2016 Sao Paulo - Honda WR-V makes its world premiere

The BR-V is still only a few months old out there but Honda is already on the march with its next compact crossover. This time, its even smaller than the BR-V and, crucially, less than 4 meters long. In case you are wondering, its christened the WR-V. In short for what Honda calls "Winsome Runabout Vehicle", the WR-V made its world premiere at the ongoing 2016 Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil. 

Developed by Honda's engineers in Brazil, the WR-V is conceived to satisfy the needs of tough urban buyers who are looking for a rugged and spacious utility vehicle within a compact footprint. While the BR-V shares its underpinnings with the Brio, Amaze and Mobilio, the WR-V uses the same platform that the Jazz and City are based on.

Though the WR-V is based on the Jazz hatchback, Honda's designers have done just enough to give the vehicle a distinct fascia. As we saw with recent new launches from Honda, the front end is dominated by a split grille, the upper half of which gets a thick bar of chrome that connects the headlights. The lower half extends into the bumper which is already busy with a slim air dam, few sharp lines here and there, plastic cladding and a fake skid plate. The profile is straight out of the Jazz with bulky plastic cladding and roof rails being the only add-ons. Of course, the ground clearance would be higher too. The rear gets some CR-V cues which is evident in the way the split taillights extend onto the bootlid. Glossy black inserts replace the reflectors found on both sides of the rear windshield. The bumper gets an overdose of plastic cladding with an integrated metallic insert.

Brazil is where the WR-V will go on sale first and that's expected to happen in the first half of 2017. India is on the list of potential markets for the WR-V, given our obsession with SUVs in general and brand Honda in particular. When launched, the WR-V will rival compact crossovers like the Ford Ecosport and Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza as well as hatchback-based pseudo-crossovers like the Toyota Etios Cross, Volkswagen Cross Polo and Hyundai i20 Active.

While Honda has not revealed the WR-V's specifications yet, it is anybody's guess the engines and transmissions would be carried over from the Jazz. So, the 1.2-liter iVTEC petrol and the 1.5-liter iDTEC diesel, both of which aren't new to India, are expected to power the WR-V as well. Apart from the manual transmission, Honda's CVT automatic gearbox is likely to be offered. The Brazilian market will include a potential flex fuel variant too.

The WR-V will be the smallest crossover in Honda's lineup, slotting below the CR-V, HR-V and BR-V in the Japanese brand's portfolio. There really isn't space for yet another crossover, we think. Honda might have other plans, who knows?


  1. This looks just like a Jazz, will flop if launched.

    1. Yes, it is based on the Jazz but don't you think the WR-V is better than cars like the Toyota Etios Cross which is nothing but the Etios with additional plastic cladding?