Practicality and Boot Space
The Honda e will fit into parking spaces others cannot, but this does lead to compromises. Chiefly, in the tiny amount of boot space on offer. With the rear seats in place, it has just 171 litres of capacity, which is going on for half the space of an electric supermini such as the Peugeot e-208. Honda acknowledges this by making the rear seat super-easy to fold: pull the handle in the centre of the seat back and it flops down to reveal 861 litres of space.
In fairness, rear seat space isn’t too bad – and you do have the convenience of rear doors, unlike the MINI Electric. Adults will be very snug, but shouldn’t find it intolerable, with passable space for feet and heads. The floor is surprisingly high though, which means your knees are much higher than you'd except - it's a bit like sitting on a futon which is low to the floor. It's also only a four-seater, so you can't get five people in an e.
In the front, it’s great. The cabin is easy to access, the firm, comfortable seats are set high and the view out is panoramic. It doesn’t feel like you’re sitting in such a compact car – until you nab the roadside space everyone else has driven past.
It may look retro on the outside, but the Honda e is a really advanced little car. The interior features can include five screens which stretch across the entire width of the dashboard and can be used by you or your passenger. As well as all the usual boring functions, two become rear view mirrors as the usual old-fashioned bits of glass dangling from the doors are replaced by aerodynamic cameras. The central mirror can also be replaced by a camera and screen to give you a better view of what’s behind.
Once you come to a stop you can even use the central screens as a games console or turn them into a virtual fish tank. If you want to keep your other tech devices powered, the Honda also has a three-pin socket which is capable of powering a laptop or mobile charger. Once your phone is charged, you can also use it to monitor the car’s charging and preset the in-car temperature via an app.
No one independent has yet crash tested the Honda e, so it doesn’t have an official safety rating – but the examiners at EuroNCAP are expected to get hold of one soon and we’ll update this section as soon as we hear the results. Until then, we’ll have to look at Honda’s generally good record in crash tests and predict that the NCAP boffins will be impressed by the high level of standard safety equipment fitted to the e as standard.
The package of electronic equipment to prevent accidents happening is called Honda SENSING and includes gadgets to warn you if you stray out of a lane or have someone in your blind spot. The car will also slow the car down or even apply the brake if its sensors detect an impact is likely.
The Honda’s cameras also improve visibility and the car has the option to park itself safely, saving you the stress of low-speed impacts.