Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Even if you love the looks, don’t give two hoots about practicality and can live with a small range between charges, there’s still something that might put you off: the price. It would be easier to forgive the Honda E’s flaws were it priced in line with the Seat Mii Electric and Volkswagen e-Up, or perhaps even slightly above those cars. Instead, it costs more than entry-level versions of the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208 and Mini Electric.
Given that the Zoe and e-208 are larger cars with much longer ranges between charges, and the Mini Electric has a plusher interior and a more user-friendly infotainment system, it’s clear that the only reasons for choosing the Honda E are subjective ones. And that’s absolutely fine as long as you know that you're turning your nose up at other electric cars that offer more for less.
More positively, PCP finance deals are relatively competitive, no doubt helped by the fact the Honda E is predicted to depreciate slowly. And, as with most electric cars, you’ll get a grant from the government to make the price look slightly more palatable compared with petrol alternatives.
There are two trim levels, named simply Honda E and Honda E Advance. Both give you a decent amount of equipment, with Advance adding luxuries such as a heated steering wheel, a self-parking system and heated front seats, along with the more powerful electric motor we mentioned earlier. But we’d stick with the entry-level trim to keep the price more reasonable.
Both versions come with an impressive amount of safety equipment, including automatic emergency braking (AEB) – a feature that isn’t currently offered on the Zoe or Mii Electric. However, as yet, the Honda E hasn’t been crash tested by safety experts Euro NCAP.
The 35.5kWh battery takes 36min to charge from 10-80% if you're plugged into a 50kW CCS public charger, and while you can use a more powerful 100kW charging point, the time won’t reduce because the E can’t accept any more than 35kW.
Plug into a 7kW home wallbox and a 0-100% charge will take around 5hr 15min, or if you get caught short and have to use a three-pin domestic plug, a full charge will take around 15 hours.
Honda has a pretty good record when it comes to reliability, finishing 10th out of 31 manufacturers in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. The E is covered by a three-year, 90,000-mile warranty, with the battery covered by a separate eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty with a guarantee that it will retain at least 70% of its original capacity during that time.
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