If you’ve considered a small electric city car, and the chances are this new Honda e has gained your interest or caught your attention for sure. its blend of retro looks and cutting edge technology means that it was one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2020. it’s aimed squarely at the mini electric. if you can live with that fair range and that small boot. then this is a car that is really damn hard not to fall deeply in love with.
Along with the mini electric other rivals include the Renault Zoe, which has nearly doubled the driving range in a bit more interior space for a similar price.
Honda e Trims
Two versions of the Honda e are offered.
- Honda e
- Honda e Advance
Below we created a detailed trim specs comparison of Honda e
|Honda e||Honda e Advanced|
|Compatible with My Honda+||✔||✔|
|Full width dual screen||✔||✔|
|Leather steering wheel||✔||✔|
|Single pedal control||✔||✔|
|Smart entry & start||✔||✔|
|Front heated seats||✔||✔|
|LED Daytime running lights||✔||✔|
|Pop-out door handles||✔||✔|
|Rear privacy glass||✔||✔|
|Side Camera Mirror System||✔||✔|
|16” alloy wheel||✔||✔|
|Centre Camera Mirror System||–||✔|
|Heated Steering Wheel||–||✔|
|Honda Parking Pilot||–||✔|
|230 V outlet||–||✔|
|16” or 17” alloy wheel||–||✔|
|Around View Monitor||–||✔|
|Premium Audio with 8 speakers||–||✔|
|Blind Spot Monitor||–||✔|
|Cross Traffic Monitor||–||✔|
|Heated Front Windscreen||–||✔|
There is absolutely no mistaking this new honda for anything else on the road which is only magnified by our car’s charge yellow paintwork. the door mirrors they’ve been replaced by cameras that feed images to a couple of screens on the inside and are intuitive to use. the door handles they’re completely flush which only helps with this car’s slippery shape. and the black A and B pillars give this illusion of a floating roofline.
On the outside. the wheels have been pushed right out into the corners. which not only helps with that planted squat stance. but helps inside with space and practicality.
Honda e Driving Range
The Honda e does have a rather short driving range compared to rivals like the Renault Zoe and the BMW i3. but it’s on par with a mini electric and usefully better than the Smart EQ fortwo. Honda claims a maximum of 137 miles range on a single charge. depending on which size of wheel you go for. but we reckon 110-120 miles are more realistic in mild weather. and closer to 80 miles if it’s cold or you spend a lot of time on the motorway. but standard dc rapid charging means the occasional long journey shouldn’t be too far out of reach.
Beware however that while the company claims the Honda e can charge via 50 kW chargers. it’ll only do so for a short period of time. meaning an 80% charge is achievable in around 31 minutes. a 7.4 kW home wall box will give you a full battery in under 5 hours. cables for charging from a type 2 and 3 pin sockets are included. the Honda e plugs in through a socket on top of the bonnet. which is convenient for parking nose in or alongside a charger.
you can preset the hours you want the honda to charge using screens in the car or a phone app. that also allows you to control the interior temperature, check the car’s location, send routes to the satnav, and more. your phone can even double up as a key if you wish.
Interior and Infotainment
Happily, any compromises you might have to make with regards to range or practicality are quickly forgotten when you take a seat up front. now some people are going to love the simplicity and normality of the mini. but if you’re a bit of a tech geek like me you will love it. inside this Honda e, it all centers around this massive display up front. so you’ve got the driver’s display that’s pretty simple you’ve only really got speed and trip information to contend with and a few nav info arrows if you want them up there.
But the two screens that both got 12.3 inches and are completely interchangeable. so you can have nav on one side and music on the other or vice versa. and it’s really easy to change them. it’s a shame that nav graphics themselves are a little bit out of date. but don’t worry you can override those with apple car play or android auto.
