Bangkok 2023: Honda WR-V RS – live gallery of the 1.5L NA compact SUV, rival to the Perodua Ativa –

The 2023 Honda WR-V, which was launched in Thailand earlier this month, is one of the vehicles Honda Thailand is showcasing in its display at the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS), which begins today. These live photographs (of the RS variant, with and without the optional Modulo styling kit) offer a first good look at what we can expect when the compact SUV debuts in Malaysia sometime in the third quarter.

When it arrives, the WR-V – one of four new vehicles Honda Malaysia is launching this year – will go head-to-head with the similarly-sized Perodua Ativa, if not exactly in price, then in size.

The WR-V measures in at 4,060 mm long, 1,780 mm wide and 1,608 mm tall, with a 2,485 mm-long wheelbase. Comparatively, the Ativa is 4,065 mm long, 1,710 mm wide and 1,635 mm tall, and has a 2,525 mm-long wheelbase, making it a tad longer and taller than the Honda, but narrower.

As mentioned in our earlier report, there’s no indication yet as to the variants and specifications we’ll be getting, but the Thailand-spec models provide some insight. Additionally, available variants in Indonesia, where the car made its global debut last November, offer further clues of what to expect.

Both markets offer two variants – in Thailand, they are the SV and RS (Indonesia has the E and RS). All share a common powertrain and drivetrain, in this case a 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated DOHC engine with i-VTEC offering 121 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. If it sounds familiar, it is, because it’s the same unit as found on the City and entry-level HR-V. Like in those applications, the partnering transmission on the WR-V is a CVT.

Standard equipment on the WR-V in Thailand include automatic LED headlamps, LED DRLs, LED taillights with sequential turn signals, body coloured door handles, black synthetic leather/fabric combination seat upholstery and leather steering wheel (both with blue contrast stitching), remote engine start, walk-away auto lock and keyless entry/push-start ignition.

Also on, automatic air-conditioning, a 7.0-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, Siri and Android Auto voice control, four speakers, two USB ports, multi-angle rear-view camera, a Honda Smart Key Card and a 4.2-inch TFT multi-info display. The SV rides on 16-inch alloys, wrapped with 215/60 profile tyres.

In terms of safety and driving assistance, there’s vehicle stability assist and hill-start assist, and the SV gets four airbags (front, side), with the RS adding on side curtain airbags to make it six.

Both variants come equipped with Honda Sensing, with the ADAS item list comprising collision mitigation braking (CMBS), road departure mitigation with lane departure warning (RDM with LDW), adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane-keeping assist (LKAS), lead car departure notification and auto high-beam.

That’s on the SV. The RS, besides featuring exterior dress-up elements, gets additional kit, including the automaker’s LaneWatch side camera system and Honda Connect telemetry system. It also adds on LED front foglamps, auto folding side mirrors and rides on 17-inch wheels, shod with 215/55 rubbers.

The RS also gets some extra interior accoutrements, these coming in the form of red contrast stitching on the upholstery and steering wheel, vanity mirror illumination, rear seat armrests, paddle shifters and two extra speakers to six units.

We can expect the RS to be the range-topper for Malaysia, but there is a possibility of there being more than one other variant for our market (entry, mid-spec, RS). This is suggested by the Indonesian E grade, which is the base model in the republic.

The version pares down the kit somewhat compared to the Thailand-spec SV. It comes with halogen headlamps (without auto feature), fabric seats, digital air-conditioning, a MID instrument display, and omits the walk-away auto lock function, among other things.

As for pricing, it remains to be seen how the WR-V will stack up in the scheme of things, in relation to the Ativa and also the automaker’s larger HR-V. In Indonesia, the E goes for Rp.271.9 juta, which for the E, which is around RM79,330, while the Sensing-equipped RS is priced at Rp.309.9 juta, or RM90,420. It’s pricier in Thailand, with the SV going for 799,000 baht (RM105,100) and the RS, for 869,000 baht (RM114,300).

What do you think of the Honda WR-V? Share your opinion about it in the comments section.

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