If you find the Honda HR-V too bland or the CR-V too big, then maybe Honda has just the right SUV for you. It’s called the ZR-V. Thanks to forward-thinking car dealer Pandan Indah’s NJ Resources Sdn. Bhd, the 2024 Honda ZR-V is now available in Malaysia in Platinum White Pearl for RM198,000.
Simply put, this SUV has been imported directly from Japan—which is called a “grey import” in some circles—and because of that, has not been repurposed for the Malaysian market. This means the language offered in its sat-nav system is Japanese as are all the other guidance and directions available on the infotainment system.
As it turns out, that price is a lot higher than the HR-V and a little more than the flagship CR-V RS e:HEV hybrid. A quick look at the dimensions reveals that the ZR-V is larger than the HR-V but a little smaller than the CR-V.
So what distinguishes the ZR-V from the HR-V? First of all, it has a different platform, sitting on the same architecture as that of the Honda Civic. But instead of a hybrid drivetrain, this specific ZR-V has a 1.5-litre VTEC turbocharged engine that produces 178 ps and 240 Nm of torque when mated to a CVT.
Inside, the crossover features a 360-degree camera, Bose music system, full digital dashboard, USB-C connections, wireless charging, support for wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and power adjusters for the passenger seats.
Interestingly, the ADAS Honda Sensing on the ZR-V boasts a function that has never appeared on Honda Malaysia vehicles so far — the Blind Spot Information (BSI) warning system. Many people will feel that the LaneWatch camera system fitted to this reconditioned ZR-V is less effective than the BSI as it only supports the left side of the car.
The crossover also has equipment that is typical of refurbished models from Japan, including heated seats and a heated steering wheel. As usual with most other reconditioned models, there are a few quirks to note (such as the Japanese-language instrumentation and infotainment), and the ETC toll reader that does nothing in Malaysia.
Even with its Japanese language infotainment instruction and the ETC toll reader—which does not work in Malaysia—the ZR-V is one of the best-looking SUVs on the market and performs superbly thanks to its powerful engine and smooth transmission. Obviously the only ‘hiccup’ is its price which is a little steeper than the CR-V.