Inside Honda's ZR-V Sport crossover that's a decent car for the family holiday but is let down by its looks and price | The Sun

OF all the cars of every conceivable shape and size sold in Britain, half are just two types: Small crossovers and medium crossovers.

Hardly a nation of individualists, are we?

Anyway, Honda has a small one, the HR-V. And a medium one, the CR-V.

Yet Honda spotted a chink between them, and so it built one to plug the gap. That’s the new ZR-V.

It’s almost exactly the size of the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. Which are among Britain’s best-selling cars.

They lie at the compact end of the medium crossovers. Or the large end of the small.

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But who cares about categories, frankly.

What matters is you and your kids will fit in the ZR-V.

Actually, there isn’t much difference in the passenger space between HR-V, ZR-V and CR-V.

It’s mostly in the boot that they vary.

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Before you all set off for the family holiday, the ZR-V will likely demand a bit of luggage editing.

Still, if the bags are feeling the pinch, the driver will be happy.

Sure, crossovers are taller and heavier than hatchbacks so they’re never as good to drive.

The ZR-V isn’t as much fun as a Honda Civic, even though its front half is, under the skin, the same as the Civic.

But the ZR-V is as game through corners as any crossover rival.

It also has a clever hybrid powertrain that sounds and behaves like a normal automatic, rather than an outboard motor. Looking at you Toyota.

It’s pretty efficient too – 55mpg is within easy reach.

Honda says this swap to hybrids is “taking customers on an electrification journey”. Not really.

Honda is replacing diesels with something quieter and more socially acceptable.

So the ZR-V is a decent car, of a type people like. It ought to be happy.

So why does its face – narrowed headlights and downturned pouting grille – look like a Ford Kuga that’s just realised it’s stepped in dog poo?

Inside, things get more stylish, with a neat and tidy dash taken from the Civic.

It looks good, and it’s made of decent quality plastic.

Best of all, it’s easy to use because there are plenty of proper switches rather than endless screen menus.

Honda has thrown lots of equipment at it too, in the hope of justifying a pretty stiff price.

It’s stickered alongside the most expensive Qashqai e-Power hybrid, and indeed the same as a pure electric Kia Niro.

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Still, it will do well because it seems crossovers can’t fail.

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