The brief answer is a resounding ‘no’. This might seem like a swift dismissal of Honda’s first foray into this magical no man’s land called the ‘crossover’ segment – not quite the SUV you wanted, nor the endearing jellybean car-shape you associated with… well… a car, which is what it essentially is. What we’re saying, however, is that the Rs 7.75 lakh (ex-Delhi) S trim with the petrol engine isn’t going to do for you what the higher end diesel variant will.
In keeping with tradition that was perhaps started by the Renault Kwid, the Honda WR-V made its global debut here in India. Why? Because we’re one of the few places on the face of this planet looking for an economic compromise between the faux masculinity of an SUV-esque stance and the driveability (and lower maintenance) expected of a car-like machine.
So what are the SUV-like qualities on the Honda WR-V? Plastic cladding along the bottom, and a massive chrome grille coupled with large LED headlamps fitted with DRLS, intended to lend it some commanding road presence. The alloys it runs however are less than daunting 16-inchers.
The cabin is where the Honda WR-V manages to deliver on all counts. Honda has optimised the space inside to the maximum – allowing enough knee-room for obnoxiously tall rear seat occupants while still allowing for a boot volume of 363 litres. The 17.7cm touchscreen infotainment system that Honda India calls the Digipad supports smartphone connectivity, sat-nav, voice recognition and audio streaming, and gets 1.5 GB internal memory, two USB slots, two microSD slots and an HDMI slot – the amount of features on-board is nearly Hyundai-rivaling. Nearly.
Engine choices are a 1.2-litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol capable of a maximum power of 90PS at 6,000rpm and 110Nm of torque at 4800rpm, and a 1.5-lire i-DTEC diesel that churns out 100PS at 3,600rpm and a turning force of 200Nm. For that “spirited driving experience” expected of a Honda, the latter is the engine that you’d want to drive. Plus it comes with the 6-speed manual transmission, while the petrol is only offered with the 5-speed gear box. Which is why we don’t believe that the Rs 7.75 lakh petrol WR-V is worth your money. For a lakh more, you can get the oiler – which even offers the added benefit of greater fuel economy, at 25.5km/l. It outdoes the petrol in so many ways, we’re starting to wonder if gasoline is starting to lose its edge – now that’s a discussion for another day.
SEE OUR FIRST DRIVE REVIEW OF THE HONDA WR-V
Here are the prices (ex-Delhi) for the Honda WR-V:
|| Rs 8.99 lakh
|| Rs 7.75 lakh
|| Rs 10 lakh
|| Rs 8.79 lakh