Honda ZR-V Review 2024

Honda ZR-V At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Honda ZR-V is a likeable family SUV with an upmarket interior and efficient hybrid powertrain. Its bland looks won't do it any favours and nor will its relatively high start price, but we reckon the ZR-V is an appealing alternative to the Hyundai Tucson and SEAT Ateca.

+Stylish and versatile interior. Impressive infotainment (without being too reliant on the touchscreen display). Refined 2.0-litre hybrid engine. Likely to be cheap to run.

-Looks a bit anonymous. Rivals have bigger boots. It's not cheap to buy.

The Honda ZR-V is here to fill a gap that we didn't really know existed. Sitting between the Honda HR-V and CR-V, the new ZR-V is a family SUV that's available exclusively with hybrid power and is set to rival the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Renault Austral.

The good news is that the Honda ZR-V is closely related to the latest Honda Civic, and that's one of our favourite family hatches on the market today. Honda hasn't played it safe, though - the ZR-V has its own style, and certainly doesn't look too much like a regular Civic.

You won't find an expansive engine line-up here. The Honda ZR-V is offered exclusively as a hybrid, combining a 2.0-litre petrol engine with a pair of electric motors. Unlike conventional hybrids, though, there isn't ordinarily a direct link between the engine and the wheels - instead, the engine acts like a generator, powering the electric motors which in turn drive the wheels. That's good news for both economy and refinement, with the ZR-V intended to act more like an electric car than a regular petrol model.

It's certainly more relaxing to drive than a lot of hybrids, with a welcome boost in performance over the 1.5-litre Honda HR-V. It's on the firmer end of the SUV scale - you'll notice a bit more of a thud over uneven road surfaces than in a Skoda Karoq, for example. But the flip side of that means it's pretty fun to drive, with impressive cornering composure for a high-riding SUV.

The Honda ZR-V isn't the most practical family SUV on the market, so it might be worth holding out for the new CR-V if you need to carry a lot of luggage. The interior looks and feels exceptionally well finished, though, while standard equipment is impressive.

There are three core models available: Elegance, Sport and Advance. The cheapest Honda ZR-V Elegance more than covers the basics, with standard equipment including a rear-view camera, digital instrument display, navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. It might be worth paying the extra for a ZR-V Sport, though, especially as it's not a great deal more expensive and adds sportier exterior highlights, a power tailgate and ambient interior lighting.

The range-topping Honda ZR-V Advance is very well equipped indeed, with highlights including a heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof and a Bose sounds system.

Prices for the new Honda ZR-V start from around £39,500, while the range tops out at nearly £43,000. That's quite a lot of money for a family SUV, but no more so than alternatives (once you start comparing like-for-like, anyway). The Honda faces some tough competition in a saturated market but, just like the Civic on which it's based, we reckon its superb interior and low running costs make it a surprisingly desirable choice.

We're living with a ZR-V for three months - find out how we get on with it in our Honda ZR-V long-term review.