Honda e Review 2024

Honda e At A Glance

3/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Honda e is a radical-looking electric car that comes packed with technology. A high price and a small battery range are likely to limit its appeal for many people, though.

+Standout retro-futuristic styling. Dramatic multi-screen interior looks great and works well. Fun to drive.

-Price increases have made it very expensive to buy new. Limited battery range. Tiny boot capacity.

Insurance Group 25

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.

When first launched, the Honda e was sold for less than £27,000 in the UK, making it not cheap but still in the ballpark for a small electric car.

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.

Ask Honest John

What EV charging networks should I sign up to?

"We’ve just taken delivery of the new Honda e. We have a home charger which gives us the range we need in London, but I need to think about charging it when out and about in the south east and further afield. Can you advise what networks we should sign up to?"
The Polar Plus network is a good start. It provides access to more than 7000 public chargers for £7.85 a month. You can have a free trial for three months, too, to decide how useful it is for your needs. It's also worth signing up to Ecotricity's Electric Highway if you're planning to drive on longer motorway journeys.
Answered by Andrew Brady

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
More Questions

What does a Honda e cost?