Honda will launch its Jazz based crossover early next year in our market. The car will be named WR-V and will try to take on other rivals already existing in the segment. The WR-V is likely to be positioned above of Jazz which means it will be costlier than the premium hatchbacks and will share the price bracket with sub- four meter SUVs. This positioning of WR-V will make it a rival of the popular sub-four meter SUV, EcoSport and direct competitor to i20 Active which is basically the rugged version of Elite i20. How things will be when the WR-V debuts in our market next year? Well let us give you a brief idea.
Styling and dimensions
In terms of styling, the WR-V will share the basic design and body with Jazz while the styling elements will add SUV styling to it same as i20 Active. The WR-V will get projector headlamps, bigger front grille with a thick chrome bar on it just as the BR-V and a skid plate at bottom. The side profile will see all around black cladding, bigger 16-inch wheels and wheel arches while the doors and windows will be same as the Jazz. The rear profile will include re-positioning of number plate on rear bumper and the rear bumper will also get a skid plate for the rugged look.
The same styling pattern can be seen in the i20active as well while the butch SUV styling of Ecosport clearly differentiates it from the others. It has been designed as a proper SUV with aggressive styling, bigger wheels and high ground clearance and the biggest SUV element in Ecosport is its spare wheel which is mounted on its tail gate which is its biggest SUV styling advantage over others. All three vehicles will measure just below 4 meter in length and the Ecosport is the longest with a length of 3999mm which makes it just 4mm longer than the i20 active and the WR-V is also likely to measure around same as i20 Active in length. The Ecosport is also the widest of all with a width of 1765mm which is followed by i20 Active with a width of 1760mm while the WR-V could measure just over 1700mm in width.
Despite being shorter in length, the i20 Active has a longer wheelbase of 2570mm which is significantly 50mm longer than the wheelbase of EcoSport while it will be 40mm longer than the wheelbase of WR-V which will share its wheelbase with Jazz. All three vehicles will run on 16-inch wheels while the EcoSport has the highest ground clearance of 200mm followed by i20 Active with a ground clearance of 190mm and same can be expected from the WR-V.
The WR-V will share its engine line-up with the Jazz which means it will comes with a 1.2L, 90bhp petrol engine and a 1.5L, 99bhp diesel engine. The petrol engine will come standard with a 5-speed manual gearbox while the diesel unit will get a six-speed manual gearbox. It is yet to be seen if the petrol version of WR-V will get the CVT gearbox or not. The i20 Active also comes with a choice of petrol and diesel engine which includes a 1.2L, 82bhp petrol engine which comes mated with a 5-speed manual gearbox while the 1.5L, 89bhp diesel unit is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Currently there is no choice of automatic gearbox in the i20 Active while the Ecosport offers its 1.5L 110bhp petrol engine with an optional 6-speed gearbox. The Ecosport also offers a 1.0L, 124bhp Turbo petrol engine which gets 5-speed manual transmission same as its 1.5L, 99bhp diesel engine. Expect the WR-V to be the most fuel efficient car here since its hatchback version claims an ARAI mileage of 27.1km/ltr with similar specifications.
All vehicles will be equipped with many premium comfort and safety features such as power windows, adjustable power steering, keyless entry, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls, automatic climate control, push button start/stop, rear de-fogger, wiper, front fog lamps, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, camera, MID, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. The i20 Active further gets rear a.c vent, touchscreen infotainment system and 1GB storage space.
Currently the prices of i20 Active starts from INR 6.82lakhs while the EcoSport range starts from INR 7.08lakhs (All prices, Ex-showroom, Delhi) and by keeping the current pricing of Jazz in mind, expect the WR-V to be positioned between these two vehicles. Undoubtedly, the buyers in this segment demands space, looks and features first and then comes other factors such as power, fuel economy etc.
The WR-V undoubtedly looks stylish from the basic sketch and better than i20 Active however it is yet to be seen if the WR-V will manage to compete with the looks of Ecosport or not. Having spacious interior is already a big advantage for WR-V since the packaging will be quite similar to the Jazz and so will be the long list of features. Moreover the power and fuel economy also favors the WR-V and hence overall it stands a very good chance in our market. If the pricing can be competitive enough then WR-V could be the Hondas key to success in the segment of sub-four meter crossovers/SUVs.
Words- Sunil Kumar