Honda e review | AA Cars

2020 Honda e

Summary

Honda is often thought to be leading the way when it comes to technology. After experimenting with new powertrains for more than a decade, the new Honda e is the firm’s first electric production model to be sold in Europe. With its clever technology and cool looks, it’s safe to say Honda has high hopes for it.

Pros 

  • Brimming with technology
  • Great fun to drive
  • Cool styling

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Limited electric range
  • Not very practical

Introduction 

Living up to its “Power of Dreams” slogan, Honda is known for being a technology pioneer. It was one of the first firms to launch hydrogen fuel-cell powered models (never sold in the UK), and was quick to utilise hybrid powertrains as well. And although recent years have seen a noticeable decline in creativity, this looks set to change in 2020. Aiming for its full range to be electrified by 2022, Honda is expanding its selection of electrified models – spearheaded by the cool new ‘e’ EV.

Latest model

2020 Honda e

When launching a new electric model, car firms tend to go down one of two routes. The first is to play it safe – the second is to be brave and creative. It’s safe to say Honda has very much gone for the latter.

Think Tesla-like technology in a tiny small package – that sums up the new ‘e’. With five screens spreading the full width across the interior of the car, it’s like nothing else on sale today. The cool retro-futuristic styling is another feature – as is the fact that Honda’s engineered it to be as fun as possible.  

Driving feel 

From the start, Honda has always said it wanted the ‘e’ to be fun to drive. It’s something plenty of electric cars struggle with, as the increased weight of the batteries can make them feel heavy. No such issue with the e, as the model is also rear-wheel-drive. And if you just want to cruise effortlessly around a city – where the ‘e’ is at its best thanks to its 137-mile range – it doesn’t disappoint there either. Its performance is both smooth and powerful, while light steering and a tiny turning circle make this model exceptionally nippy. 

Looks and image

2020 Honda e

The Honda e’s inspiration was the Urban EV concept, which was first shown in 2017. Not initially intended for production, the hugely positive response led the firm to make it a reality. The ‘e’ is very similar to that concept, and with its quirky styling, small proportions and cool lights, it looks like nothing else on the road today. It’s a big step away from the rest of Honda’s current range, and hopefully paves the way for more creative-looking models. The styling could prove to be a bit bold for some, though. 

Space

Spaciousness didn’t seem to be at the top of Honda’s list of priorities with the e. If you don’t require much rear space, or if the e would be your second car, this isn’t necessarily a problem. And there’s plenty of room in the front, with the e having an airy-feeling cabin thanks to the glass roof fitted as standard.  

In the rear, the Honda is a strict four-seater, and while legroom is not generous, it’s on par with the Mini Electric and Peugeot e-208. The boot is tiny, though, with just 171 litres of room. There’s space for a few shopping bags, but little else. Almost all of its rivals offer more boot space. 

Engine and running costs

2020 Honda e

Two powertrain option are available on the Honda e. The first utilises an electric motor producing 134bhp and 315Nm, alongside a 35.5kWh battery. This battery is smaller than the one in the Peugeot e-208, and therefore allows for a more limited range of 137 miles. That said, it’s able to charge at a rate of 100kW – meaning the batteries can be charged to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. In terms of performance, the Honda e is able to accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 90mph.

Upgrade to the top-spec ‘Advance’ model, and you’re treated to a slightly more powerful 152bhp motor. It reduces the 0-60mph time to 8.1 seconds, retains the same 90mph top speed, though has a slight impact on range, with Honda claiming 131 miles.

Powertrains

·      Electric motor and 35.5kWh battery with 134bhp

·      Electric motor and 35.5kWh battery with 152bhp

Rivals 

·        Volkswagen e-Up! – £20,195

·        Mini Electric – £24,900

·        Peugeot e-208 – £26,025

·        Renault Zoe – £26,495

·        Vauxhall Corsa-e – £27,665

·        DS 3 Crossback E-Tense – £32,990

·        BMW i3– £33,025

Trim levels 

2020 Honda e

Just two trims are available – the e and Advance.

Honda e – £26,660

·        Full width media screen

·        Keyless entry and start

·        Panoramic glass roof

·        Side camera mirror system

·        Adaptive cruise control

·        Autonomous emergency braking

·        Heated front seats

·        Parking sensors

·        Reversing camera

·        Automatic LED headlights

·        16-inch alloy wheels

Advance – from £29,160 (in addition to the Honda e)

·        Blind spot monitoring

·        Heated windscreen

·        Heated steering wheel

·        Self-parking technology

·        Premium sound system

·        Additional power

Share.

About Author