Honda's first sub 4-metre crossover, the WR-V starts at Rs 7.75 lakh for the base petrol and goes all the way up to Rs 9.99 lakh for the top-end diesel. It is a bit expensive than its immediate rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Hyundai i20 Active.
For instance, the top-spec WR-V costs more than the Vitara Brezza's ZDI+ variant, which rules the compact SUV roost. It's a similar story when you pit it against Hyundai's cross hatch, the i20 Active. The fully loaded SX variant costs Rs 22,000 less compared to the WRV's VX, and yet offers goodies such as projector headlamps, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as six airbags. On the other hand, for about Rs 20,000 extra, the Ford EcoSport Titanium+ makes a strong value case, with its butch SUV looks, 17-inch alloy wheels, and side and curtain airbags. The only feature missing from the three rivals we discussed is the sunroof. Even though everyday usability in a sultry-weathered country such as India is limited, it is definitely a big draw for prospective buyers.
All of this brings us to the question - why should one buy the Honda WR-V? We'd like to think of it as a cut-price alternative to the Honda City. No, we haven't lost our marbles. And yes, we know the WR-V gets a rather underwhelming 90PPS 1.2-litre petrol engine, compared to the City's likeable 115PS 1.5-litre unit. Set that aside, here are three solid reasons why the WR-V deserves a dekko if you are considering the Honda City:
All the bells and whistles
The top-spec VX variant of the WR-V gets all the bells and whistles you would need. On the outside, you get LED daytime running lamps and 16-inch alloy wheels. Step inside, there's the same 7.0-inch touchscreen that Honda likes to call the 'Digipad' and the same touch-operated automatic climate interface. The WR-V also gets the one-touch open and close sunroof. In fact, the diesel variant takes things one notch ahead by offering push-button start as well as cruise control.
No dearth of space
The City is a practical, spacious sedan - we'd agree. That said, the WR-V is no less. Since it is based on the same platform as the Honda Jazz, it inherits the hatchback's biggest strength - space! There's plenty of room for five occupants on the inside, and the generous 363-litre boot will swallow a weekend's worth of luggage without a hiccup. Yes, it isn't as accommodating as the City's 510-litre boot, but you do get a larger vertical loading area, and the seats can be tucked away altogether if you need to haul some serious luggage.
Load the car up with passengers, and the City is bound to make friends with speed breakers. The WR-V, on the other hand, gets a healthy 188mm of ground clearance, that's 23mm more than the sedan. In case roads in your locality resemble the lunar surface, the cross-hatch is more adept at tackling those as well. It's no hardcore mud-plugger, but it will be fine with some casual rough-roading that will only cause heartburn in the City.
To top it all off, there's the price. Compare the VX trims of both cars, and the WR-V is cheaper by Rs 2.65 lakh in case of the petrol, and Rs 2.87 lakh as far as diesel is concerned. That's quite a lot of saving, isn't it?