2023 Honda ZR-V debuts in Japan with hybrid power

Honda will bridge the gap between the CR-V and HR-V with the new ZR-V

A new model is coming to Honda’s SUV lineup and it’s called the ZR-V. It’s been revealed for the Japanese market before pre-orders begin in September this year. European buyers will have to wait until 2023 before the ZR-V becomes available here. 

The all-new model will sit alongside the HR-V, CR-V and e:Ny1, and is set to compete in the C-segment SUV sector. It’ll rival cars such as the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage

The model was originally announced at a preview of the upcoming e:Ny1 Prototype, which will be made available as a full EV. Unlike that car, hybridisation will be the maximum amount of electrification in the ZR-V because Honda says it believes hybrid power still has a part to play in reducing CO2 emissions and helping customers transition to zero-emissions driving.

The ZR-V has two powertrain options. One is the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder-based petrol engine set-up that we’ve seen in the new Civic with 181bhp and 315Nm of torque. The other is a 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder. Both engines will be mated to CVT transmissions, although the e:HEV gets the two-motor hybrid system Honda calls ‘e-CVT’. 

The majority of ZR-Vs will likely come in front-wheel drive form, but Honda is also offering all-wheel drive versions of both powertrains which the firm says “customers to drive on snowy roads with greater peace of mind by realising outstanding performance in making turns and climbing up snowy roads.”

The exterior of the ZR-V isn’t as bold as the retro-styled, all-electric Honda e - it’s closer to the new Civic in design. The sleek headlights and curvy rear light are similar to Honda’s popular hatchback and the front grille is a departure from the Japanese firm’s current style. There are wide wheel arches to accentuate the ZR-V’s stance as well as twin exhaust tips and a rear roof spoiler. 

Inside, we see Honda’s 10.2-inch digital dial display along with a nine-inch touchscreen on the dash. The cabin is rather minimalistic in appearance with a single line running horizontally across the dash, incorporating the air vents. Honda says a “variety of user-friendly storage spaces are provided” and that the “high-deck centre console separates the front seats to create personal space for the driver and front passenger.”

Given the ZR-V will sit between the HR-V and CR-V in terms of size, we can expect pricing for the Honda ZR-V to also split the other two with a starting price tag of around £30,000.

Now read about how we got on with the Honda HR-V in our long-term test review...

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