Honda E (2020) Review

Honda E (2020) At A Glance

4/5

+Quirky electric city car. Excellent, tech-packed interior. Fun to drive.

-Expensive. Small boot. Range won’t be long enough for everyone.

The Honda E is the Apple iPhone of cars. It’s small, expensive, and will need recharging regularly. But many buyers will be happy to overlook its shortfalls in order to drive one of the most desirable electric cars on sale.

It has an official range of 137 miles, dropping to 125 miles if you spec the oh-so-pretty 17-inch alloy wheels. That’s better than the new Smart EQ Forfour, but not as good as recent competitors like the Skoda Citigo-e iV, Renault Zoe and MINI Electric - all of which are cheaper, too.

While, like an iPhone, its specs don’t stack up against competitors on paper, it’s the way the Honda E goes about its business that makes it ultra desirable. For a start, look at it. It’s a superb balance of modern and retro design - not that different to the Urban EV concept car that wowed audiences at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. If there’s a car designed to appeal to millennials, this is it.

That’s true for the technology on offer, too. There are no fewer than five screens spread across the dash, including two infotainment displays and even digital screens instead of conventional mirrors. If you prefer an old-fashioned switch or rotary control for changing the radio station, this probably isn't the car for you, but it's all fairly intuitive to use.

Tech aside, the inside is superb, using a mixture of wood and contemporary materials to provide a lounge-like feel. Despite its compact dimensions, a flat floor means it feels surprisingly spacious up front, although room for rear-seat passengers is limited. It's got quite a small boot, too.

The Honda E builds on the usual benefits of an electric car (instant acceleration and excellent refinement) with a tiny turning circle which makes it a boon to negotiate a tight car park. That's because the electric motor is positioned in the rear, meaning the front wheels can turn more than in a standard city car.

There's plenty of performance on offer, too - and it can hold its own out of town. It feels stable at motorway speeds, although its direct steering can make it feel a little darty during lane changing.

Justifying the Honda E’s £26,120 start price is difficult, but finance deals from £299 a month help make that hefty list price a little more palatable. And while its range might not be as impressive as rivals, it'll be enough for many buyers, and it makes up for it by being fun to drive and packed with technology.

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