Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia?

Sanjay · Nov 9, 2022 11:39 AM

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 01

The Honda WR-V is Honda’s latest small SUV. Positioned below the Honda HR-V, the WR-V made its global debut earlier this week in Indonesia. Honda Malaysia has yet to confirm if the WR-V will be launched here, neither do we expect them to.

Like many companies, Honda Malaysia cannot, and won’t comment on its future product plans, at least not this early.

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 02

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But there is not even a slightest doubt if the Honda WR-V will be launched in Malaysia. It is coming here. You don’t need to connect too many dots to figure that clearly Honda Motor didn’t spend money to develop a new SUV only for it to be sold only in Indonesia, right?

The Honda WR-V is a regional product, developed in Thailand by Honda R&D Asia Pacific, with Indonesian team members contributing a not insignificant part of the project.

Also read: All-new 2023 Honda WR-V debuts in Indonesia - Can it win over the Ativa?

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 01

The WR-V project leader, which in Honda’s hierarchy carries the title Large Project Leader (LPL) is a Thai lady – Miss Poychat Ua-arayaporn. To our knowledge, she is the first female LPL to lead the development of a major Honda model.

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 02

She explained that market studies for a new small SUV started 5 years ago, focusing on young Indonesians looking to buy their first hatchback / small SUV who are looking to upgrade to an SUV. “My urban free-styler” was the overarching theme for her development team.

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 03

To keep cost low, the Thai-Indo development team built the WR-V off the second-generation Honda BR-V, with parts some other Honda models including the previous FC generation Civic’s steering wheel.

Also read: Review: 2022 Honda Civic RS (FE) - If there were ever a perfect car for Malaysians, this is it

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 04

And that's expected because it's priced to compete against the Daihatsu Rocky / Toyota Raize / Perodua Ativa in Southeast Asian markets. For example, here's how the prices for the WR-V vs the trio stack up:

  • WR-V E – IDR 271.9 million (~RM 82.5k)
  • WR-V RS – IDR 289.9 million (~RM 88k)
  • WR-V RS with Honda Sensing – IDR 309.9 million (~RM 94k)

Meanwhile, the CVT-only variants of the Rocky/Raize in Indonesia tops out at around IDR 283 million (~RM 86k).

Launch in Malaysia?

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 05

Honda Malaysia has yet to confirm, but it would a huge loss of opportunity if it doesn’t, as the WR-V is developed as a regional product. We are pretty sure the WR-V will be launched in Malaysia in 2023, after the all-new BR-V.

The second half of 2023 is a likelier possibility, considering lead times required for local assembly (CKD) prep work.

Price estimate for Malaysia

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Prices for the WR-V are 10 percent cheaper than the BR-V in Indonesia, and both models fall under the same tax bracket. As of this year, the archipelago has binned preferential tax for 7-seaters and instead adopt a CO2-based tax, bringing it more in-line with developed nations.

Honda WR-V, more powerful than Ativa, adds Sensing, sub-RM 90k possible for Malaysia? 07

Over in Malaysia, things are slightly different. The outgoing generation BR-V is priced from RM 90,700 (1.5 E) to RM 97,700 (1.5 V). It's taxed as an SUV, meaning a 75 percent excise duty is applied before rebates for local content use.

Also read: To cross RM 100k in Malaysia? 2022 Honda BR-V is now priced 13% higher in the Philippines

In Malaysia, we don't have any CO2 tax programmes so the 1.5-litre WR-V will also be taxed the same as the same engine capacity BR-V. Assuming the same price gap as Indonesia and taking into consideration a minimum 10 percent jump in price for the next generation BR-V, it's hightly likely for the WR-V to be priced at circa RM 90k, which is over RM 20k cheaper than the HR-V.

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Sanjay

Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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