Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • A huge departure for Honda’s production cars
  • Dashboard dominated by large infotainment screens
  • But there’s a calm and comfortable feel overall

The Honda e’s cabin is, for want of a better word, just lovely. There are tons of really nice touches, from the fake-yet-pleasing wood grain on the dash to the ample LED lighting to the chunky, retro, two-spoke wheel. Warm grey fabric dominates, and there’s an overall light and airy feel. Top marks for Honda here.

This may only be a city car, but Honda hasn’t held back with the amount of tech. The first thing you’ll notice (you can’t fail to notice) are the screens spread the width of the dashboard. Perched neatly on top with a nice wood-effect ‘shelf’, there’s a combination of one TFT display in front of the steering wheel, plus two 12.3-inch screens controlling all the main functions like radio and navigation. One sits in the middle, the other in front of the passenger. Flanking these are displays showing the image from the rear-view side cameras.

2020 Honda e interior

According to Honda, the system not only improves usability but also reduces overall wind resistance, thus helping to improve efficiency – as do the door handles that sit flush to the bodywork of the car – just like on the Range Rover Evoque.

As with many digital dial setups, the one in the e displays all trip computer functions, efficiency information and a neat readout that shows you driving along the road, with animations to the car when you brake, indicate and come across other vehicles. It’s very similar to the display you get in a Tesla in this sense.

The main infotainment screen in the middle is large and crisp, without being over-complicated. The large tiles are easy to poke and prod on the move, and functions like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available if you prefer. The best bit is that you can send what’s on this main display across to the one in front of the passenger, and vice versa. This is useful if you have sat-nav instructions on the go, but want to fiddle with any other systems.

It’s remarkably intuitive, but there are also some nice personal touches to change the wallpaper and even set it up to look like an aquarium across the screens. Distracting? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely. It’s a huge departure from Honda in terms of its infotainment systems, and one that’s very pleasing to see.

2020 Honda e dashboard

It’s also very pleasing to report that quality appears to be an improvement on existing Hondas. The materials feel solid and high-quality, for the most part. There’s a couple of areas where you’ll find iffy plastics (the surround for the side camera displays looks a bit old-school video player), but on the whole it does enough to justify its price.

Even if the e is a small city car, there’s a feeling of space inside due to good visibility all round. It also features camera side mirrors as standard, with small screens embedded into the dashboard. The system is actually quite intuitive, with smooth video feeds with wide views allowing for quick glances. The rear view mirror is also fully digital, but the screen resolution is less crisp, meaning you have to refocus your eyes to look at it properly. It’s also prone to rain and spray completely misting up the view, however you can switch it back to being a normal mirror if you prefer.

Is it comfortable?

  • Honda calls the interior ‘lounge-like’
  • Impressively comfortable seats
  • Refined in both ride and noise

Those nice-looking seats are comfortable, if a little lacking in side support (only really noticeable when you’re doing something like going round a roundabout). The rest of the time you feel relaxed and comfy because of the combination of roominess and accommodating seats. Plus, those screens don’t glare too much so it’s all very calming.

Refinement is pretty good as well. Despite its slightly boxy shape, the e appears aerodynamically sound without too much blustering around the windows. And, thanks to a lack of door mirrors, there isn’t noise coming from those either. The upgraded sound system on the Advance models also does a fine job of drowning out any other noises.