Honda Hybrid Vezel 1.5 Z and RS Review
Since its inception in 2014, the Honda Vezel and its Hybrid variant has been a hit with consumers the world over. Combining proven mechanicals with bold and striking design cues has always been the recipe for success – in this case, you really can have your cake and eat it too. With such a good base to build on, it seems that for the car’s first facelift, Honda can do no bad.
Unlike many other manufacturers, which facelift cars for the sake of doing so, Honda has really focused on the less desirable traits when updating the look of the Vezel. The huge front plastic grille has been ditched in favour of a more premium looking one. In keeping with the going upmarket theme, Honda has also swapped out the traditional halogen fog lights for LED ones. The higher spec RS Hybrid models also receive a redesigned front splitter and rear diffusor, which helps tie all the new elements seamlessly into the existing design.
For the facelift, will offer a sportier version of the popular crossover to keep up with the consumers’ ever changing wants and needs. Hence, the Vezel Hybrid RS was born. The said Hybrid RS model has also received black lower body trim pieces, which starts from the front bumper, through the fenders and rocker panels to the rear bumper. 18-inch aluminium wheels, honeycomb grille and black door mirrors complete the new sporty look. The non RS cars will receive body coloured panels.
The Vezel Hybrid never aged that much, but the new tweaks are a welcomed upgrade over the items that came on the original car.
At no point was the interior ever a weak point for the Vezel – with its plethora of soft touch plastics and leather, it was actually more luxurious than offerings from other manufacturers at the same price point, so there wasn’t a need to fettle with it.
Most of Honda’s cash has been splashed on updating the Vezel’s driving experience. Whilst mechanically the facelifted Vezel remains very similar to the ones made before, and therefore should feel the same (check out the last Vezel review we did here) the new batch will come kitted out with the latest and the greatest from Honda’s extensive list of driver aids.
Dubbed , the suite of safety feature includes: Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Braking System.
Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) detect if there is a risk of collision with a vehicle in front or a pedestrian. At longer distance it provides audio and visual warnings, but when it gets too close, it applies the right amount of brake to support the driver’s collision avoidance effort.
Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) uses the windshield camera to detect lane markings and can influence the steering wheel to help keep the Vezel Hybrid in the middle of a detected lane. This can be turn on/off with the button on the right sight of the steering wheel.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is designed to detect vehicle speed ahead and use the accelerator or brakes to maintain a set following interval. And if the vehicle detected ahead comes to a complete stop, ADC will stop the Vezel Hybrid automatically. The driver then just need to tap the accelerator or cruise-control to resume. This really reduce the burden of the driver on a congested highway.
Most of these feature will only be active on highway speed to enhance safety, they are not intrusive in your urban style driving. You can even fine-tune the level of assist, say from active steering correction to warning only e.g. steering wheel vibration. That said, there are no excuses of not driving the car properly by taking our eyes off the road, or checking your WhatsApp messages.
The facelifted Vezel, as per its pre-facelift siblings, will come with a choice of 2 different drivetrains. You can snag one with the 1.5 litre engine only, as in the case of the X or one with said engine, coupled with an electric motor, as in the case of the Hybrid.
Both the Z and RS uses the exact same powertrain as its normal Hybrid sibling, which happens to utilise a 128bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine coupled with a 30bhp electric motor for propulsion. The combined output is sent to the front wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters.
The equipment that Honda now puts in the Vezel Hybrid makes it the perfect long distance crossover. Why? The driver can now put in minimal input behind the wheel, all thanks to the Honda Sensing system.
Put it this way - a handsome looking crossover with decent fuel economy, a well-built cabin, proven underpinnings and is equipped with a whole host of driver aids. All for roughly $110,000. The Vezel Hybrid Facelift has always been incredible value, and with all the updating, it must surely present itself as the bargain of the century. I mean, who else can you turn to fulfil such a market?
Car review sponsored by: Autolink Holdings
Credits: Oneshift Editorial Team