Honda e Review

The Honda e looks like a CCTV control centre inside and a surprised panda outside. You’ll be surprised, too, when you see how much it costs given its modest range.

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Honda e: what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

The all-electric Honda e is a bit like a reality TV celebrity. Under the bright lights at its concept reveal it looked a million dollars, but in the cold light of day, with its pyjamas on, shuffling to the off licence, the production version doesn’t have quite the same impact.

Still, it’s a good attempt, and certainly more visually interesting on the outside than the vast majority other small EVs on sale right now, including the Renault Zoe, Mini Electric and even BMW i3.

Inside the impact is no less dramatic. Most cars have a screen these days, but the Honda e has gone windmilling into Dixons on Black Friday and come back with the whole shop. There’s a screen for everything in there, and while it’s a bit 90s in overall design, you can’t accuse it of being boring. No sir.

Two of the screens somewhere in the middle handles the car’s infotainment system, plus there is a set of digital dials for the driver and another screen each side that display the digital door mirror images.

It’s not often that production cars look like their prototypes, and neither does the Honda e – quite. It’s a damn close attempt as they go, though.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Lots of screens then, but this isn’t a car designed for lots of people. A couple of adults will be fine in the front, but not in the back, although, of course, if you have two young children, they’ll be fine. The boot, though, is tiny – really only good enough for a weekend away, without folding the rear seats down.

The Honda e comes in two forms: the standard car with 136hp and a quicker Advance model with 154. Both, though, have the same motor and 35kWh battery and a modest range of 136 miles, although Honda reckons that’ll be more than enough if you live in a city.

Charging it from 10-80% with a rapid charger takes just 30 minutes, or via a typical 7kWh charger at home close to six hours. A full charge at home costs in the region of £5, saving you around £15 versus fueling the average petrol car over the same distance.

The trouble is, the Honda e is quite expensive to buy compared with other EVs of the same size. But, if you’re taken with the Honda e’s retro charm enough to forget its modest range and big price tag, head over to our Honda deals for the very best prices.

How practical is it?

This is a small car for urban driving so while a couple of adults in the front will be fine, a couple more in the back will not. The boot is small, too. 

You don’t buy a small car to cart people and luggage about all the time, but even by small car standards, the Honda e isn’t particularly practical.

Mat Watson
carwow expert
Boot (seats up)
171 litres
Boot (seats down)
861 litres

This isn’t a car designed for lots of people – in fact, there are only four seats in the Honda e. 

A couple of adults will be fine in the front and the driver gets a decent amount of seat adjustment, but in the back head and legroom is pretty tight. Of course, if you have two young children, they’ll be fine.

Storage space in the Honda e is average. The front doors each have a bin but they’re pretty shallow, and the glovebox is on the small side too. The centre console cubby is better, though and you’ll find a cupholder here too. 

Talking of cup holders, the rear armrests each have one integrated, but the rear doors don’t come with a bin to chuck stuff in.

The Honda e’s boot is certainly on the small side. At 171 litres, it is a good amount smaller than a Renault Zoe’s, and is only really good enough for a couple of carry-on cases plus an extra soft bag.

If you need to squeeze in more, you can flip down the Honda e’s rear seats to open up the space further. However, as with all small cars, don’t expect to be helping anybody to move house.

What's it like to drive?

The Honda e can be charged quickly and has punchy performance in town, but its range is poor compared with cheaper alternatives.

Drive mostly in town? Then the Honda e’s range won’t be much of a hindrance. If you often escape to the countryside, though, there are more convenient choices.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The Honda e comes in two forms: the standard car with 136hp and a quicker Advance model with 154. Both, though, have the same 35kWh battery and a modest range of 136 miles, although Honda reckons that’ll be more than enough if you live in a city. 

Charging it from 10-80% with a rapid charger takes just 30mins, or via a typical 7kWh charger at home close to six hours. A full charge at home will cost in the region of £5, saving you around £15 versus fueling the average petrol car over the same distance. 

The Honda e has been designed to excel in the city, and it’s good visibility and tight turning circle make it your best friend when parking and navigating through tight turns. The digital rearview camera located where you’d find the traditional mirror is a nice touch too.

It’s 136-mile range, is, well, not very good compared with the best small electric cars. For instance, the much cheaper Renault Zoe is more practical and will cover more than 200 miles on a full charge with ease.

However, Honda believes that as a car that’ll be used predominantly in town and can be charged so quickly, that won’t matter.

What's it like inside?

The Honda e is a bit like Piccadilly Circus inside – boring it isn’t. You can even plug in your console and play videogames. 

Next Read full interior review
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