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Honda has added a new crossover to its local product portfolio — the Honda WV-R.
The WV-R is effectively a Honda Jazz for gravel travel, using the same platform with better ground clearance. Responding to the surge in demand for crossover vehicles, Honda has taken all the reliability and clever cabin ergonomics of its Jazz and transferred those features to the WV-R.
With a short and wide bonnet, Honda’s WV-R has a pseudo-SUV appearance and wheel arch cladding to reduce stone chip paint damage on gravel roads. And with 173mm of ground clearance, you will be seeking out some more adventurous routes with this new Honda crossover.
The WV-R is mechanically similar to Honda’s Jazz, although it does not offer an automatic gearbox option, for now. That means you are powered along by a durable 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, shifting power to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
At coastal altitude, the WV-R has entirely adequate performance, thanks to the 1.5-litre engine’s outputs of 66kW and 110Nm. That said, it might feel a bit sluggish when loaded, at higher inland altitudes, where the thinner air reduces engine power a touch.
Where Honda’s engineers have been clever is reducing the overall gearing of that five-speed gearbox by 10%. This allows the WV-R to have more linear steep gradient driving ability — if you decide to take that Karoo mountain pass gravel route detour.
Honda’s Jazz is renowned for its cabin architected and the WV-R uses Honda’s familiar – and brilliant – Magic Seats.
With a simple lever-adjust system, you can enact the ‘Tall Mode’ function whereby the rear seats create a flat loading surface that can accommodate items up to 1.2m in height. Luggage capacity is generous too, at 363-litres.
Honda WV-R price in South Africa
Infotainment functionality depends on which specification of the new WV-R you buy. On the R289 900 Comfort grade, you get a 5-inch infotainment screen.
Those buyers who can afford to upgrade to the R319 900 Elegance version, get an upsized 7-inch infotainment screen, which also doubles as a reversing camera.
Feature image: Honda