The interior layout, fit and finish
The first thing you’ll notice inside the Honda E is that it has more screens than a hacker’s bedroom. An 8.8in screen serves as the instrument cluster, and this is joined to two 12.3in infotainment touchscreens that stretch out along the width of the dash. This array is flanked either side by two 6.0in screens that display a live feed from the futuristic camera “door mirrors”. The latter take a bit of getting used to, but are adjustable, and even offer useful guidelines to help you judge how far away cars are from you when you indicate. The quality of screen resolution could be a little better, though. Just in case you don’t feel like you have enough screens, the rear view mirror of Advance models can double up as a rear-view camera display.
Overall, this all looks sleek, cool, unique, and a bit like the January sales at Currys, but the infotainment features are subject to the same annoyances that blight the systems of other Honda models. The touchscreens don’t respond to prods in the instantaneous way you’d hope, the interface menus are confusingly laid out, and the graphics aren’t as crisp as those of the best touchscreen systems. At least the climate controls remain simple, with physical buttons and dials making them intuitive to use on the move.
There are a couple of quirky features up the Honda E’s sleeve, too, to help keep you occupied should you be waiting for the battery to charge. For instance, you can watch an animated aquarium on the infotainment screen. Quite innovative, too, is the provision of an HDMI port, into which you can plug a Google Chromecast or even a video games console. There are also USB ports aplenty.
The driving position is good, although tall drivers may find the seat bases a little short and not offering brilliant support for long legs. There’s great adjustability in the driver’s seat and steering wheel, and visibility out the back is fine, too.
The material quality is mostly impressive, particularly the soft seat fabric, and the wooden finish on the dash is tasteful rather than tacky, but some of the plastics for the buttons feel on the cheap side. Overall, the Honda E is on a par with the Renault Zoe for interior quality, and has a significantly higher wow-factor than the Seat Mii Electric’s more spartan interior.