10th January 2022
The Honda-e has to be one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2021 and it’s taken me a while to get my mitts on one. Reaction from other motoring journalists has been mixed, which always makes me even more intrigued to try a car. When the Honda-e rolled silently onto the drive this morning, I was smitten by its looks, but this week will prove if they are deceptive or not.
First enormous tick for the Honda-e this morning comes from my kids, who both stop and stare at the car on the drive. They love its looks and the interior, with the flush-fitting door handles gaining further kudos from both. They’re also, unsurprisingly, fans of the touchscreen dash displays, though my daughter is a little perplexed about how fish can live behind the dashboard when I select the Aquarium screen saver.
More practical matters this morning as I head off on a few errands in the Honda-e. Its official range of 137 miles on a full charge will be academic on this chilly Scottish morning with heated seats and steering wheel, demisters, and air con all working at full tilt. A short hop into Stirling, around eight miles away, sees 10% of the battery’s charge ebb away. Time to consult the ChargePlace Scotland app.
Yesterday’s driving racked up a few miles and needed a quick top-up at a fast charger. One upside to the Honda’s small battery is it doesn’t take long to squeeze in a reasonable percentage of electricity. An hour sees about 60% of battery capacity poured in, which was sufficient to see me on my way and get home via another 50kW charger to fully refresh its cells.
A change of pace today as I head into Edinburgh to test the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Fluo Capsule as part of the day job. The Huracan is every bit as impressive as you’d expect of a car with a £213,500 list price fully kitted up like this. In the end, I left the Honda-e at home as the drive to and from where the Lambo was would have been too far on a single charge and I didn’t have time to stop for a recharge. A definite win for petrol today.
There’s a lot to love about the character and style of the Honda’s cabin. The choice of materials and design is superb and justifies much of the cost of this car over its rivals, electric or fossil-fuelled. However, I’m not a fan of the camera side mirrors. The screens are easy to see, but the image is never as sharp as a good old-fashioned glass mirror on the outside of the door. A tech step too for, in my view, for a negligible economy saving.
It’s easy to overlook some of the small details of the Honda-e as you take in its overall brilliance of design, so it’s worth pointing out some less obvious stuff. The centre console is placed high between the front seats, so it’s easy to reach, and the buttons for the transmission are big and clear. I also like the pop-up cover for the charge point operated from the key so you don’t get mucky hands when opening it.