2024 Honda ZR-V e:HEV LX Hybrid Review

Want a Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid but not keen on waiting for 18 months? The Honda ZR-V e:HEV might be your answer.

What is it?

The five-seat Honda ZR-V is a mid-size SUV that straddles the gap between the Honda CR-V and the smaller HR-V in size, performance and price.

Measuring 4,568mm long, it is 108mm longer than its closest rival, the Corolla Cross. However, the model also goes head-to-head with low-spec versions of the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.

And like the Corolla Cross, it sports a naturally aspirated 2.0L engine along with two electric motors driving just the front wheels.

Yes, it’s all a little convoluted.

The ZR-V hybrid LX on test here is also the only electrified variant of the range and sits at the top of the four-tier line-up at $54,900.

The range kicks off with the petrol only VTi X at $40,200 before moving up to the VTi L at $43,200. The VTi LX petrol book ends the ICE line-up at $48,500.

Prices above are drive-away and like all new Honda’s sold in Australia since July 2021, they are fixed and non-negotiable.

2024 Honda ZR-V price (drive-away):

  • Honda ZR-V VTi X: $40,200
  • Honda ZR-V VTi L: $43,200
  • Honda ZR-V VTi LX: $48,500
  • Honda ZR-V e:HEV LX: $54,900

What do you get?

All models get:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Adaptive LED headlights with active cornering lights
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • 10.2-inch digital instruments
  • 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wired Android Auto
  • 8-speaker sound system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Black fabric seats
  • Front USB-A and 1x USB-C
  • Rear USB-C (2x)
  • Rear air vents

ZR-V VTI-L adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear LED taillights
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Hand-free power tailgate with walk-away closing
  • Black leather and cloth upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Metal paddle shifters

ZR-V VTi LX adds:

  • 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels
  • Body-coloured lower bumpers and wheel arches
  • 12-speaker Bose Sound System
  • Wireless smartphone charger
  • Satellite navigation
  • Black leather upholstery
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat with memory
  • Four-way power passenger seat
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Heated steering
  • Plasmacluster air purification system

ZR-V e:HEV adds:

  • Smart key card
  • Humidity sensor
  • Shift-by-wire gear selector

What’s the Honda ZR-V e:HEV LX like on the inside?

Like most car manufacturers today, there’s a great deal of resemblance between the cabin of the Honda ZR-V and other recent Honda models, especially the Civic.

There’s a strong retro vibe in the cabin courtesy of the honeycomb-patterned one-piece air vents, hexagonal steering wheel boss, and old-school rotary dials – the latter are much easier to use than some touchscreen embedded systems of its rivals.

Built quality is excellent too, with beautifully weighted controls, high quality plastics and precise switchgear.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels great to hold and adjusts for reach and tilt. Together with the electric driver’s seat adjustment, finding the perfect driving position is a cinch.

From the driver’s seat, the ZR-V feels more car-like than some of its peers due to the low mounted front seats.

The driver is greeted by a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster that is standard range wide. Again, it’s similar to the one found on the latest Civic, which isn’t a bad thing as it’s clear, easy to read and comes with a virtual ZR-V that mimics the actual lights and indicators. However, it lacks the configurability of some rivals.

Further along the dash, a 9.0-inch touchscreen takes care of the easy-to-use infotainment system, including built-in sat-nav that complements the phone’s map (wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

It also comes with a five-year complementary subscription to Honda Connect which offers a raft of convenience and safety services accessible via a smartphone app including remote lights on/off, lock/unlock and climate control pre-conditioning.

Other functions include vehicle status, virtual dashboard, trip log, geofence alert and automatic collision detection.

The interior feels upmarket, with solid switchgear and dials. The knurled climate control knobs in particular clicks with precision when turned and wouldn’t look out of place in a premium car.

How spacious is the Honda ZR-V?

It’s easy to get comfortable in the ZR-V’s cabin. Both rows of seats are supportive, while there are plenty of head, knee and leg room for taller occupants.

The rear floor is nearly flat which makes it easy to accommodate three across the rear seat.

There are plenty of storage throughout the cabin, including a cubby underneath the electric park brake. Ahead of the gear lever is a wireless charging pad for your smartphone.

The door bins are large enough to accommodate larger bottles, while the storage cubby underneath the centre armrest is good for keeping things out of sight.

Rear seat passengers are not forgotten with rear air vents, map pockets behind the front seats, door bottle holders and cupholders in the fold-down centre armrest.

