The Honda ZR-V has been detailed for the Japanese domestic market, giving hints as to what to expect from the as yet unnamed new model bound for the Australian market next year.
Based on the Civic small car, the ZR-V is available in two trim levels in Japan, following a similar range structure to the smaller Jazz-based HR-V crossover.
Priced from 2,949,100 yen ($31,605), the entry-level ZR-V X comes equipped with LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, the Honda Sensing assistance suite, dual-zone climate control, a power tailgate, and heated front seats in AWD versions. The Honda Connect touchscreen infotainment system is optional in Japan.
Jumping to the ZR-V Z adds higher grade auto-levelling LED headlights, body-coloured lower bumper trim, 18-inch machined alloy wheels, genuine leather seat trim, LED ambient interior lighting, 8-way power driver’s seat and 4-way power front passenger’s seat, LED cornering lights, surround cameras, a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system, a heated steering wheel, hands-free power tailgate, and a wireless phone charger.
Both X and Z grades are available with a 131kW/240Nm 1.5-litre VTEC four-cylinder turbo petrol and a 135kW/315Nm 2.0-litre e:HEV petrol-electric hybrid – the same options as the related Civic Hatch.
Based on the Civic small car, the ZR-V is available in two trim levels in Japan, following a similar range structure to the smaller Jazz-based HR-V crossover. Both turbo petrol and four-cylinder e:HEV hybrid versions are available in both front and all-wheel drive configurations.
The VTEC Turbo is mated with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which notes the inclusion of a ‘torque converter’, while the e:HEV uses an electronic CVT (e-CVT) – much like Toyota’s hybrid transmissions.
According to Japanese WLTC specifications, the 1.5-litre turbo manages 13.9-14.6km/L (7.19-6.85L/100km) and the e:HEV quotes 21.7-22.1km/L (4.6-4.52L/100km).
Honda quotes dimensions of 4570mm long, 1840mm wide 1620mm tall with minimum ground clearance listed as 190mm. No wheelbase is listed on the Japanese site, but the US version (badged there as HR-V) rides on a 2654mm wheelbase. Vehicle weight is 1460-1520kg for the turbo petrol, 1560-1610kg for the e:HEV.
For reference, the Nissan Qashqai measures 4425mm long, 1835mm wide, and 1625mm tall with a 2665mm wheelbase.
The ZR-V was recently approved for sale in Australia according to a local government database, which listed both 1.5T and 2.0 e:HEV powertrain variants in the filing.
Honda Australia has yet to actually confirm the ZR-V for a local introduction, though confirmed in May a third SUV will be launching Down Under sometime in 2023 to slot between the HR-V and CR-V, offering five seats (unlike the new HR-V’s four pews) and a hybrid option.
“For those customers wanting five seats and/or more practicality, we’re very confident we’ll be able to cater for those needs [with the new SUV model],” said Honda Australia’s then director, Stephen Collins, back in May.
“What we’ll see over the next 12 to 18 months or so, is a line-up of three distinct SUVs.”
It’s unclear what the ZR-V’s price positioning will be when it reaches the Australian market, but Honda’s recent switch to an agency sales model saw streamlined variant line-ups with national drive-away pricing on the more premium end.
The smaller HR-V is priced from $36,700 D/A for the entry-level Vi X, climbing to $47,000 D/A for the e:HEV L hybrid. Meanwhile, the larger (and soon to be replaced) CR-V starts at $35,900 D/A and tops out at $53,600 D/A, across a denser line-up of nine variants for the 2022 model year.
Given Honda’s pared back strategy for new launches, we’d wager the ZR-V will offer both X and Z trim levels, though whether both powertrains and both driveline layouts make the trip remains to be seen. Expect high grades to offer AWD.
We’re expecting the entry-level model to start in the $40,000 bracket drive-away, and top out in the $50,000 band.
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