Indian market is quite different in comparison to any other market in the world. This primarily due to government norms & policies, and the way customers see a car or bike. And that sometimes comes as a weird combination and we get such products that might not exist in other corners of the world. Sub-4 meter SUVs or let's say sub-4 meter raised hatchbacks are its by-product that is limited to some markets. These new segments of the auto world are very much in demand these days and manufacturers are doing their good R&D to capture this division as well.
Almost all the leading manufacturers are already stepped in this segment or in a process for the same. But in order to deliver something different, Honda had played a bit smartly here. They had given some good aesthetic upgrades to Jazz hatchback with better ground clearance and features and launched WR-V a few years back. It earned pretty much success in the past but rising competition forced Honda to update it.
In 2020 WR-V, Honda has not only updated the engine on newer emission norms but has also given it a facelift update. So has all the changes made it a better car than before? Umm… Let's find out.
2020 Honda WR-V Facelift: What’s New?
There are hardly any big changes except in the front profile of the car. All the upgrades are minor, which includes a reworked face and a completely updated lighting system. It gets a new front grille that now houses horizontal slats, replacing the older honeycomb pattern grille. Like all the latest Honda offerings, it also gets a thick chrome bar at the top of the grille. The projector headlamps also get the LED treatment.
Honda has also redesigned its both front and rear bumpers along with newly done fog lamp housing which now comprises LED bulbs.
On the side and rear profile, there is nothing new to talk about expect the fact that the diesel variants get a new alloy wheel design and the taillamps are now LED, which not only enhances its effectiveness but also looks premium.
Inside the cabin, the new WR-V doesn't receive any major changes. Honda has only updated the upholstery design and themed the cabin in an all-black color scheme. The rest all remains the same, including the dashboard layout, cabin space, practicality, and even the feature list.
As mentioned earlier, there is no change in the features list. It continues to carry forward all the essential features like 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, in-built navigation, HDMI and USB port for video playback, 6-speaker sound system, push engine start-stop button with smart keyless entry, leather wrapping steering wheel, electric sunroof, cruise control, manually height-adjustable driver’s seat, tilt, and telescopic adjustable steering, electric ORVM, Day/night IRVM (manual), auto climate control, rear wiper, and washer, etc.
As far as the safety features are concerned, the updated WR-V packed with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, speed alert system, seat belt reminder, reverse camera with guidelines, and rear defogger as standard across all its variants, like the BS4 model.
If you look at other cars in this segment, Honda WR-V lacks a lot. It misses out features like auto headlamps, auto-dimming IRVM, rain-sensing wipers, rear AC vents, rear charging/power port, connected car technology, wireless charging pad, and even on basics like rear adjustable headrest and armrest. Things look more faded when we compare it to the upcoming Kia Sonet which takes the equipment level to the next phase by offering ventilated seats, the largest touchscreen infotainment system of the segment, and air purifiers, etc.
Space and Comfort
One thing that we really like about the WR-V is its cabin space and the roominess despite the all-black cabin theme. It has wide windows and tiny little glass sections ahead of A and C-pillars which gives it an airy feel and the sunroof here works as a boom. The visibility for the driver also remains to be great as well.
The seats of WR-V facelift have a new design and their cushioning is appreciable. It provides good support to thighs and back. The driver seat also gets a manual height-adjustable function which really aids to get the desired driving position. For added convenience, the front seats also incorporate the adjustable headrest which is truly necessary to support the neck, especially on long routes. The center tunnel also features a center armrest. However, it doesn't get the sliding function.
Now, let's move to the rear seats. The moving term here reminds us of the ingress and outgress, which is also easy thanks to its wide-opening doors.
Like the front seats, the rear seats are also comfortable. The knee room and legroom are plentiful for even a passenger of 6 feet. The headroom is also decent but the under-thigh support might lack to taller passengers. The cabin is wide enough to accommodate three passengers but the middle rider won't feel much comfort, especially during longer journies due to lack of any neck support and protruding floor hump. Even the side passenger seats only receive fixed headrests which not will be beneficial to taller passengers.
Apart from this, it also misses the rear center armrest, rear AC vent, and power/charging socket, which have become the new basics. Here, Honda really fails to impress us.
Talking about the interior quality, the dashboard of WR-V majorly made of plastic. It doesn't contain any soft material finishing on the dash. The quality of the material is decent and the fit-n-finishing of material is also not unsatisfactory.
