Honda E long-term test: report 5

There's a lot to like about the Honda E, but can you live with the short range in the real world? We're running one to find out...

Honda E side

The car Honda E Advance Run by Mark Tisshaw, special contributor

Why it’s here To see if you really need the extra range offered by rivals day to day, and to see how the E manages on longer journeys when charging stops are required.

Needs to Be quick to charge so disruption is minimised on longer journeys, and offer something a little special to justify its high price.

Mileage 2524 List price £32,660 (before £3000 gov't grant) Target Price £32,660 Price as tested £32,710 Test range 95 miles Official range 125 miles

14 December 2020 – Game for anything

If you’d have told 10-year-old me that I’d end up becoming a journalist, I’d have guessed video games were going to be my speciality. It wasn’t that I spent all my time on a PlayStation; I just really loved magazines on the subject, even more so than the games themselves. Which is a bit like enjoying reading What Car? more than driving, I suppose.

Anyway, 11 years after first going down the car route, the kid in me has an article he can get his head around, because my Honda E has a rather nifty/gimmicky/brilliant/pointless feature in its ability to run a games console.

Plug the console into the car’s three-pin socket for power, then connect it to the passenger-side infotainment touchscreen through the HDMI port, and you can play the likes of Destruction Derby to your heart’s content, sound blaring through the speakers and all.

LT Honda E with games console connected

It does, however, beg the question as to why. So I asked a nice man from Honda, who replied: “Why not?”, clearly flummoxed by my hard-hitting level of journalistic questioning. Fortunately, he then went onto explain that it stemmed from the decision to provide a three-pin socket; you really can plug any electrical device into it, opening up the opportunity for you to use the car’s battery to power far more than just the car itself.

If you’re out camping, for example, and want to plug in your hairdryer, have a power cut in your home and want to fire up the microwave or are a journalist stuck in a lay-by with a dead laptop and a missed deadline for a story that’s stored on it, the Honda E can give the gift of power back to you.

The E is still giving plenty as a car to drive, too. A few months in, I’m now so used to the rear-view camera displays that going back to using door mirrors when I drive my other half’s Ford Fiesta feels strange. I prefer the cameras, because your field of vision is increased and the displays are just so clear.

I’ve also started experimenting with the regenerative braking, which puts energy back into the battery when you lift off the accelerator, and which you can turn on and off using a button on the centre tunnel. It’s a bit too aggressive for my liking, and even under acceleration you can feel the pedal pushing back at you.

LT Honda E steering wheel paddle

I prefer to leave it off, then, and instead recoup energy in small doses by using the paddles on the back of the steering wheel that increase or decrease the regenerative braking effect for a few seconds. Doing this as you approach a junction almost feels like you’re going down through the gears as you would in a ‘normal car’.

The range has gone down with the cooler weather, mind. It was around 115 miles, but now it’s more like 95 miles, which correlates to the drop in efficiency from four miles per kWh to 3.4miles per kWh now. Fortunately, this isn’t limiting the Honda E’s usefulness to me, because in this somewhat life-changing period I do mostly smaller, local journeys as opposed to longer commutes.

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