There’s a new small SUV on the horizon from Honda Australia, called the ZR-V. It will slot into the range somewhere between the CR-V and HR-V as a new mid-size option.
Four variants will be offered locally, running through from the VTi X, VTi L, VTi LX, to the flagship e:HEV LX. All but the e:HEV are powered by a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, while the e:HEV uses a 2.0-litre hybrid.
Specifications on these engines haven’t been disclosed yet, but we can look at the latest Civic for some clues. The 1.5 turbo generates 131kW and 240Nm, and the 2.0-litre hybrid develops 135kW, both in the case of the Civic.
The ZR-V features a 9.0-inch touch-screen system inside, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as adaptive cruise control, Honda Connect, and there’s a set of either 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels confirmed for Australia.
The new model shows off a slightly different design theme to Honda’s current crop of vehicles, with an inverted hexagonal grille at the front standing out as a unique highlight. Also, the lower chin intake is different to other current models, and the clean body contours portray a neat wagon rather than a dramatic or edgy SUV.
Honda Australia sales have been suffering a bit lately, perhaps caused (at least partly) by comparatively high starting prices of its new Civic. Some variant levels have also been trimmed from the showroom, with the current CR-V on run-out.
According to April VFACTS new vehicle registration figures, Honda delivered 4828 vehicles across the first four months of this year. This represents a downturn of 6.5 per cent compared with the same period in 2022.
For further perspective, in the same four-month period in 2021 Honda sold 8391 vehicles, and in 2020 it delivered 11,154. In 2017 it posted 12,599 sales. However, in 2020, VFACTS counted 10 different models from Honda. This year, just 5 models are listed.
In other words, Honda needs some new products if it wants to catch back up to where it once was, in terms of new registration numbers. Bringing in the ZR-V could be just what the brand needs, especially since it will compete in the very popular mid-size SUV class with the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.
The new model will officially go on sale on May 19. Prices have been confirmed to start from the following (drive-away):
2023 Honda ZR-V VTi X: $40,200
2023 Honda ZR-V VTi L: $43,200
2023 Honda ZR-V VTi LX: $48,500
2023 Honda ZR-V e:HEV LX: $54,900