The interior layout, fit and finish
The first thing you’ll notice inside the Honda e is that it has more screens than a computer hacker’s bedroom. An 8.8in screen serves as the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, displaying your speed and remaining range, and this is joined to two 12.3in infotainment touchscreens that stretch out across the width of the dashboard.
This array is flanked on both sides by 6.0in screens that display a live feed from the futuristic camera “door mirrors”. These take a bit of getting used to, but you can adjust the cameras to suit your driving position, and the screens are overlaid with useful guidelines to help you judge how far away you are from other cars when you indicate. Just in case you don’t think there are enough screens already, the rear-view "mirror" in the Advance model can also display a live camera feed from directly behind the car.
Overall, the screens help the interior look sleek, über-modern and perhaps a little bit like a Currys' window display, so it's a shame that usability appears to have been something of an afterthought. The touchscreens don’t respond to prods in the instantaneous way you’d hope, the operating system isn't very intuitive and the screen graphics are a rather fuzzy. At least the air-conditioning controls are pleasingly simple; the E's physical buttons and dials make it a doddle to adjust the temperate while you're driving.
There are also couple of quirky features to help keep you occupied, should you be waiting for the battery to charge. You can, for example, turn the two touchscreens into one giant aquarium and watch virtual fish swimming around. Or you can use the HDMI port to plug-in a Google Chromecast or even a video games console. There are also USB ports aplenty.
The driving position is fundamentally very good, with excellent adjustability in the driver’s seat and steering wheel. If you're tall you might find the seat bases a little short, but that's our only real gripe, and all-round visibility is better than in most rivals.
Interior quality is also mostly impressive, with plenty of high-quality fabrics and a real feeling of solidity. The wood-effect face on the dashboard is about as convincing as a Dick Van Dyke Cockney accent, but overall the Honda E feels more upmarket inside than a Seat Mii Electric. If you want a really plush interior in your small electric car, though, the Mini Electric and Peugeot e-208 are a step up again.
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