Honda ZR-V review - Engines, performance and drive
While it isn’t particularly fun, the ZR-V is relaxing and easy to drive on a daily basis
Driving the ZR-V at low speeds feels like you’re actually piloting an EV, as the electric motors are doing all the work. It’s incredibly smooth, easy to control and far more responsive than a combustion-engined SUV. Precise steering and good visibility also make the Honda easy to place on the road, although we did find the ride to be a little fidgety over smaller bumps.
Leave the hustle and bustle of town for a B-road, and it’s soon apparent the ZR-V is not particularly fun to drive. That’s because it’s been set up to be safe and predictable, and it’s exactly that. There’s a reasonable amount of grip through corners, and the feeling of a low centre of gravity is reassuring on those occasions when you need to brake hard.
The ZR-V’s ride comfort improves once you’re on the motorway, where it feels stable. However road noise, particularly from the back axle, is a little more audible than we’d hope for. The lane-departure and blind-spot warning beeps are also too excitable for our liking.
The ZR-V’s variable brake regeneration settings are easy to adjust on the move thanks to the metal paddles behind the steering wheel, but the second you touch either of them, it resets back to the default level. We’d rather it stayed how we left it.
0-62mph acceleration and top speed
Honda says 0-62mph in the ZR-V takes 7.9 seconds and that seems about right. If you’re already going fast enough and the engine is driving the wheels, throttle response is keen. But when you’re cruising on battery power and boot it, there’s a long pause as the petrol engine wakes from its slumber. When it does, the four-cylinder engine is a little droney, but not overly loud. Top speed stands at 108mph.
In this review
- 1Honda ZR-V reviewHonda’s answer to the Nissan Qashqai features a slick hybrid setup and generous cabin space, but it’s not without its flaws
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingWhile it isn’t particularly fun, the ZR-V is relaxing and easy to drive on a daily basis
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsWe found the hybrid ZR-V to be efficient, but insurance ratings are higher than many rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe ZR-V’s styling is unlikely to win hearts and minds, but its simple, logical cabin might sway some buyers
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceHonda has clearly focused on passenger space in the ZR-V as the mid-size SUV’s boot is actually smaller than the one in the Civic hatchback
- 6Reliability and safetyThere’s no Euro NCAP rating for the ZR-V just yet, but standard safety kit is excellent