Driving the Honda e

154 HP
315 Nm
8,3 DL
145 HAO
20 kWh/100 km
3.894 x 1.752 x 1.512 mm
2638 mm
1,543 kg
171 lt
FROM €30,186 (with government subsidy)
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What grade do you give him?8 Votes

Find me a Lilliputian city car that causes in its passing what a supercar does. Passersby stopping to take a picture of it, young people "processing" it, older people approaching you to ask you more about it, kids looking at the interior and exclaiming "wow". Honda, in its first attempt at an all-electric car, has succeeded. And even if you don't like the e, you can't say you... don't like the Honda e.

In summary: It's retro and futuristic at the same time. It revives Honda's legendary N360 and N600 models in a stunning, design-driven way. It's quiet, nimble, as an electric ought to be. It's comfortable. It doesn't have the traditional mirrors, but it has cameras. It doesn't have locks and handles, but electrically folding handles. The interior is essentially two giant screens running across the dashboard. It's rear-wheel drive. It's comfortable. What more could you ask for?

Charging the Honda e

Design... diamond...

We said: The Honda e is different, eccentric, eccentric, radical. The Japanese have truly created a design masterpiece, successfully marrying past, present and future. Hi tech- hi style. And we're not just talking about the exterior, which makes your heart beat faster, but also the interior, where the same happens. The Honda e looks like a painting canvas. The wallpapers that it has chosen for its displays, inside help too.

I love it when car companies dare to take their concepts to the... road. With the e, Honda took a risk (?) as they chose not to... throw an electric motor onto a conventional model, but to design from blank paper a brand new model, based on a brand new floor, without.... shedding its long and "heavy" history.

The result is a city car just 3.9 metres long, with obvious roots from the 2017 Urban EV, incorporating the latest in technology - and with it the company's vision for urban mobility of the future, with references to the past. Like the round front lights, which are a reference to the first-generation Civic and the N600 and N350, within a black enclosed mask, as are the round taillights, in the same body.

Spectacular details are the transparent cover of the charging port on the front hood, under which the alternator is installed, while nothing spoils the harmony of the small but cute whole, since nothing "sticks out". The 5 doors are frameless, the outer handles of the front doors are pop-up, while instead of mirrors, there are two futuristic lilliputian cameras - which show the goings-on on the relevant projection screens in the cabin.

Hi tech... living room

Inside, there has been a -successful- attempt to give the feeling that you are in a lounge area, or, better, in the living room of your home. That's why a minimalism has been chosen in terms of the switches, but also the choice of materials such as wood on the dashboard and the fabric of the -very comfortable- seats that feels like... home!

Of course, inside, we couldn't help but notice the "wow", the 6 single screens, which are installed at the front of the driver-passenger view and occupy the entire width of the interior. Removing the two edge mirrors that substitute for the rear view mirrors (there is the option of the centre mirror as well as the classic option), the parallel dashboard configuration includes an 8.8" digital instrument panel and two 12.3" screens with separate customisable menus for driver and passenger. Really, there's... nothing missing from there and needless to say you can choose wallpaper or turn it into... a home cinema and there's plenty of connectivity and charging.

Space is larger than you'd expect for front passengers, and there are clever storage solutions such as a sliding cup holder, or a mobile phone 'pocket'.

On the road

The Honda goes... sideways!

The Honda e uses an electric motor that transfers the drive to the rear wheels, a solution that offers a small turning radius (4.3 m here), as well as in the area of road handling, such as better traction, absence of steering reactions and increased stability when the energy recovery system is activated. The test powertrain delivers 154 hp (there is also a 136 hp base version) and 315 Nm of torque. The Japanese model's lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 35.5 kWh, which limits the (theoretical) freedom of movement to 222 and 210 km on a single charge, according to the WLTP protocol, but less (in this writer's case around 170 km) in reality.

If you also select the Sport driving mode, you can achieve consumption of up to 25 kWh/100km, up from 16 kWh/100km on average, with sensible driving. Of course, despite the... anxiety about the range, the Honda e's behaviour quickly rewards you. It's not the performance, the 8.3 seconds to sprint to 100 mph from a standstill and the 145 mph of the final. It's his willingness, if you want him to, to play with his tail - bringing you back to class if you overdo it - but also his... hidden charms. Let's not forget that it's the "twistiest" little electric, achieving an exit speed of 73 mph in the reindeer avoidance test, with effective brakes it stops at 35.2 m from 100 mph.

Of course, it's not made for gassing, nor for travelling, but for urban commuting (as its autonomy proves). With light but precise and quick steering, it "cuts" with 3.1 rpm from end to end, a short wheelbase and with "weapons" the ideal weight distribution between the two axles (50/50), the low centre of gravity (500 mm. from the ground), McPherson knees at all four ends, but also the very good work of Honda's engineers on the suspension, the Honda e unfolds a pleasant overall character, with very good comfort, even with the 17-inch wheels of the test car.

Is it worth it, dude?

The Honda e is, without a doubt, the future in the present. It is the most modern, most retro-modern, most technologically complete thing on the road right now. It's quite fun, supercharged on all levels, quiet and excellent for daily city commutes with plenty of smiles even on the . In life, however, not everything is perfect. At least in my eyes, perfect is not the range of 170 real kilometres which causes me... anxiety, but on the other hand it implies a small battery and therefore a fast charge. And the "salty" price for the initial version of the Honda e with the 136 hp electric motor and 16-inch wheels starts at 35,990 euros, but thanks to the state subsidy it is reduced to 30,186 euros. Of course, good things come at a price in this life...

Read more:

Here come the autonomous Honda !

Driving the Honda Civic 1.5 Vtec turbo


The Honda e is beautiful, complete, comfortable, agile, rear-wheel drive, fun. Sure, the Japanese did a good job. If it weren't for its short range and its stingy price, we'd already be at Saracakis to order.
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