Honda e Advance

Honda e, 2021, front
Honda e, 2021, side
Honda e, 2021, rear
Honda e, 2021, interior
Honda e, 2021, display screen
Honda e, 2021, charging

THE Honda e is the Japanese brand's first electric car for European markets and depending on your point of view it either looks strange, cute, quirky or cool.

There is no getting away from the fact that it looks different and one of my friends even commented that it looked like a cartoon car.

It certainly makes an impression and this continues inside because the cabin is dominated by an infotainment screen that spans the full width of the dash.

It comprises an 8.8-inch TFT panel in front of the driver showing data such as speed and efficiency, while two 12.3-inch touchscreens make up the main infotainment display.

And if that is not enough consider that there are five screens in total, with two six-inch displays at either side of the dash showing the picture from the door-mounted cameras that replace conventional wing mirrors. They work extremely well and get passengers talking.

The infotainment is very clever and the dash-wide display is impressive but I found it impossible to reach the far left panel from the driver's seat.

Two versions of the e are available and I sampled the top-spec Advance model which features everything you would want in an urban car.

It has climate control, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera, parking sensors with auto-park tech, a heated steering wheel and seats, Honda Connect nav with CarPlay and Android Auto, LED lights, four USB points and a premium sound system.

You also get autonomous braking with collision warning, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and road- departure mitigation.

The power comes from a 35.5kWh battery which supplies a 152bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels. It is swift to 30mph and takes just 8.3 seconds to complete the sprint to 62mph. It also boasts a sport mode to sharpen responses but most buyers will never use it.

The little car is very agile and because of its size is ideal for town driving and very easy to park. The steering is light and and the e offers lots of grip.

Inside the roomy cabin there is space for four adults and it is very quiet. A button gear selector allows you to start your journey and a switch allows you to increase brake regeneration to save energy and even drive using just one pedal.

This is useful because the e has a limited 137 mile range and even on a full charge I only got it to list 103 miles. This is considerably less than some of its rivals which also cost less.

The good news is that the little Honda accepts 50kW rapid charging, so an 80 per cent charge takes just 30 minutes if you can find one. Charging from a home wallbox takes over nine hours and if you are forced to use a conventional domestic socket that is going to take almost 15 hours.

The boot offers 171 litres and the two cable bags reduce the room on offer but it should be enough for two soft bags or a decent size grocery shop.

FAST FACTS

Honda e Advance

Price:£30,715

Mechanical:113kW (154ps) electric motor driving rear wheels via auto transmission

Max Speed:100mph

0-62mph:8 seconds

Combined MPG:137 miles

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 0g/km

Bik rating:1%

Warranty:3yrs/90,000 miles

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