Elsewhere you’ve got the 2 door mirrors on the side which obviously come through to these two screens. every Honda e comes with a standard fit HDMI input which means in theory you can connect up a games console or stream movies directly from your phone to your car’s screen. now it’s all designed to make your weight at a charging point all that more enjoyable. but we consider more owners are going to spend their time scrolling through their emails or going inside to get a coffee.
Honda has decided to separate the air conditioning controls and not include them in the tech fest on the screens. now we truly like this. because it means it’s really easy just to change the fan speed or the temperature on the fly.
Underneath, there’s this completely open floor which really emphasizes this car’s light and airy feel and gives this sense of space inside.
Every Honda e gets climate control, heated seats, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, automatic wipers, led headlights, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
This will likely suffice for most buyers but for a few quid more per month you can opt for the advanced trim. you get an upgraded sound system. a heated steering wheel and windscreen. blind-spot monitoring and automatic parking.
There are five colors to choose from. yellow, blue, black, white, and grey. you can switch out the black seat fabric in favor of brown should you wish. the options list is surprisingly short though limited to a few sticker packs and different wheel designs. but don’t see that as a bad thing the Honda comes pretty well equipped straight out of the box.
On the road, the Honda e isn’t as fast as rivals like the BMW i3. but there’s more than enough punch on offer to exploit that sense of fun. the entry-level model gets 134 BHP. the more expensive and more powerful advanced model gets 152 BHP. it can accelerate 0-60 mph in 8.3 seconds. there’s plenty of zipping away from the lights and you’ll never struggle to pull away from junctions with a simple single pedal put your foot down and go.
Braking and Handling
It’s assertive in the way it darts through traffic. and the tight turning radius of 4.3 m means that car parks and city streets are no trouble at all. there are 7 levels of brake regen and they’re all adjusted via the paddles on the steering wheel which operate in much the same way you would use a gearbox in an automatic petrol car. the strongest setting does allow for one-pedal driving it all bleeds in really nicely though and we love this style of driving. of course, it’s not for everyone, and for some people, they’ll just use a coasting mode. but we like it and we love the progressive nature of it.
The natural feeling but light steering is a real highlight of the way this honda drives and it encourages you to swing it through tight corners and roundabouts. Honda e has a very low center of gravity. there’s a real cheekiness to the way the honda drives in fact and it just makes every journey a little bit more enjoyable. it’s good fun outside the city limits too where the honda’s rear-wheel-drive setup still offers plenty of grips. and gives you the confidence to enjoy your favorite country road. or even a stint on the motorway.
Over patchy surfaces, the honda can jiggle about a little bit hit a bigger bump and the suspension does manage to soften the blow. this car is more comfortable and very quieter too than almost any petrol supermini on sale today.
At first glance, you might criticize the honda for its poor practicality and yet in reality those rear doors make it infinitely more versatile than its biggest rival the mini electric. there’s seating for four in the honda and a surprising amount of leg and headroom that’ll comfortably accommodate two adults behind a fairly tall driver. there’s no middle seat in the back, however. admittedly the 171 l boot space is rather small.
One airline cabin size bag will take up the majority of the space. so you need to pack lights if you’re going away. there’s no storage for the cables under the boot floor. but the seatbacks fold down albeit in one piece should you need a bit more space.
Prices start from just under £27,000 (nearly $35,000) after the government grant is taken into account.
The more expensive, Honda e Advance model gets some extra kit and a small power hike. it costs around £2,500 more.
The honda e will sell on looks alone. but in reality, there is plenty more to recommend. the interior for example is a masterpiece. there’s some really impressive tech. neatly integrated into a cool small car package.
If you can charge at home overnight and you only ever do short journeys there’s little in this part of the market that comes anywhere close.
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A "Good" mini car that is powered with pure electricity. Have some fewer practicality issues but overall a great EV for city and day to day use.
- Good Handling
- Advanced Infotainment System
- Rapid Battery Charging
- Satisfying Interior Room
- Low Driving Range
- A bit High Price Tag
Battery and Driving Range
Design and Interior
Price Tag (Compared with Other Rivals)