It’s a binec. So we mean the nomenclature of Honda. When you say Civic or Jazz, everyone is clear. But when it comes to the CR-V, HR-V or ZR-V, it would take some explanatory leaflet or mnemonic to get the hang of it. No, we don’t have a trick for you, and Honda’s official explanation that the ZR-V stands for “Z Roundabout Vehicle” (as in the Z-generation car) doesn’t help. But you might remember that the ZR-V is a Civic on stilts.

This is already confirmed by the external dimensions, which are very similar (just over 4.5 meters in length and over 1.8 meters in width, the crossover is only 20 cm higher), so that the interior space for the crew is practically the same (for the rear seats can fit an adult just enough), the Civic is surprisingly slightly ahead in terms of trunk volume (404 liters compared to the ZR-V’s 380 liters) – thus once again confirming the rule that SUVs are not necessarily more practical than the conventional models from which they are based.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Both the ZR-V and Civic are roughly the same length, but the Civic has a 77 mm longer wheelbase. The interior is spatially similar for both cars.

The interiors of both cars also match in the basic architectural features (including a digital instrument panel and 7-inch infotainment, the highest equipment boasts a 10-inch one), but small details already differ (the design of the air conditioning vents and the grille across the dashboard or the central tunnel). Also, the position behind the steering wheel is understandably higher in the ZR-V for easier seating and a better view behind the wheel, but the ergonomic concept is the same (including a handy air conditioning panel).

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The ZR-V cabin excels in ergonomics, you can easily find a comfortable driving position.

You won’t find much difference in the offered equipment either, for both cars it includes, for example, adaptive headlights, keyless entry and start, heated seats and steering wheel, premium audio with up to 12 speakers and a subwoofer, and many other goodies. Already in the base, you also have a complete package of Honda Sensing safety driving assistants including emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and more, in addition to front and rear parking sensors with a parking camera. Honda is definitely not stingy with equipment.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Touch infotainment can have a 7″ but also a 10″ screen. The simple and clear layout is complemented by handy physical buttons and a rotary volume control that facilitates system control.

And the same is also true of the hybrid drive that is charged only when driving, which combines an economical two-liter gasoline engine with two electric motors, which together turn the front wheels with a power of up to 184 horsepower. Although this is not entirely accurate, in normal operation at lower speeds the electric motor is sufficient for the job alone, the petrol engine then takes over the relay pin only at higher speeds, when the electricity stops working effectively.

Both drives are really perfectly matched and work together smoothly, quietly and above all efficiently. Without having to really tame yourself behind the wheel, you can drive for around 5.5 liters in combined traffic (with more gentle handling and when moving off the highway, you can even approach four liters) – which means that the 57-liter tank is enough for you to travel a thousand kilometers . But that doesn’t mean the tank will last you forever…

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

The only engine for the ZR-V is a hybrid with a combined output of 184 horsepower. Without much effort, you can drive it for 5.5 liters.

If you like to drive, there is an acute risk that you will get behind the wheel of the ZR-V more often than usual and you will choose longer routes through winding districts instead of straight ones along the highway. Like the Civic, the ZR-V is a joy to drive – you don’t even have to go very fast, you just flow with the road, connect with the car, turn the steering wheel and dance on the pedals, which by its very nature brings great driving satisfaction.

ZR-V has succeeded in all aspects of Honda, and if you absolutely need an SUV, we will not excuse it. However, there are four reasons why the Civic remains the better choice. The first reason is the already mentioned larger trunk, although the difference is more optical than actually usable. You also sit lower in the Civic and its chassis is more softly tuned, so you’ll enjoy driving it more, both fast and slow. A lower structure and a 70-100 kg lower weight also means up to a liter less consumption. And finally, there is the price – with the Civic you save a very significant 120,000 crowns compared to the ZR-V. Plus, when you get a better car with them, there’s not much to think about.

The price list of the Honda ZR-V starts at an optically high amount of CZK 939,900, but keep in mind that for this money it will not be a youngster, but a very decently equipped car that can be equipped with higher levels of equipment (Sport for CZK 989,900 or Advance for 1,039 900 CZK) you can only decorate with extra elements such as adaptive headlights, premium audio with a subwoofer, inductive phone charging, leather upholstery or a panoramic window, which are definitely not needed by everyone.

Motor in-line four-cylinder, atmospheric, placed in front transversely, 2x electric motor
Displacement volume 1,993 cm3
Performance 105 kW (143 hp) at 6,000 rpm
Torque 186 Nm at 4,500 rpm.
Electric motor 184 and 315 Nm
Transmission automatic, e-CVT
Tree front wheels
Standby weight 1 604 kg
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 7,9 s
Maximal speed 173 km/h
Consumption (combination) 5.8 l/100 km
Fuel tank volume 57 l
Wheels and tires 255/55 R18
Dimensions (length/width/height) 4 568/1 898/1 620 mm
Wheelbase 2 657 mm
Volume of the luggage compartment 380 l