A STYLISH silhouette and a hugely-comfortable interior help to make the all-new Honda ZR-V an appealing package.

It slots into Honda’s line-up between the compact HR-V and the more sizeable CR-V, becoming the latest SUV to use the company’s e:HEV hybrid set-up.

The powertrain strikes a reasonable balance between performance and efficiency, with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection engine working in tandem with two motors.

At lower speeds, you could be fooled into thinking you’re driving a full EV, as the electric motors do all the work.

Stourbridge News: The Honda ZR-V

Around town, it’s a super-smooth and relaxing vehicle to drive, offering excellent ease-of-use and being very responsive.

On the B-roads at higher speeds, the driving experience isn’t quite so pleasant. On undulating or uneven surfaces, it can feel skittish and fidgety, which doesn’t inspire huge confidence in the car’s handling when cornering swiftly.

That said, the majority of family-orientated potential buyers may well place a higher emphasis on a comfortable set-up rather than razor-sharp handling - and there's no doubt that the suspension eases out the bumps quite nicely.

The running costs are satisfying, with fuel consumption averaging 48.7mpg on the official combined scale - and not too far off that figure in real-world driving.

Once inside the vehicle, the ZR-V’s cabin is well thought-out, with sharp design and crisp displays.

Stourbridge News: The Honda ZR-V

The seats are hugely comfortable, with a wide range of adjustment, plenty of legroom and reasonable headroom.

Storage is a bit of a mixed bag, with the convenience offered by the deep space beneath the central armrest not being matched by the shallow spaces inside the doors.

Multiple USB charging slots come in handy, while the low-set dashboard and raised central console create a striking visual effect.

High-­quality materials, detailed finishing, and subtle lighting create a great atmosphere in the cabin.

Sophisticated HMI technology keeps driver and passengers connected to the outside world, in addition to the functionality of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The boot on the ZR-V, measuring 380 litres, will swallow plenty of items, but isn’t among the biggest in class, with some rivals offering around 500 litres.

In terms of looks, the ZR-V has an elegant exterior design defined by smooth uninterrupted surfaces that flow from front to rear.

Stourbridge News: The Honda ZR-V pictured near Bradfield, South Yorkshire, during a roadtest

At the front, the slimline headlights combine nicely with a large, stylised grille. At the other end, a bold rear bumper and taillights are neatly integrated with the tailgate.

The ZR­-V is the latest Honda vehicle to feature the company’s advanced suite of SENSING technologies as standard.

Combined with a comprehensive airbag system and impressive all­round collision performance, the ZR-­V achieves high levels of both active and passive safety.

In conclusion, there’s a lot to like about the ZR-V, with the vehicle’s everyday practicality and excellent interior making it very easy to live with.

The clear quality of the hybrid powertrain is a big plus-point, making for a compelling package, but keen drivers may feel underwhelmed by the car’s handling on national speed limit roads.

Honda ZR-V Sport

ENGINE: 2.0-litre unleaded i-MMD Hybrid

TRANSMISSION: e-CVT, front-wheel drive

PRICE: £41,745 on the road

0 - 62 MPH: 7.9 seconds


CO2: 131 g/km combined

FUEL CONSUMPTION: 48.7 mpg combined