The new Honda e on test for Changing Lanes
The new Honda e on test for Changing Lanes

The new Honda e has arrived in Ireland and goes on sale priced from €29,995 including Government grants and VRT relief. It’s the Japanese brand’s first battery electric car, based on the Honda Urban EV concept car, which made a dramatic debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017 and has had tongues wagging ever since in anticipation of its cool retro-inspired styling and lounge-like interior.

With a WLTP range of 222 km, it is an all electric city car aimed at the urban dweller. It brings a number of innovations to the Honda brand, including Side Camera Mirror System. We had an opportunity to bring the Honda e for a test drive in Dublin. Here are our opening thoughts on the quirky Honda e.


The production Honda e retains most of the cool character of the original Honda Urban EV concept. Small in size, the Honda e is from the future and at home on city streets lit by neon lights. It’s anything but ordinary. The clues are there as you approach. Traditional side mirrors have been replaced by cameras so the Honda e has ‘no ears’ per se, just small housing for the cameras protruding from each wing. At the front, there’s a closed grille with those dazzling round headlamps deliberately styled to give the Honda e a friendly human face that you will just fall in love with instantly. Charging is via a remote controlled flap on the bonnet that opens to reveal a CCS port for fast charging and AC charging.

Quirky styling and laden with tech characterises the new Honda e
Quirky styling and laden with tech characterise the new Honda e


Inside Honda treats us to another glimpse of the future. Many manufacturers are showing us concepts of lounge-like interiors built around screens and more screens but Honda brings one to production in the year 2020. It’s an elegant, classy and techy dashboard set-up with full-width LCD touchscreens and wood panelling that would not be out of place in an upmarket furniture store. Neither would the seat upholstery or bench-like seating in the rear. The Side Camera Mirror System means you get more screen action to show you what is going on around the vehicle. The compact cameras on the outside of the vehicle provide live images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. This camera technology is a first in the compact segment. Works beautifully we can confirm in daylight, though we haven’t experienced it at night time yet. Standard kit too. Go up to the Advance model (from €32,995) and Honda will even up the ante with a Centre Camera Mirror System, which cleverly relays the image from a central rear-facing camera to the rear-view mirror display. It’s an interior fitting of an up and coming electric city car. Analogue fans need not apply.


The Honda e is a small car but can fit humans in it too and some of their gear. It’s five door with four seat interior. Up front it feels roomy but legroom is on the small side in the rear and the boot has a capacity of just 171 litres. It’s cool though, right?

Battery, Power and Range

The purpose built EV platform uses a 35.5 kWh battery, with a WLTP range of 222 km. The Honda e has 136 hp, while the Honda e Advance has 154 hp. Fast charging is available through a CCS charging adapter, with the opportunity to add 80% of charge in just 30 minutes. The Type 2 AC connection charges the car to full in 4.1 hours, with a 7.4 kW supply.

Inside the new Honda e
Inside the new Honda e

On the road

The excitement of setting off in the Honda e on a dull Monday morning in October just a few weeks before Lockdown 2.0! Bizarrely despite all that visible tech the Honda e is as easy as 1 2 3 to drive, or P R N D, considering it’s controlled by a simple button gear selector that means you just press a button to put the car in Drive.

As well as Single Pedal Control, the Honda e also has two drive modes; Normal, for a quiet refined drive around town and Sport, for increased responsiveness.

Silence is the language of the Honda e. It’s light and nippy and oh so modern. We felt a bit small on the motorway but could still keep up with the best of them. In typical urban driving it’s that perfect slice of zero tailpipe emissions future motoring with instant acceleration and responsiveness. Buy the Honda e and that’s ‘now’ motoring, but we expect more will join as Honda Ireland expects to sell their full allocation of 150 little e badged Hondas in 2021.

We had limited time to test the Honda e’s consumption and efficiency but early indications are that it uses electricity cleverly. If buyers can charge every night at home you will set off each day on your commute with close to 170 km.

So much cool stuff in the cabin of the new Honda e
So much cool stuff in the cabin of the new Honda e

Pricing & Equipment

An enhanced suite of safety features sees the addition of three new safety technologies to the Honda e including Collision Mitigation Throttle Control, preventing sudden acceleration in either reverse or drive upon starting the car when there is an obstacle in the way; Low Speed Brake Function, which applies emergency braking while driving at low speed, and Lead Car Departure Notification System which notifies the driver when the car in front has started moving.

Another new feature is Honda Parking Pilot, which provides further driver support by monitoring for parking spaces and highlighting on the HMI screens a suitable position to begin assisted parking.

In Ireland the Honda e (from €29,995) comes as standard with Honda Sensing suite of safety features, 16″ alloys, climate control with rear vent, automatic wipers, electric windows front and rear, heated front seats, parking sensors, rear view parking camera, ambient lighting, and panoramic glass roof.

Honda e Advance (from €32,995) adds an increased motor output, Centre Camera Mirror System, a more powerful audio system, heated windscreen and steering wheel, and the smart Honda Parking Pilot driver aid.

Honda in Ireland has chosen to sell the new Honda e from a number of urban Honda dealers nationwide, including Des Darcy Honda and Clonskeagh Motors Honda in Dublin, Kevin O’Leary Honda in Cork, and Sheils Honda in Limerick and Galway.


The new Honda e will compete against other compact electric vehicles like the Peugeot e-208 and the MINI Electric.


The new Honda e hits the compact EV market at the premium end. Honda has many valid reasons for not using a larger capacity battery for more range but it will be tough for the Honda e in a market that fetishises range – the more of it the better seemingly and I might be saying the same thing after spending a week with the car.

The Honda e may not win the range race but what it does have is street cred that makes it serious eye candy for early adopters. If you’re after a budget small car, the Honda e is evidently not for you. But the premium build, technology-laden Honda e is undeniably cool, adventurous and desirable.

A trendsetter we can fully get behind and look forward to delving deeper into the technology and practicality of living with a Honda e when we take it on an extended test drive in January 2021. Watch this space!

The new Honda e all electric compact now on sale from €29,995
The new Honda e all electric compact now on sale from €29,995

Caroline Kidd