New 2023 Honda ZR-V is hybrid SUV to rival Nissan Qashqai

1 year ago - 15 May 2023, autocar
New 2023 Honda ZR-V is hybrid SUV to rival Nissan Qashqai
Stylish Civic-based crossover arrives to plug the gap between HR-V and new, larger CR-V

The all-new Honda ZR-V has arrived in Europe as a Civic-based hybrid crossover to fill the gap between the HR-V and CR-V.

Conceived to rival the Nissan Qashqai, the ZR-V arrives as part of an extensive refresh of Honda's European model line-up. At the same time, the brand has introduced the new e:Ny1 electric crossover and the significantly overhauled, sixth-generation CR-V.

The ZR-V will effectively take the place of the current CR-V in the brand’s European line-up as that model is upsized in its next iteration to better compete with the Skoda Kodiaq and Toyota Highlander.

When it lands in dealerships in July, the ZR-V is expected to be priced from around the £40,000 mark - making it a more premium proposition than the Nissan Qashqai E-Power.

Customer deliveries are set to begin towards the end of the year.

Already on sale in the US (where it's badged as the HR-V), the ZR-V has been designed with a focus on attracting younger buyers and as such majors on "sporty and expressive" design cues, enhanced dynamics, practicality and agility.

It will be sold in Europe exclusively as a hybrid, using a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine and two electric motors - a set-up familiar from the Civic, with which it shares its platform.

With a combined 181bhp and 232lb ft of torque, this powertrain promises what Honda calls "powerful acceleration comparable to a V6 3.0-litre engine", although final performance figures are yet to be revealed.

It emits 130g/km of CO2 and gets an efficiency rating of 50mpg on the WLTP test cycle.

The ZR-V channels its reserves through an e-CVT to the front axle only, with the US-market four-wheel-drive car confirmed as not being available here.

The e-CVT clutches the engine onto the wheels only at high speeds, at one fixed ratio. The rest of the time, the engine spins a generator to make power for the electric motors.

Honda highlighted the new front grille, longer bonnet and "sleek" roofline as features that most obviously set the ZR-V apart from the CR-V.

At 4570mm long and 1840mm wide, it's much closer in size to the outgoing CR-V than the HR-V and is said to offer around 20% more cargo space than its smaller sibling.

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