Ad closing in a few seconds...

Super-cool electric city car gives Renault Zoe something to think about

Honda e Hatchback Review Video
Enlarge 1 videos Enlarge 12 photos

PROS

  • Cute and chic design
  • Well-built and clever interior
  • Easy to park and drive in town

CONS

  • More expensive than the Renault Zoe
  • And a more limited battery range 
  • Expect limited supplies at launch

PROS

  • Cute and chic design
  • Well-built and clever interior
  • Easy to park and drive in town

CONS

  • More expensive than the Renault Zoe
  • And a more limited battery range 
  • Expect limited supplies at launch

The Honda e has been knocking around for a little while now, debuting as the Urban EV in 2017, then the e Prototype earlier in 2019. Finally, the produciton version of the electric supermini debuted at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2019, differing very little from the e Prototype. 

The concept car’s retro design has been carried over to the production version largely unchanged, with the addition of two extra doors being the biggest departure. Built on a dedicated platform, the Honda e will also feature a rear-wheel drive configuration, charging ports in the bonnet and an all-electric range of around 136 miles.

We've driven a prototype version and you can read all about it in the Engines section of this review.

Honda doesn't see this car as a natural rival to existing electric city cars such as the Volkswagen e-Up and Renault Zoe as there's far more tech packed inside. But if you're after a city car that runs on batteries, it's likely that they'll end up on your shopping list, along with the likes of the MINI Electric. It's good news then, that it matches up to the MINI in terms of pricing, starting at just over £26,000 which is where the Renault Zoe tops out.

2020 Honda e

Lovable concept-car styling

The good news is that many of the concept’s visual delights, that made the Urban EV the star of the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, are present and correct on the version you can order from September 2019. 

Honda’s been building cars long enough now to have curated a back catalogue of distinctive models, and it’s one of these – the Honda N – which has inspired the e’s looks. The key word here is ‘inspired’, because the Honda e is unashamedly modern, not a retro-pastiche in the manner of the Fiat 500.

2019 Honda e interior

Although the production version’s stance isn’t quite as dramatic – given that it’s a tad curvier, taller and with smaller wheels (16-inch standard, 17-inch optional), it does have broadly the same silhouette that was so well received on the original concept.

We've only driven a prototype model, but for production, Honda's only made two changes to the e. They are the removal of the illuminated grille badge - sadly, such items are illegal in the UK - and the side skirts, which no longer bear the legend of 'Honda Design'.

136-mile range and quick charging

The Honda e promises a WLTP range of up to 136 miles. The 36kWh Panasonic battery pack stowed under the floor can be topped up to 80% capacity in 30 minutes using a rapid charger.

Placing the charging port in the bonnet (instead of on the side) also means that the e doesn’t have to be manufactured differently depending on left- and right-hand drive markets.

Honda will also offer a pair of power outputs, with buyers able to choose between 136hp and 154hp versions of the e. The former is simply called the Honda e, while the latter is the Honda e Advance. The entry-level car uses a 100kW electric motor, while the Advance model uses a 113kW for that nippier response. 

2020 Honda e

How much does the Honda e cost?

The Honda e starts at £26,160, while the Advance model is bumped up to £28,660 due to its higher-output motor and longer kit list, including a Centre Mirror System and Side Camera Mirror System, Honda parking pilot and a premium stereo upgrade. The list prices include the £3,500 plug-in car grant. 

Only the Honda e Advance is available to order in Septemer 2019, while the regular model is orderable from early 2020. Deliveries are expected in summer 2020. 

If you prefer to pay on PCP finance, Honda is quoting £299 per month for the entry Honda e when a 23% deposit is put down on the car (£5887), with an 8,000-mile annual limit 37-month contract. 

Bookmark this page to ensure you’re up-to-date with all the latest news and information about the Honda e

Find out more about all electric cars here