The Honda e is an EV worth waiting for. The ultra cute four seater may have a limited 222km range but is a hoot to drive and it is full of tech too. The cabin features a full width digital dash with ‘Hey Honda’ voice connectivity. Cool side cameras come as standard taking the place of conventional wing mirrors. The little EV also boasts a tiny turning circle that makes it a super manoeuvrable urban runabout.
The Honda e has a very cute exterior that reminds me of a mark 1 Golf that’s been rounded off a bit, but the e actually pays homage to the original Civic. Round LED lights feature both front and rear adding to its cuteness. On the road the e, despite its compact proportions, has presence. The stats say it is smaller than a Honda Jazz and most other superminis. While the e looks like a three-door it is is in fact a five-door. Room in the back is tight and the boot is tiny at 171 litres – to do the big shop you’ll need to drop the rear seats (861 litres). Somehow this is one car that you’ll forgive any shortcomings because it is so adorable and brilliant.
On the road the Honda e is beautifully balanced and great fun to drive. Fully independent suspension features all round and this is a step beyond the usual in its class. You can really feel the quality and sophistication of the suspension set up when you hit poor surfaces or tackle a few twisty bits. Our test cars were the higher grade and power output of the two versions that will be available (136hp/154hp). The rear wheel drive EV has razor sharp steering and perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The steering is lovely thanks to being tasked with that one job. Rear wheel drive cars feel special and the lack of torque steer in the Honda e just adds to the Driving enjoyment. Exiting corners and roundabouts is a real giggle in the e and motorway work is accomplished with ease too. Three different levels of brake regeneration force can be manual selected via paddle shifters and this function is impressive. You can drive the Honda e in one pedal mode much like the current Leaf.
Inside the cabin seats four with surprisingly good room up front. The cabin’s dashboard is the star attraction. The dash features five digital displays that cover the full width of the cabin. The side mirrors each get a 6 inch digital display at either end and are perfectly placed. A nice piece of wood inlay marries old school with high tech. Connectivity is comprehensive and the voice activation set up is class leading.
The entry car’s DC motor has 136hp with the higher grade ‘Advance’ pushing out 154hp. The 1,514kg Honda e pulls itself along well and there is lots of torque with 315nm. 0-100km/h takes 9 seconds or 8.3 seconds with the 154hp. Top speed is 145km/h. WLTP range from a full charge is 222km. Honda uses a 35.5kWh battery pack with a 6.6kWh AC on board charger. Charging time from zero to full capacity takes 4.1 hours at a 7.4kW charger. Charging to 80 per cent takes 31 minutes at a fast charger. The lithium-ion battery features active thermal management to help prolong battery life.
Honda’s first electric car is due in Ireland mid-year where it will tour dealerships. Customer deliveries are expected by the end of the year With pricing yet to be announced we expect it to be close to the MINI Electric – so sub €30,000 to start. Two models will be available the entry 136hp and the ‘Advance’ 154hp version with the kitchen sink as standard Including auto parking with a park out function. ‘Honda Sensing’ will ensure the Honda e is a very safe car with plenty of driving aids as standard like AEB and lane keeping.