The Honda e at a glance
A real city hero thanks to the small turning circle
Volkswagen has the slogan: “Das Auto”, unfortunately already used for its advertising purposes. Otherwise it would also be a good headline for the Honda e Advanced test. In short: this is how e-mobility works for the city! 154 rear-wheel drive horsepower (or 113 kW) that is a lot of fun, a tiny turning circle of just over nine meters, which allows a 180-degree turn when stationary and of course this interior (combined power consumption: 17.8 kWh / 100 km ; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g / km²; WLTP range: 210 kilometers).
Comfortable seats, airy interior
Decent materials, neat workmanship and a huge display landscape meet my 13-year-old self and inspire it right away – but more on that later. The interior design in the Honda e is cozy and airy, although the small car is only 3.89 meters in length. The fabric seats are very comfortable and even offer some lateral support for quick maneuvers in local roundabouts.
Limited trunk, little payload
The lack of a central tunnel means that there is ample freedom of movement at the front, but the knees can easily reach the seat heating switches and activate them. Certainly not always pleasant in summer. Due to the design, the second row is closer to the point, but there is still room for children. What can not be said of the weekly shopping. Only 171 liters fit in the trunk, the maximum payload of the Honda e is a rather modest 275 kilograms.
Honda e scores with many details
Otherwise, it’s the details that catch the eye. The ceiling spots at the back, for example, or the pocket for the smartphone at the front. You can also pull a cup holder out of the recess in the center console using a leather loop. All of this looks very well thought out and turns the smallest hut into a big house. Honda also shows greatness with the all-determining display landscape with two screens in 12.3-inch format.
Operation not always easy
It is so finely integrated into the cockpit that one may wonder why other car manufacturers didn’t do it earlier? Maybe it is due to the sometimes mixed service. Because some functions are extended over both display fields and cannot be swapped in the direction of the driver’s side, which leads to long operating distances. After all, the Honda system allows the menu fields to be configured very individually.
With the HDMI connection to the cinema
Typically for Japanese cars, however, the graphic preparation is saved. No question about it: the user interface of the Honda e is modern. In its presentation, however, it is sometimes reminiscent of the graphics performance of a Nintendo 64. Or that of a PlayStation, where we go back to my 13-year-old self.
As an adolescent, I would have been delighted to be able to connect a game console or a pocket computer like a Rasperry Pi to my parents’ car via an HDMI cable. The necessary electricity is supplied by a standard household 230-volt socket in the middle of the footwell.
Convincing driving performance
Not only does it look cool, videos and games also sound really good thanks to the 376 watt surround sound system. At the same time, the integration of the screens for the virtual exterior mirrors, which, unlike the Audi e-tron, were mounted at eye level, deserves praise. But the Honda e can drive too, right?
And how! The 113 kW / 154 PS and 315 Nm torque of the more powerful Advanced version (the normal Honda e has an output of 100 kW / 136 PS) get down to business and accelerate the dwarf from zero to 100 km / h in just 8.3 seconds, limited is surprised at a speed of 145. The greed for curves, the chassis is harmoniously tuned and the steering, although very smooth, does its job well.
Insufficient range in winter
Much more important than acceleration values for me is the fact that even the ESP can be deactivated by simply pressing a button. Give me the Honda e and an empty parking lot in winter … Back to the serious side of life and range. Thanks to the gross battery of just 35.5 kWh, it is officially 210 kilometers according to WLTP. It’s hardly realistic.
As with the Mazda MX-30 (combined power consumption: 19.0 kWh / 100 km; CO2 emissions: 0 g / km²), which has a battery of the same size, the operating range drops to less than 130 kilometers in cold temperatures. In spring-like temperatures without air conditioning, however, consumption was reduced to a pleasing 16 to 19 kWh per 100 kilometers, which in purely mathematical terms enables a range of 180 kilometers. In winter operation with heating, on the other hand, I would estimate between 25 and 30 kWh per 100 kilometers.
Charging with up to 56 kW
The Honda e can be filled with up to 56 kW on the DC fast charger, which increases the battery from almost empty to around 80 percent in a good 30 minutes. The city runabout, on the other hand, can only charge single-phase with 6.6 kW at public alternating current columns, which means that the charging process takes correspondingly longer. The central charging socket on the bonnet, which is surprisingly easy to reach, should be positively emphasized at this point.
Small, agile and well equipped. The Honda e is a smart city car for all those who want more than a boring companion from A to B. Its harmonious coordination makes it actually suitable for longer journeys, which the small battery prevents. With a base price of 38,000 euros for the more powerful Honda e Advanced, it appeals primarily to enthusiasts. Because for less money, Korean car manufacturers already have e-cars with a longer range and significantly more space. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)