vehicle or toy?
The Honda e had the sympathies on his side from the start: The cute small car with electric drive earned a lot of praise for the successful design at its first trade fair appearances. Can he also convince on the street?
The design is often a decisive factor when buying a car.
Once you have fallen in love with the look of a model, other arguments tend to become secondary.
The Honda e convinced from the first moment when it comes to the optics. A close-to-production study made its debut at the IAA in Frankfurt in 2017 – and impressed with its cute retro design, reminiscent of the first Civic from 1972.
The joy was correspondingly great when Honda presented the “e” 2019 in the production version – without major changes. Even the camera-based exterior mirrors and the interior with three large displays have made it into series production.
Now the small electric Honda with cult potential is at the dealers and has to prove that it can do more than just seduce with its appearance.
At home in the city
Honda sees the city as the main area of application for the little runabout. In any case, it impresses with its compact dimensions: the four-seater is only 3.89 meters long, 1.75 meters wide and has a turning circle radius of just 4. meters. It fits into every parking space and also meanders through narrow streets without any problems. Also because Honda has replaced conventional exterior mirrors with small cameras. That saves a few centimeters in width – and works much better here than in the Audi e-tron. The Honda‘s camera mirrors give a good sense of distance and don’t require a lot of getting used to.
The operation requires a bit of routine. The infotainment system with a large speedometer display and two widescreen touchscreens that spread across the entire dashboard looks ultra-modern at first glance. But: The software that is displayed on it doesn’t look nearly as futuristic. Some functions are awkwardly hidden in menus, the touchscreen doesn’t respond as quickly as you know it from tablets and smartphones, and the display sometimes looks rather old-fashioned.
This impression also matches the rest of the cockpit: the large monitors and the horizontal wooden inlay on the dashboard make a very nice first impression; but you will find a lot of hard plastic that feels rather cheap. In a small car that costs at least 39,900 francs (at least 43,600 francs in the tested “Advance” version with a more powerful drive), you might expect a little more finesse.
With its lively drive with 154 hp and 315 Nm on the rear axle, the little Japanese feels very agile and agile in the city. Recuperation is increased at the push of a button. The car brakes sharply when you step on the gas and can be driven with just one pedal. This will charge the battery when decelerating instead of using the brakes. This reduces consumption and increases range. An important point with this little Stromer.
More would be more
Honda specifies a range of up to 282 kilometers in the city cycle for the “e”. In the mixed driving profile, it should be 211 kilometers. In theory, this is also sufficient for a small city car. In practice, on winter tires and with outside temperatures of around 5 degrees, however, things looked very different: With a fully charged battery, the Brodcomputer announced a range of 135 kilometers. At least the computer’s calculations are accurate; but the radius of action is very limited, especially given the high purchase price. This is particularly surprising because the Honda has a decent battery capacity of 35.5 kWh. Unfortunately, the consumption of 21 to 26 kWh/100 km is very high. For comparison: A significantly larger and more powerful Tesla Model3 gets by with 15 to 19 kWh/100 km under similar conditions.
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