Honda’s new premium city EV impresses its first reviewer just as reservations open

The most logical place for an electric vehicle to be used is the city where commutes are quite short and involve a lot of stop and go traffic. That’s why Honda’s first mass-market electric vehicle, called Honda e, is aimed at city driving. But since city cars nowadays have evolved into posh accessories on wheels, it not only needs to perform but needs to look good while doing it.

This is very close to the final production form of the Honda e, and it was recently driven by Robert Llewellyn from the Fully Charged Show YouTube channel. He’s usually quite excited about pretty much anything that is powered by electricity, but in the case of the Honda e, he seems even more thrilled. But why is that?

2020 Honda e City Video Review

Well, he appreciates the exterior styling, which must be said is pretty good and it will get the little electric Honda noticed, plus he really likes the interior too. Honda will need to sell the e as a more premium car than other city runabouts that it has on offer because it needs to justify the considerably higher price tag it’s going to carry. Honda hasn’t announced how much the Honda e will cost, but it is expected to be somewhere around the €30,000 mark (around $34,000 at current exchange rates.)

Therefore, the interior needs to feel like it belongs in a car costing that much. And apparently it does, with its many screens atop the dash and nice materials. The two outermost screens show a feed from the side cameras that replace the traditional wing mirrors. These show a considerably wider field of view compared to regular mirrors, and the screens themselves are placed in about the same place where you’d normally look to check your mirrors.

The All-electric 2020 Honda e City Car Has Been Driven, but How Does it Hold Up?
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What’s the driving experience like? Well, unlike some more powerful and even more expensive EVs, the Honda doesn’t feel especially fast, according to Llewellyn, but at the same time it’s not the kind of car that you want to hoon around in and, for more sedate, relaxed driving, its smooth power delivery and ample torque make it a pleasant travel companion.

It’s still pokey, though, with 148 horsepower and 221 pound-feet (300 Nm) of torque.

Honda has not released an official naught to 60 mph time, but we estimate that it will be around 8 seconds based on how much power we know it will have relative to its size and weight. Its party piece won’t be outright acceleration, though, but the combination of the vehicle’s maneuverability and handling.

Not only does it have a perfect 50:50 weight distribution and rear-wheel drive, but it also has one of the tightest turning circles of any vehicle on the road. The turning radius quoted by the manufacturer is 14.1 feet (4.3 meters) which means it’s better than that of a Smart ForTwo whose radius is 22.8 feet (6.9 meters). This should not only make it very easy to drive in town, but it could also mean the car is fun to drive on a more twisty road - we’ll have to wait to confirm the latter, though.

The All-electric 2020 Honda e City Car Has Been Driven, but How Does it Hold Up?
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Regarding the vehicle’s range on one charge, Honda says it will “over 124 miles (200 km)” with its 35.5 kWh water-cooled battery pack.

The final official number has yet to be announced - this is a ballpark figure for now.

Honda itself is very proud of the e and just as this video review came out, the manufacturer announced that the order books for the model are now open. You can choose one of five available colors (Modern Steel Metallic, Charge Yellow, Platinum White Metallic, Crystal Blue Metallic, and Crystal Black Pearl) and that’s about all you can configure right now - it’s not a full pre-order, it seems, although you are asked for your credit card information and a deposit of £800 in the U.K..

The All-electric 2020 Honda e City Car Has Been Driven, but How Does it Hold Up?
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We don’t yet know when the Honda e will officially go on sale, or even if the manufacturer will make any additional changes to it before it reaches showrooms, but we do expect it to be here in 2020.

Further Reading

2020 Honda Urban EV
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Read our speculative review on the 2020 Honda Urban EV.

2017 Honda Urban EV Concept AutoShow High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Urban EV Concept.

2020 Honda Sports EV Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Honda Sports EV.

2017 Honda Sports EV Concept
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Two seats mean decent cargo room

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Sports EV Concept.

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