Honda considering third SUV model for Australia

Honda Australia is looking to expand its SUV range, as it swings focus away from passenger cars as part of its new business model.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor
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Honda is looking to expand its SUV range in Australia.

The brand has confirmed it’s considering bringing a new model Down Under to sit alongside the HR-V and CR-V, although it hasn’t confirmed exactly which new model it’s looking at.

“The SUV growth in the market just continues to be amazing, and our line-up over the next couple of years will reflect that,” Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins told media.

Honda has at least two suitable options in its global portfolio, although neither is a walk-up starter for Australia.

The first is the ZR-V, a rival to the Mazda CX-3 previewed by the SUV RS Concept revealed in Indonesia earlier in November.

Honda has had the ZR-V badge trademarked in Australia since 2020, and the as-yet unreleased production model would line up neatly with the CX-3, along with the Ford Puma, Toyota C-HR, and Volkswagen T-Cross in a popular part of the market.

If the new HR-V moves upmarket and doesn’t offer a stripped-out base model, the ZR-V could also give Honda a more affordable SUV option for Australia.

Under the skin, it’s expected to share its chassis with the latest Honda City and Jazz.

It’s not clear what will power the ZR-V. The City is available with a choice of petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines in developing markets, but the ZR-V would need to have a hybrid option if it’s to come Down Under.

Given the Jazz hatchback is hybrid-only in Europe, that’s not completely off the cards. The Jazz hybrid has 80kW of power and 253Nm of torque from its petrol-electric powertrain.

Honda also has the BR-V in its global catalogue (below), a compact seven-seat SUV aimed at south-east Asia and India, but it’s less likely to fit into the local range given Honda already sells the CR-V seven-seater.

Honda has confirmed it expects 90 per cent of its sales to be SUVs moving forward. It’s planning to sell around 2000 passenger cars per year, across the Civic and Accord model lines.

The Civic is currently petrol-only, but will be offered with hybrid power from the second half of 2022. The hot Civic Type R is also due to arrive in Australia late in 2022.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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