The Honda ZR-V e:HEV at a glance
- Full hybrid SUV in VW Tiguan format
- Electric drive with 135 kW/184 HP
- Economical in consumption
- Sporty driving characteristics
- Basic price from 43,900 euros
Straightforward, without any frills: The design of the Honda ZR-V looks pleasing, and LED headlights are standard.
What are we dealing with here?
Even in the smallest niche there is still space for another SUV. This is what Honda might have thought with the new ZR-V (combined fuel consumption: 5.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 131 g/km)². At 4.57 meters long, it is positioned between the compact HR-V and the larger CR-V and actually acts as a counterpart to the VW Tiguan, Mazda CX-5 or Nissan Qashqai. Actually? Well, the comparison with the home-style competition fails early on due to the high price of the Japanese.
With at least 43,900 euros for the basic “Sport” variant, one is inclined to equate the C-segment SUV with other calibers. In addition to the Toyota RAV4, which is also petrol-electric, we think of the Audi Q3, Mercedes GLA, but also the even more expensive BMW X1. For that much money, you not only get a neat exterior with LED headlights and attractive 18-inch models, but also an almost fully equipped interior. The standard equipment includes: seat heating, map navigation with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as numerous assistance systems. However, if you want steering wheel heating, a panoramic roof and a Bose sound system, among other things, you have to pay an additional 2,500 euros for the “Advance” variant.
Inside, the HR-V is very functional, the central control element is a 9.0-inch touchscreen.
How does the Honda ZR-V drive?
It will take a few minutes longer to find out. Depending on your personal aversion to patronizing and sometimes invasive assistants, you must first find out how the lane departure warning system and the speed warning system, which will be required by the EU from July 2024, can be deactivated. Honda can’t be blamed for the decisions of the Brussels parliamentarians, but it can be blamed for how the driver can turn off all the technology in a laborious manner, sometimes only while stationary.
Once the Honda ZR-V is in motion, you can fully engage with the full hybrid drive called e:HEV. The system is known from the current Civic and combines a two-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine that works according to the Atkinson principle with two electric motors. The 143 hp combustion engine primarily supplies the energy for the electric generator, which in turn feeds a small lithium-ion battery from which the 135 kW/184 hp drive is powered. Depending on the load, the petrol engine can also intervene directly and provide support to the front wheels. There is no need for a conventional gearbox. A Linear Shift Control is used for this, which, according to the manufacturer, adapts the engine noise to the speed and ensures a natural feeling of acceleration.
The result of all these technical efforts is an overall low noise level from the combustion engine and, in some cases, fuel consumption of around five liters per 100 kilometers. This is particularly evident in inner-city driving, when the Honda ZR-V can operate predominantly purely electrically. However, the concept quickly reaches its limits on the highway. Beyond 120 km/h (the speed limit is 173 km/h), the engine trio noticeably loses its sovereignty and due to the constant use of the four-cylinder engine, consumption increases to over ten liters per 100 kilometers. In terms of driving dynamics, we particularly like the precise steering, but also the tightly tuned chassis. Combined with a still manageable weight of around 1.7 tonnes, the ZR-V can be moved quickly over winding country roads.
The well-contoured seats are comfortable even on longer journeys. Incomprehensible: There is no height adjustment for the front passenger seat as standard.
What is the Honda ZR-V like inside?
Typically sober for the brand, it can be noted. Black plastic is the dominant material in the interior, with the seat patterns and contrasting seams trying to subtly break up the scenery. The driver’s seat is already widely adjustable ex works, but there is incomprehensibly no height adjustment on the passenger side. If we move from the front to the second row of seats, the first thing we notice is that there is no center tunnel. The leg room is correspondingly generous, but even people taller than 1.90 meters should hardly complain about the space. However, the quality of some components is worthy of criticism. Wobbly door panels and a wobbling center console spoil the overall impression.
The central control element is a 9.0-inch touchscreen, which is mounted a little too far away from the driver. It can not only be used to control the radio station or map navigation, but also to operate parts of the driver assistance system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work wirelessly. Smartphones in the front row can be powered either via USB-A and USB-C ports or via an inductive charging cradle. Backbenchers have access to two additional USB-C ports. The partially digital instrument display measures seven inches and also has an analog speedometer. Operating the on-board computer via the steering wheel is rather fiddly, and voice input is equally difficult to use. Plus point: The continued separate climate control with haptic controls. Important for all loadmasters: behind the tailgate, which can always be opened electrically, the trunk volume is between 380 and 1,312 liters, and the trailer load is specified as a maximum of 750 kilograms.
Between 380 and 1,312 liters fit in the trunk of the Honda ZR-V. The maximum trailer load is 750 kilograms.
With the ZR-V, Honda combines an attractive design with good driving dynamics and a largely economical full hybrid drive. However, there is room for improvement in parts of the operation and the functionality of some assistance systems. In addition, the Honda ZR-V is by far the most expensive among its direct competitors. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)
Technical data – Honda ZR-V*
- Model: Honda ZR-V e:HEV
- engine: Four-cylinder series, 1,993 cc
- Performance: 105 kW/143 HP
- Torque: 182 Nm
- Electric motors: 1x electric generator, 1x electric driving machine
- Performance: 135 kW/184 HP
- Torque: 315 Nm
- drive: front-wheel drive, automatic
- Combined consumption (WLTP): 5.8 l/100km²
- CO2 emissions combined: 131 g/km²
- Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.9s
- Top speed: 173 km/h
- Dimensions (L/W/H): 4.57m/2.09m/1.61m
- Weight: approx. 1,675 kg
- Basic price: from 43,900 euros