Spacious and practical Honda WR-V now available in SA
Honda this week launched its new WR-V compact SUV. Based on the Jazz (it shares the same underpinnings and basic body structure), this newcomer offers seating for five and a raised ride height (173mm) to accommodate some very light off-roading.
As is the trend with vehicles of this ilk (think Ford Figo Freestyle) the WR-V sports the usual front and rear faux-aluminium skid plates and lots of black plastic body cladding to better keep scratchy foliage at bay. You also get a pair of roof rails and a set of 16-inch alloys.
From launch Honda is offering the WR-V in two derivatives: the entry-level Comfort and more plush Elegance. How do they compare? Well on the outside there's really not much between them other than the spec of the headlamps: you get halogens in the Comfort and more modern LED projectors in the flagship Elegance. Inside it's a slightly different story.
Climb into the Comfort and you will discover niceties such as a multifunction steering wheel, automatic air-conditioning plus front and rear electric windows. There's also a four-speaker audio system that, operated via a five-inch LCD display, offers Bluetooth telephony and media streaming. A USB port and rear parking sensors finish things off.
The Elegance builds on this specification with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob that lend the cabin a slightly more sophisticated air. Honda have also upped the entertainment ante with two extra speakers and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Other features exclusive to the Elegance include cruise control, push-button start and a reverse camera.
Generous specification aside, the WR-V also offers plenty of space. With the back seats in their normal position you can expect 363 litres of cargo space. Fold them flat and you're suddenly looking at an extremely useful 881 litres. It also features Honda's legendary “Magic Seat” system as already seen inside the Jazz and HR-V. This allows you to configure the seats in several different ways to accommodate a variety of tall and long objects.
“Tall Mode” makes it easy to accommodate upright objects, allowing a floor-to-roof space of more than 1.2m. 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 2.4m, such as stepladders and surfboards, to be transported with ease by folding both rear seats and the front passenger seat flat.
Under the hood both WR-V models are powered by Honda's tried and tested 1.2-litre four-cylinder iVTEC petrol engine producing 66kW at 6,000rpm and 110Nm at a rather heady 4,800rpm. A five-speed manual gearbox is now the only transmission on offer. In terms of safety both variants comes standard with six airbags. Additional features include front seat belt pretensioners, ISOFIX child seat anchors as well as ABS brakes with EBD.
Pricing for the new Honda WR-V range is as follows:
1.2 Comfort: R289,900
1.2 Elegance: R319,900
Pricing includes a five-year/200,000km warranty, four-year/60,000km service plan and three-years of complimentary AA Roadside Assistance.