New Honda SUV teased – is this a new five-seater Honda WR-V or ZR-V to rival the Perodua Ativa?

New Honda SUV teased – is this a new five-seater Honda WR-V or ZR-V to rival the Perodua Ativa?

Well, what do we have here? During the Indonesia-based virtual reveal of the new BR-V yesterday, Honda teased the existence of a new model that it says we should all be excited over. The car is covered in red cloth but the silhouette and the presence of roof rails suggest that it will be an SUV.

So what is it? Honda does have a pretty comprehensive lineup of crossovers in Indonesia, with the BR-V, HR-V and CR-V covering all the major segments. The BR-V has just been refreshed, and while the HR-V is due for a replacement, the different daytime running light signature and the roof rails suggest that this isn’t the next-generation model. The CR-V is also pretty long in the tooth, but its successor hasn’t been revealed yet and we don’t think such an important global model would be teased during a regional reveal.

Where Honda is currently found wanting is in the entry-level SUV segment, which is being overrun in Malaysia by the Perodua Ativa and in Indonesia by the related Daihatsu Rocky and Toyota Raize. Could the company then be building a smaller five-seater model based on the seven-seater BR-V? It isn’t outside the realm of possibility, given that the latter is based on the sub-four-metre Amaze sedan.

New Honda SUV teased – is this a new five-seater Honda WR-V or ZR-V to rival the Perodua Ativa?

The unnamed SUV could be a smaller five-seater version of the new BR-V

Adding a cheaper SUV would give Honda a leg up in this area, helping it cater towards younger buyers. Despite the Indonesian market being dominated by seven-seaters, the Raize was the eighth best-selling passenger car last month with 2,883 units sold, outselling the Honda Brio hatch. In Malaysia, the Ativa reached sales of 4,624 units in April, just a month after its launch.

As it turns out, Honda already has the perfect engine for the car – a 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder already found in the City in Thailand, producing 122 PS at 5,500 rpm and 173 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 4,500 rpm. That mill is mated to a CVT in the Land of Smiles.

Indeed, a smaller five-seater version of the BR-V is very much on the horizon, reported OtoDriver. An unnamed source told the publication, “The all-new BR-V is a special car. It will become the “parent” of a new Honda model in the future. There will be a small SUV that will be developed using this platform.” The same website previously reported that the new car will either adopt the WR-V moniker from the existing Jazz-based crossover or get a new ZR-V name that was trademarked last year.

New Honda SUV teased – is this a new five-seater Honda WR-V or ZR-V to rival the Perodua Ativa?

The new SUV will make a credible rival to the Daihatsu Rocky, the Perodua Ativa’s Indonesian twin

Conversely, the unnamed SUV could take the form of a seven-seater even smaller than the BR-V, enabling Honda to compete in the Low Cost Green Car (LCGC) segment that also contains the Brio. The Daihatsu Sigra and Toyota Calya twins currently have a stranglehold on this part of the market, powered by naturally-aspirated 1.0 and 1.2 litre mills.

Whichever form it will take, don’t hold your breath for the car to arrive in Malaysia. Honda holds a relatively elevated brand image in Malaysia, something that could be affected by a small SUV. The company also appears to be reluctant to compete point-blank against Perodua in its backyard – it doesn’t sell the Axia-sized Brio here and its BR-V competed solely against the Toyota Rush before the Aruz entered the picture.

But an A-segment Honda SUV would certainly be an enticing proposition over here, provided that it can be priced competitively against the Ativa – judging by the BR-V’s steep price hike last year, that is certainly not a given. As for a LCGC Honda MPV-cum-SUV, you can forget about it, as a tiny seven-seater with a minuscule NA engine isn’t going to fly with our more, ahem, discerning buyers.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • It’s a rival to Toyota Raize Ativa, Renault Captur, Citroen C3, Mazda CX-3, Proton X50, Haval H2 , Kia Sonet and likely killing its own dated 2021 launched HR-V.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • Matchy on Sep 23, 2021 at 5:28 pm

      Proton missed again. Whutta big shame.. utter failures them. Told Iriz active Crossover b4…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Vito Aditya on Sep 23, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Idk why but I actually think that this is the All New Mobilio. Sure there are roof rails, but the Mobilio RS gets roof rails too. And I could also recall that Honda will aleo produce a new Mobilio, as per presentation from the Indonesian Ministry of Industries for Investor Week (there’s a video about it on YouTube).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Ben Yap on Sep 23, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Hopefully the 3rd row seat is not as cramp as the current BRV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 28
  • Sharul Nizam bin Sani on Oct 02, 2021 at 7:56 am


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Sharul Nizam bin Sani on Oct 02, 2021 at 7:58 am


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