Storage and Boot Space
WR-V has an upper thumb as far as the cabin space and storage is concerned. It gets numerous tiny and bigger storage spaces such as bottle holders in all four doors, cup holders in front console tunnel, descent glovebox space in dashboard, front seatback pockets, and storage under front armrest (which also gets a 12V accessory socket in it. Honda has also smartly placed a cup holder below the driver's side AC vent which would help you to keep cool your beverages.
The boot of WR-V has a capacity of 363-liters which is quite good as per its segment better. Even it is bigger than the segment leader Maruti Vitara Brezza's and Hyundai Venue's boot. The boot further can be increased by folding the rear bench seat completely. It misses the 60:40 split function. However, loading the luggage would also be easy thanks to the low loading lip.
Engine & Performance
With the facelift update, the 1.2-liter i-VTEC petrol engine and 1.5-liter i-DTEC diesel engines are now BS6 emission norms compliant. Everything else including the performance parameters remains the same. In short, the petrol engine continues to produce power of 90 PS and a torque output of 110 Nm, while the diesel produces 100 PS power and 200 Nm of torque. The car still does not get an automatic transmission option. The petrol engine still comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, the diesel comes paired with 6-speed manual transmission.
The WR-V that we get to try our hands-on was the diesel model. Its performance is good and the engine is quite frugal. Its clutch is light but the clutch travel is long. The gearstick throws are short which will be really helpful especially in city driving while shiting gears.
The engine feels smooth. However, you will feel slight vibrations though at some points. Honda claims that they have worked on the NVH and you will considerably feel the change a lit bit, but emitting a noise is a diesel motor's nature.
The high-speed stability is decent and it can move on 100kmph at around 2,000rpm. However, it lacks punch below the 1500rpm range but that's not something disturbing as per city driving scenario.
One thing that we really liked about the diesel engine is its frugal nature. It can easily deliver you 15-16kmpl on-road mileage in city conditions, while on the highway it can cover almost 22 km in a liter. Here, it is important to note that its ARAI mileage figures are slightly decreased from 25.5kmpl to 23.7kmpl after BS6 upgrade.
Suspensions and Handling
Honda WR-V's suspensions setup is well-tuned and it can absorb the unevenness of the road very easily on the city speed and one does not feel any kind of discomfort inside the cabin. The visibility from the inside is tremendous and you won't feel any kind of asphyxiated feeling at all.
Its steering feels light in the city while weighing uprightly at highway speeds. However, there is a little bit of free play in the steering and it feels little weighted at some points in city speed. Cornering in WR-V is not a problem at regular speeds, though there is a little body roll. Its braking efficiency is also good and the brakes offer an accurate bite.
The ergonomics of the car are also nice. Every touchpoint is easily reachable. However, it is important to note that its climate control panel is a touch unit, hence it demands your attention to adjust it manually. This can cause little trouble while driving alone.
Variants and Price
With the BS6 update, Honda has slightly rejigged the WR-V variant lineup. The company has discontinued its S & V variants and introduced a new SV variant. Along with this, the VX trim is on sale.
Pricing of the new WR-V cross is as follows:-
1.2-L i-VTEC Petrol
SV – Rs 8.5 Lakhs
S – Rs. 8.15 Lakhs
Rs 9.70 Lakhs
Rs. 9.25 Lakhs
1.5-L i-DTEC Diesel
SV – Rs 9.80 Lakhs
S – Rs. 9.25 Lakhs
Rs 11 Lakhs
Rs. 10.35 Lakhs
The facelift WR-V premiums Rs 35,000 and Rs. 55,000 then the older S petrol S diesel variants respectively. Meanwhile, the top-variant VX costs up to Rs 65,000 more than the older VX variant, depending upon the engine option.
Honda WR-V: Pros and Cons
- Spacious and airy cabin
- Attractive styling
- Frugal diesel engine
- No automatic transmission on offer
- Leaks on some features like rear adjustable headrest, rear armrest, rear AC vent, and charging port.
- Overpriced in terms of equipment on offers.
The changes in 2020 WR-V are very minors and they are just not enough to make it stand apart from its previous model. The features additions are not also very huge to influence your experience much. At the premium of Rs 65,000, you only get the LED lightings and just cosmetics upgrades. There is no change in its practicality, cabin space, and driving ability, despite the fact that its mileage has dropped by a little margin. Though, still it offers a very great cabin space and reliability of Honda. If its all that you are looking for then you can go ahead with this Japanese offering.