• 2021 Honda e

We spoke and Honda listened - The Urban EV is moving into production

LISTEN 12:43

The new Honda E, which came into the limelight in the 2017 International Motor Show in Germany, is the future of the company’s electric mobility with a compact form factor and can up to 231 miles per charge. The concept revealed was, well, like a usual concept with an extra layer of design superiority, unlike the production model which has minimal looks. Let’s dig into the goods and the bad of the Honda E in detail.

Overview

The transformation in the automotive industry is happening as fast as the climate changes are happening around the world. With electric mobility as the future, most of the automobile giants are proposing to go fully electric by the year 2030 and Honda is one of them. The ‘Urban EV’ concept which at last hit production as Honda E is a good option but is pricey at about $42,094. The 2022 Polestar 2, which is about $5,000 more than the E, is a far superior option among the two. The Honda E is available in two variants- the base, and the Advance. The base E produces about 134 horses while the Advance produces about 152 horses. Both of them are powered by a 35.5kWh battery pack. The interior gets all the future mobility systems like all digital dashes with big screens and even a decent space to fit up to 4 people. Altogether, it is a great attempt by Honda and we have to wait and see whether they come up with more excitement with the upcoming model years of the E.

Exterior Design Philosophy

2021 Honda e Exterior
- image 883312

Honda has opted for a more simplistic approach for the E instead of any sharp angular design like their other offerings. So the body has straight lines with minimal bulges and cuts. The front gets a set of circular three-in-one LED DRLs and headlights replicating a human-like face. The rear has similarly sized LED taillights and has a black panel across the sides to match the front of the car. The sides have frameless doors, complementing the futuristic design. The door handles are flushed inside the body which is unheard in the segment and can operate when the key fob is near them. The blacked-out roofline has an integrated sunroof which comes as standard. A set of 16-inch wheels come fitted as standard but can be upgraded to 17-inch wheels throwing some extra cash.

2021 Honda e
- image 1021090

Honda has introduced a new platform with the E and is one of the smallest and lightest. Unfortunately, the battery packs do contribute to a higher curb weight of 3,337 pounds. The E is 153.3 inches long, 68.8 inches wide, and 59.5 inches in height. The ground clearance is set at a fairly low 5.7 inches and that indicates that the car is limited to city boundaries. A wheelbase of 99.6 inches gives a mindset of how compact the E is.

Honda E Exterior Dimensions
Model Honda E
Curb Weight  1,514 kg (3,337 lbs)
Length 3,895 mm (153.3 inches)
Width  1,750 mm (68.8 inches)
Height 1,512 mm (59.5 inches)
Ground Clearance  145.2 mm (5.7 inches)
Wheelbase  2,530 mm (99.6 inches)

Interior

2021 Honda e
- image 1021100

Enter the cabin and you will be amazed by the design and features the E has. Instantly you will feel the reasons why you are paying extra by just vibing inside the “lounge-styled” cabin Honda likes to call it that way. The opulence is felt with fabric interior trims on the dashboard, door panels, and seats but there’s faux wooden trim too which is not as bad as it sounds but feels premium as it should. The nice fluffy seats offer excellent comfort and come with power-adjustable and heated seats for the front. The dashboard design is a mixed bag of retro-modern vibes because of the air vents which are shaped and placed like they are taken straight up from a 60s car and the huge screens at the front will take you ahead in time and realize their beauty.

2021 Honda e
- image 1021098

An 8.8-inch color TFT display as an instrument console along with two 12.3-inch touchscreen displays, one for the passenger and one for the driver, covers the whole dashboard. Honda made available a two-spoke steering wheel which comes leather-wrapped as standard and has all the integrated control buttons for the digital instrument cluster and other features like summoning the adaptive cruise control. The exterior visibility from the cabin is excellent too with a wide field of view and Honda claims that they have hidden the wiper blades for distraction-less drives. Overall, the cabin feels very welcoming with the use of good quality materials and its intuitive nature for the price.

Honda is first in the segment to have a seating capacity of only 4 people and that too of its compact nature, the spaciousness is not the best for people above six feet. The shorter wheelbase contributes to tighter legroom, especially at the rear but the headroom is not that much of a troublemaker. The E will be great for a small family and hauling them to either school or workplace. What can be a bit problematic is the 6.3 cubic feet of boot space which is among the lowest in the segment and can hardly fit a duffel or two with pressure. Here are a few interior features of the new Honda E.

  • Automatic climate control.
  • Leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel.
  • 8.8-inch fully digital instrument panel.
  • Fabric interior trims.
  • Fabric sofa seats.
  • Faux wood trims on the center console and rear.
  • Heated front seats.
  • Rearview camera.
Honda E Interior Dimensions
Model Honda E
Seating Capacity 4
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) N/A
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) N/A
Cargo Capacity  171 liters (6.3 cu-ft)
2021 Honda e
- image 1021105

Honda has improved their infotainment system with a more advanced voice recognition system that can be summoned by just saying “OK Honda” and you will be invited by a sketched-face on the big 12.3-inch infotainment screens asking for further commands. That said the screens are touch-accurate and have pinch and swipe functions for added convenience. Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity comes fitted as standard and so does a six-speaker audio system. A few of the notable features of the infotainment system are as follows:

  • Two 12.3-inch touchscreen displays.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • Navigation system.
  • Satellite radio.
  • 8-speaker premium audio unit.
  • Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
  • HDMI and USB connectivity.
  • Honda Personal Assistant with AI.

