Published on December 22nd, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


The Honda WR-V That Will Be Sold In Japan Actually Comes From India’s Honda Elevate

There’s a JDM take on the Honda WR-V and it’s actually not related to South East Asia’s WR-V.

By now, many Malaysians are familiar with the new Honda WR-V. It was launched locally earlier this year and has been gaining popularity in the ultra compact crossover market. Despite being significantly more expensive than its rival from Perodua, the WR-V brings a certain charm to the segment and boasts decent equipment with a smooth engine and smart looks. Now it looks as if Honda is keen to bring the WR-V in to Japan, except it’s not the WR-V we get here.

This is actually the first time Malaysia is getting a WR-V. Our neighbours are already quite used to this nameplate, and it was even sold in India in the previous generation. However, India did not get the new 2nd generation WR-V. Instead, it got an all-new Honda Elevate, which is based on the 7th generation City rather than the 2nd generation BR-V and Brio platform. This Honda Elevate is what Japan is getting, but confusingly it will be marketed in Japan as the WR-V.

Japan’s Honda WR-V

Just like the Honda Elevate, the Japanese Honda WR-V is significantly larger than the model we’re getting. The overall length is 252mm longer, it’s 10mm wider, and 42mm taller than our WR-V with a 165mm longer wheelbase and the boot space is 20.5% larger.

The engine and gearbox appears to be common between these two models. Both are powered solely by the L15ZF DOHC i-VTEC naturally-aspirated petrol 4-cylinder engine with a CVT moving the front wheels. The power output is 119hp and 145Nm of torque.

In Japan, three variants will be offered – X, Z and Z+ and they anticipate selling 3,000 units per month on average.

Japanese WR-V Design Philosophy

The external design team aimed to evoke customer confidence and serenity with the stylish presentation of the Japanese WR-V. This involved crafting a distinctive and elongated nose by integrating a flat front hood that seamlessly extends the horizontal beltlines to the vehicle’s front end, along with a substantial rectangular front grille.

Japan's Honda WR-V front and rear design

The vehicle’s commanding presence is conveyed by its thick body shape, extending from the front nose to the rear. Both front and rear lights were meticulously designed to emphasize width, providing the impression of a vehicle firmly grounded on all four corners. The front lights feature Full LED technology, while LED lights are also adopted for the brake lights and tail lights.

Internally, the design team opted for simplicity with horizontal motifs, striving to create a driver-friendly space by centrally placing switches on the dashboard. The instrument cluster combines a 7-inch TFT LCD meter with an analog speedometer, displaying essential information such as speed and driving mode, as well as Honda SENSING details in a user-friendly format.

Additionally, rear ventilation, which circulates air from the air conditioning unit to the rear seats, is a standard feature across all types and trims, enhancing the comfort of passengers in the rear seats of this Japanese WR-V.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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