Honda E (2020) Review

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Honda E (2020) At A Glance

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.

Looking for a Honda E (2020 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

ASK HJ

When will the Honda Jazz review be available?
When will you be road testing and reviewing the 2020 Honda Jazz hybrid models and the Honda E? They are available in Honda showrooms but we can't test drive in Wales due to COVID-19 restrictions. There appears to be no real life experience test reviews on these models available to the public at the moment.
We've covered the Honda E here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/honda/e-2019/ We've driven the new Honda Jazz this week. Reviews will be appearing from next week.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is an EV the best choice for a second car?
I want to replace our Smart Fortwo with as small a car as possible but that still seats four. As it's only a shopping car, we are looking at the Renault Zoe, but my car having been a faultless series of Civics I am worried by the reliability feedback on the Renault. The most important thing for me on our potholed roads is a comfortable and quiet ride. If less than 1000 miles a year is not worth it for electric, what are the best riding small city cars to look at? Cost is not the first priority on something we may keep for 10 years?
If cost isn't a major issue and you can charge a car at home, an electric car might make a lot of sense. They don't have as many moving parts as a petrol or diesel, so require less maintenance. I'd recommend the new Skoda Citigo-e iV. Or you could wait for the excellent new Honda E, but it's a bit more expensive...
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is there still a Government grant if you're buying an electric car?
The Government will apparently pay up to 35% of the total cost of EVs and PHEVs but reading up and trying to do my homework on government grants etc they only pay up to £3500 towards it which I feel is misleading. They have already reduced the grant pot from 2018 and if this takes off there will be no grants left. Will EV owners get a grant to pay for some of their energy bill? Or will the government offer to do this in the future as I'm on low income but I promised myself if the cost per litre fuel was to hit £1.50 I would go EV.
The Government's plug-in car grant provides a maximum of £3500 off the list price of a new electric car. Manufacturers usually include this when quoting prices for new electric cars - so, for example, the Citigo's £16,955 start price includes the grant. You can also get a grant of 75 per cent towards a charge point. If most of your journeys are short, a full EV makes a lot of sense. I've just been driving the new Honda E - look out for our review on the site next week.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Our journeys are mostly 10 miles or less - should we go for an electric car?
We are satisfied Honda Jazz owners for 17 years but are thinking of going electric to help the environment. Nowadays our journeys are mostly 10 miles or less but occasionally over hundred miles. D we choose a plug-in hybrid or an EV or neither?
If you can charge a car at home, it sounds like an electric vehicle would suit you well. Consider the Hyundai Kona Electric, the new Honda E or Peugeot e-208.
Answered by Andrew Brady

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