Honda e Advance review
The new all-electric Honda e city car is cool, clever and full of character.
The Honda e is an electric compact hatchback with room for four occupants. With a one-charge range of 222km (WLTP), the Honda e can’t compete with the larger electric vehicles already on the market. However, its tech, connectivity and safety features put the Honda e almost in a class of its own.
Its sleek and minimalist exterior conceals a cosy and contemporary cabin that makes great use of space. There’s plenty of clever storage and whilst legroom is tight for back-seat passengers, headroom and shoulder room are good. The boot can hold 171 litres (yes, that is small), but with the seats folded flat, capacity increases to 861 litres.
How is it to drive?
The battery is housed in the middle of the car and there is a 50:50 weight distribution making the Honda e feel planted and balanced and there is good body control thanks to the independent suspension layout. The rear-wheel-drive setup aids agility and manoeuvrability, too (it has a tiny 4.3m turning circle), which is perfect for navigating small city streets.
The steering and pedals are well-weighted and, unlike many electric vehicles, there is a good bit of engagement and a feeling of being connected to the car.
Outside urban confines, the Honda e can hold its own and keep up with traffic without a problem. Overtaking is a swift affair, especially with the instant-torque electric motor kick.
To sum up, the Honda e is fun to drive.
When is it coming to Ireland?
The Honda e goes on sale in Summer 2020 and will be available in standard and Advance guises. Both models get the same 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery, with the standard version featuring a 136hp motor, while the Advance gets 154hp. As standard, it comes laden with tech and safety systems, including the Side Camera Mirror System, heated front seats, a reversing camera, panoramic glass roof panel, privacy glass and LED headlights. The e Advance gets the option of 16- or 17-inch wheels. However, choosing the latter reduces the official range by 12km. The Advance also gets a more powerful audio system, extra safety features and the Parking Pilot system, which means that the car essentially parks itself.
Any juicy technology?
The cabin is festooned with screens. There are two six-inch camera screens at either side replacing traditional wing mirrors for a start - they take moments to get used to and have a better field of view than regular mirrors. There is also an 8.8-inch driver’s display and two 12.3-inch touchscreens that can be used independently. When it comes to connectivity the Honda e has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (you can have your phone displayed on one screen and something else on the other) and there are plenty of USB ports, a three-pin plug and even an HDMI port.
The Honda e impresses with its neat design and nifty features. What it lacks in range it makes up for in all other areas. It is an ideal urban vehicle but can hold it owns when venturing out beyond the city limits. Priced right, Honda might just hit the bullseye with its first-ever electric car for the masses.