Japanese version of ZRV gets hybrid e:HEV powertrain with AWD option; expected to be launched in Europe as well
It is quite common for carmakers to introduce a product in multiple markets with some changes to the exteriors, interiors, equipment list and powertrain options. A different name can also be used in specific markets. A recent example is Honda ZR-V that has been unveiled in Japan.
2023 Honda ZRV for Japan looks similar to ZR-V sold in China. It also closely resembles HR-V sold in US. Of course, there are changes that ensure a distinctive profile for Japan-spec ZR-V. Pre-order bookings for the SUV will open in Japan in September. After Japan, new ZR-V is likely to be introduced in Europe next year. European markets will get only the e:HEV variants.
2023 Honda ZRV features
Changes that make Japan-spec new ZR-V unique include its focus on using body-coloured paint across majority of exterior surfaces. So, while Chinese ZR-V has black coloured bumper and fog lamp housing, Japan-spec ZR-V has everything in the same shade as the body colour. This specific trim unveiled in Japan utilizes Crystal Garnet Metallic colour.
Talking about US-spec HR-V, the SUV has faux skid plate in metallic shade and black coloured fog lamp housing. The grille outline is largely the same for Chinese ZR-V and US HR-V, but the inserts are different on both SUVs. Japan-spec ZR-V uses the same outline for the grille, but it gets a new design featuring vertical slats in black finish. The new grille design significantly enhances the SUV’s overall look and feel.
On the sides too, Japan-spec 2023 Honda ZRV utilizes the Crystal Garnet Metallic colour on the fender and body cladding. In comparison, Chinese ZR-V and US HR-V have conventional black cladding. Use of black on Japanese ZR-V is limited to the dual-tone turn indicators and B and C pillars. At the rear, the SUV has dual exhaust pipes in metallic finish.
Interiors of Japan-spec ZR-V look similar to that of US-spec HR-V. Some of the matching bits include the digital instrument cluster, free-standing touchscreen infotainment system and physical climate controls. These features are themselves borrowed from latest-gen Civic.
However, the bulky gear lever, as used with automatic variants, has been replaced with buttons. This ensures a clutter-free, modern look for the SUV. Upholstery is also new and looks more premium in burgundy shade with contrasting orange stitching.
New ZR-V performance
Most important change for 2023 Honda ZRV in comparison to Chinese ZR-V and US HR-V is that the Japanese version gets e:HEV powertrain. It comprises a newly developed 2.0-litre direct injection engine, an electric CVT and built-in 2 electric motors. While performance specs have not been revealed, a similar hybrid powertrain is in use with FWD-only Civic e:HEV. Combined power output is at 181 hp.
Apart from the hybrid powertrain, Japan-spec ZR-V will also get an ICE-only version. It will be powered by a 1.5-litre turbo gasoline motor. Both variants will be available with AWD option. More details about new ZR-V will be revealed in coming months. India launch of new 2023 Honda ZRV is not planned.