Honda WR-V: What’s Missing
This Jazz-based crossover borrows additional features from the facelifted 2017 Honda City over the hatchback, but other vehicles in its expected price range might leave it wanting for more!
We are not nitpicking, but the feature-loaded Honda WRV is missing out on several aspects if we look at similarly priced offerings in the crossover space and its siblings as well. Honda will launch it next week on March 16 and its prices are expected to start in the vicinity of Rs 7 lakh.
Speaking of its rivals, there are a lot of cars which are similarly priced (both sub-4m SUVs and cross-hatches), such as the EcoSport, Vitara Brezza, TUV3OO, NuvoSport, Cross Polo, Urban Cross/ Avventura, Etios Cross and i20 Active. Let’s have a look at what all is missing in the WR-V.
More powerful petrol engine
The 1.2-litre Jazz-derived petrol engine of the WRV will leave enthusiasts wanting more. Though you’ll have absolutely no problem in city manoeuvres and laidback driving, it is not exciting enough on highways. The petrol Jazz, on which this car is based, faces the same problem. But the WRV is heavier by 62kg compared to the hatch, which heightens this fact further.
(In Picture: 1.2-litre petrol motor of the Honda WR-V)
You must argue that exceeding the engine displacement by more than 1.2-litre in sub-4m cars will attract more taxes and subsequently increase its cost. Having said that, the EcoSport, for instance, comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine and it is a sub-4m car. The Toyota Etios Cross is also a sub-4m car and comes with a 1.5-litre petrol motor, and same is the case with the Fiat offerings (1.4-litre turbo motor). Honda could have easily offered the 1.5-litre petrol motor in the WRV, which it anyway will export from India, just like the Jazz.
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No automatic option
Unlike its siblings, the WRV is the only Honda in the country that doesn't offer an automatic variant with its petrol motor, along with the Mobilio (production stopped). Seeing buyers' inclination towards automatics nowadays, Honda should've not missed this opportunity considering the fact that the Jazz offers a CVT auto option with the same engine.
Magic seats of the Honda Jazz
This is one of the biggest gaps in the WR-V’s packaging. Unlike the Honda Jazz, the WR-V doesn’t feature its famed Magic Seats. The Magic Seats, which are offered in the Brazilian version of the compact crossover, certainly would’ve elevated its overall packaging since Honda is pitching it as a ‘sporty lifestyle vehicle (SLV)’. The Honda Jazz with its flexible Magic Seats offers different options to carry several types of luggage, including a cycle! Pity Honda didn't offer the Magic Seats in India.
No ground-up design
Honda has done a decent job is making the WRV stand out, especially in contrast to the Jazz. But still, you get hints of the hatchback through several angles, especially from the sides. Well, it is not a bad thing and design is something that is purely subjective, but perhaps there a lot of people who prefer ground-up designs like the Ford EcoSport. For the uninitiated, the EcoSport is based on the Fiesta (now discontinued in India), but not a single body panel has been lifted from it. In fact, it is hard to tell that the EcoSport shares its underpinnings with the Fiesta.
No beefy spoiler like its siblings
Spoilers are always Honda’s thing, from the first-gen Honda City to the big fat wing on the current Honda Jazz. Even the facelifted Brio got a chunky new spoiler and the facelifted 2017 Honda City as well. Sadly the WRV misses out on offering a spoiler; however, Honda may offer it an optional extra. But the range-topping models of the aforementioned models come standard with a spoiler.
Petrol variants lack features compared to diesel counterparts
As the WR-V is available in just two variant options, the range-topping version of the petrol lacks features compared to the corresponding diesel trim. If fact, if we look at the top-end versions of the petrol and the diesel, the former looks as if it sits just below the latter in the WR-V's variant line-up. The petrol top-spec model lacks features such as cruise control, and passive keyless entry with engine start-stop.