Honda e Review 2023
Honda e At A Glance
Honda has a reputation for being sensible. So, when the Japanese brand confirmed the Honda e electric car would enter production almost unchanged from its concept form, it created a stir. However, newer and cheaper rivals such as the Fiat 500 Electric and the popular Vauxhall Corsa Electric make it a harder sell today. It also has competition in the style stakes from the MINI Electric. Read on for our full Honda e review.
However, the passage of time has seen its price balloon, so it now begins at more than £37,000. That is a lot of money for a small car, even one with funky styling and an electric powertrain.
Also, while its price is big, the Honda e’s electric range is small. A 35.5kWh battery pack powers the rear-mounted electric motor, and offers an official range of just 131 miles on the larger 17-inch wheels.
Go for the smaller 16-inch alloys and you can eke out 137 miles from a full charge according to official figures.
In reality, this figure is likely to be closer to just 100 miles before the Honda e needs recharging. Using a 50kWh fast charger will see 80% of the battery capacity replenished in 31 minutes.
Although this real-world range will be more than sufficient for most daily commutes, such a low capacity will not help anyone with range anxiety who is thinking of taking the plunge. This is a shame, as the Honda e boasts strong performance, plus a handling balance that is genuinely engaging.
The Honda e’s interior is just as retro as its exterior, with grey cloth upholstery and wood-effect trim. Such a light and airy cabin cannot disguise the lack of space in the rear, however, or the compact boot, which has a capacity of only 171 litres.
Compared with some small electric cars, the finish of the Honda e’s cabin is far better quality, and this does go some way to justifying the premium price tag.
Furthering the retro futuristic image is a dashboard that features a total of five different cameras. There are two screens for the rear view cameras and one for the digital dashboard, plus a pair of 12.3-inch touchscreens for infotainment.
Multiple apps can be operated at the same time on the two display screens – and swapped over to allow the passenger to control the standard satellite navigation, for example.
There is even an HDMI port included, allowing video streaming or video games to be played while the Honda e charges.
Most Honda cars prioritise the head over the heart. It makes the Honda e something of an anomaly in the range, given its limited practicality, small range and large price tag.
Instead, this is an electric car packed with charm inside and out. Add in the strong performance and surprisingly engaging driving experience, and the Honda e is an electric car to buy because you love the idea of it.
On paper, though, it is much harder to recommend compared with cheaper and more usable electric cars.
Fancy a second opinion? Read heycar's Honda e review.