Honda WR-V Facelift – Expert Review

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  • Published On: 30 November 2020
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Crossovers aren’t the in thing, but then again in the subcompact space Honda does not have much to offer apart from the WR-V

2020 Honda WR-V Facelift
  • 2020 Honda WR-V Facelift

As you might be knowing, crossovers in special reference to the sub-4-meter category are the thing of the past. They used to have their prominence until a few years back. Now with the advent of a new segment called subcompact SUV’s, the market sentiment has totally changed. Naturally the demand for newer products offering better features is bound to be the talk of the town and to counter that Honda Cars India sometime back introduced the WR-V Facelift in the country. What is it all about, well we shall tell you right here!

What is its outlook?

Honda WR-V in simplest of forms is basically a beefed-up version of the Jazz. When introduced for the first time it provided a muscular look with a whole lot of plastic cladding all-around. However, in the facelifted version that we are seeing right in front of our eyes, the design elements are more centered towards a bolder look and premium feel. This all is projected via a refreshed front grille that further extends into the bottom parts of the headlamps on either side. Further, the lower half of the grille stands to offer more prominent horizontal slats which feel a bit larger to the naked eye. The headlights per say offer projectors plus come with decent amount of detailing alongside LED DRL’s that are an update in comparison to its predecessor. 

Talking about the fog lamps, they are also projector type now with thicker black surrounds. On the sides not much has changed in comparison to before, though the diesel variant that we are driving provides a new set of 16-inch alloy-wheels. As for the rear, the tailgate is the same though it caters to refreshed taillights that are now LED equipped. Furthermore, the taillamps feature a black finish surround which helps adding more character to the rear profile of the vehicle.

What is it like to be on the inside?

Now that we have seen the exterior, let us talk about the cabin and what is it like to be on the inside. First and foremost, the interior is almost the same as earlier. The only thing which has been given an upgrade is its fabric upholstery. The seats now come embossed with a new design pattern while the cushioning and under thigh support remain pretty good as before. It provides an all-black cabin with silver embellishments splashed on the dashboard and door trims. The quality of plastics plus the fit and finish are fairly decent. Talking about the equipment list on-board, it is identical to what was there before, for example, there is a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes compatible with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto along with navigation. The system in particular is pretty alright in terms of its responsiveness. With regard to appeal, it should have had something more to offer. Other elements include auto climate control, keyless entry & go, cruise control, tilt & telescopic steering adjust among many others.

If we look at some of the other corresponding categories like the subcompact SUV’s, they are offering a lot of connected car technology which is missing in the WR-V. Thus, from that point of view it could be a downer. Looking at space, be it the Jazz or the WR-V their respective cabins are known for ample of head, shoulder and legroom; be it upfront or towards the rear. This particular version also keeps up with that trend. Moving to safety, as before there are dual airbags, a rear-view camera, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors among many in the list. If we are to talk about the rear-view camera picture quality, then less said is better because it does not provide a clear glimpse of the road behind which could be an issue especially while parking in confined spaces. 

How is it to drive?

This year has been prominent for two things, implementation of BS6 Emission Norms and Corona Virus Pandemic. Specific to the drive of the Honda WR-V, we shall stick to the topic of BS6 that directly brings us to the powertrain options. It comes equipped with both a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel units. However, the one that we are driving is the diesel which comes fitted with a BS6 compliant 1498cc, 4-cylinder turbo oil mill that delivers a maximum power output of 100 bhp with 200 Nm of peak torque. Performance wise, has anything changed? Well not really. Being a diesel, the motor feels noisy though it seems like Honda have tried to improve the NVH levels but to a marginal extent. Its power delivery is good given that the engine revs all the way up till the redline. As for acceleration, the cross-over does not disappoint with its linear pick-up. Talking about its gearbox, with a 6-speed manual transmission on-board the experience of holding and going through the shifts is quite an enjoyable one. While in the department of ride and handling, the beefed-up vehicle retains its character of stability and control.

Should you look at one?

Well this all depends on what sort of an individual are you? If you frankly ask me, there is a world of difference between the appeal of a crossover or for that matter a subcompact SUV these days. However, having said that, the Honda WR-V Facelift does look more premium in the way it looks while the interior has been spruced a wee bit but misses out on some of the other connected technology which does go a bit against it. The tried and tested petrol and diesel powertrains further cementing their performance authority on the badge that one would be buying. Its biggest USP is brilliant use of space within the cabin which is second to none. 

Author: Prithvi Radhakrishna

An automobile enthusiast at heart, Prithvi Radhakrishna loves to write on anything that has wheels. Covering all aspects of the automobile industry since over a decade, he brings with himself the vast experience of having worked across different publishing platforms like print and online. He holds a Master's Degree in Automobile Journalism from Coventry University, United Kingdom. Currently, he is heading Content at Droom Discovery covering everything 'auto'. His hobbies include playing tennis, listening to music and watching movies. more

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