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A mystery Honda SUV, expected to be called Honda WR-V, will be making its world debut in Indonesia on November 2, which is a few days away. A countdown cum teaser has been released by Honda Indonesia and it shows the side profile of the WR-V, with the headline ‘Wheeling Soon’.

What’s this SUV all about? Honda is well-represented in the traditional B and C segments of the SUV market, with benchmark models such as the HR-V and CR-V. Below the HR-V, Honda has a sedan (City) and some hatchbacks (City Hatchback, Brio). However, people want SUVs these days, no matter in what segment or at what price point.

Enter the WR-V, which will sit below the HR-V and will provide competition to the Daihatsu Rocky and Toyota Raize, the Perodua Ativa‘s sisters in Indonesia. You see, the HR-V is a true B-segment SUV that’s relatively high up in size and price. It’s significantly larger than the Ativa/Rocky/Raize, which is, at best, a very small B.

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There’s also a vacancy in India to replace the WR-V, which was basically a Jazz with some SUV-inspired styling – think Axia Style.

The WR-V isn’t a surprise because Honda released the SUV RS Concept in Indonesia late last year as a preview of such a model. That showcar looked really good, but the leaked images we saw in July (above) – if they are indeed of the production version – show a much watered down design.

The SUV RS’ “fade out” grille has been replaced by a more conventional item, with the chrome studded RS treatment seen on the new HR-V RS. There’s a chrome bar on the top of the grille, but the mystery car’s headlamps are much larger than the slim/sharp eyes of the concept. That’s only to be expected – showcar lights and wheels are usually exaggerated.

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Fog lamps are needed for the actual car, so the lower side elements aren’t so minimalist. There’s a sliver skid plate-style trim but it has three notches instead of two. The nose of the car also appears to be more upright. Overall, the face is inoffensive, if a bit conventional.

The rear is a huge departure from the concept, both in shape and details. The SUV RS showcar had a steep, sloping rear screen (unrealistic for such a small car, perhaps) and full-width LED signatures, just like on the new HR-V. The so-called production car is clearly not a baby HR-V then, with more regular angles and tail lamp clusters.

Details that can be seen here are a decently sized spoiler, 3D-style tail lamps that aren’t flat, and silver trim on the diffuser area to match the front end. Also, inverted L-shaped LED signatures like on the Civic FE.

Will this come to Malaysia? A Honda SUV at Ativa prices isn’t impossible, but generally, it’s difficult for non-national brands to introduce entry-level models in our market and be competitive with national rivals in terms of specs/price. The window between the top Ativa AV (RM72,600) and base Honda HR-V 1.5L NA (RM114,800) is RM42k. We’ll see.

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