Honda might've said the new HR-V has been specially developed for North America, but the ZR-V unveiled today in Japan is nearly identical. The "Z Runabout Vehicle" has already been introduced in China where it looks almost the same. It will also be launched in Europe next year to slot between the market-specific HR-V and the next-generation CR-V that was unveiled earlier this week in the US.
The JDM model has a different grille than its US sibling by switching from a honeycomb pattern to vertical slats reminding us of the Maserati Grecale Trofeo. The front bumper has been resculpted as well while the mandatory orange side markers have been eliminated. At the back, the new Honda ZR-V gets a dual exhaust system with surprisingly large finishers lending the crossover a sporty look.
2023 Honda ZR-V (JDM)
The interior is more of the same in the sense it has been carried over from the HR-V, which itself shares most of the cabin with the latest Civic. However, we do notice the ZR-V eschews the bulky gear lever for the automatic transmission in favor of buttons giving it a more modern and cleaner layout. It also gets a burgundy theme with orange stitching creating a cozy ambiance.
Compared to the US-spec HR-V, the most important difference is underneath the familiar skin. While the North American model is powered exclusively by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine making 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque, the JDM-spec ZR-V gets the hybrid setup from the Civic e:HEV. It's the car shown here, hence the blue Honda logos and an e:HEV badge on the tailgate. Alternatively, the compact crossover is also going to be offered with a 1.5-liter gasoline unit, and both will get AWD in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Full technical specifications will be disclosed in the coming months ahead of September when Honda will open the order books for the ZR-V in Japan. The equivalent European model is earmarked for a 2023 launch and it too will be electrified to echo the Euro-spec HR-V. Speaking of going hybrid, the upcoming Civic Type R will be the company's last ICE-only car on the Old Continent.