The Honda WR-V has been officially launched in India. While the Jazz-based “SUV” was first seen in Brazil late last year, India is the first country to manufacture and launch the new model, which is developed under the concept of “Refresh for Urban India”.

“The fast-evolving Indian market has shown strong demand for compact vehicles that are stylish, comfortable and have premium features. With the WR-V, we would like to provide joy for recreational usage and comfortable driving for daily use in the city for customers in India. We’re confident that WR-V will help to fortify our premium image,” said Yoichiro Ueno, president and CEO of Honda Cars India. Familiar name? Ueno san was formerly the head of Honda Malaysia.

The basic shape of the Jazz, and its signature line on the profile and tail lamps remain, although the latter gets an extension that that sits on the tailgate, which has rearranged elements. There’s an HR-V-style face with LED daytime running lights and position lamps, flanking halogen reflector headlamps.

There to provide the rugged image is black plastic cladding all around the lower part of the body, including the wheelarches. Also in are silver bits on the front and rear bumper to mimic sump guards, plus roof rails. There’s an electric sunroof, too. The latter aside, it’s essentially the same buff up formula Honda used to differentiate the BR-V from the Mobilio MPV.

At 3,999 mm long and 1,734 mm wide, the WR-V is 44 mm longer and 40 mm wider than the Jazz, likely due to the body add-ons. Ground clearance is 188 mm, which is 53 mm higher than on the Jazz. Like our top spec Jazz, the WR-V rides on 16-inch wheels (gunmetal finish here), but the tyres are higher profile items.

The WR-V carries over the Jazz’s engine options, which includes a 1.2 litre SOHC i-VTEC petrol engine (90 PS/110 Nm) and a 1.5 litre i-DTEC turbodiesel with 100 PS and 200 Nm of torque from 1,750 rpm.

There’s no CVT option though – both engines come with manual transmissions, five speeds for the petrol (newly developed) and six for the oil burner. Official mileage claims in India is 17.5 km/l for the petrol and 25.5 km/l for the diesel.

In India, the WR-V will fight supermini-based SUVs such as the Volkswagen Cross Polo, Hyundai i20 Active, Toyota Etios Cross and the Punto-based Fiat Avventura. Purpose-built compact SUVs like the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza are also in its sights.

Prices in India range from 7.75 lakh (RM52,550) for the S petrol to 9.99 lakh (RM67,748) for the VX diesel. With an automatic ‘box, will this do well in ASEAN, or will it be one V too many for the on-form brand?

Our thanks to Rushlane for the pics.