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New Honda e:Ny1 vs used Volvo XC40 Recharge

For the eco-conscious family, an electric SUV can be an enticing prospect, but should they splash out on a new e:Ny1 or go for a used, similarly priced XC40 Recharge?...

New Honda e:Ny1 vs used Volvo XC40 Recharge

The contenders

NEW Honda e:Ny1 Advance 

List price £47,195
Target Price £45,495

Honda’s second fully electric car is a much more practical SUV with an official range of 256 miles

USED Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin AWD Ultimate 

Price new £60,300
Price used £47,000*

The range-topping version of Volvo’s electric SUV packs lots of power and a longer official range than the e:Ny1; it’s a tempting used buy

*Price used is based on a 2022 model with average mileage and a full service history and is correct at the time of writing

Sequels have a hard time living up to their respective originals, but that's usually because they're following up a masterpiece. In the case of the Honda e:Ny1, the bar wasn't exactly high: this is the brand's second electric car after the rather disappointing Honda E. With its lacklustre practicality, short range and high price tag, the E was the car equivalent of a stylish but ultimately shallow summer flick.  

Straight away, the e:Ny1 improves upon its predecessor in a couple of ways – it's a larger, roomier car – an SUV – and it has a range that's almost double the E’s.

Honda e:Ny1 front cornering

However, price remains a point of contention. You need at least £44,995 to buy an e:Ny1, or £47,195 – £45,495 via our Target Price – for the Advance trim we have here. That puts it in the crosshairs of some tempting, more upmarket alternatives, especially used ones. For example, you could buy a two-year-old Volvo XC40 Recharge in high-end Ultimate trim for similar cash.

The e:Ny1 won’t have an easy time taking on such a car, but, if it can win, it'll be worth a place on your shortlist.


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

With a single electric motor driving the front wheels and producing 201bhp, the e:Ny1 feels far from slow, accelerating from 0-60mph in a spirited 7.2sec. However, it’s up against the twin-motor, four-wheel-drive version of the XC40 Recharge, which has a thumping 402bhp at its disposal. Sprinting to 0-60mph in just 4.6sec, the XC40 delivers a mighty punch that the e:Ny1 can’t come close to matching.

Volvo XC40 Recharge front cornering

The XC40 isn’t just impressive off the line, either. It handles quite well for a heavy electric SUV, with plenty of grip, precise steering and taut suspension that keeps body lean to a minimum. While sporty handling isn’t the XC40’s main selling point, you can be confident that it won’t lose its composure easily.

The e:Ny1's suspension is also relatively firm and the model handles capably enough to satisfy most buyers’ needs. It lacks some of the XC40’s dynamic polish, though; there’s a bit more body lean through corners and the steering can feel rubbery at times. On the other hand, being smaller and almost half a tonne lighter, the e:Ny1 feels noticeably more agile around slow, tight bends.

Honda e:Ny1 rear cornering

The trade-off for our contenders’ suspension set-ups is that they don’t have particularly cushy rides. However, they’re far from uncomfortable. The e:Ny1 deals with low-speed bumps with a little more ease (and with less of a thud from the suspension) than its rival does, but things soon swing in the XC40’s favour as you go faster. At motorway speeds, the XC40 is compliant and controlled, only getting upset by substantial bumps, whereas the e:Ny1 tends to fidget more over poorly repaired surfaces.

Although there’s very little wind noise at motorway speeds in the e:Ny1, it doesn’t suppress the whine from its electric motor as much as you’d hope (at any speed), whereas you rarely hear the XC40’s motors running. The XC40 generates slightly more wind noise around the door mirrors but suppresses road noise better, so it ’s a tad quieter overall.

Volvo XC40 Recharge rear cornering

In our real-world test (in temperatures of around 12deg C), the e:Ny1’s efficiency of 2.8 miles/kWh gave it a theoretical real-world range of 173 miles, compared with an official range of 256 miles. Although the XC40 proved fractionally less efficient in the same conditions (2.7 miles/kWh), its larger, 75kWh (usable) battery allowed it to cover 203 miles (versus 270 miles officially) between charges.

It’s worth noting that newer Twin AWDs come with a larger (79kWh) battery that yields a 334-mile official range; you can find used examples for similar money to our car. 

Next: What are they like inside? >>

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