The WR-V is the Japanese version of the Indian-spec Honda Elevate that debuted earlier this year
November 16, 2023 at 10:00
The new Honda WR-V is the latest member of the automaker’s lineup in Japan, as a budget B-SUV positioned below the Vezel. The model is virtually identical to the Indian-spec Elevate and will be Honda’s first offering in Japan that is being imported from India.
The Japanese Honda WR-V (Winsome Runabout Vehicle) is unrelated to the second-gen WR-V that is currently offered in Southeast Asian markets including Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. This is evident from the boxier styling, the taller stance, and the larger footprint.
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From the outside, the WR-V doesn’t have any changes compared to the Elevate, aside the different names on the tailgate. The B-SUV measures 4,312 mm (169.8 inches) long, 1,790 mm (70.5 inches) wide, and 1,650 mm (65 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,650 mm (106.3 inches). This makes it 23 mm (0.9 inches) shorter and 70 mm (2.8 inches) taller than the Honda Vezel, with the latter figure being partially attributed to the higher ground clearance of 220 mm (8.7 inches).
Inside, the hard scratchy plastics, glossy black inserts, and gray fabric seat upholstery don’t try to hide the more affordable character of the new WR-V. The press shots suggest that the WR-V has ample space for the rear passengers and a large boot with a flat floor and a capacity of 458 lt (16.2 cubic feet). Interestingly, the free-standing infotainment display appears to be smaller than the 10.25-inch unit of the Indian Elevate and is combined with a rather basic analog instrument cluster. Equipment will include plenty of ADAS as part of the Honda Sensing suite.
The Honda WR-V / Elevate was developed in Honda’s Asia Pacific R&D Center in Thailand and is produced in Rajasthan, India. It shares its underpinnings with the Honda City as with the single powertrain option – a naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter i-VTEC petrol engine producing 119 hp (89 kW / 121 PS) and 145 Nm (107 lb-ft) of torque. The pictured example comes fitted with a CVT gearbox sending power to the front axle. It is not clear if Honda will also offer Japanese buyers the 6-speed manual option that is available in India.
The Honda WR-V will reach Japanese dealers in the spring of 2024. Pricing will start from the low ¥2 million ($13,240) range and below the ¥2.5 million (16,550) mark, making the WR-V notably cheaper than the electrified and more premium-looking Honda Vezel. The automaker also presented a range of accessories for the B-SUV, including aluminum-style add-ons for the exterior.