Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine
Subscribe
Car Review

Honda ZR-V review

£39,240 - £42,595
610
Published: 21 Jun 2023
Advertisement

Driving

What is it like to drive?

We like this hybrid setup in the Civic and it’s still mostly excellent here. In town the ZR-V is quiet, comfortable and able to run with the engine off for a good amount of time, and even with the four-cylinder brought to life it’s never that intrusive.

Honda’s ‘Linear Shift Control’ is a welcome innovation too. It essentially keeps the engine in an optimal window and then simulates the dropping revs of a gearshift while you’ve got the throttle pressed during an extended period of acceleration. It needs to do this because the engine is actually just running to charge the battery, while the electric motor is taking power from said battery to turn the wheels. Without Linear Shift Control the engine would run at ear piercingly high revs, and the sound wouldn’t ever match the speed you were travelling at.  

Advertisement - Page continues below

You said ‘mostly’ excellent?

We did, there is the slight sense that the whole setup feels a little strained having suddenly been asked to move a medium-sized crossover. A 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds shows that it could do with a little more than 181bhp and 232lb ft of torque, particularly because it’s around 150kg heavier than the Civic.

The steering has some heft to it as well – perhaps a little too much for some – while some may find the ride slightly too firm for a family SUV. But that’s us really nitpicking, and it’s otherwise a generally pleasing all-rounder. 

Anything else we should know?

Well, we can’t escape the fact that the ZR-V feels a little soulless. Sure you get Normal, Eco and Sport modes (plus a Snow mode for slippery surfaces), but they don’t feel that different to each other and none really change the car’s character. 

Thankfully there is decent brake feel, and the different levels of regen are controlled by the steering wheel-mounted paddles which adds some interest to the driving experience.

Advertisement - Page continues below

What about safety tech?

Honda’s camera and sensor-based active safety system is fairly comprehensive. It adds emergency braking, a road departure mitigation system as well as lane keep assist, traffic jam assist that helps you in congestion and adaptive high beam lights.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

2.0 eHEV Elegance 5dr CVT
  • 0-627.8s
  • CO2
  • BHP181
  • MPG58.9
  • Price£39,240

the cheapest

2.0 eHEV Elegance 5dr CVT
  • 0-627.8s
  • CO2
  • BHP181
  • MPG58.9
  • Price£39,240

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

subscribe