Honda Civic-based ZR-V hybrid crossover is likely to be offered in Australia alongside the HR-V.
Honda has confirmed the all-new ZR-V crossover will go on sale in Japan in April 2023, with its arrival in Australia expected by late next year at the earliest, although the local arm is yet to officially announce the model.
Originally previewed as part of an electrification strategy presentation in March, 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.
In its home market, the ZR-V is offered with a petrol and hybrid powertrain; the former a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit and the latter a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-pot paired with two electric motors, as used in the Honda Civic e:HEV. This matches the hybrid Civic for specification; outputting 135kW and 315Nm of torque.
Both the petrol and hybrid powertrains are mated to CVT gearboxes that deliver power through either the front or all four wheels, depending on specification. The hybrid’s ‘e-CVT’ only clutches the engine onto the wheels at high speeds, at one fixed ratio. The rest of the time, the engine spins a generator making power for the electric motors.
The ZR-V will effectively take the place of the outgoing Honda CR-V as that model upsizes in its next iteration, to better compete with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger. But whereas the ZR-V will be sold alongside the similarly sized Honda HR-V in some markets, it takes that model’s place – and name – in the US market.
Honda highlights the new grille, longer bonnet and “sleek” roofline as features that most obviously set it apart from its predecessor.
It said the crossover is “sporty and personal” and “the right size with the space and utility for an adventurous weekend escape”.
Michael Kistemaker, vice-president of sales for American Honda, said: “By gaining aspirational qualities beyond its segment, the all-new 2023 Honda HR-V will welcome a new generation of customers to Honda and grow in importance as a gateway to the Honda brand.
“This new HR-V will advance its position as the segment leader with young buyers, first-time buyers and multicultural customers.”
Honda has yet to confirm the model in Australia, and as such any specifications and pricing are a while away. But as an indication from detail in Japan, the new hybrid starts from ¥3,298,900 (AUD$35,000).