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Honda WR-V – long term review – first report

Honda WR-V – long term review – first report

Snapshot: Honda’s roomy, nimble and highly efficient compact crossover is winning us over with its long list of talents.

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Ever since the birth of my child, back seat comfort has been a priority and has taken over from any other department in my fleet management decisions. After all, my wife and family spend most of the time there with the little kid, so their comfort is of outmost importance in my mind with the cars I keep.

So, the Honda WR-V was an easy choice in the crossover/compact SUV space. Despite its compact appearance on the outside, the Honda WR-V has a remarkably roomy interior, especially the back seat. In fact compared to its main rivals, the WR-V is the roomiest. When I requested Honda to loan the WR-V, the only question was diesel or petrol? With most of the other cars in our fleet being petrol powered, I requested for a diesel and little did I realise that this crossover had a lot more in store than just the comfortable and spacious back seat experience.

What we like 

The nimble handling for one makes it a cinch to drive around town. The light controls along with the excellent visibility all across gives you a sense of comfort, knowing that you can see further down the road than you would in a typical low slung hatchback. The slick gearshift is a joy to operate as well. In fact the gearbox is so good you will be shifting gears just for the heck of it on some days. Now being nimble doesn’t mean that the steering is devoid of feel. Infact, the steering on the car offers very good feedback and it’s very accurate as well making the WR-V an enjoyable car both in town traffic as well as on the highway.

Our car is the 1.5-litre Diesel engine version with 100bhp. Now you’d expect such a powerful engine to return average economy. But the WR-V surprises here as well. I’ve been consistently getting figures of around 22-23kpl. Yes the AC hasn’t been used extensively just as yet, but even with the AC on, I expect only a 7-8 percent drop in overall economy - impressive by any means. The diesel engine offers plenty of power as well. It’s a bit sluggish below 2,000rpm but once past this mark performance is available in loads.

Small touches inside the cabin also make you feel special. I really appreciate the bottle holder that is placed ahead of the air con vent on the driver’s side. It should be a boon on a long highway trip in the summers. I also like the chunky side view mirrors which have great depth of field - an added bonus when driving around in maniacal Delhi-Gurgaon traffic.

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What I also appreciate is the sunroof which is again a very thoughtful touch and offers a certain ‘feel-good’ factor on the WR-V that’s hard to miss.

What could be better?

There isn’t much to complain about the WR-V but since no car is ever perfect, Honda could improve a couple of things on this car too.

First, there aren’t any reverse sensors on the car. This is a bit odd, since Honda offers a sunroof. Yes, you do get a reverse camera, but a beeping sensor would be welcome too.

Secondly, the AC touch screen is a finger print magnet. Yes it’s nifty to operate but with the onset of summers here in Delhi, I am afraid, I will need a separate linen cloth to clean it - since everyone in my family has their own preferences for the car temperature. 

Apart from that, falling in love with the WR-V’s charms is all too easy. It offers an easy going personality, loads of character and plenty of cool stuff to keep everyone happy. I am enjoying my time with it, more so with the excellent fuel economy.

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