Honda Europe has confirmed it will be introducing a new SUV model next year called the ZR-V, slotting between the existing HR-V and CR-V in the Honda line-up – and it’s all but certainly coming to Australia.
The brand has confirmed the crossover will be powered by an e:HEV hybrid powertrain, and will “go on sale across European markets in 2023”. No images were provided other than the new badge, but we reckon we know what it’s going to look like.
Last week Honda Australia’s director, Stephen Collins, confirmed with CarExpert the local arm is planning to release a new SUV in the next 12-18 months that will slot between the HR-V and CR-V, offering hybrid power – sound familiar?
“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],” Mr Collins said.
“What we’ll see over the next 12 to 18 months or so, is a line-up of three distinct SUVs.”
The crossover in question is more than likely to be a version of the 2023 Honda HR-V for the North American market, which deviates from the global model on sale in Japan, Europe and more recently Australia.
It’s based on the new 11th-generation Civic small car, and is a larger vehicle believed to be closer in size to something like a Nissan Qashqai or Mazda CX-5.
It was confirmed at the US-market HR-V’s reveal that the new model would be sold in other markets like Europe under a new name, which we now know will be ZR-V.
Given its close family ties with the new Civic, the Honda ZR-V will likely be available with a 134kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbo petrol and 135kW/315Nm 2.0-litre petrol e:HEV hybrid powertrains depending on market.
Europe is likely to only get the hybrid. However, for markets like Australia with more lenient emissions regulations, a more affordable petrol version should be offered.
Given the lack of imagery and explicit mentions of the US-market HR-V, it’s also possible the global version of the new crossover will get a slightly different look to its American equivalent.