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Will Honda Australia Elevate its number of SUVs with the 2024 WR-V to compete against the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke and Toyota Yaris Cross?

The Japanese WR-V is a rebadged version of the Indian-market Elevate, but will it come to Australia?

Honda Japan has a new entry-level SUV in its line-up in the form of the WR-V, so could this new model bulk out Australia’s high-riding offerings next to the HR-V, ZR-V and CR-V?

First, let’s start with what it is.

Slotting in below the HR-V small SUV, the WR-V measures 4212mm long, 1790mm wide, 1650mm tall and has a 2650mm wheelbase, which means both models are a close match in all dimensions barring length where the latter is 123mm shorter.

This sizes the WR-V closely to the likes of the Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Venue and Ford Puma, and would give Honda Australia a competitor in the burgeoning light SUV segment.

With the axing of the Jazz hatchback and City sedan, and the Civic only offered in a couple of high-spec grades, the HR-V has served as the entry point to the Honda brand, opening at $36,700 drive-away.

This seemingly leaves a lot of free air underneath for something like the WR-V, which could lower the point of entry closer to $30,000 or under, making for a viable alternative to shoppers looking at the Nissan Juke and Toyota Yaris Cross that both start in the high 20s.

Underneath, the WR-V is built on the Honda Global Small Car platform, meaning it shares the same architecture as the HR-V, as well as the latest version of the Jazz/Fit and City that are not available Down Under.

Powering the WR-V is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, outputting 89kW/145Nm to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.

This is the same powertrain as the base HR-V, and if there’s no market overlap between it and the WR-V in Japan, maybe there’s room for it here in Australia.

Naturally, it might be easy to assume the Japanese WR-V is the same as the SUV sharing the same nameplate that is sold in Southeast Asian markets, but it differs.

Because the Japanese WR-V is sourced from India, where it is built and known as the Elevate SUV.

This puts a big question mark over its chances for Australia, as the shift to the agency model also saw all of Honda’s local stock change sourcing to Japan, including the Civic, HR-V, ZR-V and Civic Type R, though the new CR-V comes from Thailand.

Would Honda Australia take this small SUV model built in India? It doesn't seem so, according to the brand's Public Relations Lead, Jessica Ware.

"There are no plans to introduce either of these nameplates (Elevate or WR-V) to the Australian market at this current time," she told CarsGuide.