Living with the Honda E

In Car Reviews, Electric cars, Honda by Kieran Bicknell

Fall in love every day with the highly likeable Honda e

Frosty winter mornings have a way of ruining your day right from the moment you roll out of bed. It’s cold, dark and everything just feels a bit ‘bleugh.’ Even freshly-made coffee can’t cheer up this Monday morning, but then you look outside and see the cheeky little face of the Honda e staring at you like an eager dog.

Suddenly, everything seems just that little bit better. You pre-heat this electric car before stepping out the front door via the key fob, knowing that the moment you set foot in its futuristic cabin the world will be toasty and warm once again, like having a duvet on four wheels.

Of course, upon turning on the Honda e you realise your range is significantly below 100 miles even with a near-full charge due to the cold weather, but you forgive it and everything is right in the world once again. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect metaphor for the Honda e.

It’s fun, cheeky, and cheerful, yet flawed in places. But it’s all OK, you forgive it for its strange quirks and mistakes, as it simply makes the world a fun place again.

Shut yourself in the lounge-inspired cabin and everything is right with the world. You forget all about the global parademic crisis or the fact that Brexit is going to the dogs, and driving becomes fun, all over again.

Switch the e into ‘sport’ mode, find a flowing B-road and enjoy. The 50:50 weight distribution, low centre-of-gravity and RWD platform make such roads an absolute joy, so long as you know that you can make it home again afterwards. City driving is also far more fun than in a conventional car, partly thanks to the gearing being optimised for a 0-30 dash making every stoplight a game of ‘traffic light GP’ but also because the interior of the e is a wonderful place to spend time.

And, given that the Honda e is designed for dense, urban environments (meaning it is going to spend a lot of time in traffic) I’m very happy to report that even after hours on end in the car, the appeal and comfort of the interior don’t diminish.

Did I still love it though? Of course, I did – how could you not? Real-World Author rating: 4/5

When driving a car on a press launch, it’s a very ‘sterile’ environment. Routes are pre-planned to showcase the strengths of the car in question, while elements such as practicality, load-lugging capacity and day-to-day issues are a mere afterthought. However, living with a car such as the Honda e does expose those issues in day-to-day life, and sadly the e isn’t exempt.

The boot space, to start with, is tiny. I flagged this as a concern back on the media day, and unfortunately my concern was well-placed. With both sets of charging cables in the boot, you can just about fit two big bags of shopping, but even with only one cable in the boot and the other safely stowed away at home, I had to ‘overflow’ my weeks’ shop onto the rear seats – not ideal.

Then there’s the elephant in the room – the range. On the media day, I did three hours of driving with no dramas at all, however, I discovered very quickly during my time with the Honda that it hates motorways. I barely managed to get over 80 miles during the two weeks I had with the car, though I’ll admit it was due to the cold weather putting a dampener on the already fairly small range.

As much as I wanted to get to the end of my time with the Honda e and proudly proclaim that you don’t need a driveway (or on-street charging outside your house) to make the most of the car, in all honesty, you really do need it here.

I have no doubt that with overnight charges and mostly urban driving, the Honda e is one of the standout cars from 2020, but for me (living in the country, no driveway, local chargers only) it simply didn’t work on a practical level.

The Honda e as tested was priced at £29,710

Kieran Bicknell

Motoring writer

Kieran Bicknell offers his fresh take on car reviews by making the most of his dynamic, yet detailed approach to writing. Having graduated from university with a BA (Hons) in Photography and spending a number of years as a freelance automotive photographer. Kieran is now putting his knowledge and writing skills to use, with the ability to supply both written articles and imagery. Kieran feels at home in anything from small superminis to the latest SUVs, and relishes the opportunity to drive, photograph and write about anything with four wheels.