Honda’s latest SUV has landed in South Africa, small, agile, and packed with everything that makes it a worthy contender in the segment.
Honda has been on the quiet side of late, though with South Africa slowly returning to a state of normal post hard lockdown the brand is back in action.
The WR-V is the latest entry-level compact SUV from the branding; filling a line-up that includes the BR-V, HR-V, and CR-V. Based on the Jazz platform the WR-V is offering the best of both the Jazz and BR-V offerings.
“The WR-V makes its debut in the entry SUV segment, which is the fastest-growing and most competitive segment of the market,” says Yuishi Fukuda, president of Honda Motor Southern Africa. Honda SA says the entry-level SUV represents almost 18% of the new passenger car market in South Africa, the entry SUV segment consists of just over 50,000 units a year and has displayed a remarkable 39% growth year on year by the end of 2019.
“We aim to grow our footprint in this crucial sector with an expanding range of exciting new SUV models, in which the WR-V will be a key new player,” Fukuda says. “The WR-V retains all of Honda’s proven attributes in terms of unrivalled quality, durability and reliability, while appealing to a new range of customers in the compact SUV category.”
Dinesh Govender, Honda GM of Automobiles and Corporate, adds: “Within our existing line-up, the WR-V is positioned below the HR-V and alongside the BR-V to become our most affordable five-seater compact SUV to date. It retains all the coveted hallmarks of the Honda brand, including innovation, tactile quality, reassuring safety and a comfortable and engaging motoring experience, and promises to shake up the SUV segment in South Africa.”
The WR-V is well styled with no creases or design lines that make one ponder their existence. It’s perfectly styled for those who want an SUV for its space and practicality though commutes every day in narrow streets or got the short straw on parking bays. The roof rails reinforce the ‘can do’ attitude.
The interior is Jazz inspired, and it makes sense, it’s based on its platform. Both Comfort and Elegance spec lines get fabric seats, infotainment screens, and steering-wheel controls for audio and Bluetooth connectivity. Like the Jazz, the WR-V gets the Magic Seat configuration options that make transporting a surfboard, bicycle, or plenty of luggage easy. All seats in use there’s 363-litre of boot space, fold all seats away for the greatest amount of cargo space and there’s 881-litres to fill.
The familiar 1.2 four-cylinder i-VTEC naturally aspirated engine is on offer in the WR-V. Producing 66 kW at 6 000rpm and 110 Nm at 4 800rpm it’s not going to win any speed or power awards. The good news is that the WR-V is only available as a 5-speed manual transmission, which means that with working the gears on offer the WR-V will easily keep up with traffic and then some. Initial pull-off is slow to gain momentum, though once it’s found there’s no issue with cruising at an easy 120 km/h. The claimed fuel consumption is at 6.4 l/100km. Why don’t we get the turbo engine? Simple, our fuel grade in South Africa is rubbish. The turbo engine is not built to withstand the less refined fuel that we have, and in the long term wouldn’t survive.
TWO SPEC LINES
The Comfort spec has everything you need including halogen projector lights, fog lights, a 5-inch infotainment screen, and Bluetooth and parking sensors.
The Elegance derivative builds on the Comfort line with more technology. Lights are upgraded to LED projector headlamps and fogs, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and 6-speakers. Keyless entry is matched to the push-button start ignition, cruise control is standard, and a rear-reverse camera joins the parking sensors.
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 pre-tensioners, 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.
HONDA WR-V PRICING
WR-V 1.2 Comfort MT R289 900
WR-V 1.2 Elegance MT R319 900
WARRANTY & SERVICE PLAN
The new Honda WR-V comes standard with Honda’s 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.