efficiency

July 31, 2017 14:21 IST
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Honda has now gathered a considerable experience of playing in the Indian market and has thoroughly understood the nitty-gritty of the fickle Indian consumer market.

Thus over the years, it has placed products in almost every segment in India right from compact hatchback to premium SUV and luxury sedan.

However, there was a void to fill in the super-hot sub 4-metre crossover segment.

The Japanese automaker has derived the WR-V from the Jazz and it gets quite a lot of changes over the premium hatchback.

To see how premium the latest offering from the Japanese is, MotorBeam drives both petrol and diesel versions back to back.

The Honda WR-V gets quite a lot of changes over the Jazz.

It comes with all new fancy looking front and rear bumpers and a nice imposing grille with the Honda logo.

The headlamps and tail lights also get a new design and there are quite a lot of styling elements that give the crossover a funky appeal.

The WR-V also comes with body cladding, skid plates on the bumpers and striking alloy wheels.

The ground clearance has been increased too and so has the wheelbase.

Open the doors and a familiar dashboard welcomes you, albeit with a few changes.

The centre console now gets an all-new 7.0-inch touchscreen that is shared with the City.

It is an Android-based unit and supports WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and Aux-IN.

Some other features include electric ORVMs, keyless entry, sunroof (yay!) and automatic climate control. Just like other Honda cars, the WR-V too misses out on rear parking sensors (boo!).

The seats are shared with the Jazz and they are very comfortable. The cushioning is soft and the seats feel nicely supportive.

What is disappointing though is the fact that the WR-V neither gets Magic Seats nor does it get 60:40 split rear seats.

Another negative point about the interiors is the build quality on certain panels which feels very plasticky.

The Honda WR-V, being a sub-4 metre car, is offered with a familiar choice of two engines - 1.2-litre i-VTEC and 1.5-litre i-DTEC. The petrol engine churns out 90 PS of power along with 110 Nm of torque.

The engine is offered with a 5-speed manual transmission but this is a new gearbox and not the one on the Jazz.

Sadly, Honda isn't providing the CVT gearbox with the WR-V. The petrol engine is very refined and feels eager to rev.

The low end is underpowered and feels disappointing but the mid-range feels strong and there is a lot of action near the redline.

The diesel engine is however mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. It produces a good 100 PS.

The oil-burner is really noisy across the rev band. There is some turbo lag but once you cross it, power delivery is linear right up to 4000 RPM.

The engine feels very responsive in the mid range and it actually makes the car fun to drive. Honda boasts of a real life fuel efficiency of 17-20 km/l, with the ARAI-claimed figure being 25.5 km/l.

Honda has upgraded the suspension compared to the Jazz and yes it definitely feels much more pliant and capable. Ride quality is very supple and the car remains composed over bad roads too.

The suspension does a very good job of filtering undulations.

The steering has a lot of feel and feedback and weighs up at high speeds, making the WR-V a fun to drive car.

Unlike the Jazz, the WR-V gets thank-you-very-much 195/60/16 Michelin tyres which have terrific levels of grip.

The Honda WR-V comes loaded with the usual safety features like dual front airbags and ABS with EBD. Honda has a good after-sales network in India and they are panned out across the country even in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

Another positive point is that Honda cars have good resale value in the market.

The Honda WR-V competes with established players from big names like Maruti and Ford.

It comes with good bells and whistles and is a practical car. It is also fun to drive and offers good fuel efficiency.

The WR-V makes good sense for someone who wants a funky looking car that offers a lot.

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