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Honda ZR-V hybrid expansion planned: More options coming to take on Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage and Nissan X-Trail hybrids

Honda is already planning to launch more hybrid variants of its new ZR-V.

Honda has revealed that demand for its all-new ZR-V e:HEV is so great that the order books are full until December for the range-topping model. Which is why the Japanese brand is already planning an expanded hybrid line-up.

The current ZR-V e:HEV LX model is priced from $54,900 drive-away, making it the most expensive model in the line-up. The ZR-V uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with an electric motor to return a claimed fuel economy figure of just 5.0-litres per 100km, but the cost of getting into the VTi-LX model will put it out of reach for many buyers.

That also puts the hybrid at a significant price premium over its VTi-LX model, which is $6400 cheaper and has almost identical specifications.

In contrast to the current premium-only focus for the ZR-V, Toyota offers its hybrid powertrain in five trim variants with prices stretching from as low as $43,500 up to $56,650 (plus on-road costs).

As with the Civic and HR-V ranges, Honda Australia’s chief operating officer, Carolyn McMahon, wants to expand the number of hybrids available to introduce more affordable options to lure more buyers.

“We started the expansion of hybrids with Civic and HR-V, and now ZR-V, so our strategy is all about introducing hybrids with each new model launch,” McMahon said.

“Once we’ve done that, our next step is to introduce more variants within each model. With Honda ZR-V and then with CR-V there will be hybrid top-grade spec with those models, and then as we move through the lifecycle, you’ll see more variants coming in.”

Honda is already planning an expanded hybrid line-up for the ZR-V.

This is in line with other car makers, such as Toyota, who have found increasing consumer demand for hybrid vehicles in recent years. Toyota, which was the market leader in terms of sales of hybrid technology, offers its hybrid powertrains across all trim variants in its key models, such as the Corolla and RAV4.

Honda, however, was the first marque with a petrol-electric hybrid in the local market with the Insight hitting showrooms in early 2001, beating the Toyota Prius by several months.

Honda clearly sees the potential for the ZR-V, and its other models, to grow in sales if it can provide a cheaper price point for the powertrain. 

It’s part of Honda’s wider electrification plan which is aiming to deliver 26 all-electric models by the end of the decade. McMahon wouldn’t be drawn into giving any details on when Australian customers will get access to these new EVs, with timing and other details still to be confirmed by Honda’s headquarters.

Stephen Ottley
Contributing Journalist
Steve has been obsessed with all things automotive for as long as he can remember. Literally, his earliest memory is of a car. Having amassed an enviable Hot Wheels and Matchbox collection as a kid he moved into the world of real cars with an Alfa Romeo Alfasud. Despite that questionable history he carved a successful career for himself, firstly covering motorsport for Auto Action magazine before eventually moving into the automotive publishing world with CarsGuide in 2008. Since then he's worked for every major outlet, having work published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age,, Street Machine, V8X and F1 Racing. These days he still loves cars as much as he did as a kid and has an Alfa Romeo Alfasud in the garage (but not the same one as before... that's a long story).
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