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November 17, 2023

Honda Turns To India For Japan Market WR-V

Honda’s model naming convention is getting a bit confusing. First, there’s the “Vezel”—a JDM model that countries like the Philippines gets as the “HR-V.” Don’t make the mistake of calling this “HR-V” an “HR-V” in North America though. They get something completely different, and that one’s known as the “ZR-V” elsewhere in the world. To make things even more confusing, there’s this: the JDM version of the Honda WR-V.

The WR-V or Winsome Runabout Vehicle was originally a Jazz-based Indian-only model which eventually spawned a second-generation variant. It’s this unrelated version that’s now built and assembled in markets like Thailand and Indonesia. That second-generation WR-V, based off a shortened BR-V platform, has sold remarkably well, outselling the likes of the Toyota Raize in those markets despite being more expensive.

On the other hand, India gets their own sub-compact SUV dubbed Elevate. And despite not carrying on with Honda’s “R-V” naming convention, it’s this version that Honda has opted to import into Japan (their first Indian import) where it’ll slot below the HR-V in terms of pricing.

The Honda Elevate aka JDM WR-V still shares the ASEAN WR-V’s platform but gets a boxier and more upright design. Upfront, there’s a large front grille with slim headlamps, fog lamps that have been pushed to the corners of the bumper, and a skid plate styling element. At the back, there’s a L-shaped taillight and a bit of trim connecting the left and right sides.

Size-wise, the JDM WR-V measures in at 4,312 mm long, 1,790 mm wide, 1,650 mm tall, and has a wheelbase spanning 2,650 mm. This is bigger in almost every regard versus the ASEAN WR-V’s 4,060 mm length, 1,780 mm width, 1,576 mm height, and 2,485 mm wheelbase. Trunk space in the Elevate/JDM WR-V is also bigger at 458 liters versus the ASEAN WR-V’s 380 liters.

Despite the bigger size, it gets the same engine as the Indian model—a normally-aspirated 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine paired to a CVT driving the front wheels. No news on the output, but it’ll likely be the same 121 horsepower and 145 Nm outputs on the Elevate.

It may seem counterintuitive for Honda to import the Elevate into Japan as opposed to the ASEAN WR-V, but that’s because the Elevate will benefit from two electrified powertrains. The first is a twin-motor hybrid with 126 horsepower and 253 Nm, while the second is a battery electric version due in 2025. All in all, it means that there’s some future-proofing involved (lower emissions and all that) rather than going for the ASEAN version which was designed from the get-go as a combustion engine-only model.

As far as features go, the Japanese market WR-V comes with Honda Sensing as well as the Honda Connect telematics system. There’s also a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic climate control with rear vents, and a wireless device charger. The driver meanwhile gets a 7-inch instrument cluster display.

Now that the Elevate is known as the WR-V too, which version of the WR-V do you prefer?

1 comment:

  1. I prefer this version over the ASEAN one. Not a fan of the hidden rear door handles of the HR-V and the ASEAN WR-V.


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