City EV is nice wanting and enjoyable to drive however let down by poor vary and astronomical value
I’ll be sincere from the outset. The Honda e will not be a automobile aimed toward somebody like me who lives within the nation and has a household of gargantuan freaks to ferry round.
It’s for individuals who dwell and drive in city environments and by no means have to move greater than a vente macchiato and a ache au chocolat. It’s a teeny tiny electric metropolis automobile with a teeny tiny vary, head-turning appears to be like and an emphasis on model over substance.
The e is positioned squarely up towards the retro megastars which might be the Mini Electrical and Fiat 500. It shares a few of their old-school impressed aesthetic (there are shades of the unique Honda Civic in its design) however with a extra fashionable high-tech twist to its clear boxy styling. Some folks would possibly discover its cuteness overpowering however towards the Mini and Fiat it feels suitably in tune with out being by-product of both.
The inside follows the same sample. With its massive clear bodily controls, gloss plastic and wooden trim, it has a form of cool retro 70s hi-fi vibe however undercuts that with a full-width digital display setup that screams twenty first century. It additionally screams “making an attempt too onerous”. The digital instrument show is okay however there’s no want for 2 12-inch touchscreens spanning nearly two-thirds of the dashboard, particularly when the interface and menu system is an unpleasant and substandard mess.
Fortunately the remainder of the cabin is healthier resolved with a easy user-friendly really feel and neat touches like the material cellphone pouched tucked out of the way in which subsequent to the USB ports. It additionally feels pleasingly strong, with a sturdiness usually lacking from metropolis vehicles.
In the event you have been in any doubt that the e is a metropolis automobile, a look on the two rear seats will persuade you. Just like the Mini and Fiat, there’s little or no area and they’re actually for emergency use solely. At the very least, in contrast to the opposite two, the e options rear doorways to make entry simpler. The boot is the same story. At 171 litres it’ll maintain a couple of days’ groceries however not rather more.
Beneath the ground of the tiny boot lies the e’s compact motor which within the extra highly effective Advance spec produces 152bhp. That’s a lot for such a small automobile and offers it with a pleasingly punchy efficiency, particularly within the reduce and thrust of a traffic-clogged metropolis. That rear-drive setup additionally helps with the e’s agility and comically tight turning circle, that are each additionally a blessing in tight city environments. But it by no means feels light-weight or flimsy in the way in which some metropolis vehicles can.
Within the battle of the three electrical metropolis vehicles, the Honda is extra highly effective than the Fiat however loses out to the Mini. And it lags behind each when it comes to vary, regardless of having a bigger battery than the Mini. With simply 35.5kWh of capability, the e is nice for an official vary of 137 miles, in contrast with 145 for the Mini and 199 for the Fiat.
That tiny battery means the e is extra susceptible to the impression of issues like driving model and climate. On a earlier and shorter summertime drive in a single I noticed a formidable 4.1 miles/kWh. Within the depths of a Scottish winter my common over per week was a poor 2.8m/kWh. In a car with a big battery, that’s much less of a difficulty however within the e, it translated into an actual world vary of simply 100 miles.
Round city and with entry to dwelling charging, that’s not a giant deal however it considerably limits the e’s use outdoors these slender parameters, as does its restricted passenger and boot area.
That wouldn’t be the top of the world if the e was priced near an everyday metropolis automobile however with a beginning value of £34,365 for the essential automobile and £36,865 for the Advance it’s shockingly costly particularly compared with the Mini and Fiat, each of which begin at lower than £30,000.
The e is the sort of automobile that may enchantment to consumers which might be pleased to drop a whole lot of kilos on a tiny designer purse or a pair of footwear you could solely stroll 20 yards in. Impractical however unarguably fashionable. There is no such thing as a sound monetary or sensible argument for getting one. In the event you’re after a smart, good worth EV then look elsewhere. However when you’ve got money to burn and a need for one thing quirky, fashionable and particular person, the e might be the best metropolis runaround for you.
Value: £36,865; Motor: Single synchronous motor; Battery: 35.5kWh; Energy: 152bhp Torque: 232lb ft; Transmission: Single-speed, rear-wheel-drive; High velocity: 90mph; 0-62mph: 8 seconds; WLTP vary: 137 miles; Consumption: 3.6 miles/kWh; Charging: As much as 100kW