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Honda e

The independent definitive Honda e video review
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    E BY BRUM (some text hidden) SECTIONED_new_hondae_2020

    By Jonathan Crouch

    The Honda e redefines what a full-electric city car can be. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 59

    Electric cars are all very worthy but, by and large, they tend to lack any kind of 'want one' factor. Here's one though, that you might really covet - the Honda e. Because it's very small and doesn't go particularly far on a single charge, it's very much an urban town runabout. But what a cool one to have.

    Backgroundword count: 88

    What should a city-based full-electric urban runabout really be if an element of desirability as well as efficiency is called for? Something like the Honda e? We can see why you might think so. The Japanese brand believes that EV makers have been producing boring, pricey products with expensive technology delivering extended range that city folk don't actually really need. Which explains why the Honda e restricts the size of both its battery and the resulting driving range. There are many compensations though, as we're about to see...

    Driving Experienceword count: 329

    Almost everything about this car is different - including the way it's been engineered. Drive is from the back not the front. There's a DC electric motor, not an AC one. And it sits under the boot floor, not under the bonnet. Even the wheels are of contrary design - the rims are staggered in width, like they are on Honda's NSX supercar, half an inch narrower at the front at the rear. In keeping with that, there's the kind of perfect dynamic 50:50 weight distribution that's foreign to most other EVs. All of this we think you'll like - even the curious electric motor placement, which decimates boot space but makes possible a tiny London taxi-like 4.3-metre turning radius. The differentiation point we think you'll be less happy with is Honda's decision to go against the grain when it comes to battery size and not to prioritise here the thing that most EV customers prioritise; driving range. You can't give a car like this a heavy all-steel structure and a resulting one and a half tonne kerb weight, then give it a little 35.5 kWh battery and expect it to go it to go very far on a single charge - and it doesn't. The official WLTP figure is up to 137 miles - but real world? You get sweaty palms just trying to reach three figures Still, there are lots of compensations. Light, quick steering, great cornering body control, a brilliantly supple quality of ride thanks to the all-independent suspension and the novelty of Honda's 'Side Mirror Camera System', which replaces conventional door mirrors with 6-inch colour screens that sit at either end of the dash. Switch out of the 'Normal' drive mode into the alternative 'Sport' setting that further decimates the range and there's an appropriate bit of zip to go with all of this - especially up to 30mph, courtesy of a 154PS electric motor (now the only one available), which makes 60mph in 8.3s.

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    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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