Honda has bridged the gap between the HR-V and CR-V in the European market with the ZR-V crossover, which focuses more on the sports version. Meanwhile, the bigger CR-V gets a new plug-in hybrid unit and a facelift.
If you look at the front of the new Honda ZR-V, you will see an interesting combination. The grille is reminiscent of Aston Martin and the signature daytime running lights have an air of Skoda, Volkswagen’s European subsidiary.
At least the grille gives a good indication of the crossover’s target audience. It is intended to appeal to young drivers who like to drive faster. Not only that: the ZR-V sits between the HR-V and CR-V and therefore closes an important gap in Honda’s lineup.
“This model combines a high level of practicality for everyday use with excellent comfort, attractive design, sporty dynamics and our incredible e:HEV hybrid, making it the perfect complement to our European model range,” he says. Yutaka Kato, a leader from the project. .
The ZR-V uses the Civic e:HV hybrid powertrain, which also shares other technologies. That means 184 hp and a maximum torque of 32.1 kfm. The main point of this hybrid is that the interaction between the gasoline engine has been changed, the electric motor is responsible for pushing, while the combustion engine acts as a generator, which, according to Honda, brings benefits in terms of efficiency.
To ensure this, the two-liter, four-cylinder engine works on the Atkinson cycle, in which fuel is constantly injected into the combustion chambers at high pressure. The fuel efficiency of the combustion engine is an impressive 41%.
The 1.5 kWh battery is responsible for the saving and temporary storage of energy. The automatic E-CVT manages the torque by varying the current between the generator and the electric motor. Thanks to the interaction between the battery and the automatic transmission, the Civic should be able to run up to 90% on electricity in city traffic, which should result in a consumption of more than 20 km / l.
However, Honda is still talking about an “exciting driving experience” with the ZR-V. It will be interesting to see how the craftsmen of the brand will do this project. The item must be the direct and sporty driving chassis derived from the Civic and CR-V. It has a multi-link rear axle and should allow the dynamics known from sports bikes. However, comfort should not be overlooked.
The interior continues with the similarities between the two technological siblings. Like the Civic, the touchscreen measures nine inches and several USB ports help charge cell phones. The foamed surfaces convey a precious feeling to the touch and the trunk offers ample storage space with a maximum capacity of 1,291 liters, even if the volume is not record-breaking.
The medium SUV is expected to land in Brazil in 2023 with the same 1.5 turbo as the new Civic, with numbers around 192 hp and 24.8 kgfm.
The CR-V is now a plug-in hybrid
Something is also happening with the Honda CR-V. If possible, the SUV can now be converted into a temporary electric car and will have a PHEV powertrain. Interestingly, the CR-V e:PHEV uses the same components as the full hybrid e:HEV.
This means that the 2.0-liter four-cylinder combustion engine operates on the Atkinson cycle and powers the SUV along with the electric motor. Only the battery is now larger than in the e:Hev and takes the CR-V 81 kilometers on electricity alone. According to Honda, the battery is recharged after 2h30.
All-wheel drive isn’t the only innovation on the CR-V, which also comes in a different guise to compete with the VW Tiguan. CR-V, though the taillights still have a Volvo touch. The interior is quite ordinary, you won’t find a terrible touch screen, and all traditionalists will be happy with the exposed buttons and sticks.
Plus the extra space that comes with a bigger car. The wheelbase has increased by 4 cm and the rear legroom has increased by 16 mm. Almost more important is the fact that the backrests have an adjustment angle of 10.5 degrees more. This means that the upright sitting position is a thing of the past and you travel more comfortably in the second row.
To make driving safer, the CR-V is the first European sedan to feature the Honda Sensing 360 safety package, which uses five radar sensors and a wide-angle camera to monitor the vehicle’s entire environment.
CR-V with hybrid mechanics has been confirmed for Brazil and should start in 2023.