Bravo, too, to Honda for creating such a great interior. There’s a real sense of space and airiness, which comes from a combination of the light-coloured fabrics, large windscreen and even more so the absence of a centre tunnel between the front seats. It’s a really good use of space: with the rear bench up there’s enough room in the back for two adults for short journeys (although the boot is tiny like this), or drive it as I did for the most part with the bench folded flat and you have a spacious two-seater minivan with enough room for a large greyhound to sprawl out on her way to some daily mandated exercise (in the local area, of course).
Nippy off the line, adjustable regenerative braking allowing for true one-pedal use, runs out of puff a bit above 60mph… These attributes could apply to all manner of small EVs, but the E really stands out in other ways. Chief among them is its amazing turning circle, thanks to the rear-mounted motor and rear-wheel drive. Three-point turns have never really been the bane of my life, but I’m now sneaking round in one turn when before it would take three. It really is fantastic.
The E, then, is a car you desire when looking at it, when sitting in it and when driving it, and it comes with three or four killer features that make it excel as the most modern of city cars. If you do most of your miles within a short radius of home and can charge at home (or work, if your commute isn’t a monster), and have access to a second car for longer journeys, then even the range is fine.
The range, then, from the E’s 35.5kWh battery pack, is officially 125 miles. We got close to that in the summer, but it’s a figure that only tells half the story. On the coldest winter days, you’re likely only to manage half that distance, when you need to demist the windows, warm the cabin and make use of the heated seats and steering wheel.
For those who fit the home charging and second-car criteria, is a 125-mile range enough? Most likely, yes, but don’t rush into ownership without taking the 65-mile winter range into serious consideration. I was surprised to find that, despite its range limitations, the E managed everything I asked of it without causing range anxiety. For others, though, that winter range doesn’t half undermine the E’s overall appeal, so any final verdict comes with a significant caveat.
But caveats are fine so long as you go in with eyes wide open: the E is still a great car, just one with a great big (potential) flaw that limits any emphatic endorsement.