Coastal exploration with the Honda WR-V

Impromptu roadtrips are fun! And with something as comfortable and desirable as the Honda WR-V, they can just get better and better

Words by:- Harshit Srinivas
Photographs by:- Sachin Kawankar and Anup Lakra

Boys we are going to Goa! Exclaimed our Publisher, CEO, Abhishek Kulkarni entering the room making the statement. So, finally, it’s happening, the long-awaited official break, said Vishal Joshi, our Principal Correspondent, Auto. But, you know how it goes with ‘The’ Goa plan. Hence, here’s the twist. The boss was heading first to Goa in the BMW X3, and we were joining him there after two days, as we needed to wrap up some work before the trip. We were told, the monsoons have left the Pune-Goa roads in bad shape, and therefore, we needed a car that could not only take the beating but be comfortable and joyous while driving through those serene coastal routes. Well, I couldn’t stop myself from making that call to Honda, and the next day ‘boom’! I have the Honda WR-V waiting right at my door, all ready to be our companion for the next few days.

Early next day, at around 4am, our shutterbug Anup Lakra comes yelling that we need to leave early, as he wanted some shots of the WR-V in the golden light; which obviously you must have noticed till now. And so we started our much-awaited drive with the WR-V and hit the Pune-Belgavi highway with the car doing what it does the best. While its 1.5-liter diesel unit roaring under the hood helped us munch miles, the ride on the other hand smoothly gulped on all the undulations as we traversed towards our destination. Meanwhile, we also took some detours for photographs. Because what is a road trip without memories, to remind you to head for another one again. Of course, these detours were for photography, but they also did offer us an assortment of road surfaces - the ghats, some rough patches, but mind you; the WR-V tackled these road surfaces with ease. Once off the detours, we got back on the highway to progress towards our destination. The route to the city of Belgavi, to our surprise, was well laid and added smoothness and speed to our road trip. But, the tables turned as we crossed the city and the curvy roads welcomed us, laying another challenge for the WR-V. Here, the WR-V felt at home, since was planted at decent speeds and with the correct amount of heft, a sense of assurance was established. Not that we kept doing great speeds till the end, but some rough patches made me hit the brake occasionally when I noticed that a bit extra ground clearance would’ve given me one less thing to worry about. But what compensated for these low-speed maneuvers was the fun we had when the rear stepped out on mud while chasing the X3, have to mention the screeching sound the rubber made while at it.

But that was all when we were in the car. When we took this long halt, the stunning view outside the cabin that overlooked a clear sky demanded for some photography opportunities. Needless to say, it is on my phone now, in a form of wallpaper. Post that, we mixed the bag of amazing ride and a stunning view together to experience a downhill drive like never before. In between all these instances, the WR-V didn’t hesitate to offer its generous boot space of 363 liters to our shutterbugs for all their gear to generate enough convenience for all the magic that you see in all these pictures here. And the boot not only accommodated their gear but also our luggage and still we found some more space to spare. Speaking of space, let’s talk about the cabin space. Though a compact SUV, the WR-V was no less than the mid-size SUV on comfort and convenience front. We were a gang of four travelling to Goa and (apart from my driving, ahem!) not a single one complained about lack of space or comfort. Of course, it is a compact SUV, hence a bit of a body roll was there but there was plenty of fun to be had. Upon reaching our destination in South of Goa, which I was visiting for the first time, I explored a different side of Goa, which didn’t even remotely remind me of those shacks at the crowded beach. While we approached our stay for the trip, the long stretches on highways allowed the WR-V to stretch its legs again, and while at it, even we had fun driving on those coastal routes. After, almost a 497-kilometer drive, we just made it in time for lunch at The Leela, Goa - our stay for the next two days. And the plethora of options that we experienced in the cabin of the WR-V throughout the road trip that kept us so comfortable and safe was carried forward to the four walls at The Leela, Goa. Post a half-a-day break at The Leela, Goa, I resumed to the keys of the WR-V the next morning and headed straight to explore the local beach and churches of the southern part of the unexplored Goa. Since we left early in the morning, the calm on the streets welcomes us with a soothing smile since we had the entire stretch of streets all to ourselves! And, trust me, Goa looks even more beautiful early in the morning.

After those slew of detours, driving through the city and gorging upon some lip-smacking South Goan food, it was time to call it a day and head back to our base in Pune. Though we spent a brief moment behind the wheel of the Honda WR-V, for me, this drive was something that took me away from the city and was a drive that I wouldn’t forget anytime soon. And, my co-driver Vishal Joshi would agree with that since he has a different flavor of memory of this drive. Of course, he will be sharing it with you soon, so stay tuned for more coming up.