Further aback, boot capacity is rated at 370L, which is smaller than the Corolla Cross Atmos’ 414L. The e:HEV only comes with a tyre pair kit while petrol variants are all equipped with a 17-inch space saver spare wheel.

How safe is the ZR-V e:HEV?

The Honda ZR-V hasn’t been hurled into a wall by ANCAP as yet, though safety systems include:

  • AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • 11 airbags including knee and centre

Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and surround-view camera are found on VTi LX and above.

What’s under the ZR-V e:HEV’s bonnet?

The e:HEV is powered by a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirate four-cylinder petrol engine combined with two electric motors to produce a system output of 135kW and 315Nm.

It drives the front wheels via an e-CVT with no all-wheel drive option offered.

Honda claims the e:HEV will return 5.0L/100km on the combined cycle which isn’t far from our real world figure of 5.2L/100km with around 70 per cent of city commute.

How does the Honda ZR-V e:HEV drive?

The ZR-V e:HEV drives like what a good hybrid should. It’s smooth, quiet and refined.

At low speeds at up to around 40km/h, the pair of electric motors do most of the propulsion duties before the engine kicks in quietly and smoothly.

In everyday driving, it’s hard to tell which power source is doing the hard yards unless you look at the tell-tale green EV light in the instruments.

Honda has even imbued some surprising driving fun into the e:HEV with the e-CVT dishing up simulated gearshifts when you put your foot down instead of the dreaded drone commonly associated with this type of transmission.

The steering is well weighted and there is decent body control to hustle the ZR-V quickly around the corners like a tall hatchback.

The cabin is well insulated from road and wind noise and the ride is beautifully compliant around the city and over speed bumps.

Out on the freeway, the ZR-V e:HEV feels planted and has enough oomph to overtake slower vehicles and on inclines.

Visibility is good all around, thanks to decent glasshouse. And while some might miss Honda’s Side Vision Camera, the new blind-spot monitor indicator light in the wing mirror is a more user-friendly proposition.

Other driver assist system works well, too. The lane centring system will gently nudge you back into your lane should you stray, the forward collision warning works as intended without being too nervous and the adaptive cruise will adjust the speed of the car smoothly based on the leading vehicle.

Ownership

Like all Honda cars sold in Australia, the ZR-V comes with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

It needs a service every 10,000km or 12 months, whichever comes first with the first five services costing $199 each.

Verdict

Design & Comfort

8.5/10

Performance & Handling

8.0/10

Quality

8.0/10

Economy

8.0/10

Equipment & Features

8.0/10

OUR SCORE

4.1/5

Our Score: 4.1/5

+ Plus

  • Excellent built quality and fit and finish
  • Feels car-like
  • Ride quality and cabin refinement
  • Smooth and quiet drivetrain

Minus

  • Boot on the small side for its class
  • A lot of coin for a mid-size SUV

Overall

As a new model, the Honda ZR-V e:HEV ticks plenty of boxes. It’s smooth, quiet, refined, and comfortable. Built quality is excellent, too with all switchgear giving a tactile and high-end feel.

However, at over $50,000, and if you could wait, the RAV4 or a mid-range CR-V from Honda’s own showroom makes more sense.

2024 Honda ZR-V e:HEV LX Pricing and Specification

Price (drive-away)From: $54,900
Warranty5 years / unlimited km
Warranty Customer AssistanceN/A
Country of OriginJapan
Service Intervals12 months/10,000km
Engine2.0-litre four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated direct-injection petrol, two-motor hybrid:

Combined output: 135kW, 315Nm

Transmission‘Electric’ Continuously Variably Transmission (e-CVT)
DrivetrainFront-wheel drive
Power to Weight Ratio (kW/t)86.8
0-100km/h (seconds):N/A
Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km)Claimed: 5.0/Tested: 5.2

 

RON Rating91
Fuel Capacity (L)57
Body5-door SUV, 5-seats
Safety
  • ANCAP not rated
  • 11 airbags
  • AEB with
    • Pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Blind-spot assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Automatic high-beam
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Surround view reverse camera
Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm4,568/1,840/1,620/2,655
Kerb Weight (kg)1,586
Boot Space (min/max)(L)370/1,302
Turning circle between kerbsN/A
Ground Clearance:186
Towing Capacity (kg):Braked: 700/ Unbraked: 750
Entertainment9.0-inch touchstreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, USB-A/C, AM/FM/DAB+, 12-speaker Bose stereo, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

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