2024 Honda ZR-V Review

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The 2023 Honda ZR-V is a compelling new addition to the C-segment crossover market.

It’s a family-friendly SUV that’s based on the same underpinnings as the award-winning Civic hatchback, and the ZR-V is slightly smaller than the CR-V, but bigger than the HR-V, filling a gap in Honda’s range.

 

Honda ZR-V Looks

The ZR-V stands out with its distinctive grille, sleek LED headlights, and horizontal-style LED tail-lights. But does that grille make it look a little…sad? Poor ZR-V.

As mentioned already, it shares its underpinnings with the Honda Civic family car and the larger, next-generation CR-V. Like the Civic, the ZR-V gets a 2.0-litre petrol engine, two electric motors, and a small battery for hybrid running. There’s no plan for a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version.

Honda has made the ZR-V less bulky on the outside and less cavernous inside than many comparable crossovers, with the aim of attracting buyers who want to prioritise nimble handling over outright practicality. This unconventional approach could have merit, as the Civic is known for its great handling and cheap running costs – as we’ve previously found out.

 

ZR-V Performance

The ZR-V’s performance is decent. The e:HEV hybrid set-up, shared with the Civic, produces a healthy 181bhp, with a 0-60mph time of 7.9sec – which is plenty for everyday driving, and it will accelerate up to motorway speeds with little fuss.

Over 263 miles of driving we managed 51.4 MPG, this was over roughly 70% motorway, 20% B-road and the rest around town.

Handling wise the ride is superb, supple enough to soak up the very worst of our rapidly deteriorating UK roads, but firm enough in the corners to control body roll allowing you to really press on at a pace if you so desire.

It excels at urban driving, but cabin noise does increase at higher speeds due to the tyres. The go-to moan for CVT’s was the audible racket during acceleration, but this new e-CVT stays hushed thanks to only kicking in at higher revs and staying at a constant RPM.

 

Inside the ZR-V

Inside, the ZR-V is similar to the Civic. The dashboard has the same design, featuring a horizontal strip of air vents. The 9.0in touchscreen for the infotainment isn’t the crispest in terms of resolution, but the shortcut buttons and wireless smartphone mirroring mean it’s largely easy to use. The materials have had a gentle uplift compared with the Civic, more soft-touch can be found on the doors and there’s a more sculpted centre console with some handy storage underneath.

Rear seat legroom is plenty enough for kids, but head height may become squished for larger adults, and the boot space measures 380 litres, which isn’t bad, but it’s not great either.

 

Honda ZR-V Conclusion

Honda’s ZR-V ticks all the boxes to make it a compelling C-segment crossover. It’s spacious, well-built and has some incredibly impressive real-world efficiency.

It is pricier than some of its rivals and is probably better suited to those who don’t need a cavernous crossover to lug a big family around. It’s hardly cramped, but rivals have bigger boots and more versatility.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the ZR-V is a strong contender in the crossover segment and is definitely worth considering.

 

 

 

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