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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Funked-up new Honda WR-V officially revealed

An announcement regarding the second generation being offered in South Africa is only expected in 2023.

Teased as one of the main event highlights at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show in August, Honda has officially taken the wraps off of the second generation WR-V in the Indonesian’s capital, Jakarta.

The long awaited production version of the SUV RS Concept shown at the same event last year, the newest iteration of Honda’s smallest crossover not only keeps the WR-V or Winsome Roundabout Vehicle designation instead of adopting the ZR-V name, but boasts a new platform and a more modern array of features.

The figures

As alluded to earlier this year, the junior sibling of the HR-V/Vezel jumps architecture to same platform as the Fit/Jazz, but with a less compact appearance than the original.

Somewhat surprisingly, Honda has retained most of the concept’s aesthetic, such as the concave chrome studded grille, slim headlights with integrated LEDs, honeycomb lower air intake, front and rear satin silver skidplates and roof rails.

At the rear though, the full width LED light bar that connects the light clusters have been omitted, along with the inverted L-shaped air inlets on the flanks of the bumper.

As a replacement, the light clusters themselves sport an L look with standard LEDs, while the rear door handles have been integrated into the C-pillar instead of protruding from the doors as on the concept.

Available in two trim levels in Indonesia, E and RS, the WR-V measures 4 060 mm in overall length with its wheelbase stretching 2 485 mm and width 1 780 mm.

Standing 1 608 mm tall, the WR-V is longer and wider than its predecessor, with the same applying to the ground clearance that increases dramatically from 173 mm to 220 mm.

ALSO READ: Honda WR-V’s replacement unveiled with lots still to hide

New tech and more space

The new platform and increased dimensions, consisting of a 61 mm gain in length, 25 mm in wheelbase, 46 mm in width and seven millimetres in height, also translates to the WR-V’s boot being commodious at 380-litres versus the old model’s 363-litres with the rear seats up.

Mounted on 16-inch alloys with the RS receiving model specific 17-inch wheels, as well as sportier bumpers and door sills, Honda has given the interior a complete overhaul so that is now mirrors that of the BR-V and to some extent, the City/Ballade.

Central to the interior is a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster display, red stitching on the seats, doors and dashboard in the case of the RS, significantly improved materials and a newly shaped climate control panel with physical buttons.

While exact specification wasn’t disclosed, Honda Sensing’s array of safety and driver assistance was confirmed, but only as an option on the RS.

New Honda WR-V officially revealed
Interior has been completely redesigned from the old WR-V.

This means the standard inclusion of Auto High Beam Assist, Lead Car Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Collision Mitigation Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Road Departure Mitigation and a brand-new forward-facing camera. Six airbags and ABS with EBD are, however, standard across the range.

Up front

Just as a big change is underneath the bonnet where Honda has jettisoned the old 1.2-litre petrol engine for the same 1.5-litre unit used in the BR-V and HR-V.

Producing 89kW/145Nm, the mill is paired to a CVT only with drive once again going to the front wheels. Not mentioned was the much speculated e:HEV hybrid model as well as the equally rumoured 1.0-litre turbo-petrol.


On-sale in Indonesia from next year, pricing for the WR-V kicks-off at 271 900 000 rupiah (R315 552) for the E with the RS retailing from 289 900 000 rupiah (R336 442) or 309 900 000 (R359 653) when fitted with the Honda Sensing system.

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The colour palette meanwhile spans six hues; the E only Tafetta White, Crystal Black Pearl, Meteorite Grey Metallic and three RS specific options; Ignite Red, Stellar Diamond Pearl and Ignite Red contrasted by a black roof.

For now, the new WR-V is unconfirmed for South Africa where sales of the outgoing model haven sluggish, more than likely as a result of it arriving two years ago in spite of having been on-sale since 2016.

However, with the recent availability of the BR-V sourced from the same factory, don’t be surprised if the WR-V does come to South Africa sometime in 2023.

Additional information and images from gaadiwaadi.com and honda-indonesia.com.

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