Performance, Handling, and Range

2021 Honda e
- image 1021085

While the electric powertrain stays the same, Honda has offered 134 horsepower and 152 horsepower variants with the E. Both of them get a rear-wheel-drive setup which is kind of unheard for the segment. In the city, the motor feels nippy with 232 pound-feet and can overtake a few vehicles without much of a hassle. According to Honda, the E takes 8.3-9.0 seconds to sprint up to 100 km/hr or 62 miles per hour which is quite decent and Honda has tuned the accelerations for cutting away any lag. In terms of handling, the new chassis along with MacPherson struts for the front makes easy turns possible without many body rolls. The 50:50 weight distribution plays a big role in the handling and with the variable-ratio steering, taking U-turns are not painstaking near busy roads. Two driving modes- Normal and Sport offer a dynamic driving experience with the latter offering faster throttle inputs. The one pedal mode is quite useful and when turned on, the throttle pedal acts as a brake pedal too only if you put your foot off it. A set of 15-inch discs are equipped with the Honda E and they are ventilated for added durability and performance.

2021 Honda e
- image 1021107

A 35.5kWh battery pack powers the electric motor and can deliver up to 222 km or 138 miles combined with the 134 horsepower variant as claimed by WLTP. The range figures are average where options like Kia Niro EV deliver up to the EPA claimed 239 miles combined. That said, the overall performance is decent with good handling dynamics.

Honda E Performance Stats
Model Honda E Base Honda E Advance
Engine Type BEV w/ 35.5kWh battery pack BEV w/ 35.5kWh battery pack
Charger Capacity 6.6kW AC 6.6kW AC
Drivetrain RWD RWD
Transmission Direct drive Direct drive
Power  136 PS (134 HP) 154 PS (152 HP)
Torque  315 Nm (232 lb-ft) 315 Nm (232 lb-ft)
0-62 MPH (seconds) 9 8.3
Top Speed  145 km/hr (90 MPH) 145 km/hr (90 MPH)
Front Brake Discs (inch) 15.0-inch  15.0-inch 
Rear Brake Discs (inch) 15.0-inch 15.0-inch 
All-Electric Range (WLTP) 222 km/ 138 miles 210 km/ 130 miles

Safety Features.

2021 Honda e
- image 1021084

Honda has loaded the E with loads of safety features including a few advanced driver assistance features like the Honda Parking Pilot which monitors vehicles around you and parks itself using the sensors. Honda included Forward Collision Mitigation and Blindspot Monitoring with the E for added safety convenience. A full list of the safety features are just below:

  • Blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Collision mitigation braking system.
  • Deflation warning system.
  • Electronic brakeforce distribution.
  • Forward collision warning.
  • Lane departure warning.
  • Lane-keeping assist.
  • Low-speed brake function.
  • Traffic sign recognition system.

Competition

Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe Debuts In Paris With Record 250-Mile NED Range High Resolution Exterior
- image 690022

Renault’s all-electric Zoe already boasts impressive figures, the main one being its claimed range of up to 400 km or 250 miles on a single charge. It also looks quite cool for what it is and just their sheer number on Europe’s roads reveal that it is a bit of a success story, even if it’s by no means perfect.

It’s definitely a car that feels built to a price, and this is especially evident inside where materials quality is about on par with that of a Dacia model. It doesn’t feel flimsy or poorly assembled, but the sheer amount of hard plastic inside is not pleasant for the eyes or fingers.

But the Zoe feels cheap because compared to other EVs it really is cheap and you don’t lose on the all-important range when option for one of these. It’s probably the most compelling EV of this size out right now.

Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Zoe

VW e-Up!

2017 Volkswagen Up! High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 668523

Volkswagen will also sell you an all-electric version of their Up! city car, dubbed e-Up! which comes with a considerably nicer feeling interior compared to that of the Zoe, even though it’s theoretically one size class down on it.

Its range used to be comparable to that of the Zoe, but ever since the Renault received a new larger battery pack, the e-Up! has been left behind - its real-world autonomy won’t exceed 160 km or around 100 miles, so it’s really only useful for city driving and short trips, while the Zoe can drive you to more remote places, provided you can charge it at your destination.

Read our full review on the 2018 VW e-Up!

BMW i3

BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 728636

Probably the only direct competitor for the electric city Honda is the BMW i3, a model which has the premium credentials to face any competitor in its class. The i3 has a great, quite futuristic interior which if you spec well can be a really serene and relaxing place to travel in - I recommend going for a lighter colored interior because it has a huge impact on how you feel in the car.

It also has plenty of punch from its electric motor, it’s rear-wheel drive so you can have some fun with and nothing looks quite like it on the road. Not everybody likes the way the i3 looks, but you get used to it and it’s currently the best posh EV to travel around in around a big city - maybe the Honda will challenge this distinction.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3

Is The 2022 Honda E A Great Miss For The American Market?

2021 Honda e
- image 1021090

It is both a yes and a no. The Honda E is a great small EV that could have been introduced to the US market. It is intelligent and comes with excellent cabin comfort, modern touches like the big screens up front, and excellent driving dynamics. But it is average in terms of power figures and electric range. The Kia Niro EV is a better option in terms in terms of powerful accelerations and overall range. That said, the E is a much more advanced EV in its segment could be a great buy for people who love modern tech.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automobile Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

Honda launches all-electric EV Sub-brand - e:N

Honda Previews Insanely Cool E Drag Racer and N-One Hill Climber for Tokyo Auto Salon

Here’s How the Retro-Styled Honda E Holds Up Against the Classic Civic

With GM and Honda Teaming Up, GM’s Next EVs Might Not Suck

Here’s What We Know So Far About The Adorable Honda e

2017 Honda Urban EV Concept

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder:
  • Honda e