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Honda’s new entry-level SUV is the 2023 HR-V. So it wouldn’t make sense to replace it now. But is Honda unveiling its WR-V, a small SUV that actually looks like an SUV? The 2024 WR-V will begin selling in Japan, as well as in India as the Elevate. It is a great entry-level SUV, so the question is, “Could it be coming to the U.S. to replace the current HR-V?”

The WR-V is similar in some ways to the HR-V but with more swagger. The Elevate/WR-V was first shown in India in June. With the announcement that it will sell in Japan next year, Honda begins the slow rollout of its smallest SUV. Right now, the Honda HR-V is its least-expensive model, with an MSRP of $23,800. 

Do the Honda WR-V and HR-V share a platform?

Red 2024 Honda WR-V on tan background
2024 Honda WR-V | Honda

The WR-V uses the Honda Global Small Car platform, so it is an HR-V underneath. That also underpins the Civic. But the styling is pretty far removed from the HR-V. It is chunkier, with a taller front end, and side windows stopping at the C-pillars. 

In fact, the hood almost has no slope, jettisoning almost straight out from the windshield. The round wheel openings are gone. Instead, Honda sought more squareness, tying into taller rockers with satin inserts. 

What engines and transmissions will the WR-V have?

Orange 2024 Honda WR-V in studio shot
2024 Honda WR-V | Honda

Also taken from the HR-V is the WR-V’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, according to Australia’s CarsGuide. With 120 hp and 106 lb-ft, two transmissions will be available. More likely, should it come here, it would be a turbocharged version of the 1.5 with 180 hp, and a hybrid should be around the corner. 

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a six-speed manual livens the WR-H up. But we wouldn’t see the six-speed. However, the new 2023 HR-V does offer all-wheel drive. Previous HR-V SUVs had a bit of torque punch but didn’t feel like a Civic. This new HR-V is kicking things up a notch or two.

How likely is it that the WR-V comes here?

2023 Honda HR-V at sunset
2023 Honda HR-V | Honda
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So, the dilemma is that Honda has a new small SUV in the States. While in Japan and India, it offers something more aggressive with the same platform, featuring the preferred Land Rover-like proportions. Will America get the WR-V as an HR-V, or does it have something else up its sleeve? It is too soon to know.

But it is always enticing to find that domestic automakers (and Honda is domestic with three factories in Ohio, three in North Carolina, and one each in Indiana, Arizona, and South Carolina) have something different from what is available here. We expect that by 2026 or so, when an HR-V refresh is in store, we might see a version of the WR-V. But then again…