Hondas adorable electric car certainly looks the business but is it more than just skin deep, asks Jonathan Musk?
Pricing starts from £26,160 for the base model, while the Honda e Advance starts at £28,660…
Ever since the first Honda Urban EV concept broke cover, there’s been a certain expectation that the production car might not quite live up to the concept’s clean lines and cute looks. However, with 31,000 expressions of interest across Europe, including 9,000 from the UK, and true to its word, Honda has kept the production car remarkably similar to the concept.
This was in part due to the concept having been developed while the production model was already in the works.
Pricing starts from £26,160 for the base model, while the Honda e Advance starts at £28,660 (both prices including PICG), which comes with a heated steering wheel, Parking Pilot and heated front seats over the base model’s already generous spec list that includes full-width dual screens, smart entry and start, centre camera mirror system and side camera mirrors, panoramic ‘sky’ roof, and even pop-out door handles.
The Advance model also benefits from a rise in power, from 136 to 154hp, which powers the rear wheels to offer rapid urban performance, which combined with its 50:50 weight distribution should make the little electric car an enjoyable drive.
Range is touted as around 136-miles, which might seem a bit on the low side considering the car’s 35.5kWh battery, yet Honda believes the car’s range is well within what people will actually need and that it is actually beneficial to have a smaller battery as it makes for a lighter and therefore more efficient car, as well as using fewer resources too – which we’re all in favour of. That range should be fairly stable too, thanks to the battery benefiting from active cooling, and when it comes to charging up (via the bonnet-mounted socket) while out and about, the small capacity and CCS2 standard means drivers won’t be plugged in for long before getting on the road again – with 0-80% taking around 30 minutes.
Learning from other EV pioneers, Honda has installed a switchable single-pedal driving mode.
Due to the pricing, and although slightly more money, the Honda will vye for affection over the Mini Cooper SE, which on the face of it is a similar proposition. However, it’s inside the Honda that things really take a departure. The interior (initially only available in grey fabric) is a wonderfully comfortable place to sit with a distinct lounge feeling thanks to fabric covered door cards and plenty of real wood on the dash. It’s a simple yet effective environment sporting all of Honda’s latest kit. Though it may be small, the e is Honda’s halo car that will set the trend for future Honda EVs.