New Honda ZR-V: The Hero or Zero Family SUV?

Here comes another c-SUV: the new Honda ZR-V. Promising to shake things up in the crowded world of compact SUVs, Honda claims this latest creation is not just another run-of-the-mill car; it’s supposed to be a game-changer. But with two SUVs already in the range, is there any need to add another?

It’s got a big reputation to live up to, and with so many family SUVs out there, the ZR-V needs to be more than just good looks and fancy features. With prices starting from £38,400, it better be good.

2023 Honda ZR-V First Impressions

2024 Highlights

  • LED daytime running lights
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Nine-inch touchscreen

Initially, I wondered why Honda bothered making another car to fill a gap that nobody noticed. Sitting between the already compact HR-V and larger CR-V, it seems a bit pointless. However, its styling sets it apart. The sporty design with signature black grille and stylish alloys strikes a delicate balance between bold innovation and the subtle elegance Honda is known for.

A sharp crease carves a beltline from front to back to capture the essence of motion, even when parked. Yet, as eye-catching as these features are, they simply follow the current trends of every other car that has a sporty appearance. So far, I can’t find anything special to justify the price tag. Maybe it’s the drive?

Quick Info

Engine 2-litre hybrid, petrol
Transmission e-CVT
Horsepower184 PS @ 6,000 RPM
Torque315 Nm
DrivetrainFront-wheel drive
Fuel Economy (CMB)48.7 MPG
0-62 MPH8 Seconds
Top Speed108 MPH

Driving Impressions And Performance

The ZR-V feels young and energetic when driving, especially around town. The electric motor lends the engine a hand to keep it quiet, and the compact size makes parking a breeze. However, it’s not good for longer journeys.

On the motorway, the ZR-V is loud inside, which is annoying after a while. Then, when you need to slow down quickly, the brakes don’t feel very sharp. It’s not quite as controlled as some rivals at higher speeds on twisty roads, either, which is something to keep in mind.

Honda ZR-V Fuel Economy

Honda ZR-V fuel economy

This hybrid motor makes the ZR-V pretty efficient. I had a very bust week with the Honda, covering a lot of motorway miles. Even so, I almost reached the claimed figures, seeing 44.3 MPG. As much as I was amazed by these results given the conditions, I couldn’t help but compare it to the similarly sized Ford Puma hybrid, which returns up to 52.3 MPG and costs a lot less.

EPA Rated Economy:48.7 MPG
Fuel Economy As Tested:44.3 MPG

Interior Design And Comfort

Hop into the Honda ZR-V, and it feels like a cosy little spot away from the world. The cabin is a blend of practicality and aesthetic appeal, with soft-touch materials everywhere and seats that feel like they’re giving you a hug, especially on long drives.

It’s roomy as well, so everyone gets their space, whether you’re up front or chilling in the back. Sure, lots of cars are trying to up their game with fancy insides these days, but the Honda makes a solid attempt at making you feel a bit special.

Technology And Ease Of Use

Honda ZR-V touchscreen

Right at the heart of its dashboard, there’s this 9-inch touchscreen that’s like your command centre on the go. It’s hooked up with Honda Connect, which is basically your co-pilot for all things entertainment. And for all of us who can’t live without our phones, the ZR-V steps up with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The screen is within reach, uncluttered and easy to use, with large icons that are hard to miss.

This Advance spec also has an upgraded Bose sound system, and heads-up display to show important driving stats on above the dash to ensure the driver doesn’t take their eyes off the road. All trims get five USB charging ports; one for everyone.

Cargo And Storage Space

Since this SUV is a smidgen bigger than the HR-V, it has more boot space. A 60/40 split in the rear seats allows more flexibility when loading items. Additionally, the seats fold to open up 1,301 litres of storage. Though there’s a slight load lip, it’s nothing to worry about.

Luggage Capacity (seats up)370 Litres
Luggage Capacity (seats folded)1,301 Litres

Should You Buy A Honda ZR-V?

All in all, if you’re mostly driving in the city, the ZR-V is pretty much spot on. It’s nimble and easy to park, efficient, and comfortable. Though, I still can’t accept the price. Considering this is a small SUV aimed at families, I think it’s a bit expensive.

This Advance trim as tested costs £43,545, not much cheaper than the range topping CR-V at £44,365. Other than the design and maybe economy, I wouldn’t be compelled to buy the ZR-V. Instead, I’d opt for the bigger Honda at a similar price, or consider the much more affordable Kia Sportage or Skoda Karoq.

Exterior Dimensions

Length4,568 mm
Width1,840 mm
Height1,620 mm
Wheelbase2,657 mm
Kerb Weight1,639 kg

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