Introducing the all-new Honda ZR-V

by Petrol Mum
Honda HR-V VTi L

For the first time in more than 20 years Honda Australia has released an all-new SUV onto the local market with the introduction of the Honda ZR-V. The ZR-V is based on the underpinnings of the Honda Civic and fits between the CR-V and HR-V in the Honda SUV lineup.

The Honda ZR-V is offered in four variants, the hybrid e:HEV LX, and petrol-powered VTi LX, VTi L and VTi X. Each grade features various driving, safety, interior and exterior specification details. But even the base model VTi X comes with standard features including Honda Sensing active safety features, front and rear parking sensors, and a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.

The petrol variants (VTi LX, VTi L & VTi X) have a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder VTEC turbocharged engine producing 131kW of power and 240Nm of torque. While the e:HEV LX has a 2-motor hybrid system with a 2.0-litre direct injection engine producing 135kW of power and 315Nm of torque. The ZR-V VTi LX and e:HEV LX get three Drive Modes with Sport Mode, Normal mode, and ECON mode while the VTi L and VTi X just has Normal and ECON mode.

The petrol-powered ZR-Vs have a Continuously Variable Transmission with steering wheel-mounted metal paddle shifters and the hybrid ZR-V has an electric Continuously Variable Transmission with Shift-by-Wire technology. Underneath the Honda ZR-V is a MacPherson strut front suspension mounted to a lightweight Aluminium front subframe and for the rear suspension the Honda ZR-V features a fully independent multi-link rear suspension.

Driving the VTi LX and e:HEV LX ZR-V back-to-back with the VTi L variant I felt that the LX ZR-Vs offered a more refined driving experience and they were just that little bit more special, but the drive in the VTi L was still comfortable and a very enjoyable experience. Of course, you get the added benefit of greater fuel efficiency in the hybrid with a combined fuel figure of 5.0L/100km compared to 7.2L/100km in the VTi LX/VTi L and for my extra few days with the VTi L I used an average of 8.5L/100km.

The VTi L is the mid-range variant in the ZR-V lineup and features extras such as 18-inch alloy wheels, the very clever hands-free power tailgate with walk-away closing, black Leatherette seats with fabric inserts, and heated front seats. Step up to the next level with the two LX trimmed variants and you also get leather-appointed seats, 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels, a 12 speaker BOSE Sound System with Subwoofer, a 360° MultiView reverse camera system (lower grades only have a standard rear-view camera), and a wireless charger.

I really like the exterior design of the all-new ZR-V and my first reaction when I saw one in the flesh was ‘that’s cute’. The black vertical front grille emulates the look of some expensive European SUVs and the smooth lines of the ZR-V give it a timeless quality.

This elegant look is continued in the ZR-V cabin with rounded surfaces on the door trim, centre console and dash that are covered with stitched material and the leather-wrapped steering wheel, which is heated in the LX variants. I really appreciated the distinct lack of gloss black trim that so many other car companies are too fond of, because the gloss black attracts dust and fingerprints quicker than a clean window in a room with a toddler. The feature that caught my nose in the ZR-V was the pleasant aroma of the cabin, which Honda put down to their use of high quality materials and this is evident even in the lower spec ZR-Vs.

The front seats in the VTi L are heated and only have manual seat adjustment, 6-way for the driver with recline, forward/back and seat height adjustment and 4-way for the passenger seat as it has no heigh adjustment. The LX variants get 8-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat with two-position memory and 4-way power adjustment for the passenger seat.

There are plenty of storage cubbies in the cabin of the ZR-V with a deep cubby under the arm rest and a ledge under the bridge of the centre console for your phone with one USB-C and one USB-A port (the USB-A connects your phone to Android Auto). At the front of the centre console are two cup holders with grippy sides and a ledge with grippy plastic on its surface and one 12V outlet.

The 9.0” infotainment screen has modern looking graphics, but in the two lower spec ZR-Vs you don’t get built-in satellite navigation. The other feature that all Hondas currently lack is voice control functionality without the need to input voice tags into the system. The voice control button on the steering wheel is also designated with a masculine looking silhouette on it, which is similar looking to what many other car companies still use.

The one feature that I was most disappointed with in the ZR-V was the climate control temp settings. Just like the Civic that the ZR-V is based on the temperature adjustment is almost non-existent and you either get cold air on the Lo setting, cool air for most of the temp range between Lo or Hi or hot air blowing on you when you select the Hi setting. As someone who likes the temp to be somewhere between 22-25 degrees most of the time, I found this to be very annoying.

In the rear seats there was ample leg and head room for me, but taller individuals may find the head room is a little tight. For younger passengers there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points (centre tether is roof mounted) and the centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest with two rigid cup holders in it. My tween-sized children did note that there were only two height settings for the headrests and they really needed a mid-setting for their current height to make it more comfortable for them.

My favourite feature of the rear seats is the flat floor with the single mat that covers the carpet because this makes it easy for children to traverse the rear seat and it easier to vacuum out. Rear passengers will appreciate the two central air vents with individual direction control and one central on/off dial. Below the air vents there are two USB-C ports to keep their devices fully charged.  

It’s not often that I am really impressed by a feature in the boot of a vehicle, but I really like the walk-away closing functionality on the ZR-V. Press the button on the tailgate, the ZR-V beeps to acknowledge the press and you then have time to gather your items from the boot and then you simply walk away and the vehicle locks. Yes, many other vehicles have a button you can press to lock the vehicle and walk away, but the ZR-V gives you that time to collect your things and so your don’t need to press the button with an arm full of groceries!

In addition to the walk-away closing option the VTi L and LX ZR-Vs also has a powered open/close the tailgate from the button under the tailgate, on the key fob or in the cabin. The boot size is adequate for a weekly shop or a pram and a small shop and if more space is required the rear seats have a 60:40 split fold mechanism with the release located on the shoulder of the rear seats. In the boot space you get four substantial tie down points, two hooks, two lights and a 12V outlet and a temporary use space saver spare tyre under the boot floor (the e:HEV LX comes with a tyre repair kit in place of a spare tyre).

The ZR-V currently does not have an ANCAP safety rating, but is does come with 11 airbags including two front, one centre and two knee airbags. Plus, front and rear side airbags and full-length curtain airbags. For convenience all the ZR-V variants also come with auto rain-sensing wipers and auto dusk sensing headlights with high-beam support system, LED Active Cornering Lights, and LED Daytime Running Lights.

The active safety Honda Sensing functions include Traffic Jam Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, and Lane Departure Warning. In addition to these features the LX variants also get Blind Spot Information and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

All new Honda’s sold in Australia come with the Honda Road Ahead Guarantee that includes a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty, five years Premium Roadside Assist, and five years map updates for the satellite navigation system. Plus, owners have the confidence of five low price services for just $199 each (some conditions apply, see the Honda Australia website for more information). For the all-new Honda ZR-V the service schedule is every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever occurs first.

Plus, you get 5-years complimentary map updates and a 5-year Honda Connect subscription. Key features of Honda Connect system include Remote Connectivity to your vehicle allowing you to turn lights on/off, to cool down or heat up vehicle ahead of time, and remotely lock/ unlock the vehicle. From a safety standpoint Honda Connect has 24/7 Automatic collision detection and in the event of airbag deployment, a notification will be sent to the device logged in to Honda Connect. The app will also alert a Honda Connect Customer Care agent and if a voice call is not answered, emergency services will be dispatched to the accident location.

Honda HR-V VTi L front

Purchasing your new Honda is made easy with the Honda One Price Promise. This means your new Honda has the same price no matter which Honda Centre you visit in your State or Territory, haggle free! The 2023 Honda ZR-V drive away* prices are:

e:HEV LX             2.0L DI FHEV                     $54,900

VTi LX                   1.5L VTEC Turbo               $48,500

VTi L                     1.5L VTEC Turbo               $43,200

VTi X                     1.5L VTEC Turbo                $40,200

*The estimated driveaway price is based on State/Territory and it includes metallic/pearlescent paint (where applicable). Currently the delivery lead time for the petrol-powered ZR-Vs is a couple of months and the hybrid ZR-V is available from December onwards.  Visit your preferred Honda Centre or build and price your new Honda ZR-V online

The exterior and interior stylingTemp adjustment on the climate control
Flat rear floorVoice control only works with voice tags
Walk-away closing tailgate operationNo ANCAP safety rating at present

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

error: Content is protected !!