Honda Rides on ‘New Wave’ with WR-V SUV

By Lee Pang Seng

GIVEN the current preference for SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles), it’s a matter of time before more options are introduced to pander the trend. This was obviously not lost on Honda Malaysia and the result is the new WR-V or Winsome Runabout Vehicle that would complete its SUV range nicely as the entry-level model.

And it’s not just a bare specification model either. The WR-V comes with a full suite of standard equipment, even for the bottom S model; there are four variants in all – S, E, V and RS – that have become the typical model options in the current Honda range.

Save for the S model, all the others come with the Honda Sensing feature that has a host of active warning systems – Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist System, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Auto High Beam and Lead Car Departure Notification.

However, the Honda LaneWatch Camera is standard to all models along with Emergency Stop Signal, Vehicle Stability Assist, two reverse sensors and Hill Start Assist. Only the top three models have the Rear Seat Reminder and multi-angle reverse camera.

In exterior equipment, the top two models have LED (light emitting diode) headlamps (while the bottom two have halogens), LED Daytime Running Lights, LED front fog lights and LED front turn indicators (the bottom two have bulb indicators). What’s good is that all four models have rear LED light clusters and door mirrors with turning indicators. Only the top three have the Sharkfin antenna while the WR-V S has the Micro Pole.

The WR-V has a shorter wheelbase of 2485mm against the City and is shorter in overall length at 4060mm but the interior space is not left wanting, thanks to it being wider at 1780mm and taller at 1608mm (1576mm for WR-V S). Luggage space at 380 litres should accommodate a fair bit and the 60:40 split foldable rear seatrests would provide the extra space for bigger or longer items. The 207mm ground clearance adds to its tall stance.

The S and E models come with fabric upholstery while the V and RS live up to their higher status with leather/fabric combination; the V’s upholstery comes with blue stitchings and the RS red stitchings. Likewise, the bottom two have urethane steering wheel while the V and RS have leather wrapped ones.

The top three come standard with Remote Engine Start and Walk Away Auto Lock but all have the Smart Entry with Push Start Button item. The RS model lives up to its top billing with steering wheel paddle shifts and sport foot pedals. For the driver, the WR-V S has an analogue instrument panel while the others have the 4.2-inch TFT screen. All the models have power retractable door mirrors.

In the audio department, the 7-inch audio display centrally located on the dashboard is standard to all models. Similarly, all have Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, hands-free telephone, Bluetooth and two USB ports. As expected, the S comes with only two speakers while the E and V models have four and the RS tops the ranks with six.

For engine power, it shares similar mechanicals with the City; a 1.5-litre (1498cc) DOHC i-VTEC engine that delivers 89kW (121PS) at 6600rpm and 145Nm at 4300rpm. Drive power goes to the front wheels via a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Top speed is claimed at 160km/h, while the 0-100km/h acceleration is pretty good varying from 11 seconds to 11.3 seconds for the respective models. The average fuel consumption is said to be just as good at 6.0L/100km or 16.6km/l.

The WR-V’s suspension is pretty standard with MacPherson struts upfront and a torsion beam rear. For brakes, all have ventilated front discs but rear drums. The S, E and V models come with 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/60 R16 tyres while the RS is top honcho with 17-inch alloys and 215/55 R17 tyres.

What’s interesting about the WR-V is that it was conceived some six years ago and its development was handled by Honda Thailand. Since pre-launch bookings were initiated, Honda Malaysia Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Hironobu Yoshimura said more than 2500 orders were received. He expects to move 1300 WR-Vs a month following its launch in riding on this ‘new wave’ of SUV motoring.

The good-looking WR-V comes attractively price for a Honda model starting at RM89,900 on the road without insurance for the WR-V S; RM95,900 for the WR-V E; RM99,900 for the WR-V V and RM107,900 for the top WR-V RS. - LPS

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