It’s amusing how practically all automotive journalists who drive and review the Honda E begin by talking about its small battery and low range, but then for most of the video, they try to find excuses for it. Almost all of them end up saying they’d have one in spite of the range (particularly if they enjoy driving sporty cars), as was the case when we had a go in one a few months back.
And the same is true for Top Gear’s Chris Harris, who follows exactly the same pattern. Unlike some reviewers, though, who didn’t really take the Honda e out of built-up areas, Harris drives it on winding country roads, which is where this car really shines.
It is rear-wheel drive, it has a low center of gravity, short overhangs with a wheel at each corner and probably one of the sharpest steering racks of any small EV. In fact, only the Mini Cooper SE’s steering is sharper, and that’s the only similar-size rival that matches the Honda e for driving fun.
Harris does end up talking about the Honda e’s biggest problem, which is not its petit battery with a usable capacity of just 28.5 kWh, or the real-world range which in winter will realistically be around 120 km (75 miles) if you don’t drive it briskly. That problem is the Honda e’s price, which in Europe kicks off at €32,997 or if you want the more powerful version (which you probably do), that rises to €35,921.
The vehicle that I drove a few months back was almost fully loaded and it was nudging on €40,000. For that kind of money, the fact that aside from a few flashy gadgets, like the full-width screen or the cameras instead of side rear-view mirrors, what you’re left with is a pretty conventional and Harris argues that just isn’